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360-594-2399

Counseling in Bellingham

2219 Rimland Dr. #353
Bellingham, WA 98226

Approach and Treatment Focus

SERVICES PROVIDED

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

Heal, Strengthen, and Grow

You learned to read. You learned to swim or ride a bike. It didn't happen over night. It took failure, discomfort, trial, and error. Finally came victory, self-discovery, ease, and pride.

You can strengthen your brain's capacities for self-awareness, empathy, courage, trust, and joy. You can heal from trauma, make friends with fear, and expand your range of comfort in the world. Therapy is a unique way to nourish your profound capacities and strengths.

COUPLES COUNSELING

Find each other

We're built for relationships. Our brains and bodies are evolved to bond with one another, to feel each other's feelings, to take comfort in each other's presence, and maintain connection, even when separated by time and distance.

Unfortunately, we're also built to compete and dominate; argue and attack.

This tension between self-interest and relational interest is fundamental to who we are as humans. It can never be resolved. Some suggest it's the very reason we evolved our large brains and capacities for language, memory, and abstract thought: to simultaneously maximize our own well being, and the well being of those we love.

There's no single solution to happy relationships. Couples counseling creates a safe environment for you and your partner to rediscover friendship, fondness and security. With these in place the desire to hold each other close returns naturally, walking toward and through your lives, together.

OUT OF CONTROL BEHAVIOR

Reclaim control. Find fulfillment.

From video games, social media, and pornography, to gambling, sex addiction, drugs, and alcohol, new research is changing our understanding of how problem behaviors come to override our willpower and freedom in the first place, and how families, communities, and therapy can help us recover and transform patterns of painful addiction into enduring fulfillment. This may involve abstinence, moderation, group accountability, twelve steps, a higher power, or something else entirely. One size does not fit all.

GRIEF, LOSS, TRAUMA, AND TRANSITION

Growth from tragedy.

Wouldn't it be great to be bullet-proof? Untouched and untouchable?

Like it or not, we're exceedingly touchable. We're embedded in the world, breathing air, eating, aging, forgetting, losing, leaving: transforming every day in our bodies and minds. Life will uproot us and assail us with unpleasant truths, usually related to our insignificance and impermanence.

Insulating ourselves from risk and challenge deprives us of the strength all living things gain from being blown in the wind. We need stress, adversity, and failure to grow and become our mature selves.

Still, it sucks when it's happening. When you lose. When you're judged. When she leaves you. When he can't hold on. I'll be with you in pain, knowing this won't defeat you. Your courage in the face of loss and trauma will bring you closer to yourself and what matters most to you.

MEN'S ISSUES

Come as you are.

Men comprise only one-third of therapy seekers in the United States. Men often wait longer to seek help, until we're in crisis. We experience stress and depression, grief, loss, and trauma about as much as women, but are socialized to be strong and avoid help. Men's mental and emotional health affects work performance, suicide risk, violence, substance use, and relationships, but goes untreated more often than not.

This isn’t because therapy is ineffective for men, quite the opposite. Men do courageous and heroic work in therapy, and don’t need to change who you are to benefit from therapy. Come as you are.

It’s not always easy being male. It’s perfectly understandable to chafe at the impossible, contradictory expectations placed on boys and men, and not know where to turn. Masculinity is a puzzle and a challenge. If we start the dialogue, and support one another, it can also be an opportunity: a chance to define yourself and live free from narrow and unhelpful myths about men and manhood, while keeping and improving the parts that fit for you.