Hi, I'm Heather Varnau, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and founder of Inside Passage Relationship Counseling.

I'm so glad you are here.

After 16 years of clinical practice, thousands of hours of training and hundreds of clients, I’ve shifted my focus to supporting a high-quality team of therapists at Inside Passage Relationship Counseling. Our team shares common values of client-centered care, passion for providing effective therapy, a warm, non-judgmental attitude, and commitment to equity and inclusion.

Whether you’re an individual in distress, part of a partnership struggling to find common ground, a parent of a child or teen in need of assistance, or a family looking to navigate your particular situation, we can help.

licensed mental health counselor

Licensed Mental Health Therapists in Bellingham, Washington.

Now accepting new clients for both in-person and telehealth sessions.

You are NOT
a problem.

Inside Passage Counseling was founded on the core beliefs that we are all just trying our best to love and be loved.

Often, however, the way we’ve learned to cope with stress and disconnection ends up impacting our lives in a negative way.

Therapy can help us become more aware of these beliefs and habits and it can guide us to make lasting changes, helping us communicate better, and make healthier choices. As a result, we can feel empowered, connected, and confident both in ourselves and in our most intimate relationships, affecting our overall happiness and well-being. 

Heather Varnau LMHC explains her approach to couples counseling

“We offer the gold standards of evidence-based therapies, such as EFT and IFS, as well as other mindfulness-based interventions, to respond artfully to each client’s unique needs.”

About Heather Varnau, LMHC:

My journey as a therapist began as a meditation student 21 years ago.

Because I saw the immense benefits of mindfulness meditation on my own mental, emotional, physical, and relational health, I pursued a graduate degree in Psychology that focused on the intersection of Buddhist/Eastern and Western Psychology.

Since graduating in 2006, I’ve dedicated myself to ongoing post-graduate training and clinical practice in evidence-based practices of relationship therapy, including Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS). 

Now an advanced practitioner who is certified in EFT Couples Therapy and IFS Therapy, as well as an approved clinical consultant for both EFT and IFS, I have the honor of working closely with the other therapists on my team to ensure a high quality of care across my practice.

I am happily married to my husband—we’ve been together for 21 years—and know first-hand that joyful and lasting intimate connection is possible.

I also know that periods of challenge in my relationship were greatly helped by meeting with a talented couples therapist.

I have two awesome kids: a middle-schooler and an high-schooler, both in Bellingham schools.

When not seeing clients and overseeing Inside Passage, I enjoy trail running in the Chuckanuts, good food, and playing with my family and friends.