Professional Counseling

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Julia Garrison, LMHC, LPC, NCC

I focus to provide a space for clients to gain a realistic and healthy perspective in their lives and through their pain.  Gaining skills and fresh insight empowers those I serve to make healthy choices about how they will respond to their circumstances.

My collaborative approach equips and empowers clients to identify what has been unresolved or ineffective and strategically challenge those unhelpful thoughts/beliefs/actions by gently bringing to surface unmet needs in order to then work together to better understand how to meet those needs in ways that help them flourish. 

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor of the state of WA and a Licensed Professional Counselor of the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. I am also a National Certified Counselor. I hold a Masters degree in Counseling from Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon.  I have a deep appreciation for trees (and will most definitely use a variety of plant metaphors) and tend to make up new words to fit the situation. 

Image by Vlad Marisescu

Therapy is Work

Good, ongoing professional psychotherapy, while focused on restoring and empowering you, is not usually a feel-good time. It can be emotionally and mentally trying, which is why I honor the bravery it takes to seek therapeutic help. As a counselor I work to build a safe therapeutic attachment with clients where I can challenge them, help them process their pain and anger (with reducing as much as possible any retraumatization), and help them cope with ambiguity, loss, and shame. This is all based on the desired goals of the client. True therapy, while professional, is a secure relationship with clear verbalized boundaries.

Client Focus

  • Adult Individuals (Men & Women)

  • Young Adults (age 19-25)

Specialization

  • Recovering from emotional neglect and abuse

  • Inner-child work & Re-parenting self

  • Christian Spiritual Formation & Maturity

  • Professional helpers and leaders (counselors, social workers, ministry workers, health-care workers, etc.)

Common Concerns Addressed

  • Unresolved family of origin/childhood wounds

  • Grief, Numbness, Apathy, Anger

  • Anxious mind & body

  • Depressed mood, Hopelessness, Powerlessness, Negative filters

  • Codependency, Boundaries, & Burn-out

  • Inner-critic, Self-esteem, Shame, & Insecurity

  • Relationship and Attachment Issues 

  • Perfection, Control, & Striving 

  • Intrusive Thoughts

  • Church hurt, Spiritual abuse 

  • Career, Vocation, & Calling

Attention Please: I am currently not taking new therapy clients due to availability. My waitlist is also full at this time. If you're interested in seeing a SW Washington or Portland Metro area licensed counselor please contact His Heart Foundation for a referral. 

FAQs

Individual Counseling Services

Do you have a waitlist?

My caseload and wait list are currently full.

Yes, when I have a full caseload I will offer a waitlist. I don't know for certain how long you'll be on the waitlist. I will do my best to give an estimated time, but that is not an agreement. I recommend identifying a set time you'd be willing to wait (a month, two months, etc.) and if you're still on my waitlist consider searching for another therapist.

Do you take insurance?

While I can provide a Superbill for any Health Saving Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts you may have, I do not take insurance. I do empathize and understand the great benefit mental health insurance can be and why folks decide to use it for counseling. Why don't I choose to be reimbursed by insurance companies?  Primarily, I don't want to share personal client information (DSM-V diagnosis and/or treatment plans) with insurance companies. I would rather have that exchange take place between client and their insurance provider (i.e., Superbills).

How long are individual therapy sessions?

Standard individual sessions are typically 50 minutes.

Do you offer a sliding-scale?

Yes, I do offer a limited number of sliding-scale spots for clients. Those spots get taken up pretty regularly, but there's no harm in asking me to make certain. Please do!  If those spots are filled and my fee is a barrier please let me know. We can work together to adjust the frequency of sessions or I can make suggestion for other counseling services.

What are your days of availability?

I provide counseling services on Thursdays (telehealth only) and Fridays (combo of telehealth & in-person).

What kind of approaches do you practice?

I use an integrative approach that includes evidence based interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Attachment Theory, psychodynamic approaches, interpersonal neuropsychology research, and strengths-based solution-focused interventions. I also utilize EMDR and can incorporate story-work/narrative therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Family Systems and Transactional Analysis interventions, as well as "bottom/body-up"interventions and exercises. Empowerment through in-session psychoeducation and assigned material reviewed outside of session is woven into my approach.  If you don't like homework outside of therapy like reading, listening to podcasts, recording thoughts/memories, or journaling you may want to consider if I'm the right fit for you. I incorporate listening prayer and inner-healing ministry interventions depending on the client's preferences, needs, and goals. 

My approach is to give you a space to externalize what has been internalized, identify and challenge what has been false or counterfeit, unthaw and feel the pain, express and proclaim what is true, and live-out a more integrated, connected, and mature life. 

I don't know if I'm ready for a full session. Do you offer free consultations?

Searching for a therapist can take months. Finding the right fit for your needs and goals is paramount. That's why I understand wanting to have a test-run. Yes, I do offer free 15-minute consultations via telephone, video, or in-person. In the "Request for services" on the Home page simply identify that you're wanting a 15-minute consultation.

How long does therapy last?

This is a varying number for various reasons. It depends on client goals, external life factors, therapist and therapeutic alliance, finances, and where the client is in their healing process.


Frequency: Some clients want to meet weekly, others bi-weekly, and still others once a month. Some people desire longer times of reflection between sessions, while others want to "get after it". In other words, I aim to match the pace of my clients. With that being said, I will be direct in recommending a session if I assess a client is in serious need.

Total Number of Sessions: Sessions can total anywhere from 10 to 20 on the low end and move all the way up to weekly for 2 or more years. Again, client goals are a primary contributing factor in this number.