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Anxiety Specialist in Seattle

 

Blake is a practicing psychotherapist and counselor with offices located in Seattle, Washington. He specializes in treating anxiety and anxiety disorders. 

The therapy and counseling that Blake offers is designed specifically for anxiety, is supported by rigorous scientific research, and outperforms leading anxiety medications.

In addition to anxiety, Blake is qualified to treat a number of related psychological conditions such as substance abuse, anger, chronic distraction, procrastination, depression, and grief. He also provides talks, workshops, and educational seminars on anxiety to organizations around the world.

 

Evenings and Weekends

 

Blake is committed to making sure therapy relieves anxiety without adding lots of additional stress to his clients' lives. Because of this, he offers therapy and counseling appointments in the afternoons and evenings (during the week) and is also available for therapy and counseling appointments on weekends

Blake also provides tele-therapy, either over the phone or over video chat, for clients who cannot meet in person.

 

Transcend your limitations

Many of our most intelligent, creative, and capable individuals will never reach anywhere near their full potential. They will never become who it is they are meant to be, despite not having anything standing in their way. If you are one of these individuals, or you know one of them, then you know just how frustrating this problem can be. 

What holds them back are their anxieties - chronic and oppressive parts of themselves that are built upon fear and experienced variously as uncertainty, indecision, distraction, tension, stress, apprehension, terror, panic, and so forth. 

However, not all anxieties are experienced. Because the experience of anxiety is so unpleasant, much of it is habitually forced out of awareness through defense mechanisms - maladaptive ways of coping that are often not recognized or understood by those whose lives are governed by them. Avoidance, chronic distraction, and addictions to both substances and behaviors are just some of the ways that anxiety is surpressed without being dealt with.

For those suffering from anxiety, the best course of action is to seek treatment from a therapist. By any standard of measurement, therapy is remarkably effective. This has been made clear by thousands of individual studies and hundreds of meta-analyses that have been conducted over several decades.

Therapy works better even than medication - and unlike medication, therapy offers tremendous long-term benefits (1). Those who successfully complete it are happier, healthier, and more productive than their peers (2); and with new found levels of self-understanding they are able to stop worrying and procrastinating, gain confidence, and start experiencing life more richly and fully (3).

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
 

 

 

 

Research Cited:

(1) Hollon, S. D., Stewart, M. O., & Strunk, D. (2006). "Enduring effects for cognitive behavior therapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety." Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 57, 285–315.

(2) VandenBos, Gary R.; DeLeon, Patrick H. (1988) "The use of psychotherapy to improve physical health." Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, and Training. vol. 25(3), 335-343.

(3) Haycock, Laurel A; McCarthy, Patricia; Skay, Carol L. (1998). "Procrastination in college students: The role of self-efficacy and anxiety." Journal of Counseling and Development, vol. 76(3). 317-324.


Become fearless

  - Photograph of Blake by Robert Janes -

 

The point of anxiety is to keep us from physical harm. In this respect, it has been a tremendously helpful evolutionary adaptation. For hundreds of thousands of years, it kept our ancestors out of harms way by sounding alarms in their heads and by making them feel incredibly uncomfortable in dangerous situations. You are alive today, in no small part, because some ancestor of yours became anxious when they heard the sound of a nearby lion.

However, anxiety has outgrown its usefulness. Our lives are nothing like the lives of our distant ancestors. We do not need anxiety to live long and healthy lives. Quite to the contrary, our worrying is literally killing us. There are no lions in our cities - and our knowledge about the world generally suffices to keep us from walking out into traffic or jumping off tall buildings. Unlike our distant ancestors, we suffer not from a lack of fear, but from an overabundance of it. 

The most anxiety provoking parts of our lives would be far better handled without the attendant anxious feelings. Job interviews, first dates, work deadlines, and even crisis situations would go much more smoothly if only we were calm, confident, and able to bring a clear mind to the task at hand. This is the point of therapy for anxiety.


 

Treatment for Anxious Individuals

Anxious individuals tend to be highly creative and intelligent, but these attributes are a double-edged sword. Able to examine situations from many angles, to see possibilities that require them to think outside the box, and to analyze consequences in elaborate detail - they can easily fall into the trap of surface level anxiety.

At the same time, these individuals often possess searching minds, an inability to rest content with simple answers, and a selective but often obsessive focus that leaves them frequently misunderstood by friends and family members.

Without a space in which they can be understood and can explore their own mental complexity, such individuals experience stagnation, frustration, and a persistent sense of being ill-at-ease in the world. Truly comprehensive treatment provides that space - a space in which both intelligent insight and creative expression are born.

 

“The largest part of what we call 'personality' is determined by how we've opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.” 
― Alain de Botton
 
 
 

A Comprehensive Approach

Anxieties are as complex as the people who have them. Comprehensive approaches to treatment respect this complexity, addressing surface level manifestations of anxiety, but also going deeper - because those parts of our anxiety that we are able to articulate are only the tip of the iceberg.

Blake employs a three-phase model of treatment, designed to address anxieties at multiple levels of depth. 

COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL Phase

The first phase addresses anxieties that result from certain ingrained patterns of conscious and semi-conscious thinking. For this purpose, a version of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is used. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is usually the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders, especially for individuals who suffer from more acute symptoms. It is an active form of therapy in which thinking patterns are identified, analyzed, and deliberately changed through targeted interventions.

The scientific evidence supporting CBT is overwhelming (4, 5). It works well and it works quickly. In contrast to many other forms of therapy, CBT can usually be completed in just a few months.

PSYCHOANALYTIC Phase

The second phase addresses anxieties that are the result of unresolved, and often unconscious, interpersonal issues. These are issues that have been problematically carried from the past into the present. In order to identify, understand, and resolve them, a contemporary and scientifically vetted version of psychoanalytic therapy is used.

Created by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalytic therapy is one of the oldest psychological interventions in use today. It is an exploratory form of therapy in which the client's personal history and the complex dynamics of their interpersonal relations are examined in depth. The purpose of this analysis is to arrive at profound insights that have the power to resolve long standing issues, such as those that underlie anxiety.

Although difficult to study, given the open-ended and exploratory nature of the therapeutic approach, psychoanalytic therapies (sometimes also called "psychodynamic therapies") have been shown to be effective in a number of clinical studies (6, 7).

EXISTENTIAL Phase

 The third phase addresses anxieties resulting from fundamental assumptions about one's self and one's world. These assumptions shape one's perception of reality in a way that can have a profound effect on anxiety. Deconstructing one's perception of reality creates the space for a more radical kind of transformation - and for this purpose, a version of existential therapy is used.

Drawing on the insights of thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre, it is an avant-garde approach to treatment not often found outside of the European continent.

Although difficult to study given the complexity of its conceptual foundations, versions of existential therapy have been shown to be effective in a number of clinical studies (8). Some psychologists have even claimed, quite controversially, that "only this type of therapy can replace emptiness with fulfillment and meaning and thus engender authentic, creative solutions to the challenges of this age" (9).

 

Research Cited:

(4) Hofmann, S. G., & Smits, J. A. (2008). "Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials." The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 69(4), 621-32.

(5) Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). "The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses." Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol. 36(5), 427-440.

(6) Leichsenring, F., Abbass, A., Luyten, P., Hilsenroth, M., & Rabung, S. (2013). "The emerging evidence for long-term psychodynamic therapy." Psychodynamic Psychiatry vol. 41: 361–84.

(7) de Maat S, de Jonghe F, de Kraker R, Leichsenring F, Abbass A, Luyten P, Barber JP, Rien V, Dekker J. (2013). "The current state of the empirical evidence for psychoanalysis: a meta-analytic approach." Harvard Review of Psychiatry, vol. 21(3): 107-137.

(8) Vos, Joël; Craig, Meghan; Cooper, Mick. (2015). "Existential therapies: A meta-analysis of their effects on psychological outcomes." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, vol. 83(1), 115-128.

(9) Bugental, James F. T.; Bracke, Paul E. (1992). "The future of existential-humanistic psychotherapy." Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, vol. 29(1), 28-33.

 
 

Talks & Workshops

Blake has given talks to a number of audiences from within the U.S and abroad. In addition to this, some of his work has been published in print and through iTunes University.

If you are interested in getting in touch with Blake to discuss a fee and his availability to give a talk or to do a workshop for your organization, please send an email to: blake@seattleanxiety.com

Some of the venues at which Blake has presented his research:

  • Mind, Method, and Morality, a conference co-hosted by the University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon University
  • An annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology hosted by Brown University
  • The first Aarhus-Paris Conference in Social Ontology and Cognition, organized by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and MindLab at Aarhus University
  • Frontiers of Rationality and Decision: the final workshop of a European research network funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and hosted by the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • The Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society Conference, hosted each year by the University of Oxford
  • A conference to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Publication of Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy, hosted by the University of Glasgow & the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience
  • An annual meeting of the Virginia Philosophical Association hosted by Virginia Tech
  • The conference of the International Journal of Arts and Sciences, hosted by the University of Nevada
  • An annual meeting of the Portuguese Society for Analytic Philosophy, hosted by the Universidade do Minho
  • An event hosted by the Philosophy Department at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon
  • An annual meeting of the Humanistic Psychology Society of the American Psychological Association hosted by the Institute for Holistic Health Studies at San Francisco State University
“If anyone is unwilling to descend into himself, because this is too painful, he will remain superficial in his writing... If I perform to myself, then it’s this that the style expresses. And then the style cannot be my own. If you are unwilling to know what you are, your writing is a form of deceit.”
  ― Ludwig Wittgenstein
 
 

Past Work

Prior to becoming a therapist, Blake worked in a handful of different roles. Most notably, he taught Philosophy at the college level at Virginia Tech, worked as a curator for a group of art galleries in the Portland area, and worked as a writer for Max Baucus (the United States ambassador to China).

 
 

Scheduling & Availability

New Clients: To see Blake's availability and to schedule a time to meet with him, just click the "request appointment" button below. Booking a time to meet only takes a couple of minutes.*

Existing Clients:  The secure client portal may be accessed simply by clicking on the following link: secure client portal.

*Waiting List: If a time that you would like to meet is unavailable, please reach out to Blake over phone or email to get on his waiting list. As clients are always at various stages of the therapeutic process, it may only be a short time until he is able to see you. He may also have clients with more flexible schedules than yours, who are willing to move to another time-slot.

Phone: 206.503.3753

Email: blake@seattleanxiety.com

 
 

*Keep in mind that communications via email are not secure. Although it is unlikely, there is a possibility that information you include in an email can be intercepted and read by other parties besides the person to whom it is addressed. If this is a concern for you, consider instead either calling or sending messages through Hushmail (the HIPAA compliant encryption service that manages Blake's email and which you can use for free, provided you set up a password with Blake beforehand). At the very least, you should always omit personal identifying information from your emails, such as your birth date or personal medical information.

Therapy is an investment

The self exploration undertaken in therapy is interesting and valuable for its own sake. However, therapy can and should also be seen as an investment. Your mind is by far the most valuable asset that you have. This means that through committing yourself to exploring and improving yourself mentally, you stand to enrich your life considerably. The insights and depth of awareness that come through therapy are not only helpful on an emotional level, helping us to feel less anxious for example, but also provide a whole host of other benefits. Great successes, both in our personal and professional lives, are often possible only because of the investment we have made in ourselves up to that point. 

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of a comfortable inaction."
― John F. Kennedy

Health Savings Accounts (HSA): Health savings accounts can be used to pay for medical expenses such as therapy and can often significantly decrease the cost of treatment. Blake accepts all forms of HSA.

Tax Deductions: Medical expenses, including out-of-pocket costs for psychotherapy, can often be deducted on your income taxes. You should speak with an accounting professional to determine whether you would be eligible for such a deduction.

Sliding Scale Rates: In major metropolitan areas, everything is more expensive, including psychotherapy. However, in an effort to make access to care more just, Blake takes on a limited number of clients on a sliding scale basis, sometimes pro bono. If you believe that you would benefit from treatment, but are thinking about not enrolling due to the cost, please inquire about a sliding-scale rate. A number of factors are relevant to determining what kind of rate is appropriate in a particular case. These include the client's socioeconomic situation, their insurance status, and whether they are a good fit for this type of therapy. Blake is committed to working with clients to make sure they get access to the services they need at a price that is affordable, whether through his own practice or through another qualified provider.*

*Keep in mind that a sliding scale rate needs to be worked out with Blake prior to scheduling and that neither evening nor weekend appointments will qualify for a sliding scale rate. That is, sliding scale clients must be willing to meet on weekdays before 5pm.

Cancellation Policy: The time that you schedule is held exclusively for you. As such, it has an impact on other clients - making it more difficult, and sometimes impossible, for them to reschedule or to book additional appointments. To cut down on these scheduling issues, Blake has instituted a 24 hour cancellation rule. Please do remember to cancel or reschedule 24 hours in advance. You will be responsible for the entire fee if notice of cancellation or request to reschedule is given by you less than 24 hours from the scheduled start time of your appointment.

Being-on-time: If you are late for a session, your session will still end at the time it was originally scheduled to end (meaning that you will lose some of your session time by arriving late).

Using Insurance: Most insurance companies cover a significant portion of Blake's fees. If you decide to seek reimbursement from your insurance company, Blake will provide you with a detailed invoice (sometimes called a "superbill") that will make this process simple and straightforward. It usually only takes a couple of minutes to submit a claim and your insurance company's claims specialist can walk you through exactly what steps to take if you have any questions. 

Like many therapists, Blake chooses not to be under contract with insurers. This is due in part to the costs, as well as to the diminished ability to provide confidentiality, that are associated with this arrangement. Being "in-network" (under contract) would mean agreeing to much lower reimbursement rates for his services and would mean hours of extra (unpaid) paperwork each week. Being "in-network" also greatly diminishes his ability to provide confidentiality, because these contracts stipulate that he must hand over a client's confidential treatment information (his therapy notes) to the insurer. For these and other reasons, it simply does not make sense for any therapist, who would not otherwise have a difficult time getting clients, to go under contract with insurers. 

Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to learn about your particular insurance plan and about what portion of services they will cover. The number for your insurance company should be listed on your insurance card. Blake's services are usually covered as part of the "out-of-network" portion of healthcare plans. You can use the information listed below to determine the extent to which they will be willing to cover these services.

Washington State Department of Health License Number: MC60681402

National Provider Identification Number: 1629512066

Type of Department of Health License: LMHCA

Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation CPT Billing Code: 90791    

One Hour (60 min) Psychotherapy CPT Billing Code: 90837    

A Note about Regence: This insurer has certain plans where, although they state they have out-of-network mental health benefits, the fine print on the plan carries several restrictions. As with most insurance plans, it's good to know the fine print when it comes to your benefits, but especially with Regence as these plans seem to carry more restrictions. Other insurers in the area such as Premera have, to my knowledge, never denied my clients' claims for any reason.


*If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to send an email to: blake@seattleanxiety.com


 
 
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Free Anti-Anxiety Guide

Learn about the underlying causes of anxiety and about how you can take control.

* intended for reading on a smartphone.


 

Issues Treated

Blake offers a blend of psychotherapy, mental health counseling, and life-coaching that is backed by the latest scientific research and which is specifically designed for treating anxiety and stress. Issues he provides treatment for include work and school related stress, Social Anxiety (social phobia), panic attacks (panic disorder), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), specific phobias, existential anxiety, relationship anxiety, attendant issues that result from stress and anxiety (see below), as well as the Cluster C Personality Disorders, including Avoidant Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

Issues resulting from stress and anxiety that Blake treats include trouble sleeping (insomnia), depression (including Major Depressive Disorder), burnout, trouble adjusting to new environments or to new phases in life (adjustment disorder), chronic distraction or tech addiction, substance abuse, and alcohol or cannabis dependence. Evidence based forms of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Contemporary Psychoanalytic Therapy, and Existential Therapy are offered.


Types of Sessions

Professional Consultations: These are made available for a number of different purposes. Blake provides consulting to other mental health clinicians, to parents and family members of those suffering from anxiety, as well as to those working in primary care, human resources, management, education, and a number of other related fields. 

Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluations: These are interviews with the client intended to determine an appropriate diagnosis and treatment recommendation. These sessions help to determine whether the individual is a good fit for this type of therapy and to make referrals to another type of therapist or to other healthcare professionals if needed. The first session with a client is usually considered to be an informal psychiatric diagnostic evaluation - a more formal and regimented evaluation may be carried out during the second session if warranted.

Psychotherapy Sessions: These are intended to help the client manage their symptoms and uncover the root causes of the issues confronting them.


Length

Length of Sessions: Blake's sessions are a traditional full hour (60 minutes) - which is not the norm, as most therapists these days limit their sessions to 45 or 50 minutes. 

Frequency of Sessions: It is normal to meet once each week. This frequency strikes a nice balance between giving the client time to process what has happened in the last session and making sure the material from that session is still fresh. Meeting more frequently may be appropriate if the client is in the midst of crisis, whereas meeting less frequently may be appropriate toward the end of the therapeutic relationship.

Length of Therapy: Clients often want to know how long therapy is going to take. This is understandable. Anxiety and its consequences are often miserable. As someone suffering from anxiety, you want to find a treatment that will help you feel better and help you overcome your personal and professional obstacles as soon as possible. This is why Blake starts most of his clients with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. For many, it provides substantial relief of symptoms after just a handful of sessions. 

Keep in mind that differences in the length of therapy often reflect differences in the depth and complexity of issues faced by those who are seeking therapy - differences which may not be apparent to either the client or their therapist at the outset of therapy. The upshot of this is that those who require more therapy often stand to gain more from their treatment. Blake will check in with you regularly about where you are at and what your goals are, to make sure that time is not wasted on issues that are of no or little importance to you.


 

Directions and Parking

Location: Blake's office is located at 1904 3rd Avenue in Seattle, Washington, in suite 923.

Waiting for Your Appointment: If you are coming between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm (Mon-Fri), the building should be unlocked. If you arrive early, please feel free to make yourself comfortable in the waiting room of suite 923.

Weekend and Evenings Appointments: For those meeting with Blake after hours (after 6pm), or on the weekend, please wait for him at the 3rd avenue entrance. He will meet you there at the time of your appointment.

Getting Here: Blake's office is located in the heart of Seattle and is only a short walk from a large number of convenient transit lines. Stops for the Monorail, Link Light Rail, and the South Lake Union Streetcar are all just a few minutes away. If clients choose to drive, they will be able to find parking nearby for a small fee.

Complimentary Tea & Coffee: Blake provides coffee and tea for his clients in his waiting room. Please feel free to serve yourself once you arrive.

 

 

Private Therapy Office

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Couples & Family Sessions

Blake's psychotherapy office can seat four or five individuals, and his conference room can seat up to ten, making them suitable for family sessions and couples counseling. If you are interested in sessions involving more than one client, please send an email to blake@seattleanxiety.com to get scheduled for a special consultation.


Group Therapy

Blake will occasionally run a therapy group or organize events for his clients to socialize and share their experiences with one another. These groups are not mandatory, but can be very helpful. Group members who have similar experiences are often able to learn a great deal from one another. When such groups are offered, they are held in Blake's larger conference room.

Please inquire if you are interested in attending a regularly scheduled group.


Consultation Services

If you are seeking advice on how to help anxious individuals, you may schedule time to meet with Blake and learn about the causes of anxiety and about how you can help those who suffer from it. Consultations are often helpful for other mental health or primary care professionals, for parents and family members of anxious individuals, as well as for managers and human resource representatives.


Out-of-office Sessions

Tele-therapy (via the phone), and e-therapy (via electronic messaging and video chat) are made available on a case by case basis (at the same standard rate). Not all phone calls and emails are billed, only those that are considered therapy. Home and office visits are also made available on a case by case basis. If you are interested in home or office visits, please contact Blake to discuss additional fees associated with transit.


Seattle Anxiety, PLLC

Washington State Department of Health License Number: MC60681402

National Provider Identification Number: 1629512066

Copyright © 2016 by Blake Thompson

All Rights Reserved

All text on seattleanxiety.com, unless otherwise indicated, is copyrighted and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or in part without the express written permission of the author.

Contact: blake@seattleanxiety.com for more information.


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Thanks for visiting!


 

ADDRESS: 
1904 3rd Avenue | Suite 923 | Seattle WA 98101
CONTACT:
blake@seattleanxiety.com | 206.503.3753 | seattleanxiety.com
 
FOR THOSE IN CRISIS:
- Please call the King County 24-hour confidential crisis hotline at: 866-4-CRISIS (866-427-4747).
- If you are unsafe or experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.