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Mark Medina, LICSW

photo of Mark Medina, LICSW

Mark Medina, LICSW

Counselor and Intern Supervisor


When I was 21 years-old I got a job working as a caregiver at a shelter for abused and neglected children. I saw the results of terrible abuse and neglect, but I also discovered the incredible strength and resilience kids have. I witnessed hurt and healing, and found compassion to be a powerful instrument of healing. These experiences inspired a career of service aimed at providing relief to hurting kids. I’ve worked in adolescent treatment homes, crisis shelters and worked with children and families for 14 years in community mental health. I used to volunteer with the American Red Cross where I provided care and clothing to victims of house fires and with the YWCA as a guardian ad litem where I represented the best interests of kids in dependency proceedings. I’ve spent the last 5 years with Real Life Counseling focused on delivering school-based mental health treatment to middle and high school students. 

I love to snowboard and being on the mountain has spiritual value for me. I am humbled by the beauty and greatness of the mountain and reminded of my own fragility and strengths. I love the solace, and can think of no better way to spend a day than on the slopes with my family. I want to help others enjoy the mountain, so I currently volunteer as a ski patroller.

My greatest strength might be that I like my clients. I tend to like people, even if they don’t like themselves or feel tremendous guilt and shame. To some degree I was born that way, but I’ve also had experience working with groups that are often feared and stigmatized. I’ve learned not to be bothered by imperfections and to focus on finding strengths we can build on. I sometimes joke with the kids I serve that I’m going to “pick on them” about stuff, and that brings me to my next great strength: humor. I’m pretty casual and laid-back. I like to joke and I can usually build effective relationships with the most “difficult” kids. 

An area for improvement is tasking. I am a hard worker, but I stink at tasking out a bunch of different things. I tend to be into whatever I am doing at the moment and forget about everything else. That is nice if we are in session, but not so great if I intend to bring you a book from my home library… I forget! I compensate by rocking the post-it-notes, making fewer promises, saying “no” more often, and also I just own it. I stink at tasking and I’m not gonna sweat it too much. I’m gonna focus on the stuff that is most important, and to take my family snowboarding.

Areas Of Focus

Kids and teens: depression, suicide, and good old fashioned life is Hard.


School Based and Salmon Creek
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