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coaching Counseling eTherapy Seattle Therapy Washington

Three More Years

Pioneer Square, Office Location in Seattle

Six hundred baskets of flowers were hung all over Pioneer Square on May 20, 2014.
600 of flowers were hung all over Pioneer Square on May 20, 2014. Photo by B. Imei Hsu #throughglass

In 2010, Seattle Direct Counseling moved from a basement in beautiful West Seattle to a small office in Pioneer Square in the Grand Central Building. In 2012, SDC moved across the hall to its present location in Suite 364, a large office space with generous natural light, tall ceilings, and a large waiting room.

We’re announcing the renewal of a three-year lease in the same space that begins June 2014. Just outside our building, I hear the shout of a homeless man on the corner. He is there almost every day.  On the other corner waits ten or more others, taking shelter under the trees of Occidental Square, resting on the brick.  Someone once asked me, “Why do you want to stay? Couldn’t you find a more attractive neighborhood to put your office?” He made a reference to the homeless people lingering outside. I couldn’t disagree more. This is the perfect place for our office.

I’ve thought long and hard about why Seattle Direct Counseling should stay in Pioneer Square. Here are a few of my reasons:

1. Our location keeps us in touch with people. Pioneer Square’s diversity helps keep it real. Where else do you see all walks of life, ethnicity, socio-economic diversity, social services, and corporate lifestyle, all in the same blocks?

2. Fun and Fitness — it is possible to run and bicycle in the area around the building, which supports our total wellness agenda. I just took a short run along Alaskan Way and the waterfront. Perfect!

3. Affordable rent – rents are increasing in the area. Grand Central Building has offered us a reasonable lease.

4. Our current clientele — our clients tell us over and over how much they love our office! The view is nice, the location is close to the bus lines, and parking is reasonable. The office itself is one of the most spacious and aesthetically comfortable spaces I have ever worked in, and every time I see it, I am so proud to say this is the home of the meaningful work that I do with each and every client.

The space allows us to maximize our strengths in movement therapy, in yoga and meditation, and in other adjunctive therapies that require more space than your standard psychotherapy session, and gives us the ability to host related groups and small workshops without renting additional space.

5. Occidental Square is a city park — during the summer, there is the First Thursday artwalk; Pike Place Express market trialed a smaller version of the fresh market last year and intends to return; the space is a known gathering place for families, for artists, and for workers enjoying the sunshine. It’s a “happening” place.

6. My colleague, Atta Dawahare of Union Therapy, is next door. Over the years, we have referred clients to each other, covered each other’s vacation schedules, even caught each other’s deliveries when away from the office. No solo therapist can see every type of client, and while we overlap some of the scope of practice, we both have unique assets that help specific clients. [Edit: I failed to add this point in the original post in my haste to share the good news of our renewed lease. In fact, this point is second in importance only to location].

Our current space allows us to maximize our strengths in movement therapy, in yoga and meditation, and in other adjunctive therapies that require more space than your standard psychotherapy session, and gives us the ability to host related groups and small workshops without renting additional space. For example, I have hosted sessions that involve walking outside and learning to identify healthy foods and eating environments.

For those of you who are new to Seattle Direct Counseling, we hope you will love this office space as much as we do.  For our returning clients, welcome home.

 

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ACA Counseling Health care Obamacare Therapy Washington

Obamacare and You

Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Healthcare Costs

How will the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, affect you?
How will the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, affect you?

Just a few days before the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare” is to be implemented in the quarter before the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline, the news hits us: the budget to fund Obamacare is threatened. Without funding, Americans may not be able to comply with the mandate to have health insurance by the first day of 2014 or risk a tax penalty.

Knowing whether or not Obamacare, mandated in 2010 by President Obama, will be funded only scratches the surface of questions regarding how the new healthcare mandate affects you. Whether you work for a corporation that already supplies a health insurance program or you are a self-employed or contracted employee in need of obtaining health insurance to avoid the tax penalty, it’s time to sort out your options and understand why in many cases you may be paying more for your insurance premiums than ever before.

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Change Client-centered Therapy Counseling eTherapy Health care Psychology Relationships Seattle Therapy Washington

Twelve Heys of Christmas

Twelve “Hey!”s of Christmas by B. Imei Hsu, BSN-RN, MAC-LMHC, Artist

I just finished a “fun run” race in the Seattle area called The 12k’s of Christmas. People jogged, walked, sprinted, and ran either the 5K or 12K distances, replete with many zany holiday costumes, dogs, and children in strollers. With such a clever name, I got to thinking what I might like to share with my readers and our community: Imei’s Twelve Heys of Christmas. So… what’s Twelve Heys?

What’s  a “Hey!”?

photo placeholder. Original ink drawing by Imei Hsu.
photo placeholder. Original ink drawing by Imei Hsu.

When I was a kid, I loved watching cartoons and “School House Rock”. These short, entertaining commercials did not sell cereals for kids or toys, but highlighted an important aspect of English grammar, American history, or mathematics. This was critical for me, because my parents were not native speakers of English. While highly educated, their English grammar was peppered with common mistakes Chinese immigrants make, their knowledge of American history contained gaps, and their expectations on my math skills exceeded my ability to execute math equations quickly without using pencil and paper. Of all the School House Rock videos, I adored, “Interjections”, and because of that video, I became acquainted with the interjection, “Hey!”