Professional Christian Counseling for Individuals and Couples
Professional Christian Counseling for Individuals and Couples Over the last 9 years, I have had the privilege of helping people journey through tough areas in their life that needed healing. In the midst of their unique healing processes, I have witnessed places of brokenness become places of great restoration and redemption as they reclaim their lives. I have seen God break the bonds of depression and heal where textbooks said healing was not possible. As a Christian Counselor, I work alongside the Holy Spirit integrating solid therapy with the work of the Living God. This transforming power compels me to do the work I do.
Through this work my clients have achieved:
- A greater ability to give and receive love in a satisfying way.
- Increased awareness of and ability to connect with God, self, and others.
- A greater sense of joy, peace, and compassion even in difficult relationships.
- A deeper understanding of identity.
- Increased ability to offer patience and gentleness in tense situations.
- An increased awareness and understanding of you styles of relating and life motivations.
- A deeper understanding of purpose and meaning in your life.
- Decreased symptoms from which you have suffered.
My areas of expertise include:
Recovery from abuse, broken relationships, anxiety, depression, identity and purpose, anger issues, sexual brokenness, and spiritual issues.
Theology of Christian Counseling
All of my work rests on the foundation that God is good and that He is the one who turns darkness into light. This means that the darkness you carry isn’t anything to be afraid of but holds the greatest potential for greatest change. This is the place where you are most likely to see Him face to face and to experience His healing presence. It is God’s will for you to experience healing and redemption and it is His will to transform all of the darkness in you into light.
Christian Counseling in Process:
We live in communities that are meant to be based on relationships of faith, hope and love. Unfortunately, much gets in the way of what is meant for our lives and us together. Jealousy, contempt, violence, and abuse mix into the picture and what should be, is not. Our experience becomes one of hurt, mistrust, self-contempt, broken relationships, and misunderstanding.
I offer an emotionally safe and productive place where you can freely be yourself as you are, where you are. Along with being empathetic, patient, and tender, I possess the strength, willingness and understanding necessary to join you in the dark/difficult places of your life and story. Respecting and using therapeutic approaches from a variety of perspectives, I primarily work from a relational style of therapy, drawing upon Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit to intimately integrate psychodynamic, phenomenological (looking at the meaning of one’s experience), cognitive behavioral and Family Systems approaches.
We will work to understand your current relationships and problems in a way that sheds light on destructive or harmful patterns in your life. This will better help us find a way through them that results in the greatest possible growth and healing for you. I will also assist you in changing self-defeating styles of relating through a relationship building process of here and now work that will flush out underlying causes to the symptoms you face. Through all of this we will seek a greater and life changing understanding of your identity in the Holy Father, a true love for Christ in you and others, and vital and empowering relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Professional and Life Training
Erik Mildes works as a Masters level, licensed mental health counselor specializing in Christian counseling in Downtown Seattle and North Seattle. He works primarily with individuals and couples seeking Christian counseling or Christian marriage counseling in a private practice setting.
Individuals and couples of all ages and backgrounds have found hope, healing, and faith through Christian counseling with Erik. His passion and experience for Christian counseling began with a deep love for working with people, and a natural intuition for relational dynamics such as understanding how wounds happen and then play out in relationships. His training as a Christian counselor formally began at Mars Hill Graduate School, which is a Christian seminary graduate school, located in the Belltown neighborhood of Downtown Seattle. Mars Hill specializes in Christian counseling and pastoral studies.
Faith and family are an integral part of Erik’s decision-making, motivations, and professional growth. He believes strongly in free will and personal choices and feels that it is never too late to make the changes necessary to have a fulfilling and satisfying life. He also believes that for him, consistency (walking the talk) in and out of the office is crucial to what makes him an effective counselor, good husband and father, and Christ-following Christian.
Erik relies on the leadings of the Holy Spirit intimately paired with understandings of humanity through clinical training and psychological study in order to guide his clients through dark or painful experiences. His diverse training allows clients to bring faith into the therapeutic relationship as they grow both relationally and spiritually. His colleagues note that he displays genuine love and appreciation for others, energy, and accurate insight into his client’s lives.
When Erik isn’t in the office he enjoys spending time with his family and friends in both leisure and adventures on a grand scale. He also enjoys prayer and good conversation, mountain biking, snowboarding, and reading.
Christian Individual Counseling
Individual counseling is often just the place you need to take the difficult steps towards becoming the man or woman that God is calling you to be and to truly start unlocking the potential the He placed inside of you from the beginning. Individual counseling often leads into the darker areas of your life in order to be set free from them. God’s promise in Isaiah 42:16 is that He will turn the darkness into light before you and it is important to note that with this God did not call the darkness bad in Genesis 1. Apparently He sees it as potential that needs His touch in order to turn it into light.
Christian Couples Counseling
In a time when marriages face a near 50% divorce rate it is easy to see that something is missing in our attempt to keep relationships vibrant and growing. I will provide a supportive and safe environment where couples can feel heard and understood to find wholeness as a person in order to find wholeness within the relationship. I will also walk with you and your partner into often plagued areas of your relationship in a one and a half hour session giving you vital tools to keep your relationship healthy. Often couples experience an improved sex life, healthier communication, a deeper level of intimacy with self and partner, a stronger appreciation for one another, and much more from entering into couple’s counseling.
Depression can range from a mild feeling of unhappiness to debilitating despair. If you are experiencing increased sadness, decreased interest in activity, negative thinking, change in sleeping patterns, loss of energy, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or difficulties concentrating, then I can come beside you and be there for you. Let me sit in the dark (grey) moments of your life with you so together we can experience connection and see colors again.
Symptoms of anxiety include increased worry, restlessness, tension, irritability, headaches, abdominal upset, or muscle tension and can often lead to an inability to do the things you find important or be around the people you love. Therapy can aid you in coping more effectively and improve your physical and emotional well being. We will focus on managing your symptoms of anxiety through identifying the underlying causes, discussing techniques of relaxation and anxiety reduction, identifying thinking patterns leading to increased worry, and increasing your awareness of the mind / body connection.
Spiritual concerns are a normal part of life in today’s world. Faith and spirituality are tied to a deeper level of living in community than many people realize. Many people in today’s world also have increasing difficulty with the church and questions surrounding their faith and spirituality. One might even say that it is difficult to be a spiritual Christian in today’s church culture. These difficulties can often lead to resentment and dryness of life as a Christian. Dive into deeper levels of understanding and intimacy with your God and others in your faith community through a look at your own spirituality and how it has shaped your life.
Sense of Worth
The extent to which we love and respect ourselves has a lot to do with the how we have seen ourselves through the stories of our lives. How people perceive themselves affects their relationships with everyone including God. Many of our low self-esteem issues are rooted in our early life experiences based on false identities or false labels. These often result in ongoing feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness. I will assist you in rebuilding your sense of worth and identity and finding your true voice in a look at your story through a new lens that will offer your early innocents and radiance to shine through struggles and abuse.
The expectation for men to succeed in life is only dwarfed by the overwhelming possibility of failure. What is it that we as men are called to? How can we reach for this higher calling in the face of such oppositions as pornography, stress, expectation and the threat of failure? Men are striving for greater accomplishments and are increasing self-expectations. These expectations, daily demands, and responsibilities can often lead to feelings of stress, depression, and loss of self. Together we will address these issues and discuss effective ways of coping.
Families in today’s culture are facing difficult and damaging issues everyday. Family therapy can aid in brining the family back together in a process that helps people feel loved, heard and understood. We will explore the family unit in a supportive and nurturing environment meant to stimulate growth, love, good communication, and compassion in order to better understand the ways in which family members impact each other.
Stress can be related to life events such as financial pressure, death of a loved one, family conflicts, or work demands. Often an awareness of personal boundaries may lead to reduce stress and give you more control over your life. Whether you are overwhelmed or not challenged enough, professional assistance can help foster stress tolerance and promote wellness. Together we will address managing your stress through recognizing the stressors in your life and learning how to deal with stress using healthy strategies.
Life transitions may relate to a loss of a relationship, being recently laid off, shifts in your life’s direction, feeling stuck or in a rut, wanting to change but don’t know how, new parent/new family/blended family, and many more life issues. Life transitions occur throughout our lives, but at times we need additional support and guidance to see us through these changes. Learn how to grieve and to say goodbye for what once was in order to vibrantly jump into what is next.
Feeling alone or Disconnected
Times of feeling disconnected and lonely are often times painful or even frightening. At times individuals feel alone or insecure even when friends or family surrounds them. Through increased socialization, having a strong support system, and awareness of one’s relationships with others, an individual can overcome isolation and begin living a rewarding and fulfilling life.
Grief and Loss
Grieving is nature’s way of healing a broken heart after experiencing a significant loss. The art of grieving has been lost to a need to quickly get on with life that often leave us unhealed and without contentment. Learn how to grieve again while we work through changes that may be related to the death of a loved one, divorce, separation, a move, or the loss of a job. Give yourself the gift of time while together we honor yourself and others by allowing you to grieve and recognize the impact the loss had on your life.
Whether you are looking for time spent in an individual counseling session or the interaction of others in a group or couple’s session, there is a setting that is right for you. Choose from individual counseling, couple’s work, group counseling, marriage and family therapy or if the office setting isn’t quite right for you, we can take our time outside to the beautiful Greenlake setting.
Sessions: I offer 53-minute or 45-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):
- Bothell – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, Couples and Adolescents 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.
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 individuals, couples and adolescents.
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.
- Consists of one-on-one attention from a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who will take a personalized approach to improving your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
- Provides a safe, therapeutic environment where you will experience support and an empathetic ear to work through difficult issues.
- Helps you understand what it specifically looks like for you to be created in God’s image and how this affects the way you think feel, see, and interact with the others.
- Assist individuals in seeing their impact on others and how others have impacted them to make sure that your impact will be one of blessings to access a more fulfilling way of being.
- With the vast amount of information covered in couples counseling sessions are best run at a minimum of 53 minutes. Please inquire about longer sessions.
- Provides a supportive and safe, yet confrontative and adequately directive environment where couples can not just feel heard and understood but truly work through issues that have created an emotional stand-off.
- Look at what it means to find wholeness as a person in order to find wholeness within the relationship.
- In couples counseling you can see an improved sex life, healthier communication, a deeper level of intimacy with self, your partner and together with God, a stronger appreciation for one another, and much more.
Walk and Talk Therapy
- When a change in environment or a lighter session is necessary.
- Enjoy your counseling session while walking around the beautiful Greenlake neighborhoods.
- Learn more about who you are and who God is in you through a light walk and deep conversation.