Community Resource Guide
Copyright ©2012 Seattle Pacific University. Student Counseling Center: SCC@spu.edu 3307 3rd Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119
The Student Counseling Center at SPU offers mental-health counseling to our undergraduate population. As a service to graduate students and to non-students in the community, we offer this community resource guide.
Emergency and Crisis Situations:
24-hour Crisis Line (Seattle): 206-461-3222 or 866-4-CRISIS
Finding a Counselor or Therapist in the Seattle Area:
The following information, prepared by the Seattle Pacific University - Student Counseling Center, is intended to assist anyone seeking counseling in the Seattle area. This task can be frustrating and confusing for anyone unfamiliar with the counseling and mental health field. We hope that this information demystifies this task and provides useful information to help you find the best counselor for your situation.
Step 1: Assess your insurance benefits, or if you do not have insurance with mental health coverage available in the state of Washington, the amount you are able to pay for therapy
Step 2: Think about what qualities are important to you in a counselor
Step 3: Search for a counselor who will be the right fit for you
Understanding a Counselor’s Credentials:
Mental Health Counselor (LMHC): These therapists have obtained at least a master’s degree in a mental health counseling field and have training in a wide variety of issues and concerns. They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.
Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT): These counselors have obtained at least a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or mental health counseling and see individuals, but also have special training working with couples and families. They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.
Clinical Social Worker (LICSW/LCSW): Licensed clinical social workers have obtained at least a master’s degree in social work and are trained to help clients who are experiencing a variety of issues. These therapists are trained to look at issues from both a social as well as an individual context. They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.
Psychologist (Psy.D. or Ph.D): Psychologists have received a doctorate. They have been trained to work with clients facing a variety of issues and also are trained to administer psychological testing for evaluation purposes. They have obtained a state required amount of education, supervision and counseling hours to obtain licensure in their state of practice.
Psychiatrist (M.D.): Psychiatrists have obtained a doctorate of medicine with at least a 4-year psychiatric residency and have special training in how the body affects mental health issues. They meet with clients who are experiencing significant emotional distress and/or mental health disorders and can prescribe/monitor medication for these issues. They often work collaboratively with a psychologist or master’s level therapist who provide counseling to their client, but some psychiatrists counsel their clients as well.
***Educational requirements and post-graduate counseling hours as well as license title may vary by state. Contact your state licensing board for clarification.
Therapist Locator Websites (therapists in private practice):
The following websites provide information about independent self-employed counselors. Each website lists only those practitioners from a specific discipline as described in the previous section, e.g. mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists. The fees for private practice counselors vary. The range is $50 to $125 per session. However if you have insurance that covers counseling services and the private counselor is a member of your insurance plan, part or all of the fee will be covered by your health insurance plan (see Step 1 in at the beginning of this document).
Low Cost Counseling Services in the Seattle Area:
Alliance Community Psychotherapy Clinic
Antioch University Seattle-Community Counseling and Psychology Clinic
Center for Human Services
Lutheran Counseling Network
Pioneer Human Services
The Psychotherapy Cooperative
Puget Sound Christian Clinic
Samaritan Center of Puget Sound
University of Washington Psychological Services and Training Center
Wellspring Family Services: General Counseling Services
Special Populations/Special Issues:
Asian Counseling and Referral Services
Jewish Family Service of Seattle
Pacifica Counseling (for substance abuse outpatient treatment)
Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers
Seattle Therapy Alliance (for women)
Domestic Violence Centers
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers
Intensive Eating Disorder Outpatient Centers
Testing and Assessment