Pat (Patricia) Sumlin Licensed Counselor in Washington - Total Brain

Hi there,
It takes grit and fortitude to do what you’re doing. Searching for a therapist is a big decision and maybe you’ve reached the point where you realize you can’t do it alone, and need support to work through the frustrations, challenges and struggles you are facing in your life right now.

As you read my profile, you’ll notice my professional experience spans over 20 years and my training background covers a wide range of diverse topics. My clinical approach combines psycho-dynamic as well as other modalities like DBT, and systems theory to insure you have access to the most update-to-date information available. While adhering to confidentiality, ethical and legal standards, the individualized treatment approach I employ draws from the latest evidence-based practices, emphasizing a supportive insight-oriented, practical and common sense, straightforward style. I am committed to building an honest, respectful and collaborative alliance with you, to develop a sustainable capacity for continued trust and effective skill building.

I make every effort to balance ego and humility, and pride myself on being honest, direct, and non-judgmental so you know you are believed, taken seriously, feel valued, and know you matter. It entails establishing boundaries, and striking a balance between recognizing the impact of confusion, anguish, conflict, suffering and turmoil to acknowledging and benefiting from understanding, insight/education, advice and feedback. The bottom line is; you gain the tools and coping skills necessary to regulate emotions, become mindful and insure that you gain confidence and competence in your ability to achieve a sense of personal safety, security and stability.

My areas of expertise include working with diverse, multicultural clients including both Native American and Native Alaskan populations. I have worked in private practice, created an outpatient clinic providing DBT groups for both men and women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I was the clinical director of a medical behavioral health setting focusing on chronic illness, a homeless shelter providing mental health, substance abuse and HIV+ AIDS treatment services, an all-men’s dual diagnosed residential program, a trauma informed treatment program in the 56 Yupik villages of Alaska, a recidivism re-entry program for ex-offenders from San Quentin and Folsom State Prisons. I also worked in the 1st hospice in the United States, providing death and dignity counseling services to terminally ill patients and bereavement counseling for families.

Currently, my focus is on, although not limited to, working with individuals living with depression, anxiety stemming from trauma histories, recovering from traumatic bonding/narcissistic abuse, and adults on the autistic spectrum who desire a need to understand Asperger’s and the impact it has on their lives and relationships. Also, treatment services for the LGBTQIA community; individuals with a wide range of concerns about sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual fluidity, the coming- out stages, intimacy social stigma, family/relationship conflict, parenting issues, employment concerns and advocacy approaches for the human rights campaign for civil rights. Most importantly, I am passionate about addressing visible, and invisible disability issues, the neuro-diversity of ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, and the need to address the fundamental issues of disability rights, learning styles, inclusiveness, ableism, workplace bullying and the impact of internalized oppression.

What does this all mean for you? I would like to think, it demonstrates my competence and gives you some degree of confidence in my ability to help you achieve greater resiliency, authenticity, and happiness in your life. Chances are you are doing the best you can and you can do better. That's where your ingenuity, willingness, motivation, and commitment come into play. There are lots of reasons for you to consider entertaining the thought of on-line therapy. It is an effective way to navigate through your problems on your timetable, and support really makes a difference. It gives you the opportunity to start an action plan, get the help you need to stay on track, follow through and meet your goals consistently. It's also an emotional tune-up, putting energy and enthusiasm back into your life, so you are empowered to face reality, generate options, problem-solve, let go of the past and take the risks necessary to move forward. Putting the brakes on wishing things were different, you can break through your fears, self-sabotage, addictions, anger issues and codependency in order to set healthy boundaries and discover what it takes to stand up for yourself, say no, protect your own self-interest and become mindful.

Expand your capacity for recognizing the importance of TFK - thinking, feelings, and knowing, the pillars of EI, emotional intelligence. By increasing emotional self-regulation, interrupting escalating patterns of RUI, reactivity, urgency and intensity, you will be able to manage triggers which will help you respond more calmly, giving you the ability to take on and accomplish the daily challenges with poise while not allowing the past to dictate your responses.

Just think of that, being grounded and thriving, instead of simply surviving. Sounds simple, it's not nor do I pretend it is. Practice makes progress, there is no perfection. Successes and setbacks are inevitable, so it's one step at a time. Call it an incremental manageable approach to deal with getting impatient, bored, or overwhelmed. It’s not unusual for clients, maybe you included, to feel emotionally vulnerable, fragile, stuck, discouraged, helpless, hopeless and struggling with life-defeating behaviors or suicidal ideation. Regardless of the reasons you seek therapy, it is imperative that you feel understood, supported and can speak freely in order to benefit from the therapeutic experience so you can connect, learn, share, grow and pay it forward.

Everything is connected by chains of events, coupled with your vulnerabilities, temperament, and your life experiences while your identity is formed by both narratives, both internal and external. Perhaps it's time you learned to see yourself through kinder eyes, to look at the world from a more neutral stance, recognize that co-perspectives exist, repair and rebuild in some instances vs. re-enacting and repeating, that way, you can accept consequences gracefully, cultivate a willingness to wait, tread softly, play by the rules, make lemonade from lemons, advocate for living, confront and process guilt and shame and recognize that there is no point going to an empty well and expecting water.

Accessing online therapy is safe, secure, convenient, confidential, and cost effective. Keep in mind, you can work on understanding your underlying core issues, the impact of trauma, connecting the historical dots of your life, develop a mental health recovery plan, increase focus, concentration, motivation, and simply live without the drama and recurring crisis. Dramatically improve your ability to think and feel more positive and hopeful. It's like a long awaited of breath of fresh air! Instead of being on automatic pilot, you take ownership of your choices by being accountable and responsible, both deliberate, and intentional. Benefit from a trusting relationship with me, built on a foundation of mutual respect that gives you the best chance at personal growth and enhancing your own functioning. Improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being by stepping outside your comfort zone.

It's about living with hope, having both meaning and purpose, and identifying and living your own values. Instead of suffering in silence you can live, laugh, learn, lead, love and leave a legacy. It's your opportunity to build a life worth living. I invite you to reach out to me.

BA in Humanities/Social Justice
MA in Social Clinical Psychology
Dual Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Trained in EMDR Levels I and II
Trained in Palliative Care and Hospice Care
Trained in Aging, Grief & Loss, Transitions, Chronic Illness
Trained and Nationally Certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Trained in Cinema ”Reel” to “Real” Film Group Therapy
Trained in Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment/Recovery
Trained in Trauma-informed Care and Trauma-specific Practices
Trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level I
Trained in Multiculturalism, Disability Rights, Ethnic Minorities, Culturally Diverse Populations including Race, Gender, Class, Religion, Power/Privilege and LGBTQIA Orientation/Identity and Coming-Out stages.

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