Important Update - Summer 2020
Beginning in July 2020, Happy Nest Therapy will not be accepting any new clinical patients. Shanna Donhauser will begin a year-long sabbatical to attend the Attachment Studies post-graduate program at Roehampton University in the UK and work on her book. Learn more in this post, and follow Shanna on Instagram or email for updates.
For counseling referrals in the Seattle area, please refer to this list.
Helping Families with Young Children
Build a life you love
In the last 50 years, parenthood has dramatically changed. Research on development, attachment, habit building, skill development, and neuroscience all impact parenting and the responsibility of raising confident, healthy, balanced, resilient children.
Parents today spend more time caring for their children , maintain higher expectations in their marriages/partnerships , and report fewer social supports. Modern parents also struggle with the opportunity to access to so much knowledge and resources, while feeling unable to process and understand it all.
You’ve read the books, sought out advice, tried working with your partner, put in the time and effort to figure out how to raise your children, but you’re stuck. What worked yesterday, doesn’t work today. Or maybe it works, but you want more. And you’re looking for support on how to use your parenting knowledge consistently to elicit cooperation, calm, and connection.
Let me help.
My name is Shanna Donhauser and I am an infant and early childhood mental health specialist. Welcome to my practice. I work with families struggling just like you. Parents and young children struggling with:
Adjusting to transitions (starting school, moving, childcare changes, new siblings, grief, etc.)
Behavioral issues at home, school, or both
Disturbing or troubling play
Encopresis/enuresis and toilet training
Managing stress and anxiety
My work with families looks, clinically, different than what you might expect. Because I work with such young children, I often recommend that parents attend sessions with their young children. Sometimes, parents meet with me individually to work through their histories and experiences of parenting. And sometimes, my recommendation is for couples therapy, mainly when both parents need support communicating and connecting.
My clinical training is deeply grounded in attachment theory or the evolutionary theory that explains why humans develop deep, meaningful relationships with each other, beginning in infancy. Humans are born incredibly vulnerable. Our large heads (big brains) and upright posture (narrow hips) result in a shorter gestational period. Our young remain vulnerable and weak for a very long time. But their brains grow an incredible amount in the first 1000 days. To survive, humans developed social strategies to ensure protection, health, and prosperity. These social strategies include "attachment" or an exclusive, intense relationship with a primary caregiver(s). We form attachments to the people we depend on, our parents or those who raised us and then, later in our lives, to our chosen partners.
My goal is to help you, the parent, understand the interventions you use and the ways you connect with your child and with your partner so that you can make changes that positively impact your relationships.
I want you to feel a deep and grounded connection in all your relationships. I want you to feel confident in your decisions as a parent. I can help you and your child grow and learn together, heal old wounds, and increase social/emotional connection. Together, we will help you to fall in love with the life and relationships you're building.
Reach out today to find out more about counseling and how it can help you and your family.