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Couples Counseling
Finding the right counselor
Sexual Wellness Therapy
How long does counseling take?
Addressing broken trust & infidelity
Religious trauma
Queer & LGBTQ+ Friendly
Directions to office
Do you accept Insurance?
How does counseling work?
  • Why choose Bright Future Counseling?
    Bight Future Counseling is a private practice with an experienced counselor specializing in couples counseling, relationship issues, anxiety, and depression. I am the owner and only counselor so that you will receive personalized interactions. I will receive your emails, texts, and phone calls and reply to them usually the same day or within 24 hours. You will not be surprised or moved around to a different therapist as you might be in a larger organization or clinic. I have over 20 years of experience and specialized training to help individuals with anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. My focus on couples addresses emotional and sexual intimacy, trust/infidelity, communication, and assessing and implementing what is needed to improve relationship satisfaction. I am honored and privileged to journey alongside my clients in some of their life's most sensitive and important areas. I love what I do!
  • What are some potential benefits of counseling?
    Mental health counseling can be a helpful way to improve your relationship with yourself and others, your mental health, and overall well-being. A mental health counselor like me can give you the support and guidance you need to HEAL from the past CHANGE in the present HOPE for the future Here are some of the benefits of mental health counseling: Improved mental health: Counseling can help you to understand your mental health problems and to develop coping skills. Reduced stress and anxiety: Counseling can help you to manage stress and anxiety and to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Improved relationships: Counseling can help you to improve your relationships with your family, friends, and partners. Increased self-esteem: Counseling can help you to improve your self-esteem and to develop a more positive view of yourself. Increased positive mood and quality of life: Counseling can help you to improve your overall quality of life and to live a more fulfilling life.
  • What is sexual wellness counseling?
    Sexual wellness counseling is a therapy that helps people improve their physical, emotional, and mental health related to sex. I have specialized training in the area of sexual wellness. I can address a wide range of issues, such as: Sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction or low libido Sexual trauma or abuse Relationship problems Body image issues Sexual orientation or gender identity concerns Sexual health concerns, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unplanned pregnancy I can help people understand their sexual needs and desires, communicate more effectively with their partners, and develop healthy sexual behaviors. I can also provide support and guidance through difficult sexual experiences. Here are some of the benefits of sexual wellness counseling: Improved communication with partners Increased self-esteem and body image Reduced anxiety and stress Increased sexual satisfaction Improved overall health and well-being
  • What is Gottman couples counseling/therapy?
    Gottman Therapy is a research-based therapy that aims to help couples build stronger relationships. It provides counselors a framework to address the most common concerns that couples have: disarm conflict, improve verbal communication, increase emotional, sexual intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create feelings of stagnancy, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
  • What out-of-pocket methods of payment do you offer?
    I accept cash, credit, debit, HSA, and more electronic methods of payment: Venmo, Cash App, PayPal, and Zelle. Payment is due in full at the beginning of each session.
  • How long does Counseling take?
    That is a great question it is often asked. The short answer is clients average 3-12 sessions. The more complete but vague answer is, "It depends." It depends on the issues (Is there a history of traumas or complicated dysfunctional patterns?) and the client (How motivated are they to take responsibility and change? What is their emotional and intellectual capacity?).
  • What type of therapy do you use?
    My style is casual, warm, practical, and effective. Depending on the client and their need, I can focus on positive, supportive reflection, helping clients gain insight. I can also be directive, asking specific questions, giving input, and assessments, setting goals, offering exercises, and action steps to follow up on. I have been trained in various therapeutic modalities. My approach is eclectic. I use a combination of: Client-Centered Therapy CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) Gottman Marriage Therapy EFT Emotionally Focused Therapy Sex Therapy-Sexual Wellness Internal Family Systems Narrative Therapy Psychodynamic Therapy Mindfulness
  • Do you provide confidential affirming counseling for Queer/LBGTQ+ folks?
    YES! I am an affirming advocate for Queer/LBGTQ+ individuals and couples. I have special training from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health and experience with transgender individuals at various stages of their transition. I have experience leading support groups and providing safe and confidential therapy for Queer/LBGTQ+ individuals, couples, and nontraditional couples practicing ethical non-monogamy. If you are a queer person who is considering Counseling, here are some things to look for in a therapist: Someone experienced in working with queer clients: This means that the therapist has training and knowledge about the unique issues that queer folks face. Someone who is affirming and non-judgmental: This means that the therapist will accept your sexual orientation or gender identity and will not try to change you. Someone who is a good fit for you: This means that you feel comfortable with the therapist and that you can trust them to help you.
  • Do you accept insurance?
    No, I do not accept any insurance. Most insurance companies do not cover relationship issues since it is not a diagnosable mental health condition. However, your insurance may reimburse a portion for an out-of-network provider or count your counseling payments towards your deductible. You can request a super bill to submit to your insurance at the end of each month. It doesn't hurt to try unless you want to keep the fact that you are in counseling confidential.
  • What are some unique needs for Queer/LGBTQ+ individuals and couples in Counseling?
    Queer folks and individuals of the LGBTQ+ community may face unique issues in Counseling, such as: Internalized homophobia or biphobia: This is the feeling of shame or self-hatred about one's sexual orientation or gender identity. It can be caused by various factors, including negative messages from society, family, or religious institutions. Coming out: This can be a difficult and stressful process, and it can be helpful to have a therapist to talk to about the challenges and joys of coming out. Discrimination: Queer folks may experience discrimination in housing, employment, healthcare, and other areas. This can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. Violence: Queer folks are disproportionately at risk of violence, including sexual assault and hate crimes. This can have a devastating impact on mental and physical health. Family rejection: Queer folks may be rejected by their families, which can be a very painful experience. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and self-doubt. Trauma: Queer folks may have experienced trauma related to their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as bullying, harassment, or violence. This trauma can have a lasting impact on mental health.
  • What is mental health counseling, and how does it work?
    Mental health counseling is a psychotherapy that helps people improve their mental health and well-being. It is often referred to as "talk therapy." Mental health counselors like me work with individuals and couples to address various issues, such as anxiety, depression, stress, grief, and relationship problems. I use only proven best practices, effective tools, and techniques. I work with clients to create a custom plan based on their unique personalities, values, needs, and goals. My eclectic approach is empathic and supportive, practical, and successful.
  • Is everything discussed in Counseling confidential?
    Yes, with a few exceptions. Counselors have a legal and ethical duty to protect. If clients say they intend to harm themselves or somebody else, a counselor may need to break confidentiality to keep someone safe. In extreme cases, a counselor may be compelled by a court order to release part of a client's records. I follow best practices to keep the information confidential.
  • What qualifications and experience do you have?
    For over 20 years, I have worked with individuals and couples to improve well-being and satisfaction. I am currently in a doctoral program in psychology. Master’s degree in Psychology & Professional Counseling Member of the American Counselors Association Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) Washington Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Oregon Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) California Certified Pre-marriage and Marriage Counselors Prepare-Enrich Gottman Institute of Marriage Emotionally Focused Couples Counseling Internal Family Systems Discernment Counseling (Can this relationship be saved?) Sexual Health/Sex therapy Gender issues and LGBTQIA+ World Professionals of Transgender Health (WPATH) National Board Certified Counselor
  • What can we expect during a couples counseling session?
    Couples Counseling usually starts with both individuals in the session to discuss what they want to get out of therapy. I ask each individuals about what they would like to be different in their relationship and where their heart is towards their partner and the relationship. Sometimes a person can love their partner but be dissatisfied and frustrated about the relationship. Another may love their family and the ways the relationship functions, but they do not feel romantic or sexual attraction, or they have lost respect for their partner. I assess if individuals are leaning in or out of the relationship, if the individuals want/value the same thing in a relationship, to what extent the individuals have the motivation and capacity for the change needed, and how much pain or broken trust needs to be repaired. Then, we create a personalized plan. This may require some healing of the past, repairing broken trust, gaining skills and insights, learning how to identify the core issues behind the conflict, how to resolve conflict, how to identify attachment styles and manage differing personalities, needs, and values, and what is needed to maintain a positive trajectory. I am passionate about helping couples heal and reach their full potential.
  • Service Abuse
    Not given a fair wage as “it’s a service to God” Guilting you into volunteering because it’s your moral obligation to the church Church staff only have a relationship with you to ensure you keep serving. Your reputation becomes tied to your service with other staff members.
  • Purity Culture
    Feelings of shame regarding your sexuality Coming out was a traumatic experience Pressure to dress a certain way to not “cause a brother stumble” or need to “honor God with your body” Pressure to get married so you don’t “burn with lust”
  • Money and Finances
    Sermons that pressure or enforce tithing Pastors exploit tithes for mansions and luxury cars, while families struggle to make ends meet. Being told God will honor your finances if you start giving more to the church
  • Conflation of Christian and Conservative Beliefs
    Christian Nationalism - wanting to achieve Christian supremacy under the incorrect belief that America is a “Christian nation” and your faithfulness is tied to your identity as an American. God “appointed President 45” but Democratic presidents are the “antichrist” sent by Satan Beliefs that the left is demonic-driven agenda to destroy America Liberalism is associated with anti-Christianity
  • Misogynistic Actions and Beliefs
    Women are not allowed to teach in places of worship. Victim blaming and protecting abusers Behavior tied to desirability - women expected to always be “nice and kind” Modest clothing and expression - “seen and not heard” Feelings are a woman’s downfall and can easily be manipulated by Satan
  • Revelation Conspiracy
    Rapture propaganda such as “Left Behind” making you think Revelation is a traumatic, sudden event. Anxiety from analyzing all current events as fulfillment of revelation Secret knowledge about the “End Times” from obscure sources, which leads to belittlement or accusations for questioning validity Persecution complex: the fixed, irrational beliefs that non-Christian (culture, government, scientists, etc) are plotting against them.
  • Narcissistic Leadership
    Challenges to leadership and practices result in defensiveness and blame shifting Image focus: members have to “fit mold” - appearance, attendance numbers, brand creation of a “cool church” High turnover rate in staff. Usually someone tries to hold the narcissist accountable and is fired or staff members leave when they recognize the pattern of toxic behavior. Inner circle that creates church hierarchy. Either it’s near impossible to attain inner circle status or you do and have to walk on eggshells to maintain acceptance.
  • Fear Driven Theology
    Hell is used as a fear tactic to keep you in church/Christian. Exploring other hell theology means you’re denying God. “Agree with what we believe or you can find another church” Doctrine is pushed over love Being threatened that your salvation can be lost and is dependent on your strict “obedience”
  • Invalidity of Other Beliefs
    Long held beliefs and traditions are written off as demonic. De-converting means you were never “truly saved” in the first place. Teaching apologetics (specific teaching to negate other faiths) instead of promoting a fair understanding of other religions and interfaith communication. If you study other faiths, you need to protect yourself because being exposed to their teaching could cause you to “fall away.”
  • Mental Health Abuse
    Being told you need to be delivered from your addiction/mental illness Being told that you need to dismiss your emotions because “God is in control” Being instructed to pray/fast/read scripture to replace professional help Rejection of therapy to insinuate that God’s not capable of healing you
  • Racism
    Being tokenized for “diversity and relevancy” Disregardment or belittlement of BIPOC experiences, but claims that they’re “not racist.” Denial or overlook of systemic racism and the responsibility of the church. Only addressed it when culturally pressured without continued action and education. Disdain for social justice movements such as BLM - thinking they distract from faith - as a response to racism and hate.
  • Discrimination of Disabilities
    Ableist remarks, such as saying religion will heal a disability - “You need to have more faith and then you’ll be healed” Predictions of a generational curse or demonic oppression caused your disability Sought out by young Christians to practice their healing prayers on you. Encouraged by supernatural ministries. Pressure to have a victorious mindset instead of struggling because “struggling is not godly.”
  • Parental Abuse
    “Spare the rod, spoil the child” as a means for physical abuse Forced conversion of their children or risk of disappointment and withholding love and acceptance Manipulation and control continuing in teen or adult years. Questioning resulted in avoidance, anger, or cliche answers. Disownment or constant references to Christianity upon leaving the faith
  • Homophobia
    Conversion therapy to deal with same-sex attraction Being told that you’re an abomination to God and thus need to stop being LGBTQIA in order to be free and in Gods grace Being told that homosexuality is a choice and celibacy equals purity. Citation of Bible verses to negate LGBTQIA, false equivalency to pedophilia and rape, opposite of modern understanding of consensual LGBTQIA relationships Feelings of exclusion in volunteering or leadership if you openly embrace your sexuality.
  • Destiny or Bust
    Being told you have one destiny “Giving up good for God’s best” Overanalyzing decisions/being afraid to make decisions because of destiny Being told you will miss out on God’s will for your life based on your wrong decisions (missing God’s voice because you didn’t listen close enough)
  • Sexual Abuse & Misconduct
    Sexual abuse Men manipulating a woman’s emotions with the intent of sexual or relational gain. Someone stalking you (over text, trying to meet up at church constantly) and won’t take no for an answer. They may say or be convinced that God has destined you two to meet.
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"Valinda is wonderful combination of wisdom and empathy. She professional provides straightforward no-nonsense counsel that helps you get to the root of issues while simultaneously provides a tender and safe place. I HIGHLY recommend Valinda!!"

Vanderly Arnold

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