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Who We Are


Sharon Shadwell

Founder, Chief Clinical Officer

Sharon’s first paid jobs as an adult were as a children’s behavioral health case aide and a residential counselor at a group home for adolescent girls. As she has gained more education in psychology and psychotherapy, her professional roles and work settings have changed; but her work has consistently centered on the mental and relational health of children and adolescents who have experienced trauma and bereavement. 


Over time, Sharon became more aware of the ways the systems that serve children, adolescents, and their families weren’t meeting their needs well. And she also began to notice the ways the behavioral health system was failing the professionals who care about and provide services for these clients. She became determined to “build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete,” to borrow the words of Buckminster Fuller. In reflecting on her own needs as a clinician in private practice, as well as the needs she has heard identified by other mental health professionals in this community, she developed the idea for The Practice NW: a community of practice that provides mental health professionals with the supports and services they need to start and grow financially-viable private practices that will be a source of high-quality, culturally-responsive services for individuals and families. 


The greatest joys in Sharon’s life are her relationships with her son, whose love has been a source of profound healing for her, and her husband, who is one of the smartest and kindest people she knows and with whom she is creating The Practice NW. She is reflective and introverted by nature, so she finds journaling to be a valuable personal practice. She also enjoys reading, both for fun and for learning.


Matt Horner


Founder, Chief Operations Office

Matt is an Army Brat whose young life had him traveling all over the U.S. and Europe before his family put down permanent roots in Lacey, WA when he was a teenager. Having been bitten by the travel bug, he found himself in New York, where he graduated from Long Island University with a B.A. in Psychology, and then in California, where he earned his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He then moved back to the Pacific Northwest where he spent a few years working as a mental health therapist for various non-profits. In 2009, he moved into a position with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs where he has sharpened both his analytical and business organizational skills as a quality assurance analyst and adjudication specialist.


Although no longer a practicing therapist, Matt wanted to work to develop a place that provides mental health professionals with the resources and support he couldn’t access when he was in the field. By co-creating and attending to the day-to-day operations of The Practice NW co-working space, he is able to use his education, prior clinical experience, and business organizational skills to help provide a safe, industrious space for others seeking to hone both their clinical skills and private practice knowledge. When his nose isn’t stuck in a computer screen or a book, you can find him bicycling around his neighborhood with his son in tow.

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