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PAT Program Group Leaders

Julie Ellett

Julie Ellett
Julie Ellett
Julie Ellett (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist whose work has spanned the gamut of populations, from children and adolescents (tough, but rewarding) to adult inmates (also tough, but rewarding). She's worked in clinical settings, lab settings, school settings, and within institutions guiding clients through treatment while training and overseeing social workers, psychologists, and mental health professionals. She has also taught courses in psychology for over a decade, has several publications in the field, and loves the academic process.

Julie received her BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego and her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Aside from her work with PEPS, her favorite job was working through a joint program with the Department of Corrections and the University of California, San Diego with mentally ill inmates in prisons throughout California who were preparing to parole.

She has known about PEPS secondhand for years through her childhood best friend who worked with their education department. Hearing about the supportive environments created in the Newborn Groups astounded her, as her own experience in parenting young ones was having to cultivate support entirely on her own through happenstance, mom's-group-type settings. Hearing about the expansion of such supportive networks to parents of adolescents and teens truly sparked joy and she knew she'd love to be a part of that process. Julie contributes to the PEPS PAT Program by facilitating parent groups, along with writing and developing the curriculum used within the groups themselves. She'd love to see your shining, frazzled face in one of these excellent PAT offerings!

Outside of PEPS, Julie loves to laugh, is a bibliophile, lover of music (all music is great, but neo-soul or 90's R&B is her jam), mom-to-three, and has been married for a quarter of a century to one of the greatest. She lives in Austin with her husband, their 3 adolescents/teens, and two of the cutest french bulldogs you ever did see.

Jamie Elzea

Jamie Elzea
Jamie Elzea
Jamie Elzea (she/her) is a licensed clinical social worker at her private practice Nurtureways where she supports parents in counseling and Mindful Self-Compassion practice. She earned her BA in Psychology from Whitman College, a Masters in Public Health, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Additionally, she engaged in post-graduate studies in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at the University of Washington and is endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Policy Mentor. In addition to her practice, she also supports mental health and allied professionals in professional development, leadership support, and organizational consulting. She believes that an investment in parental well-being is an investment in whole family well-being.

Jamie first connected with PEPS programming as a participant in a Newborn PEPS Group in 2010 and a Second Time Around PEPS Group in 2015. She has served at PEPS as a former member of the Board of Directors, a Second Time Around Group Leader, and has supported the organization in various workshops and parent learning modules on Mindful Self-Compassion. She is excited to join the PAT Program team of facilitators as a current parent of 2 adolescents and is committed to helping connect other parents in this life phase with support and community.

Lilach Geppert-Shapira

Lilach Geppert-Shapira
Lilach Geppert-Shapira
Lilach Geppert-Shapira (she/her) is a certified life coach, specializing in family and parent coaching. She has been working with parents and kids in groups and individually for the past 15 years, teaching evidence-based skills such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). She has a master’s degree in Psychology, is trained in the Positive Discipline method, and is also a Certified Gottman Seven Principles Leader. Lilach’s approach to working with families and group facilitation is relational and holistic.

Gloria Martinez

Gloria Martinez
Gloria Martinez
Gloria Martinez (she/her) is a psychologist from Colombia with more than 10 years of experience working across Colombia, the UK, and the USA. She specializes in child and family counseling and developing programs for adolescents related to conflict resolution, social skills, substance abuse and suicide prevention, and vocational orientation.

Her passion for helping adolescents started when she worked with youths in foster care in New York. Since then, she has been supporting families as a teacher, Co-Principal, therapist, and counselor in Colombia, and leading programs for adolescents in the United Kingdom.

Gloria joined PEPS after moving to Seattle, driven by her own experience of raising children in a foreign country without support from relatives and her passion for helping families navigate the parenthood journey.

Kari O’Driscoll

Kari O’Driscoll
Kari O’Driscoll
Kari O’Driscoll (she/her) is a writer with a background in biology and medical ethics and has worked in medical and mental health settings. She is the founder of The SELF Project, an organization dedicated to enhancing the social-emotional health of adolescents and building stronger communities. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine, Mommyish, ParentMap, Healthline, and other outlets. Kari is the author of One Teenager at a Time: Developing Critical Thinking and Self Awareness in Adolescents, as well as a memoir titled Truth Has a Different Shape. Her book Happy, Healthy Teens: Why Focusing on Relationship Works, released by Rowman & Littlefield in January 2022.

Kari loves leading PEPS PAT Groups because parenting kids as they hit adolescence is such an overwhelming task. So many parents can feel isolated and unsure of how to make decisions and really fearful of the consequences, and PAT is offering practical information in a way that is accessible and building connections between parents and caregivers so that we can all feel supported in this really important work.

Deborah Rifkin

Deborah Rifkin
Deborah Rifkin
Deborah Rifkin (she/her) is a Seattle-based certified birth doula, Gottman Educator, and PCI® Parent Coach and has had a private practice since 2007. Deborah received her BA in Domestic Political Economy from Colorado College, her MA in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University, and completed her coaching certification through Seattle Pacific University with Parent Coach International (PCI).

She has worked with pregnant women and parents for 15 years, participated in the birth of 100+ babies, and facilitated parent groups for more than 20 years. As a parent coach, Deborah feels strongly about helping parents be their best selves and parenting well. She helps each family discover for themselves what works and then to put that into practice. She works with parents from many different educational and socio-economic backgrounds and as a mother of two college-aged kids herself, she knows parenting can be extremely challenging under the best of circumstances but believes that when we show up and are present for ourselves and our children, everyone thrives.

Deborah has been involved with PEPS since 2000, leading PEPS Newborn, Second Time Around, Connecting the Expecting, and PAT Groups.

Interested in becoming a PAT Program Group Leader? Please contact PEPS PAT Program Manager, Sarah Crystal, at sarahc@peps.org.

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