About Deborah Carnett
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a private therapy practice in Spokane, WA, where I serve individuals, couples, and families. My education includes a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology as well as a graduate degree in Special Education. I have specialized training in the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. In addition, I have extensive post-graduate training, and experience, in working with adults who have Asperger's Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and individuals with other learning differences
For the past 25 years I have worked as an Adult, Child & Family Therapist, Teacher, Consultant, and At-Risk Interventionist. I have provided consultation services and workshops in Western Washington since 1997 on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Mental Health and Disabilities, Positive Communication, and the Effects of Family Violence on emotional and physical development.
I use a holistic and integrative approach to therapy; this means I fit the therapy to you, integrating various therapy methods to meet your needs. I frequently ask for your feedback about our work together so that we can make a change in course when necessary. I give homework so that you can practice the new behaviors or skills that you learn in the therapy room. The methods I use are client-centered, experiential, psychodynamic and cognitive/behavioral. I also have advanced training in using EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and make use of this therapy when it is appropriate to my client’s needs.
I strongly believe that clients make the most progress in therapy when they are engaged, ready to gain new insight into themselves, and willing to try new ways of seeing themselves in the world. This translates to learning tools and practicing them outside the therapy room. Therapy is very much about learning, growing, and healing.
Anxiety can present itself in many different ways and is often connected with depression. It may surface as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to sexual abuse or other trauma. It may be experienced as a sense of panic, obsessions and compulsions, or a general feeling of persistent anxiety. The hardest step is often just asking for help. As your support, I am committed to helping you work through what holds you back from living a balanced and peaceful life. We work together to identify unhelpful behaviors, learn new tools, and discover your unique strengths that will ultimately lead you to the person you really want to be.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a disorder based on a specific set of behavioral symptoms that arise after experiencing a traumatic event, or several events. The symptoms are grouped into categories; avoidance, intrusion of traumatic memories, and physiological dysregulation (the body reacting to perceived stress). The number of symptoms and intensity experienced by an individual determine whether the diagnosis of PTSD is given, as well as how long it has been since the traumatic event was experienced. It is possible to experience one or more traumatic events and not clinically meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The focus in therapy is not on the clinical label (diagnosis) but on the symptoms you are experiencing.
Although I see clients for many issues, I work extensively with people who have experienced traumatic stress or abuse in their lives, which can lead them to behave in ways that seem outside their control. One of my goals is to help them make sense of this and to learn ways to return to a more functional way of life.