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2040 - 84th Ave SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Phone: 206.275.7611
Fax: 206.275.7890
Email: miyfs@mercergov.or. . .
Hours:
M & F 8:30AM - 5:00PM; Tues, Wed, Thurs 8:30AM - 7PM
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City of Mercer Island / Youth & Family Services / Individual & Family Counseling

Individual & Family Counseling

"My counselor has helped me face my problems head-on.  I have appreciated having someone to express feelings and ideas with, while receiving feedback.  They help me feel committed to work toward improvements in my life."Counseling Client

Professional staff provide individual, couple and family counseling to help Mercer Island youth and adults resolve personal problems and deal effectively with life events. Services provided include brief consultation, short-term intensive counseling, or long-term ongoing therapy. Issues addressed include family conflict, marriage and/or relationship issues, divorce, parenting skills, adolescent issues, school/work concerns, behavior problems, grief and loss, abuse, self-esteem, depression, anxiety and other emotional concerns.

  • To ensure access to services, low and moderate income families are served using a sliding fee scale.
  • All services are confidential.
  • To set up an appointment or for information or referral, contact Clinical Supervisor Steve Pults at (206) 275-7742.
     

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN CHOOSING A THERAPIST

The following are suggestions to help you find the right therapy support for your individual needs.  Please feel free to call our Clinical Supervisor, Steve Pults, at 206-275-7611 with any further questions.

  • Distance.  Will you find yourself becoming discouraged in keeping regular appointments if the therapist’s location requires too much effort to reach?
  • Comfort level.  Will you be more comfortable with a male or female therapist?  Do you want someone who has a similar background to your own?  Feeling comfortable with your therapist is critical to the success of your work together.  It’s okay to keep looking if you do not feel comfortable with your therapist in the first session(s).
  • Training/experience.  Your therapist will present you with a disclosure statement at your first visit outlining his or her training and experience.  Discuss what issues you are seeking support in and ask if your therapist feels competent in working with these concerns.
  • Treatment styles/methods.  Ask what to expect in your sessions together.  Discuss what length or number of sessions your therapist might suggest for treatment.
  • Cost.  It is appropriate to discuss fees, insurance coverage, and co-pays at your first session.  Ask if there are reduced fees or a sliding scale.
  • Medication.  Do you want a therapist who works with a psychiatrist for medication evaluation and support needs?

 
HOW TO FIND A THERAPIST WHO MEETS YOUR NEEDS

  • Ask a trusted family member or friend for a referral.
  • Talk with your doctor and clergy about the issues you are experiencing and ask for a referral.
  • Talk with your child’s school counselor to find a referral if dealing with parenting or family issues.
  • Check with your insurance company for a directory of therapists authorized for coverage in your area.
  • If your workplace has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), contact their office to learn of coverage offered in your area.
  • Talk with your local family services office or community mental health center.
  • Check the phonebook for local listings of therapists (often listed under “counselors”).
  • Search on the internet for listings of local therapists with “Washington” or the name of your city “therapist directory” or “therapist associations” or “therapist organizations.”
  • Select two or more therapists to contact by phone.  You will most likely reach a confidential voice mail.  Leave good times for them to call you back.
  • Questions you could ask in your first session include:
  1. Have you worked with other clients with issues similar to mine?
  2. What treatment did you use?
  3. How long will it take before I see things in my life changing for the better?
  4. What are your skills, your training and your experience?
  • After the initial session, consider how you felt interacting with the therapist and if you want to see them again.
  • Don’t give up!  Finding the support you need may seem challenging at first, but you are worth it!



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