Jamie Gavin, PhD, MPH
Fluent in English and Spanish
National Certified & Washington Licensed Mental Health Counselor
WA#: 020703 LH00004520
National Certified Employee Assistance Professional
Washington Certified Chemical Dependency Professional
I believe that most behavior is purposeful, goal-oriented, and makes sense given a persons life-experience. Behavior involving emotional conflict is usually non-intentional and habitual. It usually involves distorted ways of understanding the world. Thoughts and feelings we don't admit or confess tend to be acted-out or expressed in behaviors that are detrimental both to ourselves and those nearest and dearest. Admitting or confessing what we are trying to avoid and, at the same time, changing habitual responses often brings immediate healing.
Some behavior results from parasites, viruses, poisons, bacteria, allergic responses, physical traumas (i.e., brain damage), and other disease processes. Even these are accompanied by emotional trauma that can be relieved by admitting our thoughts and feelings, and opening our hearts for strength to revise behavior and perceptions.
In order to escape a deeper greater pain, diverse painful compulsive behaviors emerge: involving eating, relationships, chemicals, shopping, sex, depression, anxiety.... Even mania and psychotic processes may begin as a defense against the pain of abuse and abandonment. There are those so health minded, it makes you sick to be around them. There are those so religious, they are of little earthly good. Grandiosity buffers our denial of unmanageability and inadequacy. As these serious responses continue, healthy brain function atrophies. Restorative recovery is a life-long process and can be taken only one day at a time.
I seek to use a client's belief system as a springboard for healing. It is the same for the atheist, agnostic or religious; although each interprets it differently. I encourage each to find the healing that is unconditionally available for all. When counseling Christians, I use scriptural illustrations. Recovery involves admitting and owning our own unique mechanisms of procrastination and escape, and then facing the pain. Expressions - such as turning it over, letting go, surrender, and receiving the comfort that is there - are descriptive of the process of recovery. This spiritual aspect involves turning our will and lives over to the care or love of a power greater than ourselves.
As noted, pain, discomfort and dissatisfaction are feelings we often seek to avoid or ignore. This often results in amplifying distressful emotions and behavior. Recovery involves admitting and accepting our feelings, re-evaluating them, and acting on healthy principles of living: even when it doesn't feel good.
As a health educator, I seek to rule out organic causes of emotional disorders. As a mental health counselor, I look to consider the purpose of behavior and how to change the current system of reinforcements to one that would encourage and shape more healthy behavior. I look to confront false beliefs that feed the behavioral and emotional distress, and then instruct to help correct thoughts and behavior. I discuss past emotional traumas and developmental passages to discern unresolved conflicts that might cause or feed current behavioral and emotional problems. I encourage clients to surrender or let go of those habitual behaviors and beliefs that feed their mental difficulties, and discover unconditional love and acceptance in order to live renewed. I generally use brief therapy as a primary intervention. However, there are those who find the need for more long-term therapy. Rates range from $50 per 90 minute group to $150 per 60-90 minute individual session. I am currently a preferred provider for most Blue Crosses and CIGNA. I am applying for others.