Therapist Pat (Patricia) Sumlin Photo

Pat (Patricia) Sumlin, LMFT

Stress, Anxiety Addictions Relationship issues Trauma and abuse Depression
Phone Messaging

About me

Hi there,
It takes grit and fortitude to do what you’re doing. Searching for a therapist is a big decision and maybe you’ve reached the point where you realize you can’t do it alone, and need support to work through the frustrations, challenges and struggles you are facing in your life right now.

As you read my profile, you’ll notice my professional experience spans over 20 years and my training background covers a wide range of diverse topics. My clinical approach combines psycho-dynamic as well as other modalities like DBT, and systems theory to insure you have access to the most update-to-date information available. While adhering to confidentiality, ethical and legal standards, the individualized treatment approach I employ draws from the latest evidence-based practices, emphasizing a supportive insight-oriented, practical and common sense, straightforward style. I am committed to building an honest, respectful and collaborative alliance with you, to develop a sustainable capacity for continued trust and effective skill building.

I make every effort to balance ego and humility, and pride myself on being honest, direct, and non-judgmental so you know you are believed, taken seriously, feel valued, and know you matter. It entails establishing boundaries, and striking a balance between recognizing the impact of confusion, anguish, conflict, suffering and turmoil to acknowledging and benefiting from understanding, insight/education, advice and feedback. The bottom line is; you gain the tools and coping skills necessary to regulate emotions, become mindful and insure that you gain confidence and competence in your ability to achieve a sense of personal safety, security and stability.

My areas of expertise include working with diverse, multicultural clients including both Native American and Native Alaskan populations. I have worked in private practice, created an outpatient clinic providing DBT groups for both men and women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I was the clinical director of a medical behavioral health setting focusing on chronic illness, a homeless shelter providing mental health, substance abuse and HIV+ AIDS treatment services, an all-men’s dual diagnosed residential program, a trauma informed treatment program in the 56 Yupik villages of Alaska, a recidivism re-entry program for ex-offenders from San Quentin and Folsom State Prisons. I also worked in the 1st hospice in the United States, providing death and dignity counseling services to terminally ill patients and bereavement counseling for families.

Currently, my focus is on, although not limited to, working with individuals living with depression, anxiety stemming from trauma histories, recovering from traumatic bonding/narcissistic abuse, and adults on the autistic spectrum who desire a need to understand Asperger’s and the impact it has on their lives and relationships. Also, treatment services for the LGBTQIA community; individuals with a wide range of concerns about sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual fluidity, the coming- out stages, intimacy social stigma, family/relationship conflict, parenting issues, employment concerns and advocacy approaches for the human rights campaign for civil rights. Most importantly, I am passionate about addressing visible, and invisible disability issues, the neuro-diversity of ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, and the need to address the fundamental issues of disability rights, learning styles, inclusiveness, ableism, workplace bullying and the impact of internalized oppression.

What does this all mean for you? I would like to think, it demonstrates my competence and gives you some degree of confidence in my ability to help you achieve greater resiliency, authenticity, and happiness in your life. Chances are you are doing the best you can and you can do better. That's where your ingenuity, willingness, motivation, and commitment come 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, let go of the past 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 emotional self-regulation, interrupting escalating patterns of RUI, reactivity, urgency and intensity, you will be able to manage triggers which will help you respond more calmly, giving you the ability to take on and accomplish the daily challenges with poise while not allowing the past to dictate your responses.

Just think of that, being grounded and thriving, instead of simply surviving. Sounds simple, it's not nor do I pretend it is. Practice makes progress, there is no perfection. Successes and setbacks are inevitable, so it's one step at a time. Call it an incremental manageable approach to deal with getting impatient, bored, or overwhelmed. It’s not unusual for clients, maybe you included, to feel emotionally vulnerable, fragile, stuck, discouraged, helpless, hopeless and struggling with life-defeating behaviors or suicidal ideation. Regardless of the reasons you seek therapy, it is imperative that you feel understood, supported and can speak freely in order to benefit from the therapeutic experience so you can connect, learn, share, grow and pay it forward.

Everything is connected by chains of events, coupled with your vulnerabilities, temperament, and your life experiences while your identity is formed by both narratives, both internal and external. Perhaps it's time you learned to see yourself through kinder eyes, to look at the world from a more neutral stance, recognize that co-perspectives exist, repair and rebuild in some instances vs. re-enacting and repeating, that way, you can accept consequences gracefully, cultivate a willingness to wait, tread softly, play by the rules, make lemonade from lemons, advocate for living, confront and process guilt and shame and recognize that there is no point going to an empty well and expecting water.

Accessing online therapy is safe, secure, convenient, confidential, and cost effective. Keep in mind, you can work on understanding your underlying core issues, the impact of trauma, connecting the historical dots of your life, develop a mental health recovery plan, increase focus, concentration, motivation, and simply live without the drama and recurring crisis. Dramatically improve your ability to think and feel more positive and hopeful. It's like a long awaited of breath of fresh air! Instead of being on automatic pilot, you take ownership of your choices by being accountable and responsible, 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 and emotional well-being by stepping outside your comfort zone.

It's about living with hope, having both meaning and purpose, and identifying and living your own values. Instead of suffering in silence you can live, laugh, learn, lead, love and leave a legacy. It's your opportunity to build a life worth living. I invite you to reach out to me.

BA in Humanities/Social Justice
MA in Social Clinical Psychology
Dual Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Trained in EMDR Levels I and II
Trained in Palliative Care and Hospice Care
Trained in Aging, Grief & Loss, Transitions, Chronic Illness
Trained and Nationally Certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Trained in Cinema ”Reel” to “Real” Film Group Therapy
Trained in Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment/Recovery
Trained in Trauma-informed Care and Trauma-specific Practices
Trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level I
Trained in Multiculturalism, Disability Rights, Ethnic Minorities, Culturally Diverse Populations including Race, Gender, Class, Religion, Power/Privilege and LGBTQIA Orientation/Identity and Coming-Out stages.

Professional experience

20yrs in practice

Additional areas of focus: LGBT, Family conflicts, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Eating disorders, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Coping with life changes, Coaching, Compassion fatigue, ADHD, Abandonment, Adoption and Foster Care, Aging and Geriatric Issues, Antisocial Personality, Attachment Issues, Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Avoidant Personality, Blended Family Issues, Body Image, Cancer, Caregiver Issues and Stress, Chronic Pain Illness and Disability, Co-morbidity, Codependency, Commitment Issues, Communication Problems, Control Issues, Coping with Natural or Human-Caused Disaster, Dependent Personality, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), Dissociation, Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Eating and Food-Related Issues, Emptiness, Family of Origin Issues, Family Problems, Fatherhood Issues, First Responder Issues, Gender Dysphoria, Guilt and Shame, Hearing Impaired, HIV / AIDS, Hoarding, Hospice and End of Life Counseling, Immigration Issues, Impulsivity, Infidelity, Intellectual Disability, Isolation/Loneliness, Jealousy, Life Purpose, Men's Issues, Midlife Crisis, Military and Veterans Issues, Money and Financial Issues, Mood Disorders, Multicultural Concerns, Narcissism, Obsessions, Compulsions, and OCD, Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks, Paranoia, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Post-traumatic Stress, Prejudice and Discrimination, Process addiction (porn, exercise, gambling), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Self-Harm, Self-Love, Sex Addiction, Sexual Assault and Abuse, Sexual Dysfunction, Sexuality, Social Anxiety and Phobia, Trichotillomania, Visually Impaired, Women's Issues, Workplace Issues

Clinical approaches: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Gottman Method, Jungian Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems

License information

CA LMFT 44844

WA LMFT LF60059026


These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for Pat (Patricia) Sumlin. We don't pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

Pat has pushed my progress and healing along like no other therapist has in the past. I felt very supported in our sessions and she always provided valuable resources for me to work through in our time apart. She is a caring therapist that made a huge difference in my healing.

Written on May 02, 2023 after therapy with Pat (Patricia) for 2 months on issues concerning lgbt, relationship issues, family conflicts, parenting issues, self esteem, and career difficulties

She’s wonderful in knowledge, wisdom and expertise. Shes compassionate and doesn’t coat with a big healing heart.

Written on Apr 07, 2023 after therapy with Pat (Patricia) for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, career difficulties, coping with life changes, and adhd

Pat and I started doing therapy when I was at the darkest period of my life so far. I felt lost, alone and like I was losing my sanity. Her patience, extensive knowledge, kindness, warmth, and expertise have all opened the gateway to a better life for me. Thanks to her guidance I come to a better understanding of my mind, history, and goals every day. I would recommend Pat to anybody who feels like their trauma history is blocking them from getting to where they truly need to be.

Written on Mar 04, 2023 after therapy with Pat (Patricia) for 7 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, grief, eating disorders, self esteem, bipolar disorder, and adhd

I have only had a few interactions with Pat, but in this short amount of time I already feel like she gets me. She is really good at keeping you engaged and going down the rabbit hole as long as you can emotionally handle it. She has good boundaries and enforces them lovingly. She has a lot of experience with EMDR therapy and she thinks that it will help me immensely. I am looking forward to therapy with her and as anyone knows, if you are really doing the work, it is HARD to look forward to it!! I have already gained insight into my behaviors in just 3 sessions. I really hope that we can achieve many breakthroughs together. Thanks Pat!

Written on Feb 16, 2023 after therapy with Pat (Patricia) for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related issues, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, self esteem, bipolar disorder, coping with life changes, compassion fatigue, and

Pat has been able to help me get on the right path of recovery from years of trauma I suppressed. She’s super understanding, patient, and brings to light what was unknowingly affecting me. Which has been a welcoming eye opener for me. 1000% recommend Pat.

Written on Nov 01, 2022 after therapy with Pat (Patricia) for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, career difficulties, and coping with life changes

Pat is very knowledgeable and has a great deal of expertise. She listens and understands and makes me think of things in new ways to understand them.

Written on Oct 28, 2022 after therapy with Pat (Patricia) for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, grief, and eating disorders