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Therapy for Individuals

Identifying the Problem

The most common problems I see are depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety often occur together and the really confusing part is that some depressions manifest as anxiety, irritability, and chronic anger while some anxiety conditions include depression. The first step in treating these conditions is sorting out exactly what you are dealing with. The second step is reducing the severity and intensity of your symptoms. While we are working on symptom reduction we are also looking for causes so we can help you develop ways of preventing recurrence and/or reduce the severity of symptoms should the condition reoccur.

You may or may not want to combine psychotherapy with medication. That is a choice we explore and is completely up to you. Some people welcome the help a medication can offer and others want nothing to do with them. Severe Bipolar disorder requires a hard look at medication as a manic episode can quickly destroy your life and bipolar depression entails the most serious risk of suicide. In any case, a medical checkup is always a good idea to rule out any organic issues that may be contributing to your mood. I can refer you to a prescriber should you want to get medication.

Life isn't about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.

— George Bernard Shaw

Depression

There is not widespread agreement on what causes depression. However there is fairly broad agreement on what maintains it and makes it worse. How we think about depression, our internal self-talk, beliefs about others and the world, ruminative thought processes, social isolation and interpersonal difficulties are the culprits that maintain and worsen depression.

Furthermore, more and more evidence is showing that cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance are key, if not linchpin processes that maintain depression. Put simply, this means we over identify with our self-talk while also avoiding experiences that trigger feelings we don’t like. Avoidance of situations that trigger aversive feelings means we deprive ourselves of valuable learning experiences that ultimately can help us feel better. Short term solutions (avoidance) become enablers of long term problems.

Depressed woman

I use an integrative approach to treating depression. We look at all the known contributors - cognitive, interpersonal, career/job, social, familial, relational, emotional and medical. Based on what we see we develop a plan tailored to you.

If you like to know what therapeutic models I draw on for this work they are Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. All of these models have considerable overlap differing mostly in their emphasis.


Anxiety

Anxiety, including panic disorder and agoraphobia, is the second most common condition I see. The first thing we focus on is reducing your symptoms, eliminating panic and helping you engage with a fuller life, especially if agoraphobia has developed.

Anxious man

Anxiety tends to present in four main ways — specific fears, general anxiety, social anxiety and performance anxiety. Specific fears are things like being afraid of elevators, bridges, snakes, etcetera. General anxiety is a free floating nervousness that does not have a specific source. We just worry a lot and feel like something very bad is about to happen but have no idea what or why. Social anxiety involves fear of people and social situations. Often we are anticipating and expecting people to judge us badly, even when there doesn’t seem to be any reason for the fear. Performance anxiety is fear of failing or being humiliated while doing something in front of others. All of these fears go beyond the normal stress and anxiety we all typically feel in related situations. Most of us deal with it and it doesn’t really cause us much long term difficulty. But for people struggling with clinical presentations these conditions persist and continue to interfere with their life.

All of these conditions are treatable. We start by helping you reduce the anxiety and eliminate panic. I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a starting point and then add or subtract as needed depending on your situation and what suits you.


Get In Touch

Please note that I'm not accepting new clients at this time. Existing clients may schedule an appointment or contact me below.

Or Send a Message

Office Address:
1730 Minor Ave, Suite 1140
Seattle, WA, 98101
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Office Hours:

Tuesday - Thursday: 10am - 7pm
Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm

Fees & Insurance:

My fee is $105 dollars per session, and I offer a sliding scale for those needing some help with the costs of therapy. Fees are paid at the end of the session. I'm currently in-network for: Regence, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, First Choice Health, CIGNA, Beacon, Group Health (certain plans). I can also bill as Out of Network.

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