Years in Practice

25 years +


Seattle WA 98107 - United States



Additional Expertise

Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Marriage Educator, Marriage/Couples Counselor, Psychotherapist, Social Worker, YourTango Expert Partner

I Practice in

My state/province only



I Believe

A relationship is not a promise of perfection, but a commitment to care through mistakes and injuries. My powerful PACT based approach helps couples manifest dramatic shifts in a short time, and leave with a renewed sense of connection and understanding.

About Carolyn Sharp

For Carolyn Sharp, there is no joy greater than using advanced PACT therapy to help couples find new ways of relating which deepens their connection, allow them to feel stronger, closer and more in love.

Whether in couples counseling sessionscouples intensivesworkshops or retreats, Carolyn works to empower clients to develop a greater awareness of themselves, their ways of relating, and their unique coping skills in the face of stress and change. As their awareness increases, she supports them in developing healthier ways of expressing and fulfilling their needs and desires.


Carolyn Sharp always knew she wanted a helping career. Like many people who grew up in challenging circumstances, Carolyn decided to channel her personal pain into a career supporting others. She wanted to make things different for children who lived with addiction, bullying, and loneliness. In college, she mentored young girls, worked to end homelessness and volunteered in a soup kitchen – all in an effort to make the world a better place. In graduate school for Social Work, she worked in her school’s research institute to assist in understanding the beginnings of mental health diagnoses for children.


Her first job after graduate school at the YMCA in Seattle gave Carolyn a real opportunity to make a difference for children. She worked with the most challenging youth in the State of Washington in treatment foster care as well as with children returning home after intensive treatment. These children were profoundly emotionally disturbed with childhood trauma and severe attachment disorders. After 4 years as a Child and Family Therapist helping these children develop more positive coping skills, Carolyn became the Clinical Director of the YMCA’s Mental Health programs. Here she supervised all the mental health professionals working across the YMCA. She was also a faculty member for several years teaching graduate students at the Washington School for Professional Psychology in counseling and human development.


Carolyn soon expanded her practice to include couples. After attending a training program offered by Stan Tatkin, Psy.D., the father of the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), Carolyn was hooked on this approach. This modality offered a radical new way to practice with couples in real-time, using the lens of attachment and neurobiology to create dramatic change in real-time. Carolyn adapted this approach to her work with children, families, and individuals, but found herself seeking out more and more couples as she sought to help shape the relationship which most profoundly influences children’s development. Today, her work is almost entirely focused on couples


Thanks to invitations by Dr.Tatkin to assist at two PACT retreats, Carolyn saw firsthand the profound change that can happen for couples over a weekend. This led her to include couples retreats and personal retreats to her professional offerings and she has created incredible results in these intensive settings.


Finding the funny in serious situations at work and at home is second nature to Carolyn Sharp, and it is one of the things her clients find most refreshing. But behind this levity is a woman who cares very deeply about people and is passionate about using her creativity to help her clients build stronger and more vibrant relationships. She knows that she doesn’t have all the answers and is on a path of continuous learning to be a better therapist. Carolyn’s fierce commitment to social justice has not left since her career beginnings and she works to create a more fair, equitable and humane community in both work and personal relationships.


Personally, she knows the pain of a failed marriage and like her mentor, Dr, Tatkin, Carolyn uses this experience in helping couples succeed. Today she and her husband of 5 years (this is a second marriage for both) live in a blended household of teenage hormones thanks to 4 kids ranging from 14 to 20 plus a menagerie of dogs, cats, skis, bikes, lacrosse sticks, musical instruments, swim gear and oars. During the brief times when the children are with their other parents, Carolyn savors the joys of a temporarily empty house in alone time with her husband. When she has the time, she enjoys cooking, running, gardening, reading, hiking, skiing and spending time with friends.


Carolyn Sharp Success Stories

Finding Calm in the Chaos

Couples in crisis

They ignored the stress for too long: two kids at school on zoom, both of them in leadership positions in their work, family far away with health conditions to worry about, Mandy and Cheryl (not their real names) were struggling to keep their heads above water. They were "just pushing through" moving from task to task to task. Their relationship slipped from being in the top ten things they focused on to below the bottom of the list and they no longer recognized themselves or each other. They looked and felt like the walking dead to one another. No sex life, not even any fun together. At the end of each day, all they each wanted was quiet and alone time. more

By the time they came back to see me, some months after the pandemic began and a year since our last session, they barely knew where to begin. Putting them facing each other in our video session, they initially had difficulty staying in each other's eyes. But after a short time, they were able to stay with each other, and by normalizing the stress they (and we all!) were under, I saw their shoulders release down and the humor and love for each other slowly trickled back. 

We first focused on creating some structure to make sure they each had time to themselves within the chaos of work from home: each of them took turns in the mornings having no responsibility and the bedroom to themselves. That space was kept sacred: no one was allowed in when "alone time" was happening, and the kids got in on the act of taking care of the parent in the QUIET ROOM by passing notes and pictures under the door to tell them they were loved and appreciated-all while tip-toeing past. After a few weeks of this, each of them felt a tiny bit of breathing room and they added more structure.

Sacred time for their relationship was created, where one evening a week, the kids went to their room early after dinner with the ipad, which had previously been reserved for doctor's appointments and long plane trips. They were allowed to watch a tv show of their choosing for one whole hour with a special snack as long as they didn't come out. The parents sat on the couch facing each other drinking a glass of wine. Sometimes they talked, sharing about their day--and sometimes they didn't. Just happy to sit and not take care of everyone else. After a few more weeks of this, more space opened up and they could not only breath but they found themselves able to laugh again. 

Not everything was fixed, by any stretch, because the pandemic lags on and work stress and raising kids and chores and everything still is HARD. They still have their bad habits of snapping at each other, cutting each other off, leaping to negative conclusions-- but with a bit of calm in the chaos they can see each other again, feel the good in their relationship and feel the capacity to continue working on it. Their relationship is back.  

Carolyn Sharp Articles