Hello! My name is Bart Ozretich, MSW, LICSW and I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington, with an emphasis on Multi-Ethnic Practice. I am also designated as an Ethnic Minority Mental Health Specialist. My training and experience is primarily in the treatment of adults and adolescents with a variety of mental health concerns (from anxiety to behavioral problems to life transitions). And, my passion and strength is working with diverse individuals and families - from a mindfulness approach - in an effort to make caring and compassion more central to all of our lives.
I was raised in Southwestern Washington in a large, close-knit family and was fortunate enough to have had loving parents and relatively uneventful childhood. Though my grandparents had struggled through the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, those were times and experiences that were not often talked about in my family. They were proud people who did not want to burden others with their problems.
When my family unexpectedly moved to Northern California, however, I became much more familiar with the adversity and struggle of being uprooted in the midst of calm on a personal level. I then began to appreciate how difficult it can be to adapt to change, loss, and uncertainty.
Relocation and upheaval turned out to be a recurrent theme in my life growing up. The San Francisco Bay Area provided a great window into the diverse and ever-changing world around me. I made new friends, adjusted to my new surroundings, and became quite comfortable in my newly adopted home - then, five years later, we moved again - to Southwestern Ohio.
This time, the transition was more much difficult and I struggled to cope with the fact that my family was now scattered across the country and the globe. Once I began to feel more like myself again, I sought out a community of others like me and found myself living in a college dormitory for international students – people in unfamiliar territory, seeking a home away from home. I could relate.
Oxford, Ohio (home to Miami University) was a long way from Southwestern Washington and was about as different from the San Francisco Bay Area as you could get without crossing an international border. Once I became a Resident Assistant and peer counselor, I realized that I had found my calling. The more I got to know the other students, the more often I would find them knocking on my door and sharing their stories – of change, loss, and uncertainty.
It was this experience that led me to the social work profession – and sparked my desire to witness and share in the stories of others – the good and the bad – with compassion for the suffering that we all experience as human beings.
I have worked in a variety of clinical settings including the King County Crisis Line, Sound Mental Health, and Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS), providing direct mental health assessments and counseling services in the community.
Through my work at Asian Counseling and Referral Services, I had the privilege of serving countless immigrant, refugee, and first/second-generation U.S.-born individuals and families. I also assisted young people with identifying and achieving their educational and professional goals.
In addition, I have engaged in advocacy, case management and mental health treatment with children, adolescents, and families throughout King County, providing home visits and school visits to communities in nearly every school district in the Greater Puget Sound area through ACRS.
These experiences have helped me to gain a great deal of perspective and experience with individuals, children, adolescents, and family systems. They also lend themselves very well to my private practice, as I find themes of change, loss, and uncertainty to be common to all individuals and families.
I offer an eclectic approach to mental health services – grounded in evidence-based practices such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Family Systems – with an emphasis on connecting with my clients through attentive listening, non-judgmental guidance, and compassionate challenging of fixed patterns and behaviors.
One of my strengths is working with individuals and families from diverse, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial backgrounds. In particular, I focus on the ways that our thoughts and feelings can negatively and unintentionally impact ourselves and those around us, when they are not aligned with our values and beliefs. As the parent of two multi-ethnic, multi-racial children, my own experience greatly informs my understanding and approach to working with others. For example, I can better relate to the challenges of balancing work, family, and personal goals as a parent myself. And, I appreciate the challenge of raising caring, compassionate children. I want to meet you where you are and develop an individualized treatment plan, in collaboration with you and your existing healthcare providers, to help re-orient you to the life you want - and deserve.