Kinnavey (“Kiki”) Cunningham
Position at the Hallowell Todaro ADHD Center:
How long have you been working at the Hallowell Todaro ADHD Center?
Just about a month!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Madison, WI.
What are your favorite books / TV shows / movies?
Books: Lately I’ve been reading a lot of suspense/mysteries (Ruth Ware and Tana French, and also Liane Moriarity). Some favorites from the past include:
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff
“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
and the entire “Harry Potter” series by JK Rowling
TV: I like medical mystery dramas (like “House,” and “Grey’s Anatomy”) and I still watch “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.”
Movies: I like Wes Andersen movies and the Coen Brothers. And also books that become movies, but I always have to read them first.
What is your favorite sport and/or sports team?
I love football season. I grew up in Wisconsin so I will always be a Packer fan, but I also love the Seahawks!
Complete the following sentences:
When I’m not at work, you can find me....
out with friends, planning dinner parties, at Michael’s collecting supplies, or on a mini road trip with my husband exploring new areas.
When I want to de-stress, I...
head outside for a walk/run, find a creative outlet, hang out with friends/family, or cozy up with a good book.
My favorite time of year is...
I can’t pick just one… long summer days, crisp fall air, snowy winter holidays and fresh green spring gardens. It would be hard for me to live in a climate that didn’t change with the seasons.
My favorite thing to cook is...
anything new. I love to experiment with new recipes and ingredients.
The best gift I ever received was...
love, friendship and the encouragement to pursue my passions.
If I could travel anywhere in the world, I’d go to...
Norway, to visit a very good friend from high school. Or somewhere tropical -- I do dream of the tropics on gray Seattle days.
What led you to pursue a career helping others?
I think I was always headed on this career path, I just didn’t always know in what capacity. I have always enjoyed working with children and entered college intending to become a pediatrician. After a couple of years on that track, I decided that was not my path, and that my psychology courses were the most interesting. The senior year of my undergrad I worked for a center specialized in the Greenspan Floortime approach for kids on the autism spectrum. That was really the experience that led me to where I am today. Working with individuals to overcome challenges and achieve new goals is really amazing. Everyone I have worked with has offered new insights and unique perspectives, and I enjoy working with all kinds of minds. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a career that I am passionate about and truly enjoy.
What education, skills, and expertise do you bring to your role?
My undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From there I moved to Seattle and was trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) at the University of Washington Autism Center. I am now completing certification for educational therapy through the University of California-Riverside. I have been fortunate to collaborate with many amazing educators, therapists, and specialists over the years, and have learned a lot from both the professionals and the clients I have worked with.
My experience includes working with a wide range of children and adolescents from early intervention at 2 years old, through college students; each with unique behavioral, emotional and/or cognitive challenges. I have worked within schools, within homes and within the community to support academic and behavioral goals, develop social-emotional learning and executive function skills, and have led social skills and study skills groups for children and adolescents. I think one of my strengths is puzzling out what is creating roadblocks for my clients, and working with them to find the right strategies to overcome them. I like to get creative in adapting plans and strategies as necessary to meet individual needs.
Who/what inspires you?
Everyone I work with inspires me. The willingness to open up about the things they find most challenging in order to make positive changes for themselves.
What’s your personal philosophy/approach toward the work you do?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
This is the phrase that has pushed me to do more than just wish for outcomes, but to actually find ways to get there. And this is the approach I take to coaching. Coming up with a plan to target a goal, to make it achievable by narrowing it down to the smaller steps along the way. I think people don’t fundamentally change who they are, but they can certainly change how they are to create better outcomes. My aim is to support them in creative problem solving, and in finding the right strategies and tools to grow their skill sets and become the best versions of themselves.
What is one small thing people can do to improve their lives and increase their happiness?
Make the time for self-care. I think people often get wrapped up in daily life and either forget to make time for themselves or feel guilty about doing it. It’s important to remember that that time allows us to re-center, so we are better able to face our hectic daily lives. Take the time to connect with someone you care about, grab a cup of coffee and take a walk along the waterfront, or give yourself the space for some alone time and a good book, some music or that hobby you’ve been putting off. Make time for yourself so you can make the most of your time with everyone and everything else.
We provide coaching and therapy to help people manage a variety of cognitive and emotional conditions.