James Olsen, JD, PhD, LMHC, CST, DST
Founder & President
Dr. Olsen is an expert in sexual health and specializes in treating problematic and compulsive sexual behaviors. Over the years, he has helped countless individuals who were concerned they might be struggling with sexual addiction, or other sexual behavior struggles, to rebuild their lives and repair their relationships.
Dr. Olsen understands the complexities of sexual struggles and how they can consume your life. Because no two people are the same, he believes in thoroughly assessing for other co-occurring mental health difficulties that can fuel impulsive and compulsive sexual behaviors. Moreover, he works to understand the underlying nature of the behavior and its function in the person’s life. Each client has their own story and unique struggles, Dr. Olsen will tailor treatment to address your specific concerns.
Hiding a secret sexual life can feel shameful and empty. Over time, you lose pieces of yourself and your relationships are put at risk. Taking accountability for the hurt your behaviors have caused and developing empathy for your hurt partner is an important part of the healing process. Dr. Olsen will help you acknowledge the true nature of the problem, regain stability, and repair the damage to your life.
Dr. Olsen is active in the field of sexual health and previously served on the board of directors for Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH). He was one of the lead clinicians in charge of developing international training standards and credentialing for treating sexually compulsive behaviors. He is an accomplished researcher and continues to present nationally on the topic of sexual health.
Previously, Dr. Olsen served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Mental Health Law & Policy Journal, the first peer-reviewed law journal in the United States to focus exclusively on mental health law, policy, and ethics. In that capacity, he collaborated with leading mental health law scholars from across the nation.
Dr. Olsen facilitates individual, couples, and group therapy at Pacific Behavioral Healthcare. He draws from cognitive-behavioral and constructivist approaches to create a compassionate environment that enables individuals and relationships to experience growth. He has trained with internationally recognized experts in cognitive-behavioral therapy, complicated grief, and sexual compulsivity.
Dr. Olsen is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Education & Credentials
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
Juris Doctor (JD)
Washington State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
Washington State Sex Offender Treatment Provider (SOTP)
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST)
SASH Certified Problematic Sexual Behavior Therapist (CPSBT)
SASH Certified Sexual Wellness Therapist (CSWT)
SASH Certified Sex Offender Clinician (CSOC)
SASH Distinguished Sex Therapist (DST)
IITAP Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT)
Example Speaking Engagements & Trainings
Sex as a Vital Health Behavior: A Review of the Psychological, Relationship, and Physical Benefits of Sexual Behavior and Associated Risks of Prolonged Abstinence, Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health.
Preparing your Client for a Psychosexual Evaluation, Presentation for Sex Offense Defense Symposium, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
National Level Trainer For Advanced Training For Problematic Sexual Behavior (Level 1 & Level 2) Society For Advancement in Sexual Health (SASH)
Media Appearances and Blog Posts
The Wall Street Journal Think You're Addicted To Sex? Here Are Treatment Options
PBH Blog Post, Am I a Sex Addict?
Past Board of Directors Member - Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)
Past Board of Directors Member & Treasurer - Valley Cities Behavioral Health Services
Editor-in-Chief - Mental Health Law & Policy Journal
Sergeant - United States Marine Corps
Scientific Research and Publications
Olsen, J. P., Parra, G. R., Cohen, R., Schoffstall, C. L., & Egli, C. J. (2012). Beyond relationship reciprocity: A consideration of varied forms of children’s relationships. Personal Relationships, 19, 72-88.
Parra, G. R., Buckholdt, K. E., Olsen, J. P., Jobe-Shields, L., Davis, G. L., & Gamble, H. L. (2011). Targeting family risk factors in the context of treating youth depression. The Family Journal, 19, 381-388.
Parra, G. R., Jobe-Shields, L. E., Kitzmann, K., Luebbe, A. M., Olsen, J. P., & Davis, G. L. (2011). Investigation of change in adolescent perceptions of mothers' and fathers' contributions to interparental discord from grades 7 to 9. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 408-419.
Olsen, J. P., Baldwin, S., & Houts, A. C. (2011). Development, reliability and validity of an index specific to chemotherapy induced neutropenia. Oncology Nursing Forum, 38, 1-8.
Olsen, J. P., Parra, G. R., & Bennett, S. A. (2010). Predicting violence in romantic relationships during adolescence and emerging adulthood: A critical review of the mechanisms by which familial and peer influences operate. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 411-422.
Parra, G. R., Olsen, J. P., Buckholdt, K., Jobe-Shields, L. E., & Davis, G. L. (2010). A pilot study of the development, factor structure and initial validation of a measure assessing adolescent reactions to parental emotional responsiveness. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19, 596-606.
Houts, A. C., Lipinski, D., Olsen, J. P., Baldwin, S., & Hasan, M. (2010). Use of the patient care monitor to screen for depression in adult cancer patients interviewed with the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV. Psycho-Oncology, 19, 399-407.
If you would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Olsen please reach out today!