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Joe Klemz, LICSW
Joe Klemz’s lived experience as a trauma survivor with 30+ placements in foster care is matched with more than 20 years in the mental health field. The combination of personal and professional practice has given Joe an unyielding commitment to authentic, safe, and unarmored relationships - with ourselves and each other.
As a therapist, Joe’s approach with clients is somewhat unusual in the level of transparency and insight he brings. He is perceptive and unassuming, wise and adaptive. His most deeply held value is creating a safe center for his clients, free of judgement or expectation. This relational humility is not merely a professional boundary - it is the guiding principle of his practice as a counselor and trainer of other therapists.
Joe models personal integrity by actively and openly addressing his own lived experiences, fears, and biases by constantly seeking to improve, heal, and move forward with peace and resilience. His superpower is his willingness to show up with clients and colleagues as a full human - to mess up, repair, and show vulnerability and strength in equal measure.
A 2006 graduate from Eastern Washington University with a Masters in Social Work, Joe has continued to grow his skillset and understanding to best serve the unmet needs of both his clients and colleagues.
In addition to ongoing community-based training on Sexual Trauma, and the intersections of Trauma and Gender/Sexuality/Intimacy, Joe is an EMDR Therapist and member of the EMDR International Association. He’s also earned certification on “Understanding and Treating Complex Trauma in Youth, Adults, and Families” from the Boston Trauma Center founded by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.
As founder of Real Life Counseling adn Real Life Community Behavioral Health in Vancouver, Washington, Joe leads a growing team of innovative and skilled practitioners providing more than 50,000 hours a year of comprehensive mental health services to youth and adults in SW Washington. With a career spanning more than two decades across various community mental health settings, Joe brings depth of knowledge, compassion, candor, and empathetic accountability to clients as well as colleagues he mentors and consults with.
As a husband, father, and business owner, Joe spends his free time in the woods or working on his family’s inland northwest property. He aspires to launch a new EMDR training program for therapists in the coming year and is looking forward to hobby homesteading and exploring new trails and lakes in the woods of the northwest with my family and friends