About Bridget C. Cantrell

Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D. provides mental health services to the general public as well as combat veterans, active duty, reservists, retired military and their families. She also works with law enforcement and first responders. In addition, she conducts specific assessments for those who are seeking assistance with Social Security, accident claims, and Veteran issues. She is an expert witness in cases involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that has resulted from the military deployment, personal assaults, motor vehicle accidents, job related injuries, etc.

Her practice, Cantrell Counseling, Inc., opened in Bellingham in 2001, and Hearts Toward Home International (501 c 3) has been in existence since 2004.


Hearts Toward Home

Hearts Toward Home International is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to the recovery and integration of trauma survivors. Dr. Cantrell provides workshops for military service members, focusing on recovery and readjustment after deployment to the war zone. She has traveled extensively to military bases around the country and internationally to work directly with our service members, their families and their leaders. She also works with those affected by military sexual trauma and harassment.  She sits on many boards advocating for Veterans. She was the PTSD expert in the documentary Service: When Women Come Marching Home (2011).  Dr. Cantrell also writes books that help Veterans and their families understand and deal with the many adjustments during and after military service. 


Local Services

Dr. Cantrell is a mental health contractor for the Washington State Department of Veterans PTSD program, where she provides treatment for qualifying Veterans and family members free of charge. She also provides care for Veterans who are service-connected for their emotional or physical wounds, such as Tricare, TriWest and the Choice Program. She is the Vet Center contract provider for Skagit County, Island and San Juan Counties, which allows her to provide psychotherapy for qualified Combat Veterans free of charge.  She also has a contract with Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA), which allows her to provide low cost or free mental health treatment for low-income residents and Crime Victims of Whatcom County.


 

Bridget was spiritually led on this journey to help people and give them hope for a new life after exposure to trauma and life's challenges.

 

Dr. Cantrell says that even as a child she was inspired to help wounded animals and to befriend children whom others would toss aside. Her lifelong dream was to be either an ER physician or a pediatrician. She states that earning her doctorate in Clinical Psychology has been her second life's calling. She conducted her graduate work with Vietnam Veterans, examining the mitigating factors of social support on the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Her father served in the US Navy during WWII and the Korean conflict and was her inspiration. Her mother and father met on the Kalakala Ferry in Seattle and were married 63 years when her father passed away in 2008.

 
I knew firsthand what it was like to live with parents who carried the emotional wounds of war. These wounds affected my mother, brother, and me, but despite these challenges we all learned to thrive. I believe these experiences have enabled me to be empathetic, compassionate, and inspired to help people deal with their trauma and various other mental health issues to inspire hope.
— Bridget Cantrell
 

Bridget has lived in the Bellingham area since 2001 and considers it a beautiful sanctuary. She has two Aussies, cats, and a horse that is used for therapeutic riding, along with several little critters that hang out in her yard on any given day. Her favorite hobbies and interests are Veteran activities and volunteer work. She enjoys her animals, family, dear friends, cooking, nature, travel, photography, and music.