Need a good gay friendly therapist in Seattle
September 15, 2014 6:52 AM   Subscribe

I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for years, and I'm tired of trying to struggle through it on my own. I've decided I need to get help, but I have no idea where to start. I'm gay and in Seattle.

When I described my symptoms to a doctor a few years ago he said I sounded anxious, depressed, and that I should get checked out for adult ADHD too.

People in my family have struggled with similar issues including my mom, and lately I've come to realize that I've been stuck under a depressive, fearful cloud for a large portion of my life. I have days where I'm cheerful and it's easy to be around people, and be a loving partner. But half the time I feel dull, mute, defensive, afraid that I'm worthless and unlovable. I work an admin job and I have serious issues with concentration and focus, too. Some days it's a struggle to do anything productive at all, and even on good days I have to keep myself on track with endless to do lists, and start with the simplest and most interesting tasks.

The reason for asking now is that I'm about 9 months into a new relationship that is very dear to me, and my waves of depression, negativity and insecurity tend to scare and confuse my partner. He's supportive but it's difficult for him to understand, and I'm tired of this disease screwing with my mind and potentially damaging a relationship that means the world to me.

I'd like to see someone who is gay-friendly. I'm open to pretty much any type of therapy but I feel like I may need to be on medication too, so I'd like to see someone who is open to providing those options. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I work in the center of downtown Seattle and live in Kirkland - I'm able to see anyone in the Seattle metro area. I have good health insurance and work a 9 to 5.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Good for you! Wanting to and then getting help is a major, huge step in treating your depression. It's really hard to get to that place. So congrats.

Call your insurance company. They will have a list of psychiatrists and nurse practitioners they can refer you to. I would probably start with seeing a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner, because they can give you a full medical eval and possibly prescribe medication - and then if you want to start seeing a different person for talk therapy, you can (though I've had great luck in the past getting both from the same doc. It all just depends).

A lot of folks on here will recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is a great method. But myriad studies have shown that the type of therapy you receive when it comes to outcomes is more or less inconsequential. Just getting someone to help you is the biggest factor by far.

If you not jibe with the first person you see, don't lose heart. Finding the right psychiatrist can be tough sometimes.

As far as gay-friendly goes, I think among therapists in Seattle you'll find that's more the norm than not. If you feel comfortable, you could ask around in your circle of friends for specific suggestions, otherwise you might just try to go to one and see. In my experience, therapists in the Northwest tend to be pretty open-minded and empathetic folks.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:58 AM on September 15, 2014

You might want to check out Seattle Counseling Service. It's easy walking distance - or a quick bus ride - from downtown. (Corner of Pine and Melrose, next to the El Capitan Apartments.)

I don't know anyone who has used their services, just their location.

You're a good person and you deserve to feel better.
posted by Pudhoho at 9:50 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Most therapists in Seattle will be gay-friendly. Try the Women's Therapy Referral Service (not just for women).
posted by matildaben at 10:04 AM on September 15, 2014

Seconding Seattle Counseling Services. They are extremely gay friendly (and proud of it), they have staff that can prescribe pharmaceutical medications, they offer couples counseling (which may be useful for your partner), they offer low-income assistance (should you need it), and other wellness resources (ie: art groups, etc.). They are also very conveniently located right at Pine/Melrose (Cap Hill).

They perform a 2-hour or so initial intake session to get a feel for you/why you're there and determine which therapist(s) to pair you up with based on your needs and the therapists' area of expertise. You do have the option to choose the gender of your therapist.

Depending upon your insurance, you may not need a referral either. If you're covered by Apple Health, SCS is an approved provider of services, so you can call them directly and get things rolling immediately.
posted by stubbehtail at 10:28 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here's my Psychiatrist, who is very gay friendly:

Haven Grant G MD
901 Boren Ave Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 264-8887

He has a private practice, and is out of network with a lot of insurance companies. But, he's seen me through some complex depression, anxiety, ADHD, and possible Asperger's issues that would have caused other Psychiatrists to throw up their hands in despair.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:37 PM on September 15, 2014

I see somebody in Ballard who isn't taking new clients (sorry!) but I know that Allied Counseling (downtown) has a bunch of queer friendly counselors.

Also, if you are in with Virginia Mason, they have a great outpatient clinic for coordinated psych/counseling care, which they completely sync with insurance.
posted by sweltering at 6:11 PM on September 15, 2014

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