Erik Applebee, PsyD

Assistant Director of Learner Experience and Innovation

Erik earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) in 2009 and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2006 from the Washington School of Professional Psychology (Argosy University). Erik also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1998. Erik’s graduate education specialized in Trauma and Attachment and his dissertation focused on how survivors of chronic childhood abuse and neglect who are not perpetrators of any form of violence as adults made meaning of their early childhood experiences.

Erik began working as a public servant at the Department of Social and Health Services - Children’s Administration in 2003. Erik started as a Child Protection Services (CPS) investigator in the Office of African American Children’s Services (OAACS). After 2 ½ years Erik moved over into Child and Family Welfare Services (CFWS) and was promoted to unit Supervisor in 2006. Thereafter, Erik supervised social workers serving in CFWS, Alternative Response Services, Family Reconciliation Services, Early Family Support Services, Relative Support Specialists, Court Specialists, and Financial Specialists. In 2009, Erik began supervising the regional King County Family Treatment Court unit of Social Workers and was promoted to Area Manager in western King County in July 2012. As Area Manager, Erik served the King West and White Center DSHS offices as well the King County Family Treatment Court unit. Throughout his 12 years serving at Children’s Administration, Erik has been a passionate advocate for work to eliminate racial disproportionality and disparities, supporting Family Treatment Courts, and improved engagement of fathers in the child welfare system.

Erik has also worked in the community mental health field as a therapist, chemical dependency practitioner trainee, and intern psychologist at Sound Mental Health (SMH) for almost 6 years. In these roles, Erik focused on trauma, addiction, and recovery and helped design and implement the curriculum for support groups within the Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender (DMIO/MIO) and Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery programs (STAR) at SMH. Erik provided individual psychotherapy and lead therapy groups focusing on trauma, co-occurring disorders, men’s support groups, and smoking cessation groups. In addition, Erik completed psychological evaluations, and psychometric testing.