Carolyn Schulte, LMFT
Carolyn Schulte’s Therapist Disclosure Statement <<< (Clickable)
I believe everything we feel, do, and struggle with makes sense in the context of our close relationships, personal histories, and environment where we live. We don’t get “stuck” because we are dumb or failing, but because life often presents us with seemingly simple dilemmas and conflicts that, when explored, tend to reveal a more layered, complex, and thorny history of unresolved feelings and experiences. We are often taught to “move on” or not “dwell in the past,” however this can lead us to become more stuck and more conflicted. To feel ill-equipped and powerless. To blame ourselves when our feelings feel misplaced or “too big.” Instead, I believe our emotional responses and past experiences hold wisdom and healing for us as we look toward shaping a different future.
As a therapist, I view my role as supporting you to discover the strengths you have drawn on to survive and thrive throughout your life, process how life is tiring or challenging you in new ways, and imagine what you would like to change or shift moving forward. Further, I strive to support you in strengthening your self compassion, interrupting the cycle of shame and blame keeping you or your relationship(s) stuck, and creating much-needed space to explore new options and possibilities. As with any therapeutic process, challenging what we know can initially cause some increased anxiety and discomfort. This is a normal, and often necessary, part of change and tells us that your body is appropriately tuned in. Change has the power to challenge and free us at the same time, and our bodies remind us that we must care for ourselves in this process.
My style is empathic, validating, and client-centered, and I show up with humor and authenticity.
I earned my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, studying Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy with a focus in Sex Therapy. My training includes systems theory, critical social theory, family therapy, couple’s therapy, sex therapy, sexual abuse, and supporting survivors of domestic violence. I draw on Bowenian Family Systems and Socioemotional Relationship Therapy to explore how our social context(s) impacts our emotional and relational processes, use a client-centered and trauma-informed approach, and believe in therapy as a vehicle for social justice.
In my free time, I enjoy loving on my partner and child, scheming my next house project or weekend getaway, connecting deeply with my friends and community, getting outside in the vast and beautiful Pacific Northwest, cooking (and eating) delicious meals, and working within my community to fight for a more just and abundant world for us all.
Specialties and areas of focus
- Sex therapy
- Life Transitions
- Family of origin/childhood issues
- Women’s issues
- Pregnancy and postpartum
- Abuse/victims of abuse
Q&A with Carolyn
1.) Some therapists are more comfortable addressing the immediate problem, while others want to focus on the deeper issue. Which are you?
I am most excited about exploring the deeper issues bringing someone to therapy. I believe our past experiences, relationships, family structures, and cultural environment directly shape and impact the problems we face, even when we feel alone in our struggles. My biggest goal is to support you in finding your voice, goals, and power to care for yourself and make choices that honor who you are, in order to resolve the immediate problems causing you to feel stuck.
2.) Do you tend to lead the session, or follow my lead?
I enjoy following your lead. You are the expert of your life, and you know best what you need and feel ready to talk about. That said, I also enjoy being directive when needed, and I am comfortable gently pushing and challenging you to explore how deeper and/or underlying patterns might relate to your current concerns and goals.
3.) What are your strengths as a therapist?
I show up as myself, an empathetic and expressive ‘people person’ with a dose of sass. I appreciate real talk and humor. In addition, I practice with a trauma-informed and social justice lens and strive to provide an affirming and safe space to clients of all identities. I use the word “strive” recognizing that I walk through the world as a cisgender and white-bodied person, and cannot always anticipate what feels safe or unsafe for people who experience the world differently than I do. Knowing this, I am dedicated to the long-term work of continuing education, self-reflection, inviting and taking feedback, and learning from my mistakes in order to constantly improve my trauma-informed and antiracist practices.
4.) If you had one superpower, what would it be and why?
The power to end global pandemics. I miss worry-free hugs.
5.) What makes you laugh?
A good dry comeback, satire, my child’s giggles, this bear, pranks.
6.) Who would you have dinner with, dead or alive?
My grandmother who died when I was 11, before I could fully appreciate her brilliance and sass.