Ashley M. Barrera, LMFT
Director of Clinical Services
Ashley M. Barrera is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist who has been in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska since 2011. As the Director of Clinical Services at Coastal Wellness and Counseling, LLC, Ashley provides mentorship and training to the clinical staff while also providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families.
As a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT), Ashley believes every person has the divine right to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Accessing and refining the tools necessary to do so and applying them to one’s life can be a challenging process. Ashley sees her role as guiding people through the journey of identifying and harnessing the power of their unique strengths so they may achieve satisfaction from life and relationships.
Ashley has a deep passion for working with families which grew out of my many years as an Infant and Toddler Montessori Teacher at Puffin Heights Montessori School. This experience inspired her to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, followed by a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies where she specialized in Couple and Family Therapy at Iowa State University of Science and Technology.
Her work with families is heavily influenced by the pioneers of the field of Marriage and Family Therapy, and their theories which include; Virginia Satir and The MRI Group (Strategic Family Therapy), Salvador Minuchin (Structural Therapy), Murray Bowen (Bowenian Theory), Ivan Boszormenya-Nagy (Contextual Family Therapy), and Gregory Bateson (Family Systems Theory). She is equally passionate about working with couples, both those striving to strengthen their marriage as well as those who are separated and/or contemplating separation or divorce. Ashley has received extensive training as a couples therapist and primarily utilizes Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy, though her work is also heavily influenced by the research and theories of Drs. John and Julie Gottman of The Gottman Institute.
Through these theoretical orientations, Ashley aims to strengthen relationships and create lasting change -even when working with couples and families who are experiencing life transitions brought on by divorce. Although her areas of specialization are primarily focused on couples and families, Ashley truly enjoys her work with individual clients. She appreciates the experience of empowering people to dig deep, evaluate their way of being in the world, strengthening their sense of self, and live their truth. She is inspired by the works of, Virginia Satir, Richard Schwartz, Terry Real, Brene Brown,Ester Perel, and Cheryl Strayed and frequently incorporates their teachings into her work with individuals.
Ashley has trained with Terry Real and practices Relational Life Therapy as her primary approach when working with couples. She has completed Levels 1 – 3 of his therapist training program and sees the benefits of this work in her daily practice with couples. Often, couples on the brink of separation or divorce find their way back to one another in her office when they learn to harness the skills of relational living and as they begin to shift from years of criticism and contempt, to closeness and re-connection. She has also completed Levels 1 & 2 of the Gottman Method Coupes Therapy program and enjoys integrating these strategies and interventions into her clinical work.
Ashley welcomes the opportunity to work with you if you feel her therapeutic approaches may benefit you, your relationship, or your family.