Couple or Marriage Therapy
Grief & Loss
Shame & Self-Esteem
Trauma & PTSD
Ethnic or Racial Minority
Kink or BDSM
MA, LMFT, CST
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 with additional training in sex therapy, I work with adult individuals, couples, and romantic partnerships who are experiencing relationship difficulties, sexual difficulties, or general mental health concerns (depression, anxiety, trauma, loss).
Healthy relationships provide a nourishing, supportive connection that allows the safety and freedom to love yourself and others well, and it can feel lonely, confusing, and heartbreaking when your relationships feel otherwise. Relationship difficulties often include poor communication, ongoing conflict, distance, wanting different things, or working through a breach of trust, such as infidelity. In therapy, I support you in deepening connection to yourself and others and integrating sexual health into the whole of your life and relationships. I particularly enjoy working with couples and individuals around issues of sexuality. These issues may include impacts of trauma, loss, and stress; desire differences; erotic conflict (feeling conflicted within yourself or in your relationship about what turns you on); desire/arousal difficulties; sexual shame; and compulsive or impulsive sexual behavior. I treat sexuality and relationships from a sexual health perspective and view consensual sexuality to be an essential, life-giving, and sacred aspect of our humanity.
Infidelity is an often devastating relational trauma that brings with it many painful and conflicting feelings for all involved. In couples therapy for infidelity, space is created where each of you can begin your own healing journey and can together explore the meaning of the infidelity and co-create a relationship built on a 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 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.
I endeavor to live daily from the values I cherish: belonging, autonomy, compassion, integrity, 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. 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. I am trained in several evidence-based therapy models, including the Gottman method, emotionally focused therapy, sex therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and interpersonal neurobiology, and I draw from these models to create an individualized therapy approach that is uniquely tailored to fit your needs and goals.
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 where joy awaits. 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.
Education & Credentials
Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy (MA)
Washington State Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST)
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.
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy | Professional Member
Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy | Professional Member | Board Member At-Large (2020-present)
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!