Dr. Kathleen King is a licensed clinical psychologist, who specializes in working with women who struggle with building and maintaining healthy relationships. She provides individual therapy, couples therapy, and assessment services in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

Many of the women and couples I work with feel a lot of pain in their relationships. They keep finding themselves in the same kind of relationship even when they choose different people. They despair over ever finding the right one to settle down with and start a family. Or they are dealing with their own or their partner's psychological concerns, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals and couples that I have worked with also worry about the kinds of issues I have listed below.

  • I feel unhappy and insecure in my relationship. I thought being in a relationship would make me happy, but I am still sad. I feel isolated, anxious, depressed and lonely. I don’t feel comfortable asking for what I need because I'm afraid of his reaction. I worry all the time I will do something wrong and he will leave me. I can’t trust him; I don’t feel safe when we are intimate because I don’t know who he has been with. Our fights often lead to him breaking up with me, until he changes his mind.
  • I'm not a priority to him. I make time for him and go out of my way to be available but he does not do the same for me. When I try to talk to him about my concerns, I am usually the one blamed; he turns everything around to be my fault. I am told there is something wrong with me for wanting to spend time with him, that I am too needy. However, when I spend time with friends, he becomes jealous. It is easier to just not go out with friends than to deal with the inevitable fight. He says he's not ready for a commitment; even though we've been dating for over a year he still wants to see other people.
  • I make excuses for him, such as, “He only reacted so badly because he is really stressed out right now. I should be a good partner and just let it go because I don’t have nearly as many stressors as he does. Or jealousy is just a way he shows he cares. His last girlfriend always cheated on him, so of course he would think that I would. Or he was unfaithful because I didn’t make him happy.” I tell myself, “I can get over his affairs as long as he treats me okay. He never hit me so he is not abusive, right? And the drinking and drugs - everyone has a vice.”
  • Our fights are getting worse. I would rather not express how I feel because I don’t want to “rock the boat.” It is just easier if I keep things to myself. It seems like his anger has escalated over time. At first, he would just be disappointed in me; now shouting and tears are a normal occurrence.
  • But I don't want to give up. Maybe I can help him. He's not like this all the time. I know that he has potential because when he is good, he is really good. I get to see a glimmer of the potential of how the relationship could be. Everyone else has given up on him. If I can just stick it out and show him how much I love him and how much he means to me, then we will both be happy in this relationship. I've spent so much time loving him and cultivating the relationship, I need it to work. If he has problems, I can be the one to save him. We can have an amazing relationship because I showed him how it is to be loved and supported. When we make up after a fight he is so upset and seems so sorry - he must really mean it this time.
  • He will eventually realize how wonderful I am and he'll want to commit to me. If I could just get him to commit and propose then things would be different. I would be his wife and then he would have to respect me and know that I would never cheat on him. He just needs some more time. Sooner or later he will see how wonderful I am and he will fall in love with me and will want to marry me.
  • Maybe he's the best I can do. I wonder if there's something wrong with me? Maybe I am asking for too much. No relationship is perfect. Everyone probably fights just as much as we do. I should feel lucky that he is with me. He is better than anyone I have ever dated before, but all of my relationships have had a lot of problems. Why would a new one be any different? I thought I would be married by now. Everyone else I know has been able to find a husband. I wonder why I am not enough for him. Why am I always getting in these kinds of relationships? I see other people in happy relationships. It must be me.
  • Figuring this out feels urgent because my biological clock is ticking What if he is my last chance at having a baby? If my current relationship does not work I won’t have a child because I can’t do it alone. So I don't know whether I should stick it out and wait for him to be ready, or risk repeating these same patterns all over again with someone else.

Concerns like these can be incredibly painful, even if you are only experiencing a couple of them. I understand deeply and personally how relationships can become a source of distress. I have learned in my own life that it is possible to come from a place of relationship pain to a relationship that is a source of fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy.

My goal for our work together is to not only help alleviate your distress, but also provide you with the opportunity to explore your difficulties on a deeper level and learn new coping and relationship skills so you may live a healthier, happier, and more effective life. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for individual or couples therapy, please feel free to contact me.