Affiliated With Counseling Washington


Update May 8, 2021

I am planning to start scheduling live classes in July 2021. I will be starting just with Saturdays. The space, (on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle) is set up already for expressive work and movement! 

I will continue to do Zoom sessions as well on other days. I have been fully vaccinated, and vaccination status of clients or potential clients will be discussed before or during any live session scheduling. 

As you all know, guidance from public health authorities evolves. I am ethically obligated to follow both state and county mandates and CDC recommendations. Hopefully by July restrictions will be reduced to a point that a real open energy can be felt in a live session, and the effort of traveling to an office is a reasonable investment.  

Update July 20, 2020

To Current and Prospective Clients

I don't need to inform anyone reading this about what has been going on in the world for  the last five months. After an initial period of shock and then waiting, I began remote video sessions. These are not optimal for somatic aspects of therapeutic work, but a willing client can incorporate these embodiment practices between sessions and I have gained experience 'coaching' this. Since the  communication aspects of the session are not severely impaired, these session still have great value. And, they are the only option now.  Also major insurance carriers are fully covering these 'telehealth' services.  

 I will lean to the side of caution in re-starting in-office sessions, so not anytime soon.

As most of you know, my emphasis has always been on the 'long game.' Change is inevitable, our role is just to try to make it as constructive as possible .Please contact me by email or phone (text okay) with any questions or requests. As always, 'grounding' (ask me if you have not already worked with me on this) will be very helpful at this time.

Michael Samsel LMHC 206-931-8355


Therapy Should Make Sense

The steps that restore satisfying living are not unusual. They are everyday actions done with sensitivity, contact, and conviction. Joyful living is a birthright, but our experiences often lead to a way of life that is over-focused on survival at the cost of joy

Change starts by doing something different, but only continues when we experience something different. Talk and analysis can provide perspective, but it cannot provide new experience. On occasion new perspective is all that is needed to feel better. Largely though, problems of depression, anxiety, emptiness, and frustration are persistent because we are stuck in a type of experience that is impoverished in some way. My work focuses on increasing freedom of feeling, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. Together these constitute freedom of action. I address both self-limiting beliefs and limiting neuromuscular patterns.

Therapy is a process of developing feeling and purpose. This is done by 1) increasing self awareness, 2) increasing direct self-expression, and 3) increasing the capacity to have and hold strong feelings. In our society, the first is encouraged but the latter two really are not. I believe that self-awareness is fundamental to happiness, but also that insight is usually the by-product, not the cause of change.

I believe that love, warmth and fulfillment are best relearned and recaptured through our closest present relationships. I agree with most therapists that early relationships are often the source of later joyless living, but I also concentrate on how this legacy of self-limiting and self-punishing beliefs and behaviors is present but solvable in here-and-now relationships.

Many people dismiss therapy because they believe it is either empty reassurance, or an expensive format to hear self-help advice, or "renting a friend", or a "crutch" to make suffering tolerable, etc Good therapy, however, is made by the participants, and is compatible with 'common sense'. Common sense is not a specific body of knowledge, but rather a state of harmony between one's mind, heart, belly, the natural world, and the human community.

Read more here about my services.