Carolyn Ratley, LMFT, CMHS

Carolyn Ratley View Specialties

I have been working with children and their families since 2001. I received a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1999 before moving to Pasadena where I received my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have provided therapy in a variety of settings including schools, homes, agencies and in private practice. I am Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as a Child Mental Health Specialist. I feel each person has a special story to tell in their own way and in their own time. I use a variety of interventions to help people in my office feel safe, secure and learn to understand their journey and give them tools to work through it.

Specialty Areas:
Systemic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused and Object Relations are some of the theories I work from.  The following are some of the areas in which I have experience.

Play Therapy/Child Therapy: This is my passion. I love working with children and helping them through their struggles so they can find joy, laughter, and be a kid again. By using play I am able to meet the child on their level and understand what they want to communicate. Play therapy also allows me to teach them important tools for better functioning and understanding. Children enjoying being in my office and have fun as they work through the hard things in their lives.

Family Therapy:  I believe strongly in the healing power of family. When one member hurts everyone hurts and I can help to bring healing to the family system by breaking down the barriers to communication and connection within the family. Maybe yours is a blended family in need of some stabilization.

Parenting issues. Parenting is the hardest job there is. I am thrilled to work with parents by giving them resources and strategies to help them parent more effectively. When you child is hurting or you feel that you can’t get through to them it can feel very powerless. I can help you find ways to connect and help your child through whatever the struggle is so you and your child feel empowered.

Adolescents and teens: This age group has always been a successful part of my practice.  Kids feel comfortable talking here, and parents are assured that if family therapy is needed, I will seek the teen's agreement and involvement in family sessions. 

Family reunification counseling: When there has been a time apart or estrangement, I have ways to help you and your child reconnect.

The Effects of Trauma:  Since 2006 I have worked with children who have experienced trauma through my work in foster care as well as domestic violence. I am trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is a evidence based treatment for children struggling with trauma and PTSD. If your child has had a traumatic incident that is hard to recover from, let me assist you. Having a safe place to work through the trauma and find peace again is possible.

Depression and Anxiety:  Depression and Anxiety can be very debilitating and can make you feel very alone. Let me walk along side you and help you to overcome these issues by learning tools and skills to find joy again. This can be very common in children and teens and I have worked with many who have successfully found healing and are functioning very well.

Christian Counseling:  For those desiring it, I am very pleased to offer a Biblical basis for solutions to our life problems. It can be very helpful to connect with someone who understands your world view and the complexity of the issues you may be struggling with.

Autism/Special needs: Since 2003 I have been working with children on the Autism spectrum as well as those with special needs. I love to see the world through their eyes and help them to engage with their world and find meaning in it. I have a passion for these children and have special training that allows me to connect with them and teach them important coping and connecting skills. Whether it is social skills, engagement, communication, emotional functioning or trauma I find my work with this population to be very effective and rewarding.


I am a Washington State approved supervisor and can provide individual and group supervision. I find supervision a very rewarding process and love to see clinicians find their style and voice in the therapy process. In supervision we review legal and ethical issues, case consultation, interventions, as well as transference issues
I love my work and feel honored to walk alongside children and their families; sharing their joys, fears, traumas, and dreams. I believe in the healing power of family and know that children and teens have a support system that is vital to understanding them and to aiding in their success.

Carolyn Ratley Reaches

Tacoma WA