Northwest Pediatric Center offers integrated behavioral health intervention and consultation services within our pediatric primary care practice. Our on-site licensed mental-health therapy team collaborates with our primary care providers to address physical, developmental, social, behavioral and emotional needs. This integrated model acknowledges the role of behavior in medical care and the importance of mental health care in physical well-being.
Physical, emotional, social and spiritual health are deeply intertwined. In order to provide the best quality of care to your child, we coordinate both within our practice and with specialists and community providers to address these unique components impacting each patient. Our behavioral health consultants are available to address a wide variety of emotional and behavioral issues including:
- Parenting challenges
- Coping with various stressors (family, peers, school, divorce, loss)
- Family conflict
- Sleep issues
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website offers helpful resources for parenting toddlers and preschoolers.
Meet our behavioral health team:
Wendy Liu Skarra, LMFT, Behavioral Health Director
Wendy’s specialty is Child and Family Therapy and she’s a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both Wash. and Ore., where she’s provided therapy to children, youth, adults, and families since 2009. She has worked as a clinical supervisor and program manager at outpatient mental health agencies, and has experience working at a Behavioral Health Organization (BHO/ASO) and at the Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Wendy is a Child Mental Health Specialist, and is also certified as a DMHP/Designated Crisis Responder. Her passion is working with family systems in managing mental health issues, improving overall well-being and strengthening relationships.
Trisha Bender, MD, ACAAP, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
We are so excited to have Dr. Bender join our team to serve the kids of our community! She started her career in child and adolescent psychiatry as an officer in the U.S. Army. Dr. Bender served in the 25th Infantry Division as the Behavioral Health advisor to the CG and as a Deputy Inspector General for Behavioral Health concerns during her tour in Iraq. Additionally, she supported the re-establishment of the Tikrit, Iraq, teaching hospital as an academic professor. After serving her country, she began her civilian career as a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Dr. Bender is a Pierce County master gardener and besides gardening, she enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and traveling with her school-aged daughter.
Lauren Houseman, LMFT-A
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I attended Saint Martin’s University for my undergraduate studies. While there, I worked with children and their social groups, discovering how group membership shapes personal cognition and outcomes like achievement, aspirations, and interests.
I have a passion for working with family systems and providing perspective changes around problems. I enjoy working collaboratively with families and being a part of their journey. In my off time, I love the outdoors, especially camping, fishing, and disc golfing. My evenings are spent with my significant other, our three dogs, and two cats. I’m looking forward to serving and growing with this community.
Melissa Good, LMFT-A
I attended University of Washington for my undergraduate. After that I worked as a Family Peer with Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) in Olympia for a year before returning to school for my Masters. I attended Saint Martin’s University for my MA in counseling. I was trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in April 2023 and am completing training in Play Therapy.
I enjoy working with families to help them support their child’s mental-health journey. We are the experts of our own lives and my goal is to help patients embrace that knowledge within themselves.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and pets.