Dr. Jo Barian is a dedicated, determined practitioner. She embodies a unique combination of toughness and tenderness, necessary qualities to have in
Meet the Founder of Polaris Counseling
James Smithers MA LCPC
James cares. A passion for helping others has led to his service as a counselor, consultant and advocate. As a father of a blended family of five children, and as an experienced clinician, James knows how physical, emotional and socioeconomic factors can impact even the strongest of individuals, couples and families.
We pride ourselves on having some of the most experienced, compassionate and personable counselors in the area.
We provide high quality counseling services to individuals, couples and families in a professional, non-judgmental, supportive and friendly environment at an affordable cost to you.
We are committed to protecting your Private Healthcare Information (PHI) through a strict Code of Ethics and HIPAA federal law.
Our schedule fits your busy lifestyle with day, evening and weekend sessions available.
We brought our daughter to see Barb and couldn’t be more blessed by the changes we have seen in our daughter, in ourselves and in our interactions. Barb gets it done. Truth, honesty and integrity…..She helped us to see the ways we all contribute to our family dynamic and she gave us the tools to navigate our family. Most importantly she helped our daughter to better manage her emotions and reactions and to see the big picture of God’s plan for her life. We are forever grateful for the time we have spent with Barb and know that if we need to spend time with her in the future she will be there with good, strong direction.
There was no one like Amy for our family. She would include my husband and I with the children who were foster children. We were always treated like a family, a whole unit. Amy helped us bond and feel like a family. She helped my husband and I communicate better, which also helped us be better parents. Amy would listen to me and be able to help me to see that I have qualities to love about myself, which helped me to be able to enjoy life more and be more positive. Amy is a wonderful therapist and is truly her calling in life.
Stacy is a talented therapist that I feel safe and comfortable talking to about anything and everything.
Jaclyn was a HUGE help to my son. She worked with him to help express his feelings and feel better about himself. I could see his self-confidence change after he began therapy. He was better able to handle the daily frustrations that would previously cause him to melt down. It also helped his relationships with teammates on his baseball team. Before working with Jaclyn, he would become angry or cry when something wasn’t going his way on the field. He learned coping strategies and self-talk statements to use in the moment. Learning these skills, plus the overall increase in his positive self-esteem made such a huge difference.
Carmen saved us. That may sound extreme, but when I think back to the first day I walked into her office with my daughter, I marvel at how she helped us! That first visit was 12 years ago. Since then she helped my other two daughters as well. She is caring and thoughtful and her sessions are effective!
Before working with Shannon I didn’t know how harmful my choices were on my family. Shannon was patient with me, kind and never judged me for my actions. I learned a lot about myself while working with her and now have healthy ways to cope with my anxiety and depression. I have Shannon to thank for helping to restore my family. Without her support, I’m not sure I would have been as successful.
I clicked with Marilyn quickly during my first visit. She is very kind, warm and easy to talk to. Marilyn has been such a big help to me. I was stuck in a relationship which was past my capability of handling it alone. She has taught me tools to help communicate and navigate my way through this relationship. She is wonderful and I would highly recommend working with her.
I have been in counseling with Lisa for six months and she has transformed my life. She is very knowledgeable and skilled at what she does and has unraveled a life time of problems in a very short period of time. I was always skeptical about counseling until I started seeing Lisa. If you are like me give Lisa a shot, you won’t regret it. On a scale of 1 to 10, my symptoms and problems have gone from a 10 to a 1. Lisa, thank you so much for all that you have done and continue to do for me. Lisa gets an A+ rating in my book.
The decision to seek help was difficult and I had a lot of anxiety when arriving for my first session, but I was immediately at ease with Elizabeth. I’ve never been one to easily open up, but I felt safe and soon enough we were diving into everything. Elizabeth has helped me a great deal by giving me perspective, greater awareness, and asking me the tough questions I had been avoiding. At the conclusion of each session I feel lighter and more focused on making positive changes. I am grateful for Elizabeth’s continued guidance and support.
I am very grateful to have had Debbie as our marriage therapist. She is always so present when we meet and I always feel like she understands my husband and I. Debbie Levinson pushes us to be better versions or ourselves but also to be understanding of one another. I truly value her honesty with me as well as her wisdom and advice.
Tony is such a patient, knowledgeable and skilled therapist that talking to him even about difficult things was easy. He has guided me to embracing a life I want to live; through therapy I have learned how to identify values, learned DBT and ACT skills and most important how to communicate better and recognize my emotions. My family is growing strong and I can envision a wonderful future.
You have really made a big difference. I’ve been in therapy for most of my adult life with different providers and in 20 years, Zach is the first clinician to give me an answer. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. For once I felt like I had a friend on the other side of the desk.
When we decided to meet James, my husband was very skeptical. Making that first session with James was the best decision we’ve ever made! James got to know us and immediately made us both feel comfortable. He is an excellent listener and teacher, he’s very personable, supportive and he genuinely cares about his clients and their well being.
Carmen es una terapista cálida y compasiva. Ella me ayudó durante un tiempo difícil de mi vida. Carmen me escuchó, validó mis sentimientos y pudo proveerme con las destrezas que yo necesité y que todavía uso hoy.
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