Clarity Counseling Seattle

Meet the Team at Clarity Counseling Seattle

Justin Pere | Clarity Counseling Seattle

Justin Pere, LMHC, CST, CGT

Owner | Licensed Mental Health Counselor

(he/him pronouns) 

Please noteJustin will continue to conduct all therapy appointments online/telehealth.

Justin's specialty areas:

 

 

 

As an AASECT Certified intimacy, sex, and relationship therapist, I have been working with couples, polycules, and individuals of all gender expressions and sexual orientations since 2003. I currently sit on the Board of The Northwest Institute on Intimacy, where I am also a Certified Integrated Intimacy Practitioner, and am a past Board member of the Seattle Counselors Association. As an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) and a Certified Gottman Therapist (CGT), I am sometimes hired by The Gottman Institute to consult on sex and sexuality.

As an international collaborator for sexual studies through the University of Ottawa, I run group therapy for couples struggling with low sexual desire, no sexual desire, discrepancy in sexual desirelow sexual frequency. These groups are a unique and powerful resource for couples who need help with sex & intimacy.  You can read more here, including signing up for our January 2023 group.

Less than 5% of therapists in the country have advanced training in all of these areas: individual, couples, family, sex, spiritual (non-religious) intimacy (ie: religious sexual shame), and collaboration with relevant physicians and care team members. *I should add - each of us who are affiliated with the Northwest Institute on Intimacy all have these qualifications. In addition to Sex Therapy Certification and Gottman Therapist Certification, I have extensive training in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT). My experience also includes having completed EMDR training through the EMDR Institute and EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) and I regularly attend workshops and conferences on Mindfulness and EMDR, meeting regularly with specialists for consultation.

My years of experience working with individuals and couples have occurred within a decade of private practice and in a variety of other professional settings prior to starting my own practice in 2010. I regularly attend a variety of professional conferences throughout the year, I am a member of professional organizations and I sit on boards of therapy-related institutions, all of which help me stay on top of the latest research and developments.

In 1996 I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Western Washington University. I continued my education in 2003 at Seattle University, earning my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology.

When not in session with clients I can likely be found being CEO of this group practice (being a clinician at-heart, this isn't my favorite way to spend my time!), being with family, travelling internationally, or capturing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest through photography.

 

Stephen Dearborn MA, LMFTA therapist in Seattle, WA

Stephen Dearborn, MA, LMFTA

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

(he/him pronouns)

Please note: Stephen will continue to conduct all therapy appointments online/telehealth.

Stephen's specialty areas:

  • Relationships / Marriage / Premarital / Dating
  • Intimacy / Sex / Sexuality / Sexual Challenges or Dysfunctions / Sexual Trauma
  • Non-Traditional Relationships (polyam, open relationships, consensual non-monogamy, etc.)
  • LGBTQIA+ / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity
  • Trauma (all types with a specific focus on sexual trauma)
  • Parenting Challenges
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Stress
  • Grief & Loss
  • Military/Veteran Challenges
  • Career Transitions
  • ADHD

 

As a client-centered professional, I understand the strength it takes for an individual or couple to make the decision to begin counseling. We each face our own unique struggles in life, and while we certainly all share some of the same human struggles, no one walks the same path as another. Through trusting, non-judgmental, and empathetic relationship building, I accompany my clients on their path as we explore together the challenges that are brought about by life experiences, and of course the ways in which we can move through those challenges into what you want to be next.

Being someone who has spent the greater part of their career specializing in trauma, I believe in creating spaces for clients that encourage empowerment, vulnerability, and growth. My goal is to help you in drawing awareness and insight into developing unique coping strategies, which will help you to problem solve in ways that are meaningful and authentic to you. To accomplish this, I often utilize either a combination of therapeutic approaches or something more focused depending upon what you need.

My approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Written Exposure Therapy. When helping couples, I currently utilize Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and am training in the Gottman Method.

I received my Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy through UMass Global. I am also a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). I have worked with individuals, couples, and families and have experience in addressing an array of diverse issues.

When not working, I can be found spending time with my partner and three daughters, hiking, camping, kayaking, or simply relaxing with a good novel.

Hanna Kokko - Grief Counselor and Grief Therapist

Hanna Kokko, LSWAIC

Licensed Social Work Associate Independent Clinical

(she/her pronouns)

Please noteHanna will continue to conduct all therapy appointments online/telehealth.

Hanna's specialty areas:

  • General Grief and Loss
  • Sudden or Traumatic Grief and Loss
  • Death and Dying
  • Group Therapy for Sudden or Traumatic Loss


As the therapist in our group who primarily specializes in grief therapy and working as a grief counselor in Seattle, where I have lived most of my life, you can read about me and how I can help by viewing our Grief Counseling page.

Lisa Stewart | Clarity Counseling Seattle

Lisa Stewart, MSW, MJ, LSWAIC, SUDPT

Licensed Social Work Associate Independent Clinical

(she/her pronouns)

Please note: When we can safely resume in-person appointments for those who want them, Lisa will be available for both online/telehealth and in-person appointments.

Lisa's specialty areas:

  • Individual Adults
  • Relationships / Marriage / Premarital / Dating
  • Children (age 13 and above)
  • Anxiety and Panic
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Parenting Challenges
  • Stress/Burnout
  • Life Transitions (new baby, empty nest, divorce)
  • Grief and Loss
  • Substance Use
  • Living with Serious Illness


When I'm working with you, I really partner with you. I help by working together as a team to achieve the goals you entrust me to assist you with. In addition to the specialty areas listed above, people often seek me out to learn to tolerate stress, manage strong emotions, and deal with the tougher aspects of life. I'm also often sought after to provide help with improving the effectiveness of my client's personal and professional relationships. Together we discover how to bring into your life more meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and joy.

I also help you identify obstacles and select strategies that will help you to live your best life. You'll learn skills to navigate current situations, with one of my own goals being for the individuals and couples I work with to exit therapy prepared and empowered to address future challenges without my help (though I'm always here if you wish to return!). My approach is best described as client-centered, solution-focused, and pragmatic. If as a therapist I have made myself obsolete by empowering you to no longer need my assistance, I've done my job!

My professional studies include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) through the Beck Institute and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) through Behavioral Tech, a subsidiary of the Linehan Institute. My couples therapy training is in the Gottman Method through the Gottman Institute, and I am Level 3 Trained. Additionally, I have used the Common Elements Treatment Approach at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, a Master of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Washington School of Law, and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington School of Social Work with a focus on clinical psychology.

When not working I can be found spending time with family, friends, and pets, listening to music, attending the theater, reading, and taking walks. 

*I'm also one of those rare therapists who loves working on weekends, so please know that I may have Saturday openings.

Corey-Thompson-LMHC

Corey Thompson, MA, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

(he/him pronouns)

Please note: When we can safely resume in-person appointments for those who want them, Corey will be available for both online/telehealth and in-person appointments.

Corey's specialty areas:


I have been a practicing therapist for 10+ years, utilizing extensive training and experience to help individuals, couples, and polycules with a wide range of therapy goals. As a clinician, and of course, as a person, I'm aware that life can be full of challenges, perhaps never more so than this past year for many of us. We're all out here doing our best to navigate what can be a difficult world, and sometimes we need a skilled professional to help us through that difficulty. This is what I've devoted my work life to, and I absolutely love that this is my job!

When I work with you, together we create a supportive and clear path to wellness in a safe, holistic setting that takes into account the various bio/psycho/social/spiritual/sexual elements of you and your life. We don't just address your symptoms of distress - I also help you to build and strengthen the positive foundations you already have within and around you. Though we all share many of the same struggles, your experience of those struggles is unique to you, so my approach meets you where you are, even as I help you to enact positive changes in your life that will help you to go where you wish to be.

The most common question people have about couples/relationship therapy is what the process will look like. Our work together starts by helping you two to look at where you came from, who you each are, and where you want to go with your relationship. We identify both your shared as well as your individual goals as I help you to recognize negative patterns that are impacting your relationship, and together we identify new or just better ways for you to engage with each other that are more connected, intimate, and meaningful. My approach to relationship therapy draws heavily from the Gottman Method, Imago techniques, and Sensate Focus therapy models, which all help you to explore and experience more intimate ways of connecting with your partner(s). This approach is a process that helps both individuals and couples to enhance or rebuild connection, increase intimacy, and live more meaningful and connected lives together.

My Bachelor of Science Degree comes from The University of Houston Downtown and my Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology is through the California Institute of Integral Studies. I have extensive training in the treatment of co-occurring disorders and specialize in sexuality, identity, enhancing sexual fulfillment, sexual dysfunction, and navigating various types of relationship structures. Though a decade of being a therapist has resulted a therapeutic style that is diverse and multifaceted, my approach might best be summed up as positive, person-centered, and solution-focused.

One of the most difficult but also the most important endeavors we'll make is investing in our emotional, physical, and mental wellness. If you and I partner up in this setting, I promise to create a safe space in which I'll call on my many years of acquiring skills, training, knowledge, and life experience to help you to get where you want to go, both individually and relationally.

Sara-Whitney-LMFTA

Sara Whitney, MA, LMFTA

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

(she/her pronouns)

Please note: Sara is currently available for both online/telehealth and in-person appointments.

Sara's specialty areas:

  • Relationships / Marriage / Premarital / Dating
  • Sex / Sexuality / Intimacy
  • Non-Traditional Relationships (polyam, open relationships, consensual non-monogamy, etc.)
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Sexual Challenges / Dysfunctions
  • Low sexual desire / No sexual desire / Desire discrepancy between partners
  • Betrayal / Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Co-occurring Disorders (substance use along with anxiety or depression)
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Grief & Loss
  • Older Adults


During our work together, we will be doing just that - working together! In our sessions initially I'll help you to identify what you (and your partner, if couples therapy) would like to see improved and how you visualize yourself, your relationship, and really your life by the end of therapy. From there I help you to recognize patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that may be keeping you stuck. My approach to helping you in this process is through a ‘person-centered’ therapeutic lens, as I trust that you are the expert in your life and that I am here to help you to understand your potential for positive change and to help facilitate that change. In addition to a person-centered approach, the individual therapy I conduct draws from Narrative Therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS). My approach to couples therapy is informed by the Gottman Method, which draws on over 45 years of research into how people in relationships can facilitate lasting change and create the relationship they have been craving.

I am a queer, white, able-bodied, cis-gender woman who was raised in the Northwest. My interest in becoming a relational therapist stems from my own experience with couple’s therapy as a client and seeing the wonders it did for my personal growth and the growth in my relationship. I have a deep belief that individual and relational therapy can be life changing. I understand that the therapy process can be daunting and requires vulnerability, which can be a big ask for many – especially for folks who have experienced significant trauma and hardship in their lives. A central goal of our work together is to create a safe and empowering space for you to grow within yourself and/or within your relationship(s).

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College and my Masters degree in Couples and Family Therapy with a Sex Therapy certificate. I have worked in the mental health field for over 10 years and have worked with individuals and couples who have a diverse range of lived experiences. I am a current member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Washington State Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT), as well as the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

When not in session, I can be found spending time with family and friends, continuing my efforts in social justice work, riding my bicycle or improving my surfing skills.

Mary-lynn Ballew - Therapist

Mary-lynn Ballew, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

(she/her pronouns)

Please note: Mary-lynn will continue to conduct all therapy appointments online/telehealth.

Mary-lynn's specialty areas:

  • Relationships / Marriage / Premarital / Dating
  • Sex / Sexuality / Intimacy
  • Sexual Challenges / Dysfunctions
  • Low sexual desire / No sexual desire / Desire discrepancy between partners
  • Betrayal / Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Male-identified Individuals (often referred to as "men's issues" or "men's mental health")
  • Life Transitions (new baby, empty nest, divorce)
  • Personal Resolutions (weight, exercise, emotional resiliency)


What I love about being a therapist is helping couples and individuals of all sexual orientations and gender expressions to create positive changes in their lives. My practice focuses on areas of relationship dynamics, sexuality, life transitions, personal development, and emotional resiliency. Some of the issues that get addressed include enhancing intimacy and communication, healing a broken heart, dating, navigating life transitions, finding balance after an affair or divorce, and relieving depression. Intended outcomes of the therapeutic process include personal growth, self-compassion, reduced shame, and the ability to live with more clarity, authenticity, lightness, and joy.

In therapy sessions I use a collaborative and transparent process that builds awareness around thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Together we will examine how cultural messages, past events, family, and other influences have had an impact on your life. We will identify strengths, set goals, and emphasize your preferred outcome over the problem. I take a biological, psychological, and social approach to healing. This integrated framework helps clients to build awareness around their problems, adapt new strategies, and relieve discomfort. Much of the work that we will do together will be focused on the present and the future. However, we will also look to your past to gain information, which will help you take steps forward.

Engaging in therapy can be challenging, requiring vulnerability and discomfort. I try to bring humor and lightness into the process, and hope that you will find personal satisfaction and moments of celebration within the hard work. I will assist you as you navigate motivation and adapt to the variable pace of change. At times I will provide simple homework assignments that can be worked on between sessions, and offer reading suggestions or other resources when appropriate. I will work with you to stay accountable and compassionate with yourself as you move toward growth, find more balance, and practice the art of being human.

I received my Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) degree from Antioch University, in Seattle, WA. I have done clinical work at Sound Mental Health in child and family services. I have been trained in the Gottman approach to couples therapy through the Gottman Institute, and I am a leader of the Bringing Baby Home Program and the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work Couples Program. I am a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Washington State Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT). Currently, I am finishing my training for sex therapy at Antioch University, Seattle. I value staying current in the field of relationship therapy and continue to stay informed through education and academic research.

My hobbies and interests include hiking, gardening, reading, design, cooking, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.

Bill Aloe, LMHCA

Bill Aloe, MA, LMFTA

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

(he/him pronouns)

Please note: Bill will continue to conduct all therapy appointments online/telehealth.

Bill's specialty areas:

  • Relationships / Marriage / Premarital / Dating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Male-identified Individuals (often referred to as "men's issues" or "men's mental health")
  • Stress and burnout, including high-stress workplaces and career/life decisions related to work/life balance
  • Life Transitions (new baby, empty nest, divorce)
  • Consciously creating a value-driven life


I begin helping you, or you and your partner, from an understanding that growth and change can be both scary and exciting. I meet my clients wherever they are in life, and work with them in a non-judgmental and supportive manner to build a life of meaning, both in relationship to themselves and in relationship to others. Being a part of, and witnessing, your change and growth is what gets me excited to come into work every day!

In my work with couples, I integrate both the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to help you to identify and modify your conflict patterns, build and enhance your friendship with each other, and create shared meaning within your relationship. Our work together leads to more authentic communication, improved trust, and better emotional and sexual connection. I have been trained in the Gottman approach to couples therapy through the Gottman Institute. I am a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and the Washington State Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Similar to the ways I approach helping couples, my approach to individual therapy is interactive, collaborative, and built upon research-based models of therapy. I help individuals in ways that integrate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Humanistic and Systemic principles, Positive Psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT)

Whether you see me as an individual or a couples context, my work with you or you and your partner will focus on helping you identify the values that drive your life and that fulfill you. Building from your values we will then work toward helping you create a life that is congruent with those values. Sessions with me will include open and honest conversations about your past and present while of course exploring and helping you to create your hopes for the future.

Many people come to me when they are at the precipice of major life changes, including when considering career changes. Prior to my work as a therapist, I practiced law for over 10 years. My past career as a litigator allows me to understand the challenges of working in highly competitive workplaces with their inherent long hours, constant deadlines, office politics, and incessant pressure that can create feelings of burnout, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. I understand that the idea of work-life balance can seem illusory! I have personally seen that even when we have the best intentions, our relationships and personal well-being can fall victim to the stresses of life and the office. To me, success in the therapy room means that an individual or couple learns to better cope with the stresses of life through embracing their inherent flexibility, curiosity, and courage.

Other areas of specialty include: working with people experiencing anxiety and working with male-identified individuals of all sexual orientations and gender expressions to counter the effects of cultural and societal influences that may lead to feelings of being out of sync with their own emotional world that can present itself as anxiety or depression.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, a Juris Doctor degree from Ohio State University, a Masters degree in Couples and Family Therapy from Antioch University.

When not working, I can be found outside spending time with my family enjoying all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, including hiking in the North Cascades, running, paddle boarding, and skiing.

Kristene Brant

Intake Coordinator and Office Manager

(she/they pronouns)

Kristene is our amazing intake coordinator who also does just about everything else for this group! When you fill out our intake form, she will likely be the person calling or emailing you to get started with us. Kristene would make for a wonderful therapist herself if that were her passion, but luckily she prefers to help our clients in other ways.

Contact us today!
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