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Berry Branches


Heather Lee Leap, 



Heather Lee Leap

Master of Social Work


Graduate Certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health


BA Child, Youth & Family Studies

Minor in Women's Studies

Certified Educator of Infant Massage/Certified Infant Massage Instructor

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I believe...

As a child and family therapist, my focus is on caregiver and early childhood mental health. I bring mindful compassion, a practice of wondering, and an ongoing commitment to personal and professional growth to my work. I seek to educate, advocate, and to directly support infants, young children, and families, while also advocating for the field of infant and early childhood mental health. My early training and roles as a prenatal massage therapist, infant massage instructor, and La Leche League Leader formed the foundation of my passion for infant, early childhood, and parent development. I completed a Graduate Certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health (ITMH) in 2020 while completing my Masters in Social Work. Currently I am receiving training and consultation in Child Parent Psychotherapy and am engaged in the intensive 15-month Advanced Clinical Training Program through the Barnard Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.


Formal continuing education is one key to professional growth, but I feel that the children, families, and communities with whom I work are my primary teachers. Parents and caregivers are the experts on their children. They may need information, resources, and tools I can offer, but I must learn from them how best to present those tools. Part of my philosophy of wondering requires being comfortable admitting I don't  have all the answers. This vulnerability often creates a space that invites more open communication, which builds trust. I learn and grow when I bring curiosity to my interactions, and I invite others into that space of wondering. I embrace the early relational health value of reflective practice and welcome the opportunity to reflect with colleagues about our work, and to seek support and supervision from mentors.

I am committed to the fields of perinatal and early childhood mental health because our early care and experiences shape our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Early stress can lead to difficulty with learning, developing relationships, behavior, and overall health. Similarly, safe, loving, and enriched environments help children reach their full potential. I believe in nurturing primary attachment relationships, nurturing families, and building relationships across systems that help everyone thrive. 

Education & Experience

Education & Training



Master of Social Work - 2022

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy  - March 2023

Antioch University, Seattle, Washington


Graduate Certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health -2020

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.


Bachelor of Arts - Child, Youth, & Family Studies;

Minor - Women’s Studies - 2019

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.


Memberships & Certifications

Certified Educator of Infant Massage  (CEIM)

      - Infant Massage USA


Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI)

      - International Association of Infant Massage


AWA Affiliate - certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as 

      described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider,          Oxford University Press

Member - NASW - National Association of Social Workers


Member - ORIMHA - Oregon Infant Mental Health Association


Member - Zero to Three



October 2022 - present

Child & Family Therapist

Children's Home Society of Washington

Vancouver, Washington


November 2021 - July 2022

Parent Trainer

Central City Concern - Letty Owings Center

Portland, Oregon


October 2020 - September 2021

Family Support Specialist - temporary, May - Sept 2021

Family Support Intern, October 2020 - May 2021

Children's Center, Oregon City, Oregon


September 2018 - March 2022

Peer and Graduate Mentor/Teaching Assistant

University Studies Department, Portland State University 


November 2015 - September 2019

Owner, Wellness & Words, 

Mindful Yoga, Writing, & Parenting Classes

Portland, Oregon


June - September 2018
Practicum Student,

EMERJ - SafeNow, Violence Prevention Education

Portland, Oregon


March 2017 - September 2017

AmeriCorps Member - Ready, Set, Go! Program

Metropolitan Family Service

Portland, Oregon  

Additional Education & Training

40+ hours of trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness teacher training through the Daya Foundation, Street Yoga, and Living Yoga (2017 - 2018)


Stewards of Children Training, through Children’s Center, Oregon City, OR (2017, 2020)


Yogajoy 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, with Sarahjoy Marsh (2016)


Yoga Calm Youth Yoga Instructor Levels I-III; Next Generation Kids Yoga Instructor ages 3-12.

Skills & Languages

Yoga, Infant Massage, and Writing

Wellness & Words...

Mindfulness, yoga, writing, and parenting education are some of my passions. Please contact me for private or small group classes. 

Infant massage embodies all the components of bonding and developing secure attachments. During massage, you and your baby will connect through all your senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell, even taste. (Babies are always putting their hands - and toes - in their mouths!)

In a 5-week class, you will learn so much more than a series of strokes. You will learn to communicate your love to your baby through touch, develop skills to read your baby's unique cues, strengthen your attachment, and deepen your relationship with your infant.

Family Yoga connects kids and their adults to their imaginations and one another. I look forward to integrating yoga and mindfulness into child-centered play therapy. 


​Through story and writing, children, youth, and families learn self-expression and confidence while building creativity and connection with others. 


I am an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press. I occasionally facilitate Mindful Writing Workshops through Portland Community College Community Education.

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Awards & Interests

Educational & Professional Goals

Eyes to the future...

Learning that children’s mental and emotional development can be affected in utero sparked my interest in interpersonal neurobiology and how physiological regulation is necessary to resolve emotional and behavioral issues. As a long-time mindfulness practitioner, I am always seeking ways to bring mindfulness and self-care into my work supporting families and communities. I am currently exploring how Buddhist teachings and Buddhist Psychology can support my work with families. I am particularly interested in perinatal mental health, Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), and how support for families both pre- and postnatally can improve outcomes for infants and young children otherwise at risk for emotional or developmental challenges.  

I am passionate about all levels of service: promotion, prevention, intervention, and treatment, and prefer to work in collaborative multidisciplinary teams where I have the flexibility to support families and communities through clinical practice and education.

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