I provide mental health counseling for adult individuals and I love my work. People come to feel more present, spontaneous and alive in their lives, increasing emotional intelligence and relationship satisfaction. In addition, I counsel and provide consultation about recovery from experiences of undue influence, coercion and exploitation, such as those common with con-artists and groups with cult-like features.
I have a masters degree in psychology from the Counseling Specialization program at Saybrook University. I also graduated from The Evergreen State College, where I studied psychology, social psychology, alternative democratic education, systems thinking, gender studies, and intersectional social and racial justice work.
I began working in a private practice setting during my master's level clinical internship at the Rainbow Health Center in Olympia, WA, under the supervision of Dr. Matt Goldenberg. Before that, I worked in community mental health and provided in-school counseling for public schools in Lakewood, Washington. I hold a current associate license to practice mental health counseling in Washington State.
Since 2009, I have trained in Dr. Leticia Nieto’s Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment developmental liberation model. In 2018 and again in 2019 I attended the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)'s international conferences and participated in the special tracks for mental health counselors. In 2007-2008, I worked on six multi-day interventions as a thought-reform consultant under the mentorship of Steven Hassan; in these interventions, we worked to share information about undue influence with people who had been recruited into destructive groups and relationships so that they could make a more informed choice about whether or not they wanted to be involved. In 2009, I completed Safeplace Olympia’s 40-hour Volunteer training.
My mission is to provide a safe environment in which you can grow, come to know yourself more deeply, and find ways to move closer to your goals. Theoretical orientations and bodies of study that influence me include solution focused, depth, family systems, attachment, social justice/anti-oppression/liberation health, client-centered, interpersonal neurobiological, cognitive behavioral, Internal Family Systems, existential, and more. My aim is to employ interventions that work best for individual clients.
Psychotherapy works best when the goals are determined jointly by therapist and client. These goals can involve behavior, emotions, and self-awareness. Examples of possible goals include: improving relationships, reducing stress or overwhelming feelings, increasing presence, improving life satisfaction, etc. We will continually evaluate and revise your goals as needed. We may be an especially good fit to work together if you are motivated to create change in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and you see therapy as an active, collaborative process of mutual learning and new possibility.
As a therapist my intention is to always keep the cultural context of a situation or relationship present in my mind to the best of my ability. My theoretical framework for counseling is multicultural and relational because I believe that who we are, and how we have been socialized is a critical factor to how we experience our current cultural context and our mental health. I realize that my clients will understand their identities more intimately than I do and I welcome feedback about these pieces of my clients’ experiences in life and in the counseling relationship.
I am on an in-progress, life-long journey to understand the importance of culture, privilege, racism, ableism, heterosexism, gender oppression, classism, ageism. etc. I believe these social and contextual elements play an important role in our lives and impact our mental health, opportunities and liabilities, and relationships.
I offer a free initial 15 to 20-minute consultation to prospective clients in person, by telephone or by video conference. In this consultation, you will have a chance to ask any questions you may have and I will also ask you about what you hope to gain through counseling. The aim is for us both to gather an initial sense about whether or not we are a good fit to work together. To schedule your free initial consultation or to ask a question, you may text or call 360-207-1809 or email me using the form below. Please include your weekday day time availability.
My standard fee range is $85 to $125 per 50-minute session. I also provide a limited number of reduced fee spots and I welcome you to ask me more about this option. I do not accept insurance. Cash, check, credit, debit and HSA cards are accepted at the time of session. Please contact me for more information and to schedule a free 15-20 minute consultation.
Secure Message: https://spruce.care/BenLucal
Address: 222 Kenyon St NW Suite #6, Olympia, WA 98502
To set up a free consultation, contact me through one of the methods listed above.
I will do my best to reply to you within two business days.
Current Clients: in addition to the methods above you may also contact me through the secure client portal.
Note: During the state of emergency related to Covid 19, I will be offering secure video sessions rather than in person sessions. Contact me for more information.
My office is located in the Westside Wellness Center at 222 Kenyon St NW Olympia WA 98502. There are three doors facing the parking lot, please use the third door furthest from the street to let yourself in to the waiting room where you will find tea, water, and a restroom.