Hi! I'm Christine Kay Cuhaciyan, and I am a local therapist born and raised in the Seattle area. My office is in the Ballard area of Seattle where I focus primarily on codependency, self-esteem, and recovery from narcissistic abuse.
My interest in psychology began at a young age due to a family history of anxiety and depression on my mom's side of the family. When I was 15, an uncle gave me a book called "Feeling Good" which focuses on CBT therapy. From that point on my interest in mental health began to grow and I began to look for ways to help myself and others with depression and anxiety. For my undergraduate work I attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. While volunteering at a local community mental health clinic I began to wonder what was happening in the brains of people with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. I worked in labs for a while helping with research on schizophrenia and drug treatment and the affects of stress on the brain. From there, I moved back home to Seattle and got a job working at The Allen Institute for Brain Science in hopes of gaining greater understanding about the brain. I began to realize that while learning about the brain was fascinating, my true passion was in working with people. As a result I made the decision to return to school. I earned my Masters in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA in 2017. For over the past couple of years I have been working as a therapist in community mental health with some of the most undeserved and often challenging populations and I continue to work there today.
Since every person is different I use a variety of different techniques to assist my clients depending on what I see fit. However, the methods I use most frequently are Psychodynamic and CBT Therapy
Psychodynamic Therapy explores our past and searches our childhood for experiences that have left an emotional mark on us. It focuses on the idea that our behaviors in the present are a result of things that we have experienced in the past. Sometimes we don't realize it but as we go about our day we become triggered. This experience is like having a flood of emotions that bring you back to an earlier experience which you are reminded of except that you may not even realize it is happening. When this occurs, you may be repeating unhelpful behavioral patterns which keep you stuck. I will work with you to explore the experiences from your past and the meanings that you may have created as a result. This will allow you to begin new behaviors and bring about positive changes in your life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also known as CBT is an evidence based treatment developed in the 1960's that focuses on the idea that thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are all connected. Our thoughts can have the power to make us feel either terrible or great. We will work together to begin identifying some of your negative automatic thoughts and replacing them with more positive and rational ones. One of the most challenging parts of this process can be recognizing when a negative thought is occurring because this can often happen in a split second. I can help you identify techniques to begin recognizing these thoughts so that you can start making changes today.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate through the state of Washington (License # MC60803272) and hold a Masters Degree from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.
I have taken the following professional trainings:
Each individual therapy session lasts 60 minutes in length. A couples therapy session is 90 minutes.
Please don't be afraid. I am here to help! If you would like to schedule an appointment please either fill out my contact form on my web page, email me, or give me a call. If I do not answer I might be busy or with another client. Don't hesitate to leave me a message. I will contact you within 24 hours to get you scheduled.
There are many reasons to seek out therapy. You don't have to have a problem to be in therapy. Sometimes therapy is just about growth and self improvement. Other times it can help when we are struggling with something and having a hard time getting through it on our own. Everyone needs support from time to time and there is no better place to get it than from a professional who understands mental health and can provide a non-judgmental and compassionate ear.
It is important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable and safe with. Do not feel bad if you feel that your therapist is not a good fit. A good therapist will understand and refer you to someone else that is a good fit. First and foremost your therapist wants you to get the assistance that you need. Look for someone that has a background in the areas that you are interested in working on and ask questions. After all it is your hard earned money and you should get what you want out of the experience.
Therapy can be anything you want it to be. It is up to you to decide how you want to proceed and what it is that you want to focus on each session. You can think of me as your teacher, your guide, your cheerleader, or your support person. A good therapist will never tell you what to do. We may offer suggestions or ideas to get you thinking and exploring options but ultimately you are the one who knows yourself best. Therapy usually works best if both the client and the therapist are invested in process. You get out of therapy what you are willing to put into it.