It Starts with What You Believe

by Sheryl Brown on June 30, 2013

Sunray Counseling ...a place for hope and healing Sunray Counseling ..hope and healing

Impossible, no choice, can’t do it, no escape.

There must be a way, rise above, make it happen, thrive.

When you’re beaten down, trapped and have been conditioned to believe you have no choice and that others are more powerful and will always prevail, it’s pretty hard to see beyond your particular set of circumstances.

Sometimes you’re battling an entire system, other times it’s more one particular individual in your life. Sometimes you lose touch with your own ability to see clearly, to stand up for yourself, to claim what’s right.

How can you make the shift from treading water, barely keeping air in your lungs to making powerful strokes and reaching dry land?

Many have accomplished their flight to freedom, leaving a feeling of being brainwashed by first believing, in the tiniest way, that they have the right to be free, to choose, to leave the abusive situation, to have their own life back. Sometimes, they have had to get rather creative to do so.

We have all been inspired reading their stories, and watching the movies made of their lives. By examining their processes, we can often find some clues to help ourselves.

In many cases, the escape to freedom is harrowing, painstaking and happens over time. It really helps to have supporters in your corner.

But the very first part is believing, even if only for the very next step.

Write and tell me what helped you figure out your first step. We’re all in this together – let’s help each other out.


A Tall Order – from my heart to yours..

by SunraySheryl on January 31, 2012

Now here’s a tall order, and something I’ve been contemplating the last while..

Survivors of sexual abuse, or any violation for that matter, need the following:

– Survivors deserve to be fully heard without censure or hint of reproach..

– Survivors point blank need their perpetrators to be held accountable by and to the law of the land (and a higher moral law known by some as God, and by others as the Universe), and for their perpetrators to be held accountable to each and every one they have wounded and offended..

– Survivors desperately desire the cycle of abuse to end, to stop the abuse they are receiving, and to prevent new victims.. to keep our children safe..

– Survivors deeply long for safety, not only from future assaults, but also a place where they can take a breath, a place they can trust they will be heard, a community where they are each fully accepted as they are right now, where they are genuinely loved, and where they can feel belonging..

– Survivors absolutely must have experienced professionals to work with them through the past depraved craziness they endured..

Back up support friends are awesome, but the path to healing is not all sweetness and light. This is not a matter of falling into loving arms and weeping a time or two and all is well. It is much more like work in a burn unit. We are dealing with messy wounds which requires the task of draining infectious pus, coaxing new tissues to form and grow, and constant vigilance. It is a long and lifetime journey. The deeper and more infected the wounds and the longer the neglect before treatment, the higher the risk of re-infection and loss of life and limb.

Are you up for this? It’s a deep commitment to be a real friend in such situations. It takes establishing a foundation of true relationship, true friendship, and a pervasive non-judgmental attitude. It also takes good self care to prevent compassion fatigue and to continue to be consistent in your level of availability.


It’s easy with all the must do’s in our busy lives to put off something that might seem a bit elusive or daunting.

Have you already looked into counseling for you and your partner without actually getting it on the calendar?

Go for it, and just get started. It’s not as overwhelming as it may seem.

Email me at or call me 425 652-1413, and we can discuss first steps for you and yours.

You don’t have to stay stuck with the same old fight….


Seasons Change and the Holiday Advance

by SunraySheryl on November 1, 2010

It’s always amazing to me how quickly the season changes from crisp fall colors to wind-blown soggy leaves on the ground. And summer doesn’t seem that long ago to me either.

In the same way, there are seasons in a relationship. Sometimes everything seems new and bright and sunny, just like spring. Then it can move into a phase more relaxed and warm, like a summer day. Later, there may be changes in the air, just like fall. At times it is invigoratingly cool, yet colorful – and then comes the gray and drizzle. (And we’re not even going to talk about winter yet!)

How would you relate these seasonal changes to describe what’s going on for you now with your partner? Are you in a new and exciting dating relationship, or eager for that beautiful wedding you’re planning? Are you experiencing some serious chemistry and great passion? Are you feeling deep contentment and the bliss of security? Are you going with the flow and able to tolerate dips in overall harmony?

Or you may say, “What harmony? We are arguing all the time.” It could be that the conflict is a sign there’s still some life, something left to salvage – it’s not all ice cold yet.

If you find these images spark some ideas in you, I’d love to hear back from you either on my blog here, on my Facebook Sunray Counseling page, or in a personal note to .

(PS Check in soon to hear about an interesting interview on “Family Gatherings” I had with a close business associate of mine.)


Find me on Theravive!

by SunraySheryl on September 16, 2010

Theravive Counselor

Theravive is an awesome directory for therapists. Click on the graphic above or the link below to see my Issaquah, Washington listing!

Call me at 425 652-1413 to set up a session for couples counseling – marriage and family therapy. Working together, we’ll break through old, negative patterns of communication that keep you stuck, and get rid of “the same old argument” for good!


In chatting with a client recently, I suggested she bottle the good feelings she was experiencing that day, and keep them on hand for the next time she succumbed to overwork, fatigue and/or hormone fluctuations.

We both chuckled thinking, wouldn’t that be awesome if we could really do that? How often have you felt that “end of the world” feeling when things seemed to be crashing down around you just too much? We humans have a limited amount of energy, and it serves us well to figure out how to “budget” it much like we budget (or could budget..) spending our money. Where do you want to spend the energy you do have?

Even though the term “self-care” has been bandied about almost to the point of losing its meaning, what we can remember to do is
“Rest well.” (I recently told a Facebook friend to play hard and to laugh hard – I think that fits right in here!)

My client and I agreed we would go for telling ourselves to “Rest well,” quitting work earlier in the day, taking several or more days off in a row, “un-plugging” from voice mail, email, you name it.

What can you do right now to Rest Well in your life?

Call me to set up an appointment if you are too overwhelmed to sort this one out on your own – you deserve to take good care of yourself.

You can reach me at 4256521413 or email

Rest Well!


Movies Anyone?

by SunraySheryl on May 31, 2010

Anyone watching movies over this long weekend?

The weather certainly hasn’t made for the most enticing hiking weather here in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s nice to kick back with a movie, and snuggle in with a fleecy blanket over our feet. Heck, I even turned the fireplace on (you guessed it – gas, not wood!).

Some of you may be into the Seattle Film Festival (SIFF), and that is something we look forward to ourselves every year.

Sunday night, however, it was a rented movie from (a very innovative concept, by the way) for the Brown’s.

Entitled, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, this movie is definitely one of those I’ll be watching again quite soon. Not one to be a spoiler, I will tell you this – there are a number of diagnoses one might consider when looking at the behavior of Pippa’s mother – but it probably isn’t what you think.

Let’s get some discussion going on the blog here – what do you think was ailing Pippa’s mother?

And if you have any symptoms like this, do consider getting in to see the therapist of your choice as soon as you can – you don’t have to live with this kind of stress and fluctuation of moods.

If you don’t have a therapist and need help finding one, you can still call me or email, even if you live in another area. I can direct you in finding a good therapist for you, or your loved one.

Take good care of yourself – you deserve it!
425 652-1413


Welcome Back!

by SunraySheryl on May 31, 2010

Welcome back! is what I say when a client couple has completed a round of therapy in a previous year or quarter, and feels the need to return for more work.

Coming back for more counseling need not be seen as a confirmation of failure, but rather as the desire to go deeper and further as a couple – or in the case of an individual, as a whole person.

As with any intense training or learning, there can be a need to pull away and rest, or focus on application. Some couples and individuals do better with keeping a regular schedule of therapy, like a “maintenance” level, and others do intense work for several sessions, then back away for a spell.

As a therapist, I flex easily with these kinds of varying needs. You get to set your own pace in this work.

Sometimes clients are returning because of a new crisis or rising issue, and some actually come back for something like a wellness check up as a preventative measure.

With school still in session, before summer travel and outdoor events pick up again, take advantage of this time to do some preventative counseling.

I’m just a phone call away 4256521413.


Don’t wait until it’s almost too late!

by SunraySheryl on May 30, 2010

It’s very interesting to see when the ebb and flow of client calls occur – both in a therapist’s calendar and in the client’s life.

There is a definite trend for people to start therapy in the new year. Holidays with the family can re-awaken left-over family of origin issues.

Another surge of client calls may occur once school has resumed – after all the vacation, travel, and kids at home stuff has gone back to a dull roar – a normal routine.

On the flip side, it’s interesting to note when things slow down with therapy appointments. I’m convinced people feel better in the summer (we sure notice it here on the west coast) when there’s some relief from possible Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)!

The other slow time begins around Thanksgiving and goes through Christmas – there is so much activity – you just can’t do everything!

But over-arching those factors, sometimes people wait until things are at the point of talking “divorce” or close to it. Not the best idea really – you wouldn’t want to do that with a bad tooth or when you’re hemorrhaging!

In any case, whether it’s you-know-what hitting the fan or a lesser situation surfacing, therapists are prepared to deal with any level of problem you bring in. You can wait until crisis proportions, or you can come in for a well-family check-up!

Call me at 4256521413 or email me at if you are ready to do some serious relationship upgrade.


Different Reasons for Therapy

by SunraySheryl on May 29, 2010

I find clients come to me for all different reasons, even though pretty much all of them boil down to wanting relationship help.

It can be a real heartbreak when one partner wants out of the relationship, but the other desperately wants to keep it.

Sometimes it seems there is no real reason given, and the person being left behind, or kicked out, is completely baffled, maybe even shocked.

Other times, an affair is suspected, or found out for sure.

Even if you cannot influence your partner to stay with you, you can work on the things you have control over – in yourself – and make it more likely to be successful in a future relationship.

It’s hard to go through a loss of this magnitude. But when you are willing to look your own issues in the eye and deal with them, you can be much happier – with or without a partner in your life.

If you need to talk about a break-up you have experienced,
call me at
4256521413 to set up an appointment.

You don’t have to face this alone.