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.
Hello, and welcome! Here you'll get a chance to get to know me a bit.
I love working with young children and their families. Children experience the world in beautiful and unique ways. So much of our brains and bodies grow in those first years. I feel so privileged to witness and support young children as they grow, understand the world, and create deep and meaningful relationships.
A big part of my work is in supporting parents, both very new and seasoned. Parenting is incredibly challenging. And parenting has dramatically changed in the last several decades, both in expectations (our own and others) and in execution. We have less external support, more demands, higher expectations, and a lot more stress. We also have access to incredible information and research on the development of young children and how to support social and emotional intelligence. But the execution is hard, and when we make mistakes, it can be hard to recover.
I love my work with couples, in particular, couples who are expecting, have just had a baby, and those with young children. Becoming a parent creates stress in your relationship. That's normal. But it's also painful, and sometimes we fall into painful negative patterns with our partners that drain whatever energy and love we managed to grasp onto. If you feel like your partnership, your marriage needs help, reach out for support now! Don't wait.
Education and Professional Development
I am a clinically trained social worker and psychotherapist. I received my Masters in Social Work at New York University after being an undergraduate at the University of Washington. I also attended the University of Washington's post-graduate certificate program in Infant Mental Health. I am a psycho-dynamic and psychoanalytically trained therapist with a primary focus on attachment and trauma and chronic stress. I am also an infant and early childhood mental health specialist (CMHS) and a minority mental health specialist for Latin(x) populations.
Before launching Happy Nest, I worked in several mother/baby programs, developing my skill in Child-Parent Psychotherapy and receiving specialized training on early attachment and development. I am also a DONA trained doula.
Since then, I have also become an Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Certified Therapist. This model was developed by Sue Johnson and uses attachment theory to help adults reconnect to each other and repair relationship hurts.
I volunteer on the Child Therapy Committee as part of the Northwest Alliance of Psychoanalytic Study. I also currently serve on the board of directors for PEPS.
Some of my favorite book recommendations include No Bad Kids by Janet Landsbury, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate, It Won't Hurt Forever by Peter Levine, Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, and No Drama Discipline by Daniel Seigel. Check out my blog post for more recommendations.
When I'm not working with parents and small children, I love spending time outdoors, hanging out with my wonderful husband, traveling, watching BBC originals, and exploring Seattle's culinary world. Follow me on Instagram for parenting insights, blog post updates, and supportive messages.