Vicki Rotton, L.M.H.C.
5701 NE Bothell Way, Suite 2A
Kenmore, WA 98028
phone: 425 - 486 - 1081
License, Certification, or Registration:
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Individuals, couples, and families, including adolescents
Monday and Thursday, 3 to 9 PM; Tuesday and Saturday 9:30 AM to 3 PM; Occasional Sunday daytime.
My standard fee is $90 per session; some openings may be available for a sliding scale. I am a preferred provider with Premera Blue Cross, First Choice Health, Aetna, Magellan Behavioral Health, and APS Healthcare.
We all want to feel happy, care for and connect with others,
and find satisfaction in our work and creative endeavors.
It's hard to understand why, despite our best intentions, we
find ourselves making poor decisions or even actively
harming ourselves. Issues like food and sex addictions,
compulsive spending, lack of harmonious relationships,
depression and anxiety are discouraging and confusing
when it seems like we are trying our hardest to be healthy
I start from the premise that all of our painful and
dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors have
developed for a reason. They did not arise to torment us.
They came into existence to protect us from painful or
overwhelming experiences in our past. These experiences
range from the obvious, such as major traumas, to the
subtle, such as just not feeling valued or listened to in our
families or cultures of origin.
I use a method of psychotherapy called Internal Family
Systems which helps people learn to relate to themselves
differently. Dick Schwartz developed this method in the
early 1980's when he noticed that many of his clients talked
about having an extremely self-critical voice in their head,
or found themselves behaving in ways that did not seem to
fit who they really believed that they were.
Where does this critical voice come from? Why do we
behave in conflict with who we believe we really are?
Internal Family Systems therapy answers these questions in
intriguing and ultimately life changing ways. The key to
change is learning to tune into something called "the Self"
with a capital "S". The Self is nonjudgmental, curious,
compassionate and calm. From this calm place a dialogue
can be started with the aspects of ourselves we find
Having a dialogue with a part of our personality that calls
us stupid, ugly, or worthless may sound difficult if not
impossible. However, my experience with many many
clients has shown me that it is possible. When these critical
parts are addressed with caring and respect they will reveal
that their true intentions are positive, though delivered in a
way that causes us to react negatively. Ironically, the aspect
of personality that reacts negatively to our pain is what
keeps us stuck in the first place.
Our inner world can become a system of polarized
components, or critical voices, reacting to each other in an
almost continuous stream. What is missing is a clearly
defined Self to lead the polarized parts to harmony. When
we have a conflicted and reactive inner world we often
experience an outer world that also seems reactive and
polarized. Our relationships with others will tend to bring
up extreme reactions. We may find ourselves avoiding
significant people in our lives or, on the other hand,
clinging too tightly to those we care about.
Parenting is difficult when we have no access to a clear
calm centered self. Once again we will live in reaction to
our children acting out old patterns from our own families
of origin or simply choosing to do the opposite of what our
parents did. Neither of these parenting choices is made
from a place of freedom and clarity.
Learning to access and lead from Self is the key to having a
life that works. As your therapist I would act as a guide as
you learn to access your true self and heal the aspects of
your personality that are polarized and in pain. You will
develop skills to explore and work with your inner world
on your own. Many difficulties can be resolved quickly,
others take longer. However, all problems, no matter how
difficult and entrenched, can be shifted with persistence and
I have been a therapist for the last ten years and I am
passionate about the healing process. I believe that it is
everyone's birth right to have a fulfilling life and we all
come into the world with that potential. I would like the
chance to meet you and share this gift of healing!
Areas of Expertise:
I have great faith in my clients' ability to heal themselves once they learn how to look inward with curiosity and caring. I specialize in helping a client to find the place within that is wise, compassionate, and calm. From this place my clients develop new and healing relationships with such difficulties as addictions, depression and anxiety, relationship and parenting issues, or unprocessed feelings and memories from the past. When we have a loving relationship with ourselves even the most overwhelming and intractable problems can be transformed.
I have a wide range of human experiences. Before becoming a psychotherapist ten years ago I was a Seattle firefighter for thirteen years. I was one of the first women on the Seattle Fire Department and I have witnessed the extremities of human experience. Watching people suffer and only being able to intercede in a moment of crisis left me feeling frustrated. I knew that I could be more helpful to people if I could develop a relationship with them.
In graduate school I studied family systems therapy which looks at human beings in the context of their families and cultures. This type of therapy assumes that the forces of family and culture exert great pressure on individuals and that the roles we play out in our lives are often given to us in our family of origin. By shifting the way we interact with significant people we can change the way we experience ourselves and our lives.
Having looked at the individual in the context of family, I then shifted my view inward and began to learn about the family inside. Internal family systems therapy makes the assumption that we all have a true and authentic self that we are born to live from. We also have a family of parts or subpersonalities that have developed to protect us in a sometimes scary world. When the self is leading, the internal family is balanced and productive. Therapy involves supporting an individual to identify the true self and teaching her to have a healthy relationship with the protective parts that are constraining her life.
Another type of therapy I have studied extensively is EMDR. EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, was developed by Francie Shapiro in order to help people who have been traumatized overcome persistent symptoms of trauma. This method is especially helpful for people that have specific difficult memories that are intrusive or disabling. EMDR helps take the charge out of these memories and to place them in the past. Often therapy involves only a few session and can make a dramatic change in the way a client feels about her life.
Therapy is a different experience for each individual, couple or family. I believe that each of us has tremendous potential for happiness and a meaningful life. I am committed to forming a healing and affirming relationship with my clients and supporting them as they overcome whatever is blocking them from attaining there full potential.
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