© 2017 by Counseling West Seattle

Gayle Zeller, LMHC

My name is Gayle Zeller and I am a Mental Health Counselor licensed by the State of Washington. I received my BA in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Religion, from Pacific Lutheran University in 1989 and my Master’s in Counseling Psychology from St. Martin’s University in 1997. I have been a professional mental health clinician and a child mental health specialist since 1992.

My primary philosophy is grounded in Jungian and relational psychology.  This means that I believe that the therapeutic relationship that develops is crucial to the process and progress that is made by individuals.  In addition, I believe that each person has a story to be told and witnessed.  My main objective is to help clients find the approach or technique that will be most effective, which may include a variety of interventions or suggestions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and narrative therapy.  I try to help clients identify and change unhealthy, and often irrational thoughts that can contribute to problems with mood, anxiety and interpersonal relationships.  We may also look to change behaviors that are non-productive and self-defeating in nature.

 

Therapy will often involve me challenging one’s perceptions and beliefs and discussing alternative ideas, explanations, and frames of reference. Therapy could include relaxation training, motivational work, basic problem solving, systematic desensitization, and the use of art and/or play (especially with younger clients).

 

I am also strongly of the belief that some mental health problems cannot be solved satisfactorily without the involvement of family and/or significant others. For this reason, I will often suggest that family or couples work be part of the treatment.  And because I recognize some mental health problems as having strong biological underpinnings, I may suggest that a medical doctor, often a psychiatrist, be involved in one’s treatment.

 

Lastly, I recognize that mental health therapy is an extremely personal endeavor and that each individual’s needs are unique.  For this reason, I try to be as flexible in my approach as possible without going outside my areas of strength and competency.