Shannon McFarlin, MA, LMFT

Psychotherapy for Individuals, Couples, & Groups

phone (206) 399-6955
chat Talkspace


Where are you feeling stuck? Are you feeling disconnected from yourself or others? We're all hard-wired for connection and we all want to feel a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. It can be painful to feel like you're just slogging through life trying to survive but not really thriving. Therapy can help you sort through difficult times and gain a greater understanding about yourself so that you can create a life as rich and fulfilling as you'd like it to be. My job is to offer you a safe and comfortable environment to do just that, and to explore anything that is troubling you. 

Some of the areas I work with people on are exploring how childhood experiences are impacting your current relationships and behaviors, grieving the loss of something or someone important in your life, coping with break-ups or other difficult life transitions, family of origin issues, relationship distress, improving self-esteem, and personal growth and discovery. No matter what we work on together, my counseling approach is strength-based and my hope is to help you become more connected to yourself and what you stand for, allowing you to meet the stresses and challenges in your life with strength and clarity.



In my work with couples, I focus a lot on connection. All couples experience highs and lows, but when relationships become chronically strained, suffer a betrayal, or couples get into repetive cycles of reactivity, it's common for connection to weaken and for daily life together to become challenging. What ultimately keeps a relationship strong is the ability to stay connected even when the times get tough. 

My work with couples is heavily influenced by Dr. Brené Brown's research on vulnerability and courage, Adult Attachment Theory, and Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Instead of the typical solution of improving negotiation or communication skills (we'll do that too!), we'll engage in a collaborative process of identifying and understanding the deep-seated longing underneath complaints, criticism, and unresolved conflict so that each of you can soften, understand, and choose a different response. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is one of the most rigorously studied approaches to couples therapy in the world, and research shows that more than 90% of couples show significant improvement following therapy.  

Same-Sex Couples

Although gay and lesbian relationships are similar in many ways to heterosexual relationships, issues are often experienced differently. I am experienced with these differences and provide a safe and sensitive environment to address them. Some of the issues I work with same-sex couples on include: gender roles, power struggles, boundaries and merging, shame and internalized homophobia, and family-of-origin dynamics.

Discernment Counseling

Also known as "should-we-call-it-quits?" - Discernment counseling is short-term (1 to 5 sessions) counseling for couples who are considering ending a relationship but are not completely sure. My role in this type of counseling is more as facilitator to help you and your partner sort through facts and feelings, and decide about the course of your relationship. The format of these 80-minute sessions is to meet together, then I meet individually with each partner, then we re-group and summarize takeaways and next steps.

Areas of Expertise

Anxiety and depression
Shame and self-worth
Restoring connection
Unresolved conflict
Emotional disconnect
Power differentials
Same-sex relationships
Rebuilding trust
Jealousy and anger
Infidelity or betrayal
Grief and loss
Family and in-laws
Money and finances
Adjusting to change and life transitions


Get In Touch
phone (206) 399-6955