How much is it going to cost?

If you have insurance coverage, the first session is $170. Thereafter it is $140. I am a preferred provider with Blue Cross (Premera), LIfewise, First Choice and Kaiser with the First Choice logo.  Because of this I am also covered with most Blue Card programs and will do the billing for you.  Boeing uses Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois which uses Regence Blue Shield of which I am not a provider.   If your insurance doesn’t cover, the fee is a flat rate of $140.  I will provide you with a specialized receipt that you can get reimbursement from your insurance if they cover me at an out of network rate. 


How do I get to your office?

You will find directions on your paperwork if you have downloaded it from the Appt / Paperwork page. Our address is 9623 32nd ST SE, STE A110, Lake Stevens, WA 98258.


What is counseling like? What is the process?

Counseling is the process of assisting a person to heal their mind, thought patterns, and relationships. Most people that come to counseling are stuck in some thinking or behaviors that are not really helpful. When a person changes their thinking and inner beliefs often changes in behavior and relationships follow. This is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Another approach is to change “the system,” the way people interact with each other. Perhaps, someone functions too much in a relationship while another person doesn’t “work hard enough.” Helping one of them change how they interact affects the other side of the relationship. While a lot of therapy is comforting and encouraging, it is important to know that counseling can be stressful at times and can bring up uncomfortable feelings. Counseling is a partnership between the therapist and the client. A counselor’s main job is to help that person get unstuck and move to greater health. The relationship is confidential. Nothing can be shared outside of the counseling office. There are a few exceptions: child abuse, suicidal or homicidal situations. 


What can you do for anxiety?

We look at what type of anxiety one is suffering from. With brain imaging using SPECT scans, we can see different areas of the brain and how they are affected when someone is experiencing panic. This does mean that one has to go get a brain scan to see.  We know have clusters of symptoms.  When the cingulate gyrus is affected, we see a person suffering from obsessive thinking, worries, and difficulty letting go of things. They tend to be neat and orderly. This pattern of anxiety rarely has panic attacks, but they feel very nervous. Certain medications like Prozac, Paxil, Serzone, and tend to help. If one wants a more natural route, one could take 5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), inositol, and St. John’s Wort (hypericum). Using distraction therapy and helping people let go of the thoughts is a very important skill in dealing with the cingulate gyrus type of anxiety. When people suffer from panic disorder and panic attacks, the basal ganglia in the brain are overactive. People respond well to stress and relaxation exercises. Recordings of the relaxation exercise are made during your session and put on CD or tape and they are yours to keep and use at home. Sometimes for immediate relief we have you work with your doctor on the limited use of anti-anxiety medicines. They work on a short-term basis, but because they are habit forming long-term use is not encouraged. Changing one’s beliefs is very helpful in making lasting changes in reducing and eliminating panic disorder. 


What can we do for depression?

A lot is happening in the research and study of depression. By looking at imaging of the brain, we can see that depression involves neurotransmitters of Seratonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. This is the medication that helps to adjust these chemical processes. While medication can be helpful, there are a lot of concerns about side effects. We know that “interpersonal counseling” and “cognitive behavioral therapy” is just as effective, if not more effective than antidepressants. Some of the latest thinking is that treatment for depression involves growing brain cells. This would explain why antidepressants take about 5 weeks to work because that is how long it takes for a new brain cell to grow. It also explains why “going to Hawaii,” “learning a new skill,” and “changing how one believes” makes us feel better. It appears the more we use our brains, they better off we are. People often complain when suffering from depression that they can’t stop thinking negative thoughts–a one track mind. Studies have shown that there are certain exercises and workbooks that help people rearrange their thinking, that in turn give them freedom from depression. The results of the methods have shown positive lasting benefits as long as 2 years. Neurofeedback which I offer is helpful as well. Many of our clients are happy with the results of training to increase their brain functioning. See the neurofeedback system I use, Brainpaint. Go to Brainpaint.com



How do you approach marital counseling?

Marriage counseling is really different from individual counseling. In individual counseling, the person is seen by themselves usually and the focus is on the intrapsychic issues, that is their thinking, their feelings, and their own issues. In marital counseling, the focus is on the system or “the dance” that they do. We see the “marriage” as “the client,” rather than two individuals. The sum is greater than each of the parts. Couples come to therapy usually with some kind of communication block. Hurt, frustration, distrust and continuous arguments can cause a couple to seek counseling. The therapist helps them identify the type of dance that they do. They do the dance unconsciously. One may over-function, while the other under-functions. Or is it that the under-functioning one causes the other to over-function. Systems theory answers with, “yes.” They both influence each other rather than “cause” the problem. The dance itself is the problem. 

They might be headed for separation and divorce, and see the other as “the problem.” Little do they realize that they are taking their part of the dance with them. Without help, they are very likely to get into the same kind of dance, just with a different dancing partner. Once they identify their part in the dance, the therapist helps them make conscious changes in the pattern. If one gets angrier than the other, then they might try to switch their roles a little. One may feel 150% of the anger while the other only feels 50%. They could work together to channel their anger into making constructive changes rather than take it out on each other. Then the therapist helps them stabilize the new pattern. This is why marital therapy usually takes a 3-4 month commitment to see real change. Of course, people don’t commit until they have established a rapport with the therapist and have decided for themselves that this is the course of treatment for them. 

Reach Me

9623 32nd St SE A110
Lake Stevens, WA  98258


Leave A Message