Matt Markell, MA, LMHC
I am a licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Washington State, and work with adolescents, from the ages of 12 and up, adults, couples and families.
My areas of focus for therapy include anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, management of daily stress, relationships, families, parenting, life transitions, spiritual exploration and healing from spiritual or religious trauma. I have an open and affirming office space for all folks dedicated to the process of growth, healing and the fostering of life-giving relationships.
I obtained my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from George Fox University, located in Portland, Oregon in 2006. I chose this degree because of its systemic, relational understanding about human healing and wholeness, and because I enjoy working with a variety of clients, from individuals to couples and families. I also pursued this degree because of my continual curiosity about the human condition and our ability to relate, adapt, heal and discover wholeness and meaning. My bachelor’s degree in philosophy, which is also from George Fox University, reflects this curiosity in a different form.
While obtaining effective tools and resources to help you manage your life better is an important aspect of therapeutic work, therapy from my perspective is primarily about growth, along with the healing that comes from discovering wholeness and purpose in one’s life. While I employ multiple modes of therapeutic interventions, from Narrative Therapy to Internal Family Systems therapy, I ground my therapeutic approach in the Experiential-Symbolic understanding of human healing, made popular by early practitioners such as Carl Whitaker and Virginia Satir. Experiential therapy is a “growth-oriented” form of therapy. It takes into account your own wisdom and capacity for healing, as a client, even if this is something that feels hidden from you, and we learn to discover together.
Experiential therapy is also focused on how one discovers change by having a different or new experience of oneself, fostered first within the context of the therapeutic relationship, and then practiced outside of the session in one’s daily life. It is a collaborative approach to therapy. I value your contribution, as a client, to help us collaboratively work together to discover the healing and change you seek in your life. I also employ Mindfulness techniques to help you practice these kinds of changes and transitions in your daily life with more openness and less judgment. All of this requires the utmost dedication on my part to make sure that the therapy room feels safe and free of undue judgment throughout the therapeutic process, a principle to which I am wholly committed.
I was raised in the Midwest, but an explorer by nature. Over the course of my early adulthood I migrated westward, and have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the better part of the last eighteen years. As mentioned above, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 2001. Driven by my curiosity about the human condition, I pursued my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, graduating in 2006. I worked in the community mental health system for six years until 2012, when I became a private practitioner. Having experienced both worlds of community mental health and private practice has given me a breadth and depth as a therapist that I am grateful for.
I am a person who is given to the artistic sides of human expression, primarily. Prior to entering graduate school, I played in a professional jazz trio in Portland, Oregon for several years. While I no longer play music professionally, it is still a vital and integral part of my daily life. Jazz taught me something about the profound art of therapy, and how therapy is often learning how to play with different variations on a theme. What works well in jazz, I’ve discovered, also works well in therapy!
Inviting all aspects of human experience and wisdom into the therapy room is something that I have been, and remain dedicated to in my practice. I look forward to meeting you and learning more about all of the interesting threads and stories that have shaped your life, and what kinds of new threads and stories you are interested in creating for yourself in therapy.
For more in-depth information about my practice, please visit my website: www.dragonjournalworkshop.com