Working With Me

Do you specialize in working with couples?

Yes, I specialize in couples therapy. Unlike many therapists who do “a little of everything,” my practice is almost exclusively devoted to working with couples, especially regarding issues of sexuality and intimacy.

I have pursued extensive training, completing an intensive externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy as well as several multi-day clinical workshops in Crucible Therapy with David Schnarch and Ruth Morehouse.

Because I am also an AASECT certified sex therapist, I can integrate sex therapy and couples therapy creating an holistic approach to intimacy issues.

I see that you are AASECT certified. Why is that important?

Certification is important because it signifies a significant amount of training, supervision and experience dealing with sexual issues.

AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) requires over 160 hours of rigorous curriculum, 50 hours of supervision and hundreds of hours of clinical experience in order to grant certification.

While Washington state does not regulate the term “sex therapist,” certification distinguishes a therapist who has made the commitment to be fully qualified to provide sex therapy.

What kind of people get the most out of choosing you as a therapist?

The people that I help the most come to me knowing that they cannot keep doing things the same way anymore.

They are open to self-reflection, they have an ability to confront themselves and to be honest about what they are doing, and they have a real desire for growth and integrity in their lives.

They focus on their own contribution to their issues and resist the urge to blame others.

They value honest feedback and directness delivered with good will.

They are ready to make the commitment of time and resources that change requires, and they are determined to make the most out of that investment by being committed to and engaged in the process and expecting me to bring my best to every session.

I can talk to my friends. Why would I want to see a therapist?

Friends can be a great resource in our lives, and I'm glad you have them. But friends are not objective. Sometimes they actually resist change because they like the status quo. You enlist a therapist precisely because you want change in your life. I can offer my training, insights, and observations in a way that helps you move from where you are stuck.

If you are working with a couple, do you ever see the individuals separately?

As a rule, I do not work individually with clients if they see me for couples therapy. This policy maintains a balanced relationship with both people. It also serves to prevent me from having any information that has not been shared with the absent partner.

How long does therapy usually last?

So much depends on exactly what situation a client faces and how much they want to accomplish at this time. While some people come in for a very particular question or decision (resulting in very brief therapy), others come in determined to shift many longstanding issues (which can mean remaining in therapy for a year or more). Most of the time, however, I work with clients for somewhere between 3 and 6 months to accomplish their goals.

The Details

How often do you want to see people?

Because my goal is to help you reach your goals, I recommend that clients schedule appointments every week so we can get traction with the problem and move more quickly toward change. There are cases where every other week appointments can be sufficient, especially if clients put effort into change between sessions. As therapy progresses, I will discuss reducing frequency and/or length of sessions as appropriate.

Are my sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is always important in therapy, and I take this obligation very seriously. The fact that you are a client and the details of your situation are completely confidential except for very specific exceptions outlined in my disclosure statement. To further protect your privacy, I will not acknowledge you unless you acknowledge me first if I see you in a public setting.

Do you take insurance?

I do not take insurance directly.

Keep in mind that most insurance does not cover couples counseling (a “V code” diagnosis of relational distress).

If one of you has a medical diagnosis (anxiety or depression, for example) AND therapy is aimed at treating that condition and enhanced by working with the partner, insurance may cover the services. In that case, I can provide the receipt you would need for out of network reimbursement for our work together. Please ask me if you would like a receipt.

It is up to you to check with your insurance plan about possible reimbursement for out of network services.

If your company requests more information than is provided on the receipt, I will provide a brief summary of treatment and an explanation of why further treatment would be beneficial; I will not provide a treatment plan or therapy notes. You retain ultimate responsibility for payment for services if your insurance company decides that this documentation does not meet their requirements for coverage of your treatment.

Are you taking new clients?

I limit my practice so that I can bring my full attention and energy to my clients. I am currently accepting a limited number of new clients.

When do you see clients?

I am in my office Monday through Friday and offer sessions between 8:30 am and 6 pm.

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept checks, credit cards and cash in the exact amount due.

I have devoted my therapy practice to helping couples develop the skills and capacity for true emotional intimacy, honest and productive communication, and a satisfying and engaging sex life.

Jessa Zimmerman
Contact Me

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