Co-Director of the Child Anxiety CenterChild Anxiety Center
Dr. Welch works with children, adolescents, and adults in the Child Anxiety Center and Anxiety Centers. She is Co-Director of the Child Anxiety Center. She is also a Founding Member of EBTCS and on the faculty at the University of Washington, where she is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology.
In 2005, Dr. Welch started what now comprises the Anxiety Center and Child Anxiety Center, joining Drs. Aramburu, DuBuse, Lichner and Sayrs at the DBT Center of Seattle. Together, they formed the Evidence-Based Treatment Centers of Seattle (EBTCS). She brought her expertise and love for bringing science and compassion together to help build a team of clinical psychologists who loved to “geek out” about ways to help people. She has extensive training and experience treating anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She also specializes in body-focused repetitive behaviors, including hair pulling and skin picking, and works with clients suffering from panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety, generalized anxiety and worry, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), separation anxiety and stress-related conditions. The majority of Dr. Welch’s current clinical practice is currently within the Child Anxiety Center. Several years ago, she and her colleagues started the first formal Intensive Outpatient Therapy program for OCD and child anxiety disorders in Seattle, in an effort to treat children outside of a residential setting who could not be adequately served in outpatient treatment. More recently, the program has expanded to help treat anxious children who are avoiding or refusing school.
Dr. Welch received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. After completing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Welch was active in research on self-esteem in children and received a Ford Foundation grant focused on children’s mental health within the LA School System. She worked on several federally-funded research projects at the UCLA Medical Center studying developmental processes in serious psychiatric disorders, and also worked with children’s mental health counseling in a K-8 school. She also began volunteering to help survivors of rape and sexual violence, serving in the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults on Women (LACAAW). Dr. Welch completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Washington, and did postdoctoral training at the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory University School of Medicine. Much of her training was focused on exposure and response prevention for obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as prolonged exposure for post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Welch has been active in the Depts. of Psychology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine over her time in Seattle. She has been actively involved in several academic research projects (including the large, multi-site anxiety in primary care research study Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management, or “CALM” study) and has published in well respected peer reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology and JAMA. Dr. Welch is active in training and consulting both locally and nationally. She also serves on the clinical advisory board of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) and enjoys consulting and training local clinicians, teams and schools. Dr. Welch is a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, (ADAA), the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), the Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC) and the Tourette Association of America (TSA). She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Washington.