DEBRA WHITING ALEXANDER holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a license in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her career in mental health spans over thirty years in California, New York, and Oregon. She has held the positions of Executive Director in two non-profit mental health agencies, served as Clinical Supervisor to a number of agencies and individuals, was an Associate Professor in School Counseling, Education, and Community Mental Health for seven years, and is the author of numerous nonfiction books related to her specialization in post trauma treatment and recovery.
PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACH
Debra practices within a psychodynamic framework based on person-centered, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, and mindfulness based therapy. These approaches encompass a variety of techniques to educate, empower, and relieve distressing symptoms. Much of her treatment focuses on the management of natural responses associated with traumatic life events, anxiety, depression, grief, and life transitions. Parent education is an important aspect of her work with adults with children. In short-term work or longer counseling experiences, she believes individuals can rebuild relationships and find new meaning and strength through times of crises.
Debra is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Oregon, and holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University for Humanistic Studies (CA), with an emphasis in counseling psychology and marriage and family therapy. In addition she holds an M.S. in Counseling from San Diego State University (CA), and is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress; Diplomate, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. She also holds a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) credential.
As a licensee of the Oregon State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, she abides by its Code of Ethics and participates in annual continuing education as required by the licensing board, completing classes dealing with subjects relevant to this profession. Debra also participates in supervision and consultation on a regular basis.
Debra grew up in San Diego with a love for the ocean, cowgirls, neighborhood dance shows, pianos, golden retrievers, and art. She misses the San Diego beaches, but loves Oregon where her home backs up to lush green fields, horses, stunning sunsets, and hazelnut orchards. Married thirty-seven years, Debra is grateful to be near family and close to her daughter and granddaughter.
Debra is the author of numerous non-fiction books, including Loving Your Teenage Daughter (Whether She Likes it Or Not), and Children Changed by Trauma: A Healing Guide. Her most meaningful project, The Emotional Recovery Resource Kit, was written for her publishers in New York in response to 9/11. Her passion now is to write women’s fiction that shines a light on mental health issues—matters of the heart and soul. Her award-winning debut novel, Zetty, was inspired by her grandmother who had a rare form of Schizophrenia and passed away in a psychiatric institution at the age of forty-one. To learn more visit: debrawhitingalexander.com