Dr. West is a clinical neuroscientist and founding partner at Brain Health Northwest, LLC, a clinical psychology firm in Seattle Washington that specializes in the use of quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG)-based functional brain assessments for the identification and treatment of brain/mental health issues. Her specialization is in the interpretation of brain maps using normative databases and quantitative algorithms.
Dr. West received her Doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota, where the neurophysiological portion of her training was through the medical school and the computational portion was through the Institute of Technology (Minnesota Supercomputer Institute). Her dissertation and subsequent postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Antwerp, Belgium concerned the use of machine learning and mathematical algorithms to predict the electrochemical signaling behavior of neurons.
Dr. West has held academic appointments at University of Washington and Washington State University. While at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, she served as the lead organizer and educational director of the Department of Energy’s Multiscale Mathematics initiative. Upon returning to Seattle, she founded Northwest NeuroPro, LLC where she acquired clinical credentials while developing quantitative software for clinicians based on wearable EEG technologies.
Dr. West is a Washington State Certified Counselor, BCIA Board Certified in Neurofeedback, a BCIA approved mentor for neurofeedback training, and chairs the educational committee of the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. She was a scientific consultant for Myneurva (a Cloud-Based Reinforcement Learning System for Neuropsychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment in the Primary Care Setting). She has served as an expert witness in forensic cases involving the interpretation of brain maps concerning mental health status.
She has attended training seminars in the emerging use of therapeutic psychedelic applications and is in queue at MAPS to receive advanced training. One of her research interests is in the identification of brain functional phenotypes as predictors of the most efficacious choice of psychedelic compound and modality for a given individual.
How I work with clients
The integrated self is able to seamlessly process the flow of information between our intellect, emotions, and body. The brain rewires itself when we are exposed to stressors, whether chronic or acute, psychological or biological. To heal, we need to address both the content of our thoughts and the underlying dysregulations of our physiology. There are no magic bullets in healing – only a commitment to “doing all the things” to establish conditions for the mind, body, and spirit to reorganize towards optimal flow. Psychedelic integration is proving to be a powerful new tool in addressing both the psychological and physiological components of self.
I initially assess your situation from three perspectives:
• First, what is your story? Why are you suffering and what aspects of your life are being impacted? How have past events in your life contributed? What have you already tried to resolve this issue?
• Second, what can we know through psychometric testing? Using testing such as the PAI, CNS-VS, IGT, TSI-2, and Social History, we can objectively undercover patterns of which you might not be currently aware or that you might be reticent to share.
• Third, what does your brain say? Using functional brain analysis (QEEG), heart rate variability, and breathing characteristics, we can understand how your physiology is contributing to your suffering.
The psychedelics being investigated (or already approved) for therapeutic use share similar physiological actions: disruption of the default mode network, alterations in blood flow, modulations of the serotonergic system, and neurogenesis. Psychedelic integration takes advantage of this shift in physiology to resolve conflict within our story: the content of our thoughts alters our physiology, and the state of our physiology alters our thoughts.
The real work begins when the ceremony ends. Retelling your story and sharing the insights that arose is an important part of this process. We also employ modalities such as Alpha-Theta neurofeedback (trauma, addictions, creativity), EMDR, rhythmic integration, heart rate variability, and breath work to rewire the brain and ground the body. My approach and personality are likely a better match for clients who are more comfortable with science than woo-woo.