Do you take insurance?
Yes! I am paneled with Premera/Lifewise and First Choice Health Network.
If you would like to see me as an Out-of-Network (OON) provider, I can provide you with a superbill which you would submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. I would recommend checking with your insurance provider about OON outpatient mental/behavioral health coverage before we begin our therapeutic relationship.
What is your cancellation policy?
Because I hold your session time in my calendar exclusively for you, I need at least 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment without a fee.
If you need to cancel an appointment within 24 hours of the appointment time and cannot reschedule in the same calendar week, you will be charged the full session rate.
In cases of illness or unexpected emergency situations, this policy can be negotiated.
What is therapy with you like?
Therapy can be a unique experience for each person, especially since I customize my work to each client. When I meet with you, I will hold space for you with empathy and acceptance. I have a warm, compassionate, informal, and authentic presence.
I use a mix of talk therapy and more experiential therapy in sessions. (I talk more about my therapeutic approach on my About page.) When we are using talk therapy, you can expect to discuss current events in your life, explore your past and the patterns created there that carry into your present, and check in around progress made towards your therapeutic goals. In addition to talk therapy, I may also use movement, mindfulness, art, music, dreams, and drama/embodiment as interventions.
How can therapy help me?
Therapy is different for everyone, but here are some examples of ways that therapy could help you:
Improve your self-understanding, including of your values, patterns, and needs.
Develop communication and listening skills that can enhance your relationships
Learn new coping skills
Regulate when you experience overwhelming emotions
Recognize and change old patterns of behavior that no longer serve you well
Process and heal from painful memories and traumas
Increase your sense of self-worth and confidence
Keep in mind that therapy is a journey that progresses more quickly when you are an active participant in the process. I do not work harder than my clients, but I love working hard with my clients.
How often should I see you?
Especially in the early stages of our relationship, I recommend that my clients attend weekly sessions. Bi-weekly sessions are available as well.
How long does therapy last?
Each therapy session is scheduled for 50-80 minutes.
As far as the length of our overall therapeutic journey together goes, depending on what is going on with you and your level of needed support, therapy can be a short-term (weeks/months) or long-term (years) process.
What is Blue Rose Therapy and what is the significance of the blue rose?
Blue Rose Therapy PLLC is the private psychotherapy practice of Breanna Swanson, MA, LMHC.
As a child, I was always fascinated by the blue rose, because I felt that it symbolized the joining of fact and fiction, real and surreal, practical and fantastical, all existing at the same time. In my mind, the blue rose feels very much like Salvador Dalí’s painting Meditative Rose (pictured below). To me, it was a colorful symbol of the “grey area” that everyone liked to talk about and I often found myself gravitating to (a useful place for a future therapist).
When I was 19, I decided that my first tattoo was going to be the blue rose and it has continued to be a powerful symbol in my life ever since.
I chose the blue rose to represent my therapeutic practice because I believe that the contradictory, yet harmonious nature of the blue rose perfectly showcases humanity, my transpersonal theoretical orientation, and my own personal journey.
Can I swear/curse in front of you in session?
Hell yeah! You are welcome as you are.
What is mindfulness?
My favorite definition of mindfulness comes from founder of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness researcher, Jon Kabat-Zinn:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
In therapy, we might use mindfulness exercises like guided imagery, body scans, progressive muscle relaxation, or short meditations to help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions.
What does "transpersonal" mean and how does it apply to therapy?
To put it simply, transpersonal translates to “beyond the self.” Transpersonal psychology marries humanistic psychology (humans have inherent value and unique agency) with spiritual, transcendant, or unseen aspects of the human experience. Anything that expands your awareness of life, the human psyche, or even the universe.
In therapy with me, this orientation means that I will honor and accept all of your lived experience, as well as incorporate it into your healing. Want to use tarot cards to help conceptualize yourself? Sure! Have intuitive gifts that you don’t want to feel judged for? Count me in! Don’t care about anything like that? That’s welcome too!
What does somatic mean?
Simply put: “of the body.”
In therapy, this means that we will use the body as a way to experience and process through emotion, either through observation of physical sensations or through movement.
What is the inner child? What is inner child work?
When I refer to your inner child, I am referring to the part of you that represents your childhood self and all of the coping skills you developed to survive through the discomforts, wounds, and/or trauma of growing up. Your inner child is the part of yourself that comes to the surface when something in your daily life triggers a wound from childhood. Sometimes we even respond to that trigger the same way that we did as a child.
Inner child work is the process of noticing those childhood hurts when they pop up in your current life, accepting your inner child for their wonderful, resourceful nature, and healing any attachment wounds.
I like to remind my clients that while a good bit of therapy can include undoing the responses we learned as children, we can also stop to appreciate how useful and incredible that adaptation is in helping us to survive childhood.
What is Gestalt therapy?
Gestalt therapy is a form of therapy that goes along very well with mindfulness and transpersonal psychology, because it focuses on present moment awareness, a person’s previously-developed coping skills, the full context of the person’s life, emphasizing personal responsibility for language and emotions, and the importance of the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client (often referred to as the “I-Thou” relationship, which means that the therapist and client meet authentically as equals, not as expert and non-expert).
What is empty chair work?
Empty chair work (or Empty Chair Technique) is an approach used in Gestalt therapy that is used to create dialogue around someone’s internal or interpersonal conflict.
When doing empty chair work, you would sit facing an empty chair, then you would imagine a person or a part of yourself that you have conflict with. You speak to this imagined person or part and express your feelings and thoughts to them. Then, with the therapist as a director of sorts, you move to the opposite chair, take on the role of the person or part you were just speaking as, and respond as that person or part. Moving back and forth between chairs to continue the dialogue is an important part of this technique.
This technique works very well with mindfulness and transpersonal practices because it helps bring the conflict into the present moment, as well as helps solidify abstract concepts or thoughts. I would even say that this is altered states work, because I’ve found that when we are embodying another person or part of ourselves, sometimes we catch words coming out of our mouth that make us stop and go, “Ohhhhh, that’s where that comes from.”
What are parts of self? What is parts work?
To understand parts work, first we need to understand what we mean when we refer to parts: Parts are the many different facets of people and their minds. They are characteristics or feelings or thoughts or behaviors or experiences that add up to a whole Self. Parts work acknowledges that sometimes those parts are in conflict and require some attention to resolve.
For example, after dinner, there is a part of me that wants to eat dessert and a part of me that doesn’t. Both parts are valid and neither part is the entirety of my identity. I might not be able to move forward in a dessert decision until I understand why each part feels the way it does, which is part of parts work.
Gestalt therapy uses parts work (empty chair technique), as well as Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Ego State Therapy.
I am specifically focused on serving Seattle and King County (including Burien, Tukwila, Seatac, Kent, Renton, Des Moines, Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Auburn, Tacoma, Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island, Maple Valley, Covington, and Black Diamond), but I also serve all of Washington state (Olympia, Spokane, Bellingham, Vancouver) via telehealth.