Cassandra Rustvold

LCSW, MEd, CSAT, SEP

Cassandra is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Idaho, Oregon, and Arizona. She obtained her Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Education in Human Sexuality (Med) from Widener University in Chester, PA. She enjoys working with individuals, adults, elders, adolescents, and groups. While her areas of expertise are trauma resolution and sexuality, Cassandra also maintains a general counseling practice addressing issues of depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, self-esteem, addiction, grief and loss and life transitions.

THERAPEUTIC APPROACH

Helping to create safety and confidence in facing some of life’s most difficult emotions and conversations is both Cassandra’s passion and commitment to her work as a therapist. She works from a strengths-based, attachment-focused, mindful, and egalitarian perspective. Compassionate yet direct communication is a foundation of both her approach and invitation to her clients. 

SPECIALTIES/ADVANCED TRAINING

Trauma Resolution

One of Cassandra’s areas of expertise is the resolution of relational and medical trauma. She operates from a belief that trauma can stem from anything that is less than nurturing or creates a breech in the normal functioning of individual’s nervous system. She completed a 3-year training in Somatic Experiencing (a body-based approach that capitalizes on a person’s natural ability to move towards health) and continues to deepen her passion and knowledge of this modality through assisting in the training of new practitioners. 

While Somatic Experiencing is her primary tool for trauma resolution, Cassandra is also trained in EMDR (a highly researched and effective treatment) and often blends these two modalities. EEG Neurofeedback (brainwave training) is another effective and non-invasive tool Cassandra employs with individuals struggling with a wide array of symptoms of trauma such as sleep disturbance, panic attacks, ADHD, depression and chronic pain. 

During her time at the Meadows, Cassandra held the position of Trauma Therapist and trained under Pia Mellody in Post Induction Therapy for healing developmental trauma and codependency. She regularly facilitated week long experiential-based Survivors Workshops. 

Sexuality Issues

Cassandra’s graduate training focused on sex therapy for individuals with desire and arousal challenges, and affirmative therapy for those who identify as LGBTQI, gender non-conforming, and kink. In addition to noticing a great need for sexual positivity and education, Cassandra also recognized the need to assist individuals in addressing problematic sexual behaviors. She has worked in prison, outpatient, and residential settings with those convicted of sexual offenses, incongruency in sexual behavior and values, sex addiction, sexual trauma, and sexual compulsivity.

Cassandra has worked in a therapeutic role at two of the premier sex addiction treatment facilities the country: Keystone Extended Care Unit and Gentle Path at the Meadows. During her time at Gentle Path, Cassandra was trained by Patrick and Stephanie Carnes as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. She continues to obtain supervision and guidance from an array of philosophical backgrounds to provide the most individualized care to move her clients towards healthy and satisfying sexual expressions.

Cassandra has also worked in residential settings with adolescents, young adults, and their families. In the public health and educational arenas, she worked as a sexual health educator, conducted research, and provided outreach to at risk populations.