Julea Gardener, MSW, LICSW

Making a good connection with you, making sure you feel heard, understood, and validated: these are the foundation of a good therapeutic relationship. Having the experience of being deeply listened to helps turn down the noise, so you can hear what the Quakers call “the still small voice” within yourself. This experience is all some people need to start making progress in their lives. You have so many of the answers within yourself, you may just need help uncovering them.

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I graduated with my Master of Social Work from the University of Washington in 1991. I rely on client-centered, thought, which is all about starting exactly where you are, and going from there. Psychodynamic theory is important as well: the idea that events from your childhood are still driving you in ways you may not even be consciously aware of. Strengths-based practice also starts where you are, helps you focus on your capabilities and is all about believing in you. Cognitive behavioral ideas can be helpful, challenging you to review and revise your ingrained ways of thinking and mindfulness practices can help you calm and center yourself finding the joy in everyday life.

Speaking of joy, I have so many interests. Singing, preparing and eating food, gardening, walking and yoga. Maybe you have a life you love, but maybe you don’t. Maybe you haven’t been able to prioritize yourself yet, or maybe there are more challenging blocks to living the life you’ve always wanted. Sometimes, complementary therapies may be useful on your journey: anything from medications or supplements, to acupuncture, massage, or yoga. That’s something we can explore together too. I hope you’ll take that first step and do me the honor of joining you on that journey of discovery here at Counseling West Seattle.


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