About Me

Welcome to Better Help!

I am looking forward to knowing you and giving you a chance to know me as well. My broad clinical experience spans over twenty years as a seasoned eclectic, although primarily psycho-dynamic psychotherapist. Over the years, I have addressed and treated clients with a full spectrum of issues, used a number of modalities, and with various diverse client populations. My expertise is in Trauma, Complex PTSD, High Functioning Adult Asperger's, Recovery from Narcissistic relationship when you have been discarded/devalued, ADD/ADHD-neuro-diversity (dyslexia-internalized oppression) and Borderline Personality Disorder. I have extensive experience teaching DBT both to individuals and groups. Many of my clients on this site, participate in DBT skill training for depression/anxiety since DBT is NO longer just for BPD.

My tendency is to tailor therapy to your individual needs and pace the process, so it doesn't become overwhelming for you. With an emphasis on the therapeutic relationship as the building block of the therapy process it insures there is no shaming or blaming. Instead it's about a non-judgmental approach that tells you a number of things; that you are believed, taken seriously, and that therapy can offer you insight, education, feedback, support and coping skills. There is no one-size-fits-all approach nor cookie cutter answers. It's about recognizing that emotional anguish and a life in turmoil benefits from empathy, understanding, compassion and validation. It's amazing when you realize it's possible to empower yourself and regain a sense of personal safety, security and stability.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING
MA in Social / Clinical Psychology
Licensed Marriage & Family Trauma informed Therapist
Trained in Film Theory and Improvisation
Trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level I
Trained and Nationally Certified expert in DBT - Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Trained in Co-Occurring Trauma / Mental Health / Addictions / Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation

Adhering to confidentiality, ethical and legal standards, the individualized treatment approach I take draws from the latest evidence-based practices emphasizing an insight-oriented, practical and common sense, straightforward style. I am committed to building a collaborative alliance with you, in order to foster a sustainable capacity for connection, respect and trust. Over these past 20 years of trauma-informed extensive clinical experience, I have worked with adults, couples/partners and families. Both Caucasian, African American, Latino/Latina, Asian, LGBTQ and Native American / Native Alaskan populations. My diverse experience includes working in private practice, outpatient clinics, behavioral health settings, homeless shelters, HIV+/AIDS mental health programs, substance abuse residential programs, Yupik villages in Alaska and with ex-offenders from San Quentin, Folsom and VSP/CCWF Chowchilla prisons. In addition, I have provided both group therapy, film therapy, staff training and clinical supervision to graduate students and MFT interns.

In the 1970's before I became a therapist, I worked as a bereavement counselor specializing in death/dying, in the 1st hospice pilot program in the United States with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Talk about meeting interesting clients, having many teachable experiences/lessons, valuable training and fulfilling my desire to pay it forward. What does this all mean for you? I would like to think, it demonstrates my competency, compassion, and gives you some degree of confidence in my ability to help you to achieve greater resiliency, authenticity and personal fulfillment.

Clients describe their reasons for wanting therapy as an opportunity to talk about everyday problems, difficult life circumstances, grief and loss, stressful situations, lifestyle concerns, hardships, challenges, social injustice, addiction concerns, special needs/disabilities, family, parenting, relationship conflict and devastating emotional pain, emptiness and suffering in quiet desperation. Perhaps you can relate and have similar problems. Here's your chance to learn how to manage your emotions, turn off the constant thinking, stop taking things personal, close the chapter on the past, address current family and relationship issues, and deal with the addictive behaviors so you can genuinely improve your relationship with self and others, and in some cases, detach and let go.

Chances are you are doing the best you can and you can do better. That's where your ingenuity, commitment and motivation comes into play. There are lots of reasons for you to consider entertaining the thought of on-line therapy. It is an effective way to navigate through your problems on your timetable, and support really makes a difference. It gives you the opportunity to start an action plan, get the help you need to stay on track, follow through and meet your goals consistently. It's also an emotional tune-up, putting energy and enthusiasm back into your life, so you are empowered to face reality, generate options, problem-solve and take the risks necessary to move forward. Putting the brakes on wishing things were different, you can break through your fears, self-sabotage, addictions, anger issues and codependency in order to set healthy boundaries and discover what it takes to stand up for yourself, say no, protect your own self interest and become mindful.

Expand your capacity for recognizing the importance of TFK - thinking, feelings, and knowing, the pillars of EI, emotional intelligence. By increasing self-regulation, interrupting escalating patterns of RUI, reactivity, urgency and intensity, while establishing secure, trusted attachments to others, you can gain relief from mental health symptoms, and learning effective skills, so you can cope and manage 24/7. Just think of that, being grounded, on solid footing and thriving instead of simply surviving. Life takes on a whole new meaning. Sounds simple, it's not nor do I pretend it is. Like you, I have my flaws and have done my own therapy work. So when I say I get it, I really do!

Practice makes progress, there is no perfection. Success and setbacks are inevitable, so it's one step at a time, call it a more manageable approach to deal with getting impatient, bored, or overwhelmed. It is not unusual for clients, maybe you included to feel emotionally vulnerable, fragile, stuck, discouraged, helpless, hopeless and struggle with life defeating behaviors or suicidal ideation. Instead of an emphasis on simply change, my approach which is innovative, protects you against an invalidating therapy experience. Everything is connected and your identity is formed by narratives both internal and external. Perhaps it's time you learn to see yourself through kinder eyes, look at the world from a more neutral stance, recognize co-perspectives exist, repair vs. re-enacting, and repeating, that way, you can accept the consequences gracefully, cultivate a willingness to wait, tread softly, play by the rules, make lemonade from lemons, advocate for living and recognize there is no point going to an empty well and expecting water.

Having personal access to therapy through Better Help is safe, secure, convenient, confidential and cost effective. Keep in mind, you can work on understanding your core underlying issues, the impact of trauma, connect the historical dots, manage mental health issues, develop a recovery plan, increase focus, concentration, motivation, and simply live without the drama and recurring crisis like living in a Groundhog day movie. Dramatically improve your ability to think and feel more positive and hopeful. It's like a breath of fresh air! Instead of being on automatic pilot, take ownership of your choices, by being accountable and responsible, living mindfully, both deliberate and intentional. Benefit from a trusting relationship with me, built on a foundation of mutual respect that gives you the best chance at personal growth and enhancing your own functioning. Improve your physical, mental, psychological and emotional well-being by being willing to step outside your comfort zone.

It's about living with hope, having both meaning and purpose, identifying and acknowledging your own values. Instead of suffering in silence, please reach out to me. Live, laugh, learn, lead, love and leave a legacy. It's YOUR time to create and build a life worth living.


Specialties

  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Relationship
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Depression

I also have experience in Addictions, LGBT, Family, Grief, Intimacy-related, Eating, Sleeping, Parenting, Anger, Self esteem, Career, Bipolar

Years of Experience: 20

Licensing

LMFT #MFC44844 (Expires: 2018-10-31)

LMFT #LF60059026 (Expires: 2017-10-31)


Reviews

Written by D.A. on Aug 10, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 3 months depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, family, and self esteem

Pat Sumlin is the best mental health professional I have ever worked with and I would like her to be a part of my life forever. She is very straight forward, honest, caring, insightful, giving, warm, knowledgeable, and helpful. She has given me more tools in a few months than my last in-person therapist did in years. Even if she didn't give tools I would be with her because I love to converse with her - she is very comforting. I am grateful I have someone like her to bounce my life off of and see things from her healthy perspective. I aspire to be more like Pat. Thank you thank you thank you Pat, words don't do justice what you mean to me. You are the best!

Written by N.A. on Jul 31, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, trauma and abuse, self esteem, anger, career, and bipolar

Pat is absolutely amazing! I have tried a lot of different counseling and talking and working through things with Pat, by far, has been most successful for me. I feel as though she definitely cares about me and my mental health struggles and that is exactly what I need right now. I cannot recommend her enough! Thank you for everything, Pat.

Written by G.A. on Jun 29, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 5 days relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, and anger

Pat gets me, she isn't pushy, but makes me think and learn about myself. Can't imagine anyone better to help me be the person I am supposed to be.

Written by M.O. on Jun 22, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 3 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, and depression

Pat has helped me over an emotional hurdle that I never thought I could conquer. She listens to me, and she understands what works for me and what doesn't, and she respects that. I feel validated, and respected for the first time in pretty much a lifetime, and it is an incredible feeling. I would wholeheartedly recommend Pat to ANYONE who is struggling as her empathy and sympathy seems to know no bounds.

Written by M.A. on May 04, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks

Pat gives me what I need to understand myself and what is going on with me and a lot more. Healing started when I felt deeply touched by her care and understanding. Thank you, Pat!

Written by J.A on Apr 12, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 10 months stress, anxiety, addictions, grief, intimacy-related, sleeping, self esteem, career, bipolar, and depression

Pat has been wonderful!! She responds very quickly usually, and her insight has been priceless.

Written by E.R on Mar 25, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 6 months relationship, family, intimacy-related, and parenting

Pat is always there for me, full of support and kind, encouraging words. I have learned so much about myself, my marriage and my relationships with others. This site and Pat have been a huge positive addition to my life!

Written by C.H on Mar 03, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, self esteem, anger, bipolar, and depression

I like Pat alot. She is direct and to the point yet compassionate and caring at the same time. I like her approach and how responsive she is to my concerns and needs.I appreciate the time she dedicates to my mental health and well being. I look forward to continuing therapy with her.

Written by M.O on Feb 14, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 11 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, and depression

Pat was WONDERFUL when I needed help a couple of years ago. She helped me deal with emotional abuse and find ways to protect myself and move on with my life. I am so happy to be back in touch with her now that I need help again.

Written by M.O on Jan 31, 2017 after counseling with Pat for 5 months depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, and self esteem

Pat is truly amazing. Her straightforward approach has really helped break down the complex things that I feel and issues that I have. She puts things in terms I can understand and research to gain a better understanding of the what and why I am thinking and feeling certain things. Thank you Pat!

Written by S.T on Sep 03, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 10 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, parenting, self esteem, and depression

Wonderful counselor - - unique approach which helps you uncover the reasons that are holding you back and provides the tools needed to move forward in a positive direction.

Written by R.E on Jun 20, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 1 week stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related, sleeping, self esteem, and depression

I feel like Pat is really good fit for me personally. Her background is with a lot of the issues I struggle with, so I felt that someone really took time to match me with the right therapist.
I really feel heard, and her input has been very insightful and wise.
Although we are really just barely starting out, I feel as if her support is allowing me to understand myself a bit better. I'm very optimistic about this approach.

Written by J.E on Jun 12, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, anger, and depression

Pat has been very helpful and encouraging.

Written by M.A on Jun 09, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 6 months stress, anxiety, lgbt, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, parenting, self esteem, and depression

Pat has been an amazing support and wealth of knowledge. I look forward to continuing to work with her.

Written by E.L on Jun 03, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 4 months stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

Pat has been great! She's supportive but not pushy or impatient like some other office visits seem and has great resources to share and helped me dig deeper to see things even I hadn't noticed about myself.

Written by C. on Jun 01, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related, self esteem, bipolar, and depression

:)

Written by R.A on May 03, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks

Pat has lots of good resources and information. She's been a good resource in my opinion.

Written by S.O on Apr 03, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 1 month stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, family, self esteem, career, and depression

Pat is great. She is caring, concerned, helps you look at the situation objectively, and is a great listener.

Written by S.A on Feb 20, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 2 months relationship, family, grief, and parenting

Pat has a great way of drilling down to the issue at hand, which I very much appreciate.

Written by D.O on Feb 12, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 4 weeks stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, parenting, and depression

Easy to talk to. Great follow up questions. Clearly engaged with me and my issues.

Written by C.A on Feb 01, 2016 after counseling with Pat for 1 month

I was honestly scared of the thought of therapy. I just decided one day to take the leap and that is how I met Pat.
She listens, provides helpful feedback. She make me feel comfortable
She has made this a positive experience and I have not had a lot of them lately. She had made me glad I took this leap.
Thank you.

Written by R.E on Dec 02, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 7 months depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, trauma and abuse, and self esteem

Very interactive, which I need. I need my questions answered, not pandered to, and she does that. I get proactive coping tips from her, and genuine concern. Also great if you have a family history of hoarding and/or abuse, or if you are dealing with being a caregiver of someone with special needs, because she is knowledgeable about all of those topics.

Written by L.I on Oct 18, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 8 months

Pat does a great job reading between the lines to understanding my issues. She gives me good suggestions and honest feedback that is making it easier for me to deal with the issues I am facing. She is easy to write to and her responses are thoughtful, warm and caring.

Written by S.E on Oct 17, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks

Pat is a very kind, helpful individual with a lot of insight into what is going on in my life. Thanks Pat.

Written by J.A on Sep 04, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 6 months relationship, trauma and abuse, sleeping, and anger

Pat is spot on. She knows EXACTLY what you mean, she can give definition to all of your "I don't understand at all" or "I don't understand WHY". There is apparently a reason and an explanation for everything! My life just makes so much more sense (I am liberated on many levels!) once she starts breaking down into my "issues". I learnt a great deal about myself, how my past affects me and my actions, behaviour, and how I can deal with myself in just few months. I will never quit talking to Pat.

Written by J.U on Aug 27, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 8 months stress, anxiety, relationship, self esteem, and depression

Pat Sumlin is a wonderful and knowledgeable counselor. I love her direct style of communication. I have learned a lot about myself in a short period of time.

Written by S.Y on Aug 21, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 2 months stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship, grief, and depression

I have only had a few sessions with Pat Sumlin and she has done more for me, in this short amount time, then any therapist has even done. Honestly, I think she is brilliant as a counselor.

Written by D.A on Aug 19, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 4 months

Amazing!!!!! Simple as that.

Written by T.A on Aug 05, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 4 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, eating, parenting, self esteem, bipolar, and depression

Pat Sumlin is insightful, perceptive, and direct. She has given me much to consider in a supportive and relatable context. I'm thankful to have been matched up with such a professional and experienced counselor.

Written by A.L on Jun 21, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 2 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, parenting, self esteem, anger, and depression

Pat has really been there for me when I am not sure how to process what I'm feeling.

Written by H.E on Jun 19, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 4 weeks

Pat has given me many ideas of why I'm in a difficult time of my life. I like her nonsense and straight to the point help.

Written by S.H on Jun 11, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 6 months relationship

This past 6 months Pat Sumlin has helped me get through some of the most difficult times in my life. I'm talking not only with a very professional therapist but a friend. It is very easy speaking with her and I anticipate her response. It is always helpful and soothing. She is the best.

Written by C.R on May 24, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 3 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, parenting, self esteem, and depression

Beautiful person, warm, insightful professional. She helped me get through a very difficult place, like an anchor to where I could function better and get back out there. I have a ways to go but its a good start. I like her approach and in many ways shes spot on and understanding, even with some of the deeper topics. I felt supported and validated. Sometimes like having things repeated back for reflection, snd proffessional advice..but also like that she will also open up with you. That sense of humanity is there, which is sometimes better than any advice and Im glad to have found a counselor like that. Love that its online. Highly recommended

Written by D.A on May 13, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks relationship, and family

Pat is awesome. She makes you feel comfortable to share with her. No pushy approach. Allows you to work through things at your pace with just enough words help. She does not allow you to be unkind to yourself and realize that you need to love yourself and be kind to yourself because you are worth it. I would highly recommend Pat 100%.

Written by C.O on May 07, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 2 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, self esteem, career, and depression

Pat is compassionate, kind, and incredibly honest. I appreciate her taking the time to help me. She is quick and thorough with her responses, and she has been a huge help to me.

Written by E.S on Apr 24, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks relationship, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, anger, and career

I have found refuge, consolation and a great level of inner peace ever since i began with betterhelp. I totally enjoyed the privacy and flexibility this online service offer. My counselor, Pat Sumlin, is well match with me. Her holistic, compassionate approach to therapy demystify the pathology and gives me a sense of ownership and empowerment. I am looking forward to continue to discover myself better and find the wisdom and power to create the life i want and deserve.

Written by M.A on Mar 18, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 5 months depression, stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, eating, sleeping, parenting, self esteem, and anger

Pat has only been working with me a short time, but is already starting to point out better coping methods. She has been brutally honest which is sometimes hard to hear but lots of hand-holding never helped me much.

Written by K.E on Mar 06, 2015 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks

Pat Sumlin and BetterHelp came into my life when I was at my lowest, at a time when I needed them most. At first I was skeptical, who wouldn't be? After the second session I felt as if my new counselor had known me for years. She made it so easy to talk to her and spill my heart out, never once did she make me feel like just another client. I continue to feel cared about, concerned for, and I know she looks out for what is best for me, but with honesty. Not only does she talk with me, but she has helped me over some rough bridges by recommending books, online articles and much more! Getting help through BetterHelp was the best choice I made for myself. BetterHelp choosing Pat Sumlin for me was a blessing.

Written by E.L on Dec 14, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 1 month relationship, stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

Very insightful, to the point counseling. In a very short amount of time so much progress was made, I was stunned. Absolutely love Pat and I would highly recommend her.

Written by L.A on Dec 10, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 1 month stress, anxiety, relationship, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related, sleeping, self esteem, and depression

Pat is a great therapist and has made an impact at a crucial time in my life. She's no nonsense, direct, very knowledgeable, understanding, and will lead you in the right direction.

Written by N.A on Nov 30, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 11 months stress, anxiety, relationship, family, and self esteem

I was connected with Pat within maybe 1 hour of signing on to BetterHelp. From the beginning she has been so responsive and insightful and to the point. I love that. This is my first time trying online therapy and so far I'm really enjoying it. I can write when something is on my mind and I don't have to hold on to it for a week. I love that Pat will get back to me every other day or so and sometimes she will get back to me a few times within the same day. She really takes the time to read through my lengthy emails and she addresses everything I say. Can't do that in face to face therapy! People just talk and major points are addresses but with Pat, she thoroughly addressees everything. I've never felt more challenged and motivated to work on myself - as painful as it can be at times.

Written by A.M on Nov 24, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, trauma and abuse, self esteem, anger, bipolar, and depression

I've got a long way to go in my recovery, but in just a few weeks I have more insight into my own mind than I've had in my entire life, despite being in and out of therapy since I was young. Not only is Pat knowledgable, encouraging, and easy to talk to, she has already given me many tools and terms to research and study so I can finally start to understand and manage effectively. I'm hopeful and optimistic that with her help I am on the right track.

Written by J.A on Nov 12, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 8 months stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

Pat is somehow always on the same level I am. She was able to make me feel assured in myself and how I feel. The information and support she has given me in our short time together has been priceless.

Written by L.O on Nov 12, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 2 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, career, bipolar, and depression

I absolutely love Pat Sumlin! She has helped me learn so much about myself. I was in a terrible place, and she has helped pull me out of the dark and back into the light. I will forever be grateful!

Written by C.H on Nov 02, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 4 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, intimacy-related, eating, self esteem, anger, and depression

Pat is a great counselor, she really helped point out the isssues I wanted to work on, and how to better manage my problems in a way that I understood and could easily apply without having to change who I am. She is patient, understanding, and open, making her very easy to talk to. She has a lot of very useful knowledge and tips for self awareness and improvement. I would highly recommend her.

Written by C.A on Oct 28, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 1 month stress, anxiety, self esteem, anger, career, and depression

Pat was a lifeline when I desperately needed one. She has guided me with sensitivity and wisdom, and helped me to learn things about myself, so that I can begin to heal and live positively again. I came to her with no hope and I am now certain that I can move forward into a happier and healthier life.

Written by G.A on Oct 21, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 8 months relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, and anger

Pat is extremely helpful, caring and insightful, yet she won't let you get away with things.
I am finding out things about myself that I need to know and how to fix them in a positive way, with excellent guidance. She recommends books and websites to assist you in your journey to happiness!

Written by F.R on Oct 20, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 2 months relationship, family, parenting, and self esteem

Pat Sumlin has been extremely helpful, and has provided me not only with tons of information that I can look into on my own time, but also unbiased wisdom. Her responses are quick and her advice is really good. I feel very comfortable telling her anything, and I always feel better after reading her responses. I am so glad that I signed up and was assigned such an amazing counselor. I am very pleased, and hope to continue working with her and bettering myself as a person.

Written by A.N on Oct 10, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

Pat Sumlin creates a very safe environment for me to express what I need to express so that she is better able to offer help or guidance. She seems to really be able to get to the core of what I need to focus on when I seem to go all over the place with my thoughts. I am so grateful for this online service as it fits perfectly with my active lifestyle and meets a need that I have had for quite some time now. I feel that Pat Sumlin is the perfect counselor for me and I look forward to continued progress towards my goals of personal growth and healing with her guidance!

Written by L.Y on Sep 23, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 2 weeks stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

Miss Sumlin is so helpful and willing to share her knowledge while letting you explore yourself at your own pace.

Written by B.E on Mar 21, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 1 month

Mrs. Pat is amazing. Her advice is spot on, and is very helpful. I always enjoy reading her messages, as she is easy to understand, and very knowledgeable.

Thank you!!!

Written by M.A on Feb 21, 2014 after counseling with Pat for 3 months

Pat Sumlin (LMFT) is honest, understanding, and always professional. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with her on varying issues. I would highly recommend her.

Written by R.E on Dec 15, 2013 after counseling with Pat for 1 month

Pat's calmness, warmth and humor are a tremendous help when problems seem about to overwhelm me. I think she would be a wonderful therapist for clients of any age, and for me a 52 year old trying online therapy for the first time, she was just the person I needed to talk to.