The Goals I have as a Christian Counselor
I am passionate about helping clients build healthier and more enjoyable lives that are honoring to God and themselves. My goal is to meet you where you are in your journey and walk with you toward healing, hope, and health. Regardless what you are struggling with, we will work to strengthen hope that you can change your behavior and rediscover the joy of living. I offer judgment-free, authentic, and empathetic care. As a Christian counselor, I am continually aware of my own reliance on God, and therefore conduct my practice with the knowledge that I, too, need His help. I strive to provide a safe setting in which I can get to know you and adapt my methods to suit your personality and individual needs. As much as possible, it is my goal to provide brief solution-focused therapy to all my clients.
Being a Christian counselor was not always part of my plan. I have personally experienced almost all of the issues my clients face in their own lives including but not limited to: failing in school, struggling with multiple addictions, and wrestling with my faith. Today, I am a licensed mental health counselor with over twelve years of counseling experience. I am living proof that change and redemption is possible, and I have the privilege of helping others find freedom from addiction and rediscover the joy of living.
I offer expertise in working with all forms of addictions including but not limited to: chemical dependency, sexual addiction and other process addictions. Additionally, I work extensively with the interaction of multiple addictions and mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and trauma. I address these concerns from a variety of angles including: group therapy, individual, family, and couples therapy.
My Approach to Counseling
As a counselor, I see myself like a personal trainer but with much higher stakes: I provide the framework through which my clients are empowered to go out into the world and make everyday changes that benefit their growth. I hope to help you get good at life, not at coming to therapy.
I am educated in a variety of therapeutic methods. Some of them approach counseling by helping people change from the outside-in and others cultivate change from the inside-out. I have found both are very important to help people transform their lives. Different people benefit from different approaches. As a result, I have a very customizable style of counseling, and I enjoy finding what works best for you. To ensure that I am able to provide you with maximum counseling benefits, I adapt my methods to you rather than asking you to adapt to my methods.
My Areas of Expertise
My particular expertise is in the area of “co-occurring disorders”—meaning I specialize in the interplay between various addictions and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. A majority of the time, if an individual struggles with one of these, they end up struggling with several. Furthermore, within the context of addiction, I work to address addiction interaction disorder. This involves multiple addictions that coexist in the brain and interact with each other such as substances, processes (food, sex, work, money, exercise), relationships (co-dependency, love addiction, trauma bonding), and core affect states (shame, despair, rage).
I also specialize in counseling adolescents and young adults. I have found it is far easier to work with an adult that is seeking out therapy than a young person who feels they are being dragged in by their parents. As a counselor, my approach shifts dramatically working with these young people. I am more focused on connecting with them in a meaningful way that relates to their world. Much of our work is helping them identify what they want for themselves instead of what everyone else wants for them. Contrary to what their behavior may suggest, most young people do not enjoy being miserable; but they have not found healthy and adaptable skills to accomplish the goals they have for themselves. As a result, they turn to destructive behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and conduct disorder problems because they falsely believe that these will provide the relief they are looking for. Counseling focuses on helping them learn how to connect with their deepest desires and then learn how to apply skills to fulfill those desires.
In addition to my particular expertise in co-occurring disorders and adolescent counseling, I offer therapy for:
- Bipolar disorder
- Grief and loss
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spiritual direction
- Marriage and Couples counseling
- Men’s Issues
On a Personal Note
I have been married since 2010 and my wife and I are blessed to have two wonderful daughters. When I am not counseling, I enjoy spending time with my family, exercising, reading, and serving in the local community in other ways.
Chris Chandler is a full-time Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of contexts including inpatient, outpatient, chemical dependency intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization settings. He has significant experience working with individuals with co-occurring disorders of various addictions and psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, grief/loss, ADHD, OCD, PTSD and Christian/spiritual direction concerns. Chris received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Western Oregon University and his Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Mars Hill Graduate School (Now Seattle School of Theology and Psychology).Prior to working fulltime with Bellevue Christian Counseling, Chris worked with a team at Therapeutic Health Services in Seattle for several years to implement ENCOMPASS, a new evidenced based intensive outpatient program for adolescents and young adults struggling with co-occurring disorders. This program was developed through 15 years of research by Paul Riggs, MD at the University of Colorado and is the first of its kind in the entire country.
Prior to this, Chris worked at Fairfax Hospital, an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital, for over five years. He worked primarily on the adolescent and adult units in a variety of roles including: Chemical Dependency Specialist, Clinical Therapist, Program Developer, and Case Manager. Chris gained extensive experience working with severe suicidality, chemical dependency, behavioral problems, self-harm, abuse, grief/loss, homicidality, and psychosis.
Chris first opened his private practice in 2008 while working at Fairfax Hospital. He has maintained his practice on the side since that time, seeing approximately 10-15 clients per week in addition to his fulltime work. He has enjoyed working with individuals, couples, and families from the ages of 5 to 75 years old and dealing with a wide variety of concerns such as wide range of addictions, depression, anxiety, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, marital problems, sexual addiction, Asperger’s Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, grief/loss, parenting concerns, Christian counseling, and much more.
Counseling for Co-Occurring Disorders
Treating Addiction and Mental Health Together
“Co-occurring disorders” is a term that describes the interplay between various addictions and mental health concerns. For the past several years, I have counseled people struggling with sexual addiction, drug/alcohol addiction and/or various other addictions while simultaneously addressing their mental health diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and PTSD. Very often, if an individual struggles with any one of these, they end up struggling with several. I am passionate about helping my clients understand the relationship between various addictions and underlying psychiatric disorders. I aim to offer a holistic approach to healing that includes biological, psychological, social, and spiritual interventions. I also offer counseling for these issues independent of each other; see “one-to-one counseling” below.
Safe, friendly counseling for young people
Life can be pretty overwhelming for young people. In addition to disorienting physical and emotional changes, teenagers must combat enormous temptations and pressures heaped on them by peers, families, schools, and wider culture. Yet young people are at a perfect time in their lives to figure out what works and what needs to change. My desire in counseling adolescents is to help them see themselves for who they are apart from the labels that have been imposed upon them.
When working with young people, I have found that there are often systemic family issues involved in the client’s development. Therefore, I emphasize family involvement in my work as a youth counselor.
Therapy for Individuals
In addition to offering therapy for the specific areas listed above, I also provide one-to-one counseling and spiritual direction for individuals seeking to address personal concerns. My ultimate goal as a counselor is to help my clients feel liberated—to be set free from past experiences and present problems so to live a fuller life in the future. Through a variety of counseling techniques—from exploratory sessions to goal setting to homework—we will work together to help you overcome the issues in your life that prevent you from living to the fullest. Whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, grief, or addiction, or you just want a safe space and qualified counselor to assist you on your journey, I am here to help.
Couples, Pre-Marital, and Marriage Counseling
Help for you and the one you love
God created each of us uniquely, and we all have different needs, interests, goals, and habits. However, God also created us to live fruitfully in relationship with one another. Relationships are remarkably stressful: when we enter into relationship with another human being, conflict is guaranteed. Christian counseling for couples and spouses can help you to understand your relationship better and grow in your love. I offer counseling for dating couples, engaged couples, and spouses. Whether you are just beginning your relationship together or have been married for many years, I can offer you a welcoming space to explore your relationship together and grow in your love for one another.
Working Through Systemic Issues
Family therapy offers family members an opportunity to explore relationship dynamics, work toward overcoming systemic issues, and grow together in relational wholeness. As a family counselor, I aim to foster a welcoming and judgment-free environment and facilitate meaningful conversation. Open communication and a willingness to listen are essential for family growth. I especially encourage families to be involved in teen and substance abuse counseling. By seeking counseling together, your family can learn to love and support one another and encourage each other to live to the fullest potential, both as individuals and as a body together.
Sessions: I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
- Online (WA residence only) – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, Couples, Adolescents and Groups looking to pursue counseling with me. For new patients without insurance, your initial appointment is a risk free initial session which means that you will not be billed for the session unless you decide to continue.
Insurance – Out of Network:
Insurance: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC),a majority of insurance companies will reimburse a portion of my services. If your insurance covers out-of-network benefits, we accept payment for the session and will provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement. We recommend checking with your insurance for information about covered benefits, limitations and/or exclusions and to confirm the amount of reimbursement you can expect from your insurance, so there are no surprises.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 3.7% plus $0.15 per transaction may be added for credit card payments.