Psychology Team 

Co-Founder + Executive Director

Alexia “Lexi Giblin”, PhD, CEDS

Dr. Giblin (#PY00003876) is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Opal: Food+Body Wisdom.  She is a member of Dr. Thomas Lynch’s Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) Senior Clinician Team.  Dr. Giblin leads the integration of RO-DBT in to Opal programming. She is also currently Clinical Faculty in the University of Washington’s Psychology Department.

Dr. Giblin has worked in the mental health field in various capacities since 1995.  She received her doctorate from the University of Washington in 2004 and worked in private practice for 8 years prior to founding Opal.  Dr. Giblin was a Faculty Lecturer in the University of Washington’s Psychology Department from 2004-2011.

Dr. Giblin’s research focused on body image dissatisfaction and teen appearance talk.  Her past clinical positions include Lead Clinician and Training Coordinator roles at Seattle Mental Health. Her contributions to the University of Washington were recognized during the yearly “Celebrating University of Washington Women” observance.  She has served as Vice-President and Education Chair of the Puget Sound Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp).

Dr. Giblin is committed to making Opal a nationally recognized program offering compassionate treatment for eating disorders that is responsive to recent research.  Along with her Co-Founders, Julie Church, RD, CD and Kara Bazzi, LMFT, she leads Opal with socially responsible business practices.  

 

Lexi has professional interest and advanced training in: Attuned/ intuitive eating, depression/anxiety, enneagram, grief and loss, Health at Every Size, OCD, RO DBT, trauma, women’s health. 

Co-Founder + Clinical Director

Kara Bazzi, LMFT, CEDS

Kara is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#LF00002454) who has been focusing her work on the treatment of eating disorders since 2002. Kara has strong local ties; having graduated with honors from University of Washington with a degree in psychology and her Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University. She and Julie Church, RD founded the Eating Disorder Program at the Seattle Pacific University’s Counseling Center, a multidisciplinary program that offered comprehensive care for the undergraduate student population. From 2004 to 2011, Kara was in private practice offering individual, family, couple, and group outpatient therapy. She is an approved supervisor through the State of Washington, a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and a member of National Eating Disorders Association, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

One of Kara’s passions and interests is working with athletes. As a former University of Washington cross country and track athlete, she continues to compete in sports, both as a passion and also to stay connected with the athletic mindset and lifestyle. She has developed the Exercise + Sport program at Opal to ensure that clients relationship to sport and exercise is an integral part of their treatment.

Kara has professional interest and advanced training in: Attachment, attuned/ intuitive eating, depression/ anxiety, The Enneagram, family therapy, grief and loss, Health at Every Size, OCD, RO DBT, spirituality, sport and exercise/ athletes. 

Senior Primary Therapist

Tahney Jones, LMHC, CEDS

Tahney is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60197103)  and a member of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) as well as the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP). Tahney is locally educated, having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington and her Masters degree in Psychology from Antioch University Seattle.

Tahney owned a successful private practice before moving to Opal in which she treated clients with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. In her practice, Tahney worked successfully and compassionately with both men and women, including the participation of family members, friends, and partners. In addition to her individual work, Tahney led support groups and worked with Julie Church, RD, CD, co-leading a community meal support group.

In her private practice, Tahney has effectively employed a team approach, working closely with dietitians, doctors, and other therapists to provide comprehensive, empathic treatment for her clients. In addition to her work with eating disorders, Tahney is experienced with anxiety, depression, trauma, and relational concerns. She combines a warm, client-centered approach with evidence-based cognitive behavioral strategies.

 

Tahney has professional interest and advanced training in: attachment, attuned/ intuitive eating, Health at Every Size,  RO DBT, sex therapy/ sex positive, trauma.

Primary Therapist + Exercise Experiential Therapist

Chrissy Hughes, LMHC, CEDS

Chrissy is a Licensed  Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60818315). Chrissy received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School. Prior to her work as a Primary Therapist, Chrissy initially joined Opal as a milieu therapist. She is also a passionate member of the Sport and Exercise team who loves integrating her background in physical therapy, exercise science, and competitive athletics into her work with athletic-identifying clients. Outside of Opal, Chrissy enjoys drinking bubble tea, riding her bike around town, and hanging out in the San Juan Islands.

 

Chrissy has professional interest and advanced training in: Attuned/ intuitive eating, Health at Every Size, RO DBT, Sport and Exercise/ Athletes. 

RO-DBT Co-Leader

Katherine Manbeck

Katherine co-leads RO-DBT and is also the 24/7 phone coach. Katherine is a Registered Counselor Affiliated in the State of Washington (#CG60803411).  Katherine is an advanced student pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. She got a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a M.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Washington.

Katherine is currently researching interracial interactions, with a focus on what goes wrong in health care interactions for patients of color. She is also interested in the fundamental roles of vulnerability and responsiveness in the development of interpersonal closeness, with implications for the therapeutic relationship and down-stream impacts on health and well-being.

Katherine is interested in evidence-based treatments for complex clinical presentations. She has worked with clients with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and substance use, and has experience with therapeutic approaches including Mindfulness Based Therapy, DBT, CBT, and ACT. Katherine combines warmth with an insistence upon change, and believes that the most sacred responsibility of a therapist is to hold hope when clients are hopeless. When she’s not working, Katherine loves to climb mountains and cuddle with her cat.

Primary Therapist

Shannon Wittevrongel, LMHC

Shannon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60813335). She completed her Master of Arts in Counseling-Psychology at The Seattle School and her Bachelor of Arts in Social Cultural Anthropology at the University of Arizona.  In addition to her experience working with eating disorders, she is experienced with trauma, dissociative disorders, anxiety, depression, and relational concerns.  She has a warm, empathetic, and playful approach to therapy that provides her clients with a sense of safety and acceptance. Shannon co-leads Opal’s Body Image group and is passionate about the process of supporting clients in healing their relationship to their bodies and ultimately developing deep trust and sense of safety in their bodies. 

 

Shannon has professional interest and advanced training in: Attachment, attuned/ intuitive eating, depression/ anxiety, diet recovery/ chronic dieting, enneagram, grief and loss, Health at Every Size, spirituality, systems of oppression, trauma, 

Family Therapist + Primary Therapist

Tina Alvarado, LMFT

Tina is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Washington (#MG 60748824). She received her Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy from Seattle University and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University in California. Tina began her work at Opal as an intake specialist where she honed her skills in the assessment and diagnosis of eating disorders and helped clients navigate the complexities of starting treatment. As a Primary and Family Therapist at Opal now, she supports clients and their loved ones in their journey of treatment and recovery. She takes a collaborative and conversational approach to therapy, valuing both the clients’ expertise in their own lives and her own experience and training as a therapist. As a clinician rooted in systems theory, she takes into consideration the various systems at play and how they impact clients on practical and psychological levels. Whether she is working with an individual, couple or family, she enjoys helping people develop more authentic and fulfilling relationships. Tina has completed intensive training in RO-DBT and co-leads the weekly RO-DBT skills class for clients in all levels of care. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her partner and their dog, cooking and eating delicious food, watching movies and dancing. 

Tina has professional interest and advanced training in: Attachment, attuned/ intuitive eating, family therapy, Health at Every Size, RO DBT, sex therapy/ sex-positive, spirituality, systems of oppression, EFT (emotionally focused therapy). 

Sports-Specific Primary Therapist + Exercise Experiential Therapist

Laura Maring, PsyD, LMHC

Laura is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Washington (#PY60743589) and an approved supervisor in the state of Washington. She obtained her Master’s degree and Doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwest University. Laura has worked in the field of eating disorder treatment at a residential, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient level of care since 2010 with research focused on temperament and eating disorder treatment drop out. She brings a compassionate yet firm approach in assisting clients towards cultivating a greater sense of values and self-awareness within the individual’s life systems. Laura currently serves as President for the Puget Sound Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) and was previously the local Membership Chair. Outside of work Laura enjoys road trips to the mountains or ocean and taking in musical performances around the city.

 

Laura has professional interest and advanced training in: Attuned/ intuitive eating, CBT, DBT, depression/anxiety, grief and loss, Health at Every Size, spirituality, sport and exercise/ athletes, ACT. 

Intake Lead + Primary Therapist

Gigi Zappone, LMHC

Gigi is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor  in the state of Washington (#MC60703455). Gigi completed her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Northwest University. She initially became a part of Opal as a milieu therapist and from there, transitioned into a dual role of intake lead and primary therapist. Between the two roles, Gigi has the unique opportunity of seeing clients through the full process of higher level of care- from the initial phone intake to outpatient. As a therapist, Gigi utilizes a playful, compassionate, interpersonal approach in sessions. Much of her work employs an attachment focus as well the emphasis on restoring connection to the body’s internal cues of wisdom and trust. In addition to working with folks with eating disorders, Gigi has experience working with individuals with chronic illness/pain, depression, anxiety, emotional loneliness, and relational concerns. 

 

Gigi has professional interest and advanced training in: Attachment, attuned/ intuitive eating, depression/ anxiety, diet recovery/ chronic dieting, The Enneagram, Health at Every Size, LGBTQ issues/ gender-affirming, RO DBT, spirituality, sport and exercise/ athletes, student health, systems of oppression, women’s health. 

Primary Therapist

Kendra Appe, LMHC

Kendra is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (#MC60781269) in the State of Washington. They received their Master of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics and Clinical Health Psychology at Bastyr University. Kendra aims to empower clients by subverting the often harmful dominant cultural paradigms that prevent us from trusting our own inner wisdom. Opal’s Health At Every Size approach aligns with their value of respecting all bodies while the Radically Open approach aligns with their desire to bring their full authentic self to work every day. Outside of work, Kendra likes to listen to loud music in their truck with the windows down, stay home and knit, and play in the garden with their many plants and German Shepherd Dog.

 

Kendra has professional interest and advanced training in: attachment, attuned/ intuitive eating, depression/ anxiety, diet recovery/ chronic dieting, greif+loss, Health at Every Size, LGBTQ Issues/ Gender Affirming, RO DBT, sex therapy, sex-positive, systems of oppression, ACT, Biopsychosocial Theory.