Driving down North Sequim Avenue across from the high school, you may have seen a business sign proclaiming “Lahren-gitis” — and no, it isn’t an ear, nose and throat specialist.
It’s psychotherapist Beth Lahren’s sense of whimsy in getting people to pronounce her name correctly. Lahren-gitis Psychotherapy is her counseling practice where she, in a friendly but firm way, helps patients, from children to adults, deal with anger management, depression, family conflicts, loss or grief, trauma and PTSD, anxiety, parenting issues, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain or illness and spirituality.
She also works with companies on sexual harassment and schools on bullying.
Lahren easily empathizes with her clients on many of these issues because she’s experienced some of them personally.
After 20 years as an accounting bookkeeper, in 2001 she was in a serious motor vehicle accident which left her with the inability to “do numbers anymore.” During her recuperation, Lahren realized she needed to find a new career and some introductory psychology classes not only helped her understand her own challenges, but led to a new passion. She earned a master’s degree in psychology from Argosy University, Seattle, in 2012 and opened Lahren-gitis Psychotherapy about one year ago.
“I see women, teens, children and couples and some families occasionally,” Lah-ren said. “I’ve just started a new group — I call it ‘Bob Newhart’ night — it’s for growth in interpersonal relationships. I see and treat everything, women especially, and teens with problems in school and I talk to their teachers on behalf of them.”
Her therapy with children often centers around step-family issues and women come with empty nest syndrome.
“The mom feels she has lost meaning in her life, so I ask what she wishes she had done in her life and tell her she still has time to do that now,” Lahren said. “I use positive psychology with people who say they’ve lived a life of hell and can’t get past it. I ask what good came out of it and show them how to use it to help them, for example sex abuse and survivors of domestic violence.
“My specialties are children and teens because I understand how it feels to be living in an abusive environment. Kids talk about incest or abuse and I understand exactly what they’re talking about.”
Her office is in a beautifully remodeled house built in 1900 and the environment is more comfy than clinical. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday by appointment but Lahren said she’s available on weekends if clients need her, also by appointment.
Sessions generally are one hour but Lahren isn’t a clock watcher.
When Lahren speaks of her patients in general, it’s easy to see her commitment to them and belief, that in working together, they can have a more fulfilling life.
The rewards, she said without hesitation, are in “self-satisfaction in helping others, changing lives, showing people how to cope with difficult situations and moving past unforgettable trauma.”
Her motto is: “Lahren-gitis — when no one else can hear you, call me.”
For more information or an appointment, call 461-1907.