How can we help you?
Choosing who to work with in therapy is a big decision and of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through. If you find that you have other questions or you need more information, just give our counseling office a call and we'll talk through any of your questions or concerns.
Absolutely! At Clarity Counseling Seattle we're pleased to offer online therapy (teletherapy) counseling services during the COVID-19 outbreak. We know that we each must do our part to slow the spread of Coronavirus by practicing social distancing, yet we’re also aware that our counseling clients still need professional help and guidance during this difficult time.
To ensure the safety of our clients and treatment staff, and to provide excellent counseling services to the Seattle area, we are still offering a full schedule of online therapy (telehealth) each business day.
Individual and couples counseling needs don’t go away during a worldwide health crisis, and if anything the high levels of stress and anxiety surrounding Coronavirus are bringing more people into therapy than ever before.
Online Therapy in Seattle, WA
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by COVID-19 stressors or simply by the challenges of daily life, we’re here for you. Your mental and relational health matter, especially during something like what we are all experiencing right now. Our Seattle office offers online counseling (teletherapy) sessions to discuss issues such as:
- Depression or loneliness related to self-isolation or community quarantines;
- Difficulty adjusting to a new work-from-home schedule or having your young children out of school;
- Financial worries or fears about living on a reduced income;
- Concern for vulnerable loved ones;
- Household stress with a spouse or partner
Whether you are an existing client who is attending individual/couples counseling or are brand new to our practice, our caring and compassionate counselors are happy to meet with you remotely. Our teletherapy in Seattle is available to anyone who would like to schedule a session, and we offer convenient evening hours to fit your schedule.
To speak with a Seattle-area counselor about online teletherapy during the COVID-19 outbreak, please call Clarity Counseling Seattle today at (206) 910-1218.
[Justin Pere answering] I personally have a great deal of experience working with female counselors, both as a colleague and as a client, so I very much believe in males working with female counselors. Some of my most influential mentors were (and are!) the women I encountered in a therapeutic setting over the years. However, I discovered long ago the power that also exists in working with a male therapist, and have believed ever since in helping male therapists to be available to those male clients who wish to try working with their same gender expression in therapy.
Benefits of a Male Therapist for Men's Therapy
A therapist need not have experienced every issue a client brings into counseling to be able to work effectively with them (what tortured souls therapists would be if that were the case!), however the value of a therapist being able to relate in a very personal way to the majority of issues men bring into men's therapy is immeasurable, and the same-sex commonality of counselor and client is one I have come to appreciate.
Additionally, men generally have a much harder time opening up about their challenges than women do and often find it easier to discuss certain issues with another male-identified person.
Women seeking relationship help often seek counseling with our male therapists because of our deep understanding of men's issues, issues that often play a key role in the relationship problems they experience with their boyfriends or husbands. Part of the clarity we provide for women is in helping them better understand their partners in ways that are sometimes more easily understood by another male.
Importance of Therapeutic Relationship
Another consideration is that therapists sometimes recommend that clients enter into therapy with a therapist who is of the gender they may have issues with or are triggered by. So, for example, women who have issues with men (possibly related to fathers in childhood, male authority figures, ex-boyfriends/husbands, abuse/trauma, etc.) are sometimes better helped by working with a male therapist. This is because the therapeutic relationship helps to bring to light those issues and provides a safe place to work through those issues in a more direct way.
Female Therapists at Clarity Counseling Seattle
And yes, there have been many times that it has been appropriate to direct some of our male clients to trusted and wonderful female therapists, both within our practice and to nearby female therapists. We're so fortunate to have found and hired Paige Geisinger, who is a skilled female therapist serving a number of both our male and female clients.
Psychiatric medications are sometimes used along with talk therapy, usually when people are diagnosed with mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Therapy and Medications
It is commonly recommended that talk therapy be incorporated into one's treatment whenever psychiatric medications are being used, as the combination of talk therapy and medications tends to work well together. An antidepressant may lift a person's mood, for example, allowing them to participate more fully in psychotherapy and therefore bring about more lasting change.
We have working relationships with trusted doctors, naturopaths, and nurse practitioners (ARNPs) in the area who can do medication management with clients if medication is appropriate.
Therapy for Couples at Clarity Counseling Seattle
Clients in individual counseling will sometimes bring their partner in for one or two sessions to discuss issues as a couple, and we strongly encourage this when appropriate. Sometimes an individual counseling arrangement with someone leads to couples work and the individual counseling with the original partner either continues with us or is discontinued while the couples therapy is happening.
However, if you are working with one of us individually and your partner also desires individual counseling, please recognize that one therapist cannot see both members of a couple individually at the same time. We are often referred clients by other therapists who currently work with one member of the couple yet need a counselor for the other member. If you are working with one of the therapists at Clarity Counseling Seattle and you find that your partner would like their own counseling, you can either work with another Clarity therapist or we have a number of other trusted colleagues in the area to whom your partner can be referred.
Absolutely! The four of us - Justin, Mary-lynn, Dan and John - all have a great deal of experience helping women in counseling and have always enjoyed working with female-identifying clients. Though one of our specialties is working with adults identifying as male (men's issues), our experience, training, and interests also include many of the issues women seek counseling for. At any given time a large percentage of our clients are female.
And for adults who prefer to work with a female-identified therapist, we're thrilled to have Mary-lynn Ballew onboard. Mary-lynn works with individuals and couples and has been a wonderful addition to our team. She goes in and out of being full (because she's good!) but please check out her profile page to see if she is currently available to help you.
Sex & Intimacy Therapy in Seattle
Not at all, and in fact many sex-related and intimacy-related issues such as low sex drive, problems bonding with sexual partners outside the bedroom, and so much more, have little to do with being in a partnered relationship. And if you are in a relationship but your partner is unable or unwilling to attend therapy with you, we can still work effectively on sex/intimacy challenges as an individual in therapy.
If your partner won't go to counseling it might be helpful to go without them.
Couples Counseling for One
One situation we've seen is that one partner may put off going to counseling because they want some proof from their partner that counseling is really on the table. In other words, they want to see you make some changes on your own before they'll commit to counseling.
If counseling has come up but your partner won't go right now, you have an opportunity to change this by taking the time to focus on your own challenges and begin making your own changes first.
Here are some steps to ensure that you are getting the most of or your therapy sessions in Seattle, WA:
- Take some time after each session to review what was said and to really think about how to incorporate your therapy experience into your day-to-day life outside the therapy office.
- The most important work of therapy takes place in between sessions when the therapeutic hour is utilized outside of the therapist's office, so be sure to follow up on any tasks that were established in session.
- Be as honest with your therapist as you are willing, as he or she can't help you if you withhold important information.
- Trust that when moments in therapy are difficult, or the therapeutic work you do outside of the therapy session is difficult, that this is growth and positive change.
Book your next therapy session at Clarity Counseling Seattle
If you are looking for a new therapist, contact Clarity Counseling Seattle and we can discuss options for you.
There are a couple of common reasons why the process of therapy can be ineffective or, at a minimum, disappointing. For some, they may not have been truly ready to perform the necessary work of facing up to and working on the real issues at play in their situation, and this resistance stunted the process of creating lasting change.
It is not uncommon for people, though well-intentioned, to seek therapy in hopes of changing those around them rather than working on themselves. Thankfully, it is usually the case that when we change ourselves, those around us change as well.
Importance of Relationship Between Therapist and Client
For others, the pairing of client and therapist may simply not have been the right match. Though many therapists differ in their specific therapeutic approach, research shows that the single best determinant of success in therapy is the quality of the working relationship between therapist and client. *This applies to both individual and couples therapy.
EMDR Therapy in Seattle, WA
EMDR is an optional way for some people to work on certain issues. It isn't at all a requirement, and may not even be appropriate for your needs. Plus the manner in which we work together is always an agreed-upon collaboration with client and therapist. Our therapists are skilled in many forms of individual therapy, with EMDR being just one of them.