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Charity Laughlin

Therapeutic Specialties


Betrayal Trauma


Couple or Marriage Therapy


Sex Therapy


Individual Therapy

ADHD/ADD

Anxiety

Depression

Grief & Loss

Shame & Self-Esteem

Trauma & PTSD


Populations

Adults

Consensual Non-Monogamy

Ethnic or Racial Minority

Faith Oriented

Kink or BDSM

LGBTQIA+

Multicultural Relationships


Charity Laughlin

MA, LMFT, CST

Director of

Couples and Relational Therapy

Seeking support in the face of life’s challenges is an act of great courage and I am glad you have found your way here. As a couples & family therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, I work with adult individuals, couples, and intimate partnerships experiencing relationship difficulties, sexual difficulties, or general mental health concerns (depression, anxiety, trauma, loss).


We are neurobiologically wired to seek connection with others, and it is common to feel loneliness, confusion, and heartbreak when experiencing relationship difficulties (poor communication, wanting different things, ongoing conflict without repair, lack of intimacy, relational trauma, or working through a breach of trust, such as infidelity). These relationship difficulties, while painful, can also be an invitation to stretch and grow in order to hold the paradoxes that arise in living in community with others. In therapy, I support you in deepening connection to yourself and others by helping you identify and skillfully communicate what you think, feel, and prefer and to listen to your partner(s) or significant other(s) share what they think, feel, and prefer from a place of curiosity and compassion. I particularly enjoy working with couples and individuals around issues of sexuality. I treat sexuality and relationships from a sexual health perspective, view consensual sexuality to be an essential, life-giving, and sacred aspect of our humanity, and support you in in integrating sexual health into the whole of your life and relationships.


Betrayals and breaches of trust, such as infidelity, are often experienced as relational traumas that bring with them painful and conflicting feelings. Betrayed partners often experience PTSD symptoms due to a particularly painful kind of trauma called betrayal trauma, and participating partners may experience the heavy shame of moral injury trauma. In couples therapy for betrayal, space is created where each of you can undertake your own healing journey and can together explore the meaning of what happened and choose whether to co-create together a new relationship built on deeper, more authentic connection.


I welcome diversity in my therapy practice and am committed to providing a supportive, affirming therapeutic environment for the multiple aspects of yourself you bring to therapy, including those identities in which you may have felt shamed, oppressed, or invisible. I have specific training and experience serving the LGBTQIA++ community and affirm all sexual orientations, gender identities, (consensual) relationship configurations, cultures, and faith traditions.


My Approach and Influences

My therapeutic approach is strengths-based, trauma-informed, and rooted in systems theory, which means that I look at your story within the context of other stories that are happening around you. In couples therapy, I help each partner identify “what belongs to me and what belongs to you” in the relationship challenges being faced and to focus on what is in each partner’s locus of control—themselves. It’s not usually conflict that is the bad guy in a relationship so much as an inability to repair and reconnect when ruptures occur, and thus I support relationships in building a “trust floor”—an assurance that the relationship has the resilience to support partners working through misattunements, differences, and conflict together and coming out stronger on the other side.


I am trained in several evidence-based therapy models, including the Gottman method, emotionally focused therapy, and sex therapy. My work is influenced by the foundational experiential family therapists Virginia Satir and Carl Whitaker, the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, attachment theory, differentiation theory, Internal Family Systems (parts work), and interpersonal neurobiology, and I follow today’s thought leaders on relationship health and research, including Esther Perel, Dr. Alexandra Solomon, and Terry Real. I draw from these models, theories, and research to create an integrated therapy approach that is uniquely tailored to fit your needs and goals.


About Me

I endeavor to live daily from values I cherish, which include belonging, compassion, wholeness, authenticity, resilience, and freedom. I believe there is sacred power in the breath, in the pause between stimulus and response, and in our connections to ourselves and others. I view human beings as naturally moving toward wholeness and integration.


I think of life as not so much a problem to solve but a dialectic to balance, and relationships bring to the fore many of these dialectics. I am here to support you as you make sense of the challenges you are facing and connect with the courage and resilience that will carry you through this time to a place of greater peace and congruence with yourself. Please reach out if you would like to explore working with me for your therapeutic needs. If you wish, I offer a complimentary initial phone consultation to determine good fit.


“The process of learning how to love and how to become part of a we without destroying yourself is a long-term project. It begins with learning how to love yourself and then learning how to love someone like you, and moves on to the courage to love someone different from you, to learning how to tolerate the vulnerability and struggle over the problem of how to be all you are, which must include a significant other.” - Carl Whitaker


Education & Credentials

  • Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy (MA)

  • Washington State Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

  • AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) ​

  • The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, Level 1

  • Washington State Supervisor | AAMFT Approved Supervisor


Presentations and Publications

Francis Laughlin, C., & Rusca, K. A. (2019). Strengthening Vicarious Resilience in Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Narrative Approach to Couples Therapy. The Family Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480719894938  


Laughlin, C., Rusca, K., & Cobb, R. A. (2019). Vicarious resilience in narrative couples therapy with childhood sexual abuse survivors. [Breakout Session.] Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: Seattle, WA.  


Laughlin, C., Tay, G., & Schwab, E. (2019). Post-Discernment counseling: Redefining status quo through the lens of ambiguous loss. [Poster]. Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: Seattle, WA.  


Laughlin, C., Tay, G., & Schwab, E. (2018). I love you, but I’m not attracted to you. [Breakout Session]. Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: Seattle, WA.  


Laughlin, C. (2017). Common ground within difference in couples’ therapy: Differentiation, attachment, or both? [Poster]. Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: Seattle, WA. ​


Professional Memberships

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Fellow

  • AAMFT Approved Supervisor

  • Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy | Professional Member | Board Member At-Large (2020-2022) | Legislative Chair (2021-2022)

  • American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists | Professional Member | Certified Sex Therapist



If you would like to set up an appointment with Charity please reach out today! 

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