Meet The Team
Marissa Talarico, MA, LMFT
I’m Marissa Talarico, a sex positive therapist who believes in the power of human connections. I strive to create a caring, non-judgmental environment where everyone feels comfortable to express themselves. I have found that using a straightforward approach helps many couples, and individuals, identify their greatest challenge, and gain the courage to find alternative strategies to move past it. My experience has taught me that my straight forward approach demonstrates care and depth in my personal and professional relationships.
I view the therapeutic process through a systemic lens. For you as a client this means that I will consider all of the context of your life in our sessions. While you may be seeking therapy for couples counseling, we will also dive into family of origin, work stress, societal pressure, expectations etc. This helps us gain greater understanding of ourselves, our motivations and how to move into a better future. While I strive to help you find your ideal balance in life, I also understand we often don’t have only one important thing to talk about.
We all seek counseling for different reasons. And we are all in different places in life, so comparing yourself to friends or family may not be effective. I work most commonly with individuals, or relationships that are experiencing difficulty in sex or intimacy, working through affair recovery, working to open up a polyamorous or open relationship, or struggle to find their ideal relationship balance. It may be a relationship transition, difficulty with sex or intimacy, or the recent disclosure of infidelity. Regardless of the reason that brought you to counseling, I strive to walk with you, hear your pain, and build connections in your life to help you thrive!
I believe that all people thrive on connections. Each of us deserves a safe place to speak what’s on our mind and work through challenges that life may present. I offer a truly non-judgmental place to process your most hidden turmoil. It is my goal in therapy to not only offer direct feedback related to your challenges, but also build a core healthy therapeutic relationship in which you feel safe to explore the deepest part of yourself.
I often see folks struggling with relationships, sexual or intimacy issues, relationship transitions, or anxiety around life circumstances. I believe that through increased connections and utilizing our inner strength while deepening emotional connection each of us can walk out of these challenges to a fulfilling life.
It is my goal to allow our therapeutic relationship to be the safe foundation of change for you. I offer a warm, validating, direct stance to challenge when necessary and hold a safe space when connection is needed. I believe therapy is a collaborative process, and will work with you on your journey of happiness and healing.
I believe in the power of human connections. Let me help you find strategies to move past whatever challange is blocking your path.
– Marissa Talarico
Marriage Counseling of Vancouver
Michele Yurgin, LMHC, LPC-I
Lilee Karwoski, MA, LMFTA
My name is Lilee Karwoski, and I continually remind myself to take nothing for granted, including the incredible honor of being able to do the work I do. It takes a significant degree of self-awareness, vulnerability, strength, and courage for people to seek therapy, and so I want to honor my clients and be the best therapist I can for them.
I strongly value the client-therapist relationship, and I believe in client-centered care, where clients and I work as a collaborative team built upon mutual trust and respect. I also strive to create a safe, nonjudgmental environment, and ensure that my clients receive an abundance of care, openness, patience, diligence, empathy, compassion, creativity, and a good sense of humor (when appropriate) from me, so that sessions are not only productive, but positive as well.
I also strongly believe in the importance of individualized treatment. Because each client is unique, I utilize an integration of evidence-based approaches and techniques tailored toward clients’ individual backgrounds, personalities, preferences, and needs. I also navigate the therapeutic process through a systemic lens, where I always consider context. I consider my client as not only a powerful individual, but as a person operating within various relationships, cultures, and environments. I work with clients to gain insight about themselves and their relationships, identify strengths and patterns, establish goals, improve intimacy and emotional connection, strengthen friendship and shared life meaning, develop effective communication and conflict resolution skills, and truly take action toward desired change and growth.
I hold an M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. Since then, I have worked with individuals, couples, families, and groups of all ages and diverse backgrounds. I believe in lifelong learning, and so I have continued to grow professionally and personally by taking classes and volunteering in the community too. I have also completed Level 1 and Level 2 training in the Gottman Method, a research-based approach to relationship work.
I am also a mother of two children, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a black belt (in Tang Soo Do), and a bicultural, second-generation Asian American woman. I love spending quality time with family and friends, eating delicious food, dancing in empty living rooms, watching guilty-pleasure television shows, exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and savoring experiences life has to offer!