Bob Matthews, MA, LMFT
I was born and raised in the Seattle area, and received my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington. I spent over 20 years working in software design and development as an individual contributor and as a manager for companies large and small. I worked at Microsoft during their explosive growth between 1981 and 1994, and I experienced first-hand the pressures and opportunities that come with work in such a competitive industry.
While I enjoyed my work in technology, I also knew that I eventually wanted to explore my interest in counseling as a second career. I began that exploration by studying counseling and group facilitation at The Haven Institute in British Columbia, and I completed their rigorous Diploma in Counseling training program in 2007. More recently, I earned a master’s degree in psychology through the LIOS program of Saybrook University.
My Therapeutic Approach
People who are considering therapy are usually seeking some kind of change in how they are experiencing their life, even if they may not be able to clearly describe it yet. This might be prompted by a recent transition or major life milestone such as a career turning point, a change or major difficulty in a relationship, or the loss of a loved one. At such times, old activities, habits and beliefs may not seem to fit anymore. Clients often report having a strong sense of stuckness, of something missing. They can also be agonizingly self-critical.
I see the therapeutic process of healing and growth as a collaborative exploration – a quest for gaining a deeper understanding of your life experiences (present, sometimes past), and greater clarity about your desired future. It’s a journey that, while sometimes indirect, is intended to help you find your way back home to a deeper, more accepting relationship with yourself.
My role as therapist is to accompany clients in this exploration. By providing a safe-enough place for you to delve beneath the surface of your past and present experiences, I help you go deeper and farther than you would likely go on your own. Where I think it's useful, I offer my perspective on your story, which can help you view your situation with more clarity and self-compassion. Together, we gradually make felt-sense of your past and present experiences, and come to see yourself with a fuller, deeper appreciation of your humanity.
This exploration may include exploring beliefs and assumptions that are impacting your current experience and contributing to your sense of stuckness. Often these beliefs and assumptions have been formed earlier in life, when they were important for staying safe. By looking at such beliefs and assumptions through adult eyes, it is often possible to expand on them in ways that allow for more options, greater freedom, and less stuckness. This type of exploration of beliefs and assumptions is sometimes referred to as cognitive-behavioral therapy.