Before pursuing human psychology, Dr. Waters worked in the veterinary field as a licensed veterinary technician for 17 years. During that time, she became interested in animal behavior and human bereavement from pet loss.
Concurrently, she began her clinical work in 1989 as a group therapy facilitator utilizing psychodrama, art, expressive movement, and body-based therapies. She has extensive training and expertise in treating survivors of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, individuals from dysfunctional family systems, and in working with Autistic adults.
She holds a Doctorate in clinical psychology from the Adler University and a diplomat in clinical psychology (ABPP) from the American Board of Professional Psychology. Currently, she is core faculty and associate chair for the clinical psychology doctoral program at Antioch University in Seattle. She teaches neurophysiology and statistics to doctoral students, so it should come as no surprise she is somewhat of a science geek.
She also has a private practice where she works with adult post-traumatic stress/complex trauma, LGBTQIA+ issues, folks on the spectrum, and chronic illness/pain.
She is a member to American Psychological Association (APA) divisions 56 (Trauma), 44 (LGBT), 33 (Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder) and section 13 of division 17 (Human-Animal Interaction).
She founded The AWAKE Project (Autistic Women’s Advocacy/Activism, Knowledge, and Empowerment Project) after her own diagnoses and finding most information and research on Autism was normed on males. The mission of AWAKE is to promote Autistic Advocacy/Activism, Knowledge and Empowerment for women.
She uses social media as an essential outreach tool to Autistics, bypassing barriers such as social anxiety, accessibility, and sensory issues. Thus, this project focuses on psycho-education delivered in online and social media platforms (website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok). Specifically, the website provides selected and recommended books, peer reviewed, and special interest articles. The social media pages provide Autism content in the form of original, understandable, lived experience and/or scientifically based informational memes as well as sharing of other vetted articles & memes with accompanying explanations for a lay audience.