Emmanuel Villarivera, MA, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor
(253) 238-3900 | emmanuelv@seattlechristiancounseling.com

My goal is to guide you through life’s transitions and help you connect more deeply with the Redeemer who yearns to know you, love you, and use you to fulfill His purposes in the world. Using a combination of therapeutic techniques, biblical truth, clinical insight, and pastoral experience, I will journey with you as you move toward a life of peace, healing, and spiritual health.

Tacoma – Tue and Sat

Life isn’t always a straight path. There are ups and downs, roadblocks, and detours that can leave us feeling stuck and incapable of changing direction. Sometimes those times in life require a little more help to get us back on track. I believe that everyone is capable of positive change, and I want to help you unlock your strengths and capabilities. As your counselor, I will actively listen and ask appropriate questions to assist you in navigating your journey to healing. Whether you are experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, broken relationships, or spiritual concerns, I am hopeful that together we can find the restorative path God has set before you.

My Goal as a Christian Counselor

Counseling is not “one size fits all.” Depending on what brings you into counseling, I tailor my treatment plan and objectives toward what is most pressing in your life.
My hope is that through our time together you will learn to identify core issues, explore repressed emotions, and ultimately gain the skills and techniques to rise above adversity and overcome the challenges in your life.

What I Offer in Christian Counseling

I offer a non-judgmental, empathetic, and open environment where you can freely share and explore the reasons that led you to counseling. I value the opportunity to foster a therapeutic place of acceptance, safety, exploration, and understanding. As your counselor, I allow you to set the pace and take the session in the direction you want to go. Although the counseling process will have its challenges, you will never be alone in the journey.

My Approach to Christian Counseling

As a Christian counselor, I understand the brokenness of human nature. We were created as relational beings, and God has made it clear that we need each other to stay balanced. I have the unique opportunity of offering this relationship in practice. Christ offers us a perfect picture of a whole and healthy person. Through my own walk of faith, I strive to imitate this example to the best of my ability and provide clients with a grace-filled, accepting demeanor that fosters healing. I count it a privilege to be used as His instrument to serve and help redirect clients back to the truth of God’s grace, love, and mercy.

Qualifications & Experience

I’ve been counseling both informally and professionally for over twenty years. In 2009, my wife and I planted a church in Tacoma, Washington, where I continue to serve as a senior pastor.

In the past, I spent 15 years working as a Child Protective Services Social Worker (8 years in Los Angeles County and 7 years in Washington State). I also served in the United States Navy for 4 years.

I earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from National University in La Jolla, CA. I also hold a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a minor in Psychology.

My Call to Christian Counseling

Through interactions with people who were in crisis, I discovered that I enjoy the challenges and benefits in helping individuals through difficult times. I have been told that I’m a good listener and someone who others feel comfortable talking to, so I decided to use those skills in a field that I find enriching.

More About Me/On a Personal Note

My wife Dinah and I have been married for more than twenty years. My wife is a Nurse in Long Term Care. We have two boys, ages 20 and 7.

Part of my unique offering as an Asian therapist is to help Asian clients break the negative mindset about counseling and see it instead as a sign of empowerment. In therapy, I help clients process emotions that have been deemed unacceptable and shameful by their culture, families, or religious upbringing. Whether it’s anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, or past wounds that have never been processed, clients learn through time to become more authentic to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. They are then able to gain a better appreciation of who they are as individuals but also a deeper connectedness to their culture as well.

Areas of Expertise/Specialties

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Couples Counseling
  • Marriage Counseling
  • Infidelity and Affairs
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Trauma
  • ADHD
  • Aging and Geriatric Issues
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Counseling for Children
  • Codependency
  • Individual Counseling
  • Men’s Issues
  • Personal Development
  • Professional Development
  • Spiritual Development
  • Sex and Porn Addiction
  • Abandonment and Neglect
  • Anger Management
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Coaching
  • Counseling for Teens
  • Grief and Loss
  • OCD
  • Psychiatric Care Services
  • Relationship Issues
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Premarital Counseling
  • Psychiatric Care Counseling


Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Together, we will work toward uncovering the root of your anxiety, panic, and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. We will take a close look at your personal story, your past relationships, and the roles you have played within those relationships. We will discuss how your past affects your present and examine your lifestyle and the choices you have made, paying close attention to how these affect you today. Looking at the connection between the past and the present will help us uncover possible triggers that bring on your feelings of depression and anxiety. When helpful, I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is proven to be effective tools for learning to cope with ongoing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Sex Addiction

Pornography. Infidelity. Anonymous sex. Massage parlors and strip clubs. Are you tired of living a double life? Are you wracked with guilt and shame because of your behaviors but unsure of where to go? You don’t have to live a life of secrecy and shame anymore if you’re willing to break the shackles of silence and allow me to help guide you toward recovery. Therapy is a good opportunity for you to delve into the origin of your addiction and discover effective techniques to stop your unwanted behaviors.

Trauma and Recovery

Sometimes we find ourselves unable to understand why we act the way we act, why we think the way we think, why we make the choices we make, or why it seems as if insignificant issues become a big deal for no apparent reason. We cannot pinpoint exactly what the cause is for our fear, anxiety, or reactions. We might even begin to wonder if there is something wrong with us.

I will help you explore those hidden places of your heart that you might be unaware of. I will help you look at yourself without judgment and come to a deeper self-awareness and acceptance of the life that you have. Within the safe environment of the counseling office, we will talk and explore different situations or circumstances that might be the root cause of your feelings.

Sometimes we might use deep-breathing exercises and centering activities that can reduce stress, lower heart rate, and aid in recovering traumatic memories. Once we are aware of the cause, we will begin the healing process for you to mend from those painful memories. There is great hope for healing and restoration.

Spiritual Development

If you come from a faith perspective, you’ll want a therapist in line with your values who also has compassion, clinical insight, and a non-judgmental attitude to help you discern God’s voice in your life. My goal as a spiritual director is to guide you through life’s transitions or challenges so you can find peace, healing, and spiritual health while connecting more deeply with a Redeemer who yearns to know you, love you, and use you to fulfill His purposes in the world.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Throughout my counseling career, I have worked with victims of trauma and PTSD as well as having experienced it in my own life in the military. You don’t have to try to handle the burden of a traumatic event on your own. I can help you regain a sense of control over your life so that the event doesn’t determine who you are anymore.

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):

  • Tacoma – Tuesdays and Saturdays

Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Children, Adolescents, Couples, Individuals, and Couples looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment the full fee per session is required at the time of service. For more information regarding standard session fees, please contact me directly at (253) 238-3900 or emmanuelv@seattlechristiancounseling.com

Insurance: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) a majority of insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals and couples.

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 will be added for credit card payments.

Focus Areas

  • Individual Counseling