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The future depends onwhat you do in the present
African American Couple

About Me

My name is Lea Sullivan and I am a Washington State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Approved Supervisor, National Board Certified Counselor (NCC), and Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist (EFT), specializing in couples and individual therapy. I maintain a private practice in downtown Puyallup, Washington. I serve Individuals and couples who live in the Sumner, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Eatonville, Enumclaw, Lake Tapps, Auburn, Kent, Puyallup, South Hill, Edgewood, and Federal Way areas. I am also a Chaplain, certified through the Tacoma Pierce County Chaplaincy. I serve First Responders and their families in the Pierce County area.

Your decision to seek out help to overcome a life issue takes courage. You are not alone. As your therapist, I will partner with you and together we will work in collaboration to create a plan which moves you toward your mental health goals. I am committed to using all of my education, personal and professional experiences to help you overcome your unique life stressors.

Although I enjoy treating a variety of concerns, I have a special passion for healthy couple relationships and marriages. Whether you have emotional scars from a past relationship, struggle with painful patterns in your current relationship, or you simply feel disconnected, there is hope!
 
I believe that people are truly unique, but that we also have some common fundamental needs. When these needs are fulfilled, we are better in relationships. Since no person lives in a vacuum, a large part of our time spent together will be learning how to better attach to the relationships most important to you.

Training and Experience
I have worked with children, adolescents, and families (including blended and foster families) since 1997. My most recent clinical experience includes individual, family, and group counseling treating binge eating, compulsive eating, obesity related issues, anxiety, depression, church hurt, self-esteem, anger management, and developmental individuation issues. 
 
Methods and Techniques
I am a strengths-based therapist and whether meeting with an individual or couple, I will work with you using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Rigorous studies have shown that 70 to 75 percent of couples who go through EFT recover from marital distress and 90 percent of couples have significantly improved. The outcomes on EFT can be seen as the most positive and promising in the field of couple therapy (Johnson, Hunsley, Greenberg, & Schindler, 1999).
 
Clinical Perspective
I work from the viewpoint that we are all wired to connection. Attachment figures are our emotional regulators. When couples have healthy attachment, they create a safe haven for emotions which acts as a buffer against life stressors. Rigid interaction patterns create emotional distress, and distressed relationships are the symptom of insecure bonds. In other words, couple distress is not the result of having the 'wrong partner'. Rather, couple distress is the result of being stuck in a rigid interaction pattern. Your therapy process will begin with 2-3 assessment sessions which will build the foundation for your treatment. These initial sessions will enable me to better understand your interaction pattern, help us to identify your goals for therapy, and create a treatment plan working toward meeting those goals.

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Dean's List, University of Washington, Tacoma
Master of Arts in Counseling, Summa Cum Laude, Multnomah University, Portland
 
License
Mental Health Counselor License #: LH 60601865
 
Additional Training and Certifications
I am the first (and currently, only) Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist in Pierce County.
I regularly attend lectures, conferences, and workshops focused on working with couples.
I am a Chaplain, certified through the Tacoma Pierce County Chaplaincy, serving First Responders.
I am also a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC).

Professional Activities and Memberships
American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)
International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)