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.
Online Therapy (Telehealth)
Private Online Therapy in 98109
Yes, the software we use for online therapy, SimplePractice, is built for therapists and has client privacy as its core. We take all of the recommended precautions in ensuring that your online therapy sessions in Seattle, WA are just as HIPAA-compliant as any discussion you would have in our offices.
Certainly! At any given time at least half of the people we help are couples, and that has not changed at all since moving to the online therapy format. Couples are perhaps enjoying the online approach more than individuals, as they can participate in exercises around communication and connection from the comfort of their couch, bed, or favorite chairs.
Online Therapy in Seattle for Couples
Many couples are reporting that they feel more at ease, more themselves, and that the therapist feels less like a 3rd person in the room. This is allowing them to connect more deeply and effectively with each other during sessions, which increases the effectiveness of couples counseling.
One surprise benefit of online couples therapy in Seattle is that, when the therapy session ends, the therapist can sign off but the couple can continue to sit where they are and further their growth & progress. We've heard couples come back the next week and tell us that they remained in conversation and connection well beyond the ending of last week's session and really benefited from blending their therapy session with us into doing helpful things on their own. And of course a goal for therapists is always to help clients, as quickly as possible, feel empowered to improve on their own so that they no longer feel they need our help.
And lastly, you don't need to be in the same room as your partner when doing your couples therapy sessions, as the SimplePractice software we use allows for the 3 of us to all sign in from different locations. It's preferable if you two can be together during therapy but not at all required.
The four of us would love to be able to meet with you in-person, absolutely. We miss being able to greet you at the door, shake your hand, offer you a snack, perhaps give you a hug goodbye.
But we simply can't right now, as it just wouldn't be safe for either you or us if we all sat around indoors talking all day. With what we know to-date about how contagious the virus is, and how it's mostly transmitted through air particles. *This professor does a wonderful job describing how the virus spreads and why we need to avoid meeting in enclosed spaces for now.
We assure you that we'll resume in-person therapy sessions just as soon as it's safe for us all to do so. In the meantime, having done teletherapy for many months now, we know that we have an online therapy solution that works really well while we wait to resume face-to-face appointments.
We use HIPPA-complaint software, SimplePractice, that works much like Zoom. You are sent an email reminder 72-hours prior to your appointment, and then once again 10-minutes before your meeting time, and you just click the link within either of those reminder emails.
You can use your computer, laptop, smart phone, or tablet for your sessions.
Online Therapy in Seattle, WA
All you need is a decent internet connection and some privacy, though we know the latter can be a challenge these days. It's no problem if you want or need to be petting your cat or dog, sitting in your car, even attending to your child. If it works for you on your end, you can assume it works for us too. :)
Absolutely. As of the creation of this FAQ, our practice is almost 6 weeks into doing all online therapy, which now includes hundreds of sessions. And what we are finding, admittedly to our surprise, is that we are indeed able to do nearly all of the therapeutic techniques, activities, and approaches that we would have incorporated into in-person sessions, including:
- Couples therapy exercises for communication, connection, emotional intimacy;
- Sharing handouts about topics to learn skills or enhance discussions;
- Mindfulness, body awareness, guided imagery/visualization
- Discussions that deepen insight, problem-solving, and practical skill-building
For couples, we can utilize all aspects of the Gottman Method and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) in the online format. For individuals, the discussions and activities are just as accessible and engaging as they were when we were seeing people in our offices.
Teletherapy at Clarity Counseling Seattle
In truth, when the virus struck and all therapists had to move to teletherapy, most therapists were very concerned about how this format might impact how effective our treatments are. But to everyone's relief we have all discovered that therapy can be just as effective when online.
Our answer to that is an enthusiastic 'yes'! First we should say, if your wedding plans were delayed or cancelled we're so sorry to hear that. In the past many weeks we've spoken with so many couples who have had their wedding plans thwarted by the pandemic, and we can imagine how disappointing that must be.
With an uncertain timeline of when engaged couples can have their ceremony, yes, we absolutely recommend that you engage in premarital relationship therapy as soon as possible. The research on couples suggests this as well, that on average couples attend relationship therapy about 6 years later than they needed to.
Premarital Online Therapy in 98109
What is so valuable about premarital counseling in Seattle, WA is less about the type of therapy it is and more about the time period of a relationship within which it occurs. The challenges we will all face in our marriages are inevitable and unavoidable, but what we can do is to get ahead of those difficulties by learning skills and practices that can greatly reduce the common pitfalls of long-term relationships.
So it's never too early to start improving your relationship with help from a trained relationship therapist. It can only help.
[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.
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.