Why seek professional help?

Friends and family can provide strong emotional support, and turning to others for reassurance and advice can be helpful. However, emotional attachments can sometimes obscure issues, because loved ones often have a vested interest in our choices. The perceptions of friends and family are colored by the nature of our relationships. A psychologist is able to see personal dilemmas from a different perspective, and brings in-depth knowledge of human functioning to the process of personal exploration. Psychologists are trained to see patterns which are easily overlooked when you are mired in emotional distress. With compassionate understanding and empathy for human experience, a skilled therapist can help you achieve clarity, discover new possibilities for your life, and help you implement new courses of action.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Just call Dr. Erickson’s office, at (360) 693-1333.

How soon will I be seen?

Generally, appointments can be scheduled for an available time during the week you call. Dr. Erickson’s schedule is designed to meet the varying needs of her clients; she sees people during the day, and evening appointments are available, too. When necessary, she sees people on Saturday mornings.

What can I expect?

During our initial session, we work together to gather important information about you, your life, and the issues you wish to work on. Be prepared to talk about your distress within the context of a supportive environment. It’s normal to feel somewhat anxious and uncomfortable. If this is a new experience for you, Dr. Erickson’s approach is empathic, caring, immediate and ongoing feedback. She will guide the process if you feel uncertain about where to begin.

At the first session, Dr. Erickson will discuss what to expect in therapy and describe her orientation. She will also tell you about her education and experience. You will also receive information about fees for services and the limits of confidentiality. Feel free to ask any questions about therapy and what to expect.

Psychologist or psychiatrist?

Sometimes there is confusion about the professional designation of different “doctors” in the field of mental health.

Psychologists receive extensive training in the science of human behavior; they have a particular expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of emotional problems and mental disorders. Psychologists are mental health professionals who have earned a doctorate and have had rigorous training in psychotherapy. They merge the art and science of psychotherapy in their work. Psychologists often work with physicians when medication is necessary as an adjunct to therapy.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of mental disorders and psychiatric concerns. Psychiatrists have in-depth knowledge of the biological aspects of mental disorders and can prescribe psychoactive drugs to alleviate debilitating symptoms. Some psychiatrists include psychotherapy as part of treatment while others limit their practice to prescribing and managing medication. Psychiatrists often work with psychologists when a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the optimal treatment approach.

Collaboration among mental health professionals is common.

Clinical Psychologist