Hi there. My name is Kelly Mark. I’m a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Washington and you’ve found my counseling website. And I’m glad you’re here.
My guess is that you’re visiting my site because either you or someone you love is feeling stuck—and you’re searching for a way to get unstuck. Feeling stuck is a really helpless feeling—and it can be painful when we feel alone in our stuck-ness. I believe that that pain speaks to our human design for relationship—for a life of connection with God and others. We were created to be in relationship, but unfortunately, our beautiful, yet flawed humanness makes it difficult for us to fulfill this design.
My counseling business is called Restoration Christian Counseling because I believe that God has made a way for us to experience healing that allows us to get closer to our original design—to restore us to one another and to Him. You may have heard that the brain is plastic, meaning it has the ability to change. And because the brain is capable of change, we can in turn, learn new skills and ways of being and believing that allow us to care for your body, mind, and spirit. And when our body, mind, and spirit are healthy, we can connect with others.
I believe what makes mental illness so painful is not just the feelings of anxiety or depression or even the lapses of reality, but it is the isolation, the loneliness that often accompanies mental illness. Mental illness has this insidious way of impairing our ability to connect and leading us to believe that in the midst of confusion and difficulty, no one will be there with us, that we must suffer alone. But, that’s just not true.
Research has found that relational interactions can actually facilitate neuronal change (i.e., change in the brain), which is why I believe therapy or counseling can be so powerful. Having someone walk with you in your struggles actually impacts the connections in your brain. When you allow someone to be with you in your loneliness, loneliness loses its power and your brain begins to rewire its neural connections to believe that the ups and downs of life need not be faced alone. Relationship and connectedness births hope—and hope fuels more change that leads to more restoration.
It’s okay if you’re skeptical of counseling or if you’re scared to let someone be with you in your darkness; skepticism is meant to keep you safe and being vulnerable is risky—especially if you’ve been let down before. But, from my own experience as a client and as a therapist, I believe that if you’re willing to be present in the process of counseling, it can be a powerful avenue for change. Blessings to you, wherever you're at in your journey and as you explore the possibility of change.