Ask about Geoffrey Simkins
Geoffrey Simkins, MSW, LICSW
I believe that people who seek therapy are brave, in that they choose to allow a therapist to be part of the journey and face their unfavorable selves. I am honored to play this role.
My practice focuses primarily from a strengths-based and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy approach, partnering with my clients to understand their suffering. I will help you recognize and change any behaviors you don’t like; whether addictive, avoiding, compulsive, aggressive or controlling. I can teach skills to tune into your authentic self, accepting both the “good and bad” parts of yourself, without judgment. I believe that when we can be ourselves, life is richer and more fulfilling, less painful and uncomfortable, and we can be spontaneous and sit in our own skin without the need for as much distraction or vice.
Being able to separate ourselves and our emotional reactions from the “bad things” that have happened or will happen in life, enables us to thrive rather than survive, and even helps to maintain momentum towards long term goals. This is the feedback I have received from clients who have followed through and attempted to face tough challenges I have confronted them with. Though my goal is always to do no harm, I also strive to illuminate a belief or opinion that may be standing in your way.
Overall, my style of therapy is open and may be considered non-traditional to some. I am not a mind reader or a psychology magician holding secrets to myself. Instead I hope to provide the most honest and transparent mental health treatment possible, simultaneously addressing both short and long term goals, while giving the most helpful feedback and up to date information available.
My primary areas of focus include: Changing unwanted behaviors, PTSD and traumatic experiences, childhood sexual abuse, addiction related issues including sex addiction, acute mental health diagnoses such as Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, relationship issues, confidence and self-esteem, identity, depression, anxiety, excessive worry, discomfort, etc.
I grew up about an hour north of Seattle, as part of a stable middle class nuclear family. My parents worked and retired after 30 year careers providing service in their community. They tried to instill their values of hard work and social service into me, and despite my rebellious nature and efforts, I still hold many of those same values. I was naive and selfish throughout much of early adulthood, and reflect back and can see how those choices affected me and those around me. Serving in the US Navy for some years taught me a whole different side of life. Being separated from much of the world while on submarine patrol, observing closely how others lived, and paired with the uniqueness of that institution taught me countless lessons I am grateful for. Something about that time, or possibly something spiritual that was always there, drove me to dedicate much of my working life to fighting injustice, and helping those in suffering.
This interest has led to a whirlwind of learning about the nature of the human condition that never seems to stop. I have studied anthropology, biology, sociology, politics, history, social work, psychology, psychiatry and of course the field of mental health counseling.
I was humbled to work with terminally ill clients at an end of life and HIV treatment facility, along with veterans in my social work internships at the VA. Speaking to 3000 tobacco users across the country for the state tobacco quit line taught me the impacts of our routines on our health and how hard it is to change unwanted behaviors. Over the last 3 years I have been working in the Snohomish County community mental health system. I was exposed to some of the county’s most severely mentally ill in an intensive outpatient program (IOP). As an assessor, I conducted psychosocial intakes and provided mental health diagnoses for literally thousands of different clients. I am now able to quickly and accurately assess for mental health diagnosis, and recommend treatments to address clinical needs.
For more in-depth information about my practice, please visit my website: www.masterymentalhealth.com