Dear Liz,* Please help me. I am so frustrated. My partner and I seem to be stuck in this awful pattern whenever we argue. I’ll bring something up that’s an issue with me – honestly, it doesn’t seem to matter what it is. No matter how I try to word it, no matter my tone,…
Are you in a marriage or relationship that is struggling? Perhaps you and your partner are fighting a lot about the same things and nothing seems to get resolved. Perhaps you are looking outside of your marriage for emotional support. Perhaps conflict is avoided by you or your partner, meaning that nothing can even be raised for discussion. Or maybe your partner seems ready to leave the marriage, while you are desperate to keep it going. Here’s something that you may not know: most, if not all, couples experience relational conflict of one type or another. I can support you and your partner towards a healthier relationship by examining and shifting your difficult patterns of interaction towards patterns of connection and increased happiness. I also offer Discernment Counseling for those couples experiencing divorce ambivalence.
It may be that neither you nor your spouse feels much hope or energy to start traditional couples counseling. You may have tried that road before.
Discernment Counseling is specially designed for couples where one spouse is leaning towards divorce and the other wants to preserve the marriage. Couples like this don’t do well in traditional marriage counseling that aims at solving marital problems. They need a different approach.
The focus of Discernment Counseling is not on solving marital problems but on seeing if they could potentially be solved. Sessions involve separate conversations with each spouse, as well as time as a couple. Discernment Counseling is short term, just 1-5 sessions, and leads to a decision to either divorce or give the marriage a major last effort, with a clear agenda for change.
Who is Discernment Counseling for?
- people considering divorce but not sure it’s the right path for them
- people who want to take one more look at their relationship before making a permanent decision
- people who want to give their marriage another chance even though their spouse is moving towards divorce
What will my partner and I gain by doing Discernment Counseling?
- an understanding of what has happened to your marriage
- an objective professional’s opinion of your problems, taking into account both your partner’s and your viewpoint
- evaluating the possibility of solving your problems and staying married
- deciding whether to move towards divorce or make a last all-out effort to restore your marriage to health
- clarity and confidence about what steps to take next with your marriage
See my blog post, Marriage or divorce? The power of Discernment Counseling.
Are you feeling stressed, sad, or ungrounded? Perhaps you are experiencing a transition in life – a new baby, the end of a job, an empty nest. Perhaps you recently lost a loved one, or you are struggling with finding meaning in your life. Perhaps your family dynamics are affecting you negatively. Even if there is no overt stress on your life, you may be anxious or depressed and not be able to get a handle on it. I invite you to journey with me towards greater self-knowledge and an increased ability to cope with life stressors, and to shift towards how you want your life to be. A client recently told me that I had been “life-changing.” She was the one doing the work – I was simply at her side, asking questions to encourage her to look more deeply at herself and supporting her to be intentional and true to herself in her actions.
Contact me for a free 30 minute meet-and-greet.
It is important you find someone you feel comfortable with.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist associate, specializing in couples and individual therapy. I maintain a private practice with offices in Bothell and downtown Seattle.
I received my BS in Biology from Stanford University and my MA in Couples and Family Therapy from Seattle University. In between my two degrees I worked in biomedicine, raised two daughters, and cofounded and taught at a progressive school. My career as a therapist integrates my strengths as a nurturer, a scientist, and a learner. I am above all compassionate and empathetic, accepting and non-judgmental. I seek out evidence- and research-based practices in therapy in order to best serve my clients. I am constantly honing my expertise, pursuing continuing education and advanced training in many forms of treatment, as well as ongoing supervision and consultation with other professionals.
I am licensed by the State of Washington as a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA), license MG60653886 and am a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Your goal in therapy is paramount to our work together. My goal is to provide an environment where you feel accepted and understood, yet challenged to engage in meaningful self-exploration.
My therapeutic orientation is based on a humanistic and family systems approach. I believe that all humans possess a deep desire for purpose and meaning, and that we are influenced by the people in our lives, including our family-of-origin. Understanding ourselves and how each of our relationships impacts us helps us to understand and modify our behaviors. I offer an individualized approach to meet the unique needs of your situation, drawing from evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral, solution focused, and mindfulness therapies. In my work with couples, I utilize Gottman techniques along with Emotionally Focused Therapy to address patterns of conflict and promote stronger relationships. For those couples experiencing divorce ambivalence, I offer Discernment Counseling to support intentionality around the decision to work on the marriage or separate. I am a certified Discernment Counselor through the Doherty Relationship Institute.
Before starting my work in private practice, I provided therapy to individuals, couples, and families for 18 months in community mental health, and I worked with teens, children, and parents in the field of education for over 20 years. My education, training, and life experiences have prepared me to counsel individuals of all cultures, ethnicities, races, religious/spiritual backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations. I welcome diversity to my practice.
I support adults, couples, and families facing stresses and challenges, including:
Grief & Loss
Sadness & Depression
Family of Origin
Trauma & PTSD
Death & Dying
- Self Harm
RATES & INSURANCE
My rate for a 50 minute session is $100 for individuals and $120 for couples/families, payable at session-end as cash or check. Longer sessions are provided as needed and pro-rated accordingly.
I do not bill insurance directly. I am an out-of-network provider and will give you a receipt to submit to your insurance company. Check with your insurance company to see what their reimbursement policy is for out-of-network providers.
Located near Northshore Senior Center
10516 E. Riverside Dr.
Bothell WA 98011
Located 4 blocks from Capitol Hill light rail station
226 Summit Ave. East
Seattle, WA 98102