Firefly Counseling Services, P.C.
4950 NE Belknap Ct. Suite 205
Hillsboro, OR 97124
The practice is located on the corner of Belknap Ct. and Elam Young Pkwy next to Intel Hawthorne Farms.
Buisness Hours: We are in the office Monday-Friday with appointment times ranging from 8AM-6PM. If you are having a mental health emergency and need immediete assistance please call the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111 or the Multnomah County Crisis Line at 503-988-4888 or proceed to your nearest emergency room for assistance.
"We don't accomplish anything in this world alone...and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that
-Sandra Day O'Connor
Firefly Counseling Services, P.C. is an independent mental health practice dedicated to providing high quality services to children, adolescents, adults and families. We utilize evidence based practices and work as a team with clients, families and the community to achieve our goals of care.
Firefly Counseling Services, P.C. serves the greater Portland Metro area and is located in Hillsboro, OR
We look forward to working with you!
Michelle Pliske, MSW LCSW RPT-S
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapy Supervisor
Clinical Director/Chief Executive Officer, Firefly Counseling Services, P.C.
Director of Operations: Firefly Institute of Research and Education (FIRE)
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of Field Education, Pacific University
Doctoral Candidate, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work and Social Policy
Direct: +1 503-915-3737
Fax: +1 888-503-2864
Michelle Pliske is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), the chief executive officer and clinical director for Firefly Counseling Services, P.C. and the director of operations at the Firefly Institute of Research and Education. Michelle is a board recognized supervisor for the Oregon Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Licensed Professional Counselors. She holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Washington, Department of Psychology, where she studied developmental psychology. She worked on multiple research studies as a post graduate at the University of Washington's Institute of Brain and Learning Sciences and Center on Human Development and Disability. Her research included: infant and child development, childhood trauma, child behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorder.
Michelle received her graduate degree with honors from Portland State University, School of Social Work. Currently, Michelle is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work and Social Policy working towards her doctorate of clinical social work practice with research focused on integrating yoga and play therapy to address childhood adverse life experiences. Michelle facilitates continuing education workshops for students and professionals seeking training and certification within play therapy practices through the firefly institute.
Michelle holds certificates of education in Trauma Informed Services from Portland State University, Adoption and Foster Care from Portland State University, EMDR from the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute. Michelle holds a certificate of education in Play Therapy Practices with recognition as a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S) through The Association for Play Therapy. She also has received advanced training, education and certification in Synergetic Play Therapy through the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado. Michelle completed her post-graduate certificate degree in Animal Assisted Human Health from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and currently works in partnership with Apollo a therapy dog. Michelle is in the process of developing a clinical certification program for continuing education in animal assisted neurobiologically-informed play therapy practices (AANPT) through the Firefly Institute of Research and Education (FIRE).
Michelle is also recognized as a certified children's yoga instructor through Imagination Yoga and co-developed a comprehensive children's play therapy yoga program 'Hope Stretches' which provides movement and mental health therapies for children. Michelle is in the process of developing a professional clinical certification program for continuing education in yoga play therapy practices and has recently finalized a contract to write a new book: "Integrating Yoga and Play Therapy: The Mind Body Approach for Healing Adverse Childhood Experiences" due to be released in Fall 2018.
She is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Play Therapy (APT) and the National Association for Social Workers (NASW). Michelle is a board member for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Oregon as Vice President and is a current board member for the Association for Play Therapy, Oregon with a sitting position focused on continuing education. Michelle is an assistant professor of social work and the director of field studies at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR.
Michelle focuses her clinical practice with individuals affected by abuse/trauma, anxiety, acute or chronic illness in the family and grief/bereavement. Michelle utilizes a prescriptive approach to mental health treatment, drawing from a variety of theoretical practices while incorporating current neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology to meet the unique needs of her clients. Michelle provides frequent education and training to the public on topics related to child development, clinical applications, practices and interventions, child and adolescent mental health disorders, traumatic grief and loss and acute or chronic medical illness within the family system.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW): http://www.socialworkers.org/
Registered Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S): The Association for Play Therapy: http://www.a4pt.org/
Certification in Synergetic Play Therapy: Play Therapy Institute of Colorado
Graduate Certification in Animal Assisted Human Health, University of Denver
Trauma Informed Care Certification, Portland State University
Adoption and Foster Care Certification, Portland State University
Board Certified by the Oregon State Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers
American Counseling Association (ACA) http://www.counseling.org/
Certified Children's Yoga Instructor, Imagination Yoga
Lindsay Balboa is a licensed clinical social worker through the Oregon State Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers. She also is the continuing education director for the Firefly Institute of Research and Education. Lindsay received her bachelor's degree in human development and family sciences with a specialization in early childhood development from the University of Texas at Austin School of Human Ecology. Lindsay received her masters of science in social work from the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Social Work with advanced coursework in child development and play therapy practices.
Lindsay works in partnership with Olive and received training and certification in animal assisted human health through the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Lindsay has received additional training and post-graduate certification in Adoption and Foster Care from Portland State University and is currently pursuing certification in Infant and Toddler Mental Health from Portland State University.
Lindsay is certified through Imagination Yoga as a child yoga instructor and she is a member of the Association for Play Therapy. Lindsay is co-writing a book "Integrating Yoga and Play Therapy: The Mind Body Approach for Healing Adverse Childhood Experiences" due to be released in Fall 2018.
Lindsay's areas of specialty include issues affecting divorcing families, foster care or adoption, infant mental health, abuse & trauma, anxiety, depression or behavioral issues at school or at home. Lindsay has extensive experience working with families moving through the legal process of separation and divorce, foster care and family court or juvenile justice systems. Lindsay works collaboratively with parents and community partners to create treatment plans based on each individual or family's unique needs utilizing a prescriptive approach of directive and non-directive practices.
Association for Play Therapy www.a4pt.org
Certification in Children's Yoga-Imagination Yoga
Certification in Adoption and Foster Care-Portland State University
Certification in Animal Assisted Human Health- University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (pending, completion date fall 2017)
Certification in Infant & Toddler Mental Health -Portland State University (pending, completeion spring 2018)
Amanda Roberson is a Qualified Mental Health Professional. Amanda received her Bachelor's degree in Human Development Family Sciences and Psychology with honors from Oregon State University. Amanda received her Masters of arts in Applied Psychological Science from Pacific University in August 2017. Amanda has completed training for EMDR to assist clients who have experienced trauma or suffer from distress. Amanda's areas of specialty include the effects of domestic violence, abuse & trauma, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She provides therapy to adults and uses an integrated approach to therapy which includes cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based, and psychoeducational methods. Amanda works collaboratively with the individual to examine the relationships between emotion, thought, and behavior. Together, we will find methods that are successful to heal the past, live in the present, and plan for the future according to individual values. Amanda is supervised by Michelle Pliske, MSW LCSW RPT-S.
Registration with the Oregon State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors -Licensed Professional Counseling Intern
Rachel Manley is a licensed clinical social worker with the Oregon Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers and registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in criminal justice, and then her Master’s degree from Portland State University in social work. She believes that when working with individuals it is important to take a holistic approach. Her background ranges from working with domestic violence and trauma survivors, to the medically complex, and end of life and grief issues. Rachel feels that it is important to look at the whole person, and understand how they are being affected in their body, mind and spirit. Rachel’s approach is joining with clients in their journey, and helping them to create the change they want to see in their life.
The therapeutic modalities that Rachel is currently using: EMDR, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness. Rachel became a Registered Yoga Teacher after completing the 200 hour yoga teacher training at Portland Therapeutic Yoga.
Certification Oregon State Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Oregon Chapter of National Association of Social Workers
Board Certified by Oregon State Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers
RYT 200 Yoga Alliance
Sarah Long is a licensed clinical social worker and certified child and adult yoga instructor. Sarah completed her Master’s degree in Social Work from Touro College in New York City and practiced social work in the New York area prior to relocating to Oregon. Sarah specializes in providing treatment to adults and children who have experienced inter-personal violence such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and childhood abuse. She has specialized training from Safe Horizon in various trauma treatment models such as: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Seeking Safety (for PTSD and addictions), Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Trauma Focused Psychotherapy, Synergetic Play Therapy and Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Stress (SPARCS). In addition to her trauma work, Sarah also assists clients with navigating life transitions, parenting challenges, mood dysregulation (e.g. anxiety, depression, bipolar) and provides Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for adolescents experiencing mood disorders. Sarah utilizes her training in yoga and meditation to help clients develop mindfulness practices that are tailored to their unique needs. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and certified RY-200 yoga instructor with training in yoga for trauma, yoga for children, and yoga for at-risk adolescents.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW): http://www.socialworkers.org/
Board Certified by the Oregon State Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers
RYT-200 Yoga Aliance
Certified Children's Yoga Instructor, Karma Kids, and Street Yoga.
Association for Play Therapy
Monica is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and Nationally Certified Counselor. She completed her master’s of counseling in professional mental health counseling at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Politics form Pomona College, and a second bachelor’s in Psychology from Portland State University. Monica enjoys working with children and adolescents experiencing a wide range of issues including emotional dysregulation, behavior problems, grief and loss, trauma, depression, anxiety, adjustment, identity development. Her approach is child-centered and integrates the perspectives of interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, play therapy, synergetic play therapy, expressive arts, ecotherapy, and mindfulness-based methods. Monica tries to create a safe and accepting space for clients to explore their inner worlds. Monica views wellbeing from a mind-body-spirit-environment perspective and adapts her approach to fit each unique client and their needs, including collaboration with families and community supports.
Monica is currently working towards certification in the YogaCalm program. She is a member of the American Counseling Association. Monica is supervised by Michelle Pliske, MSW LCSW RPT-S.
Professional Memberships and Affiliations:
Registration Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors-Licensed Professional Counseling Intern
American Counseling Association
Association for Play Therapy www.a4pt.org
Allison received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Linfield College and her Masters of Social Work from Portland State University with advanced coursework in child and family studies. She is a licensed clinical social worker through the Oregon State Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers and member of the National Association of Social Workers. Allison uses her passion of working with children, adolescents, and families to pursue healing for those who have experienced stressful or traumatic life events. Allison believes that an individual’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health are closely intertwined and this is what guides her to address and incorporate all aspects of a person into the therapeutic process.
Allison has expertise in addressing a wide range of concerns that children, adolescents, and families often face including: grief and loss, anxiety, bullying, suicide, stress, depression, emotion regulation, healthy relationships, classroom behavior management, sexual abuse, and commercial sexual exploitation. Through her work with community partners in the Portland-metro area, she has helped families develop comprehensive plans that focus on the inherent strengths of each individual. while increasing effective communication skills in order to foster resilience. Allison has extensive experience in specialized school programs and a familiarity with the intersectionality of school-based mental health and special education laws and standards which allows her to help individuals and families navigate the process of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Behavior Support Plans within school systems. In addition, Allison has enjoyed assisting youth and families in a variety of settings including the adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit at Legacy Emanuel Randall Children’s Hospital and intensive community based treatment services.
Allison feels strongly that no single approach is right for everyone, and incorporates aspects of evidence-based interventions and the following modalities into her practice including: Collaborative Problem Solving , Narrative Therapies, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, Attachment Therapy, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Early Childhood and School-Aged Trauma Treatment and the Impact of Complex Trauma GEMS – Supporting survivors of commercial sexual exploitation
Certification Oregon Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers
National Association for Social Workers (NASW)
Rebekah Springs is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern with over 4 years of postgraduate clinical experience specializing in working with children and families. She received her Master’s degree in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University.
Rebekah worked for over 4 years at Real Connections Child Development Institute, where she specialized in parent support and education, play therapy and DIR therapy, a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to working with children, especially those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other sensory processing differences.
Rebekah is currently working towards her certification as a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). Her practice is client-centered and incorporates the family as a whole. She loves providing play therapy which honors the child and family and deeply influenced by interpersonal neurobiology and current research on attachment theory and mind-body integration. Rebekah also takes great joy in working with parents and families as they confront new diagnoses or work through new challenges that come with each stage of development throughout the lifespan.
Rebekah’s areas of focus include infant mental health, parenting, parents of children with special needs, attachment, early childhood developmental differences, trauma, medical trauma, sensory processing disorders, anxiety and related diagnoses. Her passion is for uncovering the resources within each individual and family and providing a safe, open and attuned therapeutic relationship which can cultivate healing in the midst of challenges.
Association for Play Therapy (APT) www.a4pt.org
Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Joanna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and specializes in working with children who display high risk behaviors in the home, school or community settings. High risk behaviors may relate to trauma history, identify confusion and a range of adverse experiences individuals encounter through their development. Joanna received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work from Adelphi University. Originally getting her Masters education and starting therapeutic work in the group home setting in New York Joanna moved to North Carolina in 2013. There Joanna worked with high risk youth and their families to overcome aggression, poor communication, dysregulation and sexualized behaviors. In working in the home, school and/or residential settings with children who have experienced various forms of trauma Joanna has worked alongside families to help children overcome emotional dysregulation. This includes assisting families to build the support and structure needed for children to engage in a more effective manner with those around them and the settings they interact with.
Joanna focuses her treatment from a person centered perspective as every child and family have their own personalities and needs that they bring to treatment. A variety of modalities are utilized
as Joanna also works to incorporate the individual’s likes, interests and strengths into therapeutic framework. Throughout her clinical practice Joanna has focused on the effects trauma and neglect
have had on the child’s development and the growing brain. She is certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) which identifies the sensory, relational, cognitive and dysregulating
effects prolonged exposure to trauma can cause. Joanna utilizes the following treatment approaches: NMT, TF-CBT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing,
Self-Expression, Play therapy and Narrative therapy.
It is important to understand that therapy can be an intimidating experience for children/teens and sessions will work to develop a positive trusting relationship within a setting where individual can feel free to express themselves and grow. Joanna works to build a strong therapeutic alliance with children and parents ensuring treatment goals are structured and make sense for everyone involved.
Sedona Karlin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), who works with children, teens, and individuals from an attachment-based therapeutic model. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Colorado at Boulder. While working towards her Bachelor’s degree, Sedona spent her time interning as a research assistant on a study focusing on Childhood Traumatic Grief and volunteering at Women In Crisis, a domestic violence shelter for women and children.
After relocating to California, Sedona attended Palo Alto University, where she obtained her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. While working towards her Master’s degree, Sedona completed her practicum StarVista, providing group therapy in schools to children whose parent’s suffered from substance abuse. Sedona was most recently employed at Seneca Family of Agencies in San Francisco, working with children, teens, and families in community-based settings. Sedona also spent several years working as a therapist in San Francisco Charter Schools providing individual and group treatment to children displaying behavioral and mental health needs in the classroom.
Sedona’s approach to therapy is a collaborative one. She works with each client to develop a plan targeting their specific needs and building upon existing strengths. She specializes in working with children, teens, and adults affected by trauma such as domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and neglect. She most commonly utilizes Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Child-centered and direct Play Therapy, Brief-Solution Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. In addition to her trauma work, Sedona specializes in working with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, relational problems, sexual and gender identity development, childhood behavioral problems and home and school, and symptoms resulting from disrupted attachment.
Due to the adaptable nature of her therapeutic philosophy, Sedona chooses to develop a specialized and creative treatment plan designed to suit each client individually. She takes a positive and empathetic approach to therapy, and works to create a safe, non-judgmental space for each client to be present within. Her priority is to support each client in their journey to self-love and peace of mind.
Emily Wilson-Barnard is a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and a Master’s level candidate in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. She earned her Bachelor’s of Art in Sociology from Wesleyan University in 2007. Our journeys can be painful and complex, and emotional disconnection is a common stressor in our busy society. Emily honors the fact that you are the expert in your own life and she believes you have the potential for both change and acceptance. Therapy can be a space to discuss overwhelming and uncomfortable feelings, including sadness and shame, and to increase hope. Therapy can also help increase skillful expression of love, care, and intimacy. Emily believes relationships have immense influence on our lives, and when approached with loving intention, they can inspire personal growth and transformation. She has deep respect for each individual’s unique value within their various relationships, communities, and cultures. Her systemic approach promotes strengths- and resilience-based healing, decreased self doubt, discovery of meaning, and reconnection with inner balance. Emily approaches therapy with individuals, couples, and families, with warmth, curiosity, and authenticity. She can help you to examine intersecting aspects of your identity, within the context of privilege and oppression, to promote equity in your life and the lives of others. Emily is sex and body positive, LGBTQIAP+ and queer affirming, trauma-informed, culturally curious and aware.
Rebeca is a Qualified Mental Health Associate and Master’s level candidate in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Rebeca strives to create a safe space in which growth and healing can occur. Rebeca has a passion with working with individuals from across the lifespan, but finds herself especially drawn to working with adults and couples. Rebeca takes an integrated approach in hopes that she can help her clients feel empowered and validated with their life experiences. She believes that through the work of mindfulness, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, she will be able to help individuals, couples, and families reach their goals. Rebeca enjoys incorporating creative activities to her practice with the purpose of building connections.
Rachana Patel is a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and Master’s level candidate in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Rachana earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and earned a minor in Sociology from the University of Utah in 2011.
She believes in exploring the ways in which society, trauma(s), and family of origin may impact a client’s overall well-being. Rachana values a holistic view of the self and looking at the interconnections between the mind, body, and spirit and the role those connections have with family and societal systems. She believes that effective therapy has clear goals, is collaborative, and leaves clients feeling understood and empowered. Her goal is to engage her clients with compassion as they navigate the journey of healing and changing.
Rachana’s clinical interests include work/life balance, family conflict, couples work, personal growth and identity development, life transitions, stress management, adjustment, chronic illness, grief and loss, aging, end of life issues, depression, and anxiety. She is LGBTQ+ affirming and social justice-oriented.
Short biography coming soon!
Halle Thomas is a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and Master’s level candidate in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Halle earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and English from Gonzaga University in 2016. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2014 through Yoga Tree located in San Francisco, CA.
Halle stands for providing a safe place where individuals can explore how to negotiate structures of limitation. She collaborates with clients on how to redefine their relationships, both to themselves and to others, in ways that are empowering and life affirming.
Halle uses a systemic lens to increase each client’s awareness of how broader societal systems impact any client’s experience of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability status across multiple contexts. She enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families as they reconnect to their innate strengths that can serve as tools during times of conflict and stress. She also has experience addressing problem gambling and is working toward her certification as a Gambling Addiction Counselor (CGAC).
Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
National Council on Problem Gambling
Apollo, CGC is a Golden Retriever therapy dog at Firefly Counseling Services, P.C. He was generously donated to our clinic by Trisha Ferris owner of Sunset Goldens of Oregon. Information about Sunset Goldens can be located at http://www.sunsetgoldensoforegon.com/
Apollo, CGC has been awarded his Canine Good Citizen certificate through the American Kennel Club and has completed certification through Firefly Counseling Services, P.C. Apollo's handler Michelle Pliske, MSW LCSW RPT-S completed her post-graduate certificate training through the University of Denver Animal Assisted Human Health Program. Apollo works with children, adolescents and adults and specializes in trauma informed care and animal assisted neurobiolgically-informed play therapy (AANPT). He looks forward to not only working within the clinical setting but traveling to hospitals, schools and the courthouse to support individuals and families.
American Kennel Club: http://www.akc.org/
Olive is a French Bulldog therapy dog in training at Firefly Counseling Services, P.C. Olive was adopted through Umpqua Valley Kennels in Drain, Oregon. Olive is working toward her Canine Good Citizen certificate and will go on to complete her certification through the Firefly Institute of Research and Education in Animal Assisted Neurobiologically-Informed Play Therapy (AANPT). Olive's handler, Lindsay Balboa, MSSW LCSW completed her post-graduate certificate through the University of Denver's Animal Assisted Human Health Program. Olive works with children and adolescents through animal assisted neurobiologically-informed play therapy and specializes in snuggling and anything playful.
Mercury is a Miniature Australian Shepard who is in training for certification as a therapy dog. Mercury is working towards his Canine Good Citizen certification through the AKC and is in training with clinicians at the Firefly Institute of Research and Education to work specifically in animal assisted neurobiologically informed play therapy (AANPT). Mercury’s handler, Michelle Pliske, completed her graduate certification in Animal Assisted Human Health through the University of Denver. Mercury is a master snuggler and currently excellent at mischief and chewing on toys that aren’t his.