Frequently Asked Questions

Do you provide Coaching and Counseling over the Phone or Online for non-local people?

  Yes.  We provide counseling and coaching online or over the phone across the U.S. and internationally. I recommend that we use programs like SKYPE or VSee, which allow us to talk and see each other online.  For clients that have never used programs like these on a computer I am happy to guide you through the process of setting them up, they are very easy, user-friendly programs.

Is online or phone counseling effective?

  Yes. In fact recent research has actually demonstrated that coaching and counseling over the phone or online may even be more effective than in person meetings as the client has the opportunity to still feel safe in their own environment.  Though I prefer to be in the actual presence of the person I am working with, I have had excellent results working with individuals over the internet and have found very few differences.

How much does a session cost?

   My fees are $160 per session as I have over 20 years experience; $180 for a couples session;  however I have a sliding scale if you have financial hardship. This is based upon income, country of origin and number of dependents in your household . Please do not hesitate to call if you need help. We try our best to accommodate everyone who would benefit from our services.

You mention that you work with Trauma, what exactly is that?

Trauma is a word that gets thrown around a lot lately.  It refers to a single or series of events that happened in the past that continue to affect us negatively for a long time afterward. Trauma and traumatic experiences result from highly stressful events that shatter a person’s sense of safety, security, and serenity. In many cases, trauma renders one helpless and vulnerable or hardened and volatile in a world perceived as dangerous. Traumatic experiences entail a threat to life or overall well-being, but any situation that leaves a person feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but one’s interpretation of the event. The more anxious, panicky or paralyzed a person feels, the more likely the persona has been traumatized.

Some of the major side effects or symptoms of a traumatic experience can be: Panic attacks, constant background anxiety, nightmares, or sense of numbness or spacing out.

For More information on how I work with trauma take a look at my other website here:

What is Codependency?

Codependency can be defined as; relying on another person to manage or take care of our emotions. This pain in adulthood, that comes from being wounded in childhood leads to a high probability of relationship problems and addictive/compulsive behavior. It is a combination of immature thinking, feeling and behaving that generates an aversive relationship with the self (self-loathing), which the codependent individual acts out often through self-destructive or unduly self-sacrificial behavior.

What is Life Coaching?

 Life coaching is a partnership between client and coach. Together we look at your core values and begin exploring ways to create a life that fully expresses those values- whether at work or in your personal life. As you start developing clarity, we can translate your dreams into goals. With those goals in mind, we can: identify the individual steps to take and you can begin taking action to create the life you most want to live.

Coaching is a great way to bridge life changes. The loss of a loved one, a lay off, a divorce, moving to a new city, having a child or launching your kids into adulthood all offer opportunities to re-envision yourself and your life.

 We can help you with your goals whether it is starting a new business, changing careers, taking on a new challenge, or just changing the direction of your life. If you find yourself procrastinating, feeling stuck, scared, confused or unsure about what steps to take next, we can help.

 I provide a safe place to talk about what you really want and look at what gets in the way without judgment or shame. While I encourage my clients to try new things and take small risks, I also respect that each of us works at our own pace.

How long will it take before I see changes?

The time it takes to see changes will vary from one person to another. Typically, we see changes in about 3-6 months when an individual is consistent with sessions and motivated towards change.

What can I expect from our Counseling/ coaching session?

 Our sessions are a progression beginning with goal setting and understanding your aspirations for where you want to be in your life. From there,  based upon what kind of help you are seeking we will design a program that will promote inner healing and well being. However as with any one you might work with you will know in a few sessions if working with me feels right for you.

How long are sessions?

   Standard sessions for individuals and couples are scheduled for 75 minutes and usually 90 minutes for family sessions. This is very different from a normal therapy session which is called a 50 minute hour. In my experience, we need more than 50 minutes to get to the core of an issue and to find some level of resolution in a session.

What is the recommended frequency of sessions?

   We recommend weekly sessions when starting coaching or counseling. Together we determine the frequency after an initial four sessions.

Do you take insurance?

  Yes; For working with me in person, in Seattle, I accept several forms of insurance at this time. Most insurance companies do not provide coverage for online coaching or counseling. If you want to work with me online then we need to make an agreement for out of pocket- cash pay through Paypal, Square or Venmo.

What kind of methods do you use?

Most of my background and training can be seen on the, “About Robert Espiau” section but in addition to what you see there I can add; I have over 20 years of training in Mindfulness and Meditation work and have training in Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I also have a strong background in Psychodynamics. Psychodynamics defined in its broadest sense, is an approach to psychology that emphasizes systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior, feelings, and emotions and how they might relate to early experience. It is especially interested in the dynamic relations between conscious motivation and unconscious motivation.

I also have 3 years of training in Gestalt therapy as well as one the most effective trauma treatment modalities called Brainspotting. Gestalt therapy recognizes that forcing a person to change paradoxically results in further distress and fragmentation. Rather, change results from acceptance of what is. Thus, therapy sessions focus on helping clients learn to become more self-aware and to accept and trust in their feelings and experiences to alleviate distress.

What is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with Bio-lateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful yet focused and containing.

Brainspotting functions as a neuro-biological tool to support the clinical healing relationship. There is no replacement for a mature, nurturing therapeutic presence and the ability to engage another suffering human in a safe and trusting relationship where they feel heard, accepted, and understood.

Brainspotting gives us a tool, within this clinical relationship, to neuro-biologically locate, focus, process, and release experiences and symptoms that are typically out of reach of the conscious mind and its cognitive and language capacity.

Brainspotting works with the deep brain and the body through its direct access to the autonomic and limbic systems within the body’s central nervous system. Brainspotting is accordingly a physiological tool/treatment which has profound psychological, emotional, and physical consequences.

It is theorized that Brainspotting taps into and harnesses the body’s innate self-scanning capacity to process and release focused areas (systems) which are in a maladaptive homeostasis (frozen primitive survival modes). This may also explain the ability of Brainspotting to often reduce and eliminate body pain and tension associated with physical conditions.

-explanation from Dr. David Grand, one of the creators of Brainspotting.

What kind of Meditation do you teach?

I offer a unique perspective and training that you will not find amongst many therapists in the United States as I can offer to teach you the ancient meditative technology called Jhana by the Buddha; also Samatha meditation or samadhi training. This involves learning how to enter into 8 different deep states of absorption concentration into qualities of your own consciousness. Though the explanation here will sound abstract, these states of consciousness have a profound effect on the nervous system and offer as a side effect deep states of serenity and equanimity that do not depend upon happy memories or physical experiences. In a normal yoga class student learn forms of concentration practice but do not learn how to enter into the stillness and silence of the mind known as samadhi in the east. I offer this unique training which is very effective for treating severe PTSD as well as compassion fatigue and combat trauma.