Are you or your child unable to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, or grappling with crippling anxiety? Are you going through a major life transition, and you’re not sure if you’re making the right decision? Or maybe you just feel utterly exhausted by the emotional toll of COVID-19? Now more than ever, so many people need some support to develop the skills to make their life easier.
Anyone who’s decided to see a therapist should know that they’re receiving a treatment that works. I specialize in research-supported therapies and collaborate with teens and young adults to overcome their depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, and other mental health challenges. I help people build the skills to challenge negative thoughts, improve their relationships, and develop a life worth living.
I received my masters degree in Child & Adolescent Psychology from the University of Washington, and I previously worked with children and adolescents at Sound Health in Seattle. I currently co-lead a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills group and conduct individual DBT for a small group of clients with Greenlake Therapy, helping adults build the skills to manage intense emotions and mood swings. Passionate about mentoring adolescent youth, I volunteer and sit on the board of Journeymen, a mentoring and rites of passage organization based in Vashon, WA.
Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked as a product manager and business owner for tech companies in Baltimore, London, and Seattle. Outside of work, I have a deep love of music, and I spend an embarrassing amount of time shopping for records. I sometimes DJ at local venues in Seattle, and I love to explore the Pacific Northwest during the summer.
Sometimes finding a therapist can be overwhelming, navigating an endless variety of treatment acronyms, trying to understand what each of them mean and determine which might be a good fit for you. Because there is a seemingly endless range of therapeutic styles, I wanted to share a bit about what therapy with me typically looks like.
I start by developing trust and building a relationship with you. In our first session, I will ask you what your goals are, what your pain points are, and what you would like to focus on. Together, we will develop a plan to achieve these goals, by reviewing the thoughts, behaviors, and emotions currently preventing you from getting there. I will help you develop the skills to manage intense emotions, cool anxious thoughts, and motivate yourself to change (if you decide you want to change). Sometimes this will require hard work, revisiting intense experiences or doing work outside of our therapy sessions. But I will let you lead this process and determine how much time and energy you would like to invest.
When looking for a therapist, the most important thing to remember is that you need someone who you can trust. If you don’t feel comfortable with your therapist, or you simply don’t see eye-to-eye, it will be impossible to open up and be vulnerable. I acknowledge it can be very difficult develop a trusting, empathetic relationship with someone without actually meeting in person. With this in mind, I recommend a free 30-minute consultation for new clients, in which we can get to know each other and determine if it’s the right fit.
Imagine waking up with a ton of bricks sitting on your chest, and the more you try to get out of bed and live your life, the more you realize you simply can’t. Depression can mean different things to different people. Someone might feel like they’re just not enjoying daily activities anymore, and another person may feel incapable of getting out of bed and doing anything.
I help people manage their depression by digging into the behavior patterns and negative thoughts that are causing their depression. A major symptom of depression is when someone feels like they no longer have joy in their life. I start by helping people revisit activities that do bring them joy, and then make time in their schedule to create some joy in their lives.
Everyone feels anxiety caused by certain life events. For example, if you realized a bear was stalking you on your hike, your heart would probably jump! But sometimes people feel so anxious that they are unable to lead their lives as they would like to.
I help people manage their anxiety by determining what makes them feel anxious and breaking down the underlying thoughts causing anxiety. I collaborate with my clients to work through their anxiety triggers and monitor their stress level before, during, and after treatment. I let my clients lead this process, and I create a supportive and safe environment for them to explore their anxieties.
Suicide is a leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States. Teens often have difficulty reaching out for support if they are experiencing suicidal ideation, because many adults jump immediately into problem-solving, which may or may not be what they’re looking for.
I have received training in both Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicide (CAMS), the two leading treatments of suicidal ideation based on current research. I partner with my clients to examine the thoughts and factors triggering their suicidal thoughts, put together a thorough safety plan, and develop the skills to manage intense emotions and negative thoughts.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment developed for people experiencing suicidal ideation, urges to self-harm, or other dangerous behavior urges. If you have an incredibly difficult time regulating big emotions, making your life feel like a roller coaster, despite what the world may tell you, there is nothing wrong with you. This means you were never given the opportunity to learn the right skills to manage these emotions and urges.
DBT focuses on teaching clients the skills to help you realize the life you want to live, as well as implementing these skills in your life. DBT includes a 6-month or 12-month commitment to both weekly therapy, but also participating in a weekly skills class. I offer DBT for both adult and teen clients, in partnership with Columbia City DBT. You can find information on Columbia City DBT’s skills groups, times, and rates here:
Not sure if now is the right time for a new therapist? Or maybe you're not sure if I'm the right therapist for you? Schedule a free consultation to meet me and determine if we're the right fit.
© 2020 Patrick Phelan, LLC | email@example.com | (253) 242-3072