Brittany McKenna, Student Intern

Individual and Relationship Counselor
Philosophy and Approach: 
I view the therapy environment as one that has potential to influence processes of change in individuals, families and couples – my role in that process is to analyze and respond compassionately to patterns of interaction in a way that begins to facilitate personal and social growth. Growth occurs differently for different people and relationships – sometimes growth is occurring beneath the surface, other times it is sudden and overt, occasionally it is linear, and often it ebbs and flows. I believe people are in a constant process of development, and we all deserve compassion, patience and acceptance while we grow in our own time. Therapy is a potentially difficult but rewarding process of addressing challenging aspects of ourselves, our relationships and our lives, and it has the potential to look many different ways: Sometimes therapy is very active, other times even beginning to express yourself or build trust with another person is a radical move. I seek to understand and respect your unique starting point and desired outcomes in therapy through non-judgement, empathy and curiosity.

As a Marriage, Couples and Family therapist I work from a social justice and systemic lens. When I work with people I am taking into consideration their varying contexts, cultural identities, and how they interact and are responded to in the world. I pay attention to both visible and invisible intersections we are a part of, and believe many problems we experience are interconnected with larger systems of power. Part of my role is helping you piece apart what is your own problem, what is being imposed on you by powerful forces, what is not a problem, and how we can affect change.

I operate from the stance that we hold the answers we need naturally within ourselves, and that that guidance is sometimes needed to navigate the polarities presented to us in a society which functions to hush our innate intuition. In this regard I often seek to help people question assumptions, consider alternate perspectives and try on different ways of doing things. I see that humans are remarkably resilient and capable beyond their perceived limitations. Part of this resilience is naturally responding to our experiences with biological, emotional, mental and spiritual adaptations – therapy is a space that can help us navigate the intimate effects of these responses.

Sliding Scale Fee Structure: Owls’ Nest North is committed to making services accessible to everyone regardless of ability to pay. We seek to catch those who fall through the cracks of care in our current system. My sliding scale is determined by the current fee schedule of Owls’ Nest North. If you are un- or under-insured and therefore forced to pay out-of-pocket, please let me know prior to our first session, so we can determine your eligibility for a sliding scale fee. If you are experiencing difficulty navigating the new healthcare system, we are also happy to support and advocate for you in becoming insured.

At this time, I am only available to see OHP subscribers and cash/out-of-pocket payers. My fees with a cash-pay discount are: $45 for individuals and $65 for relationship counseling.

Cancellations: Occasionally life intervenes and prevents us from following through with our commitments. I trust our mutual respect of one another’s time. As such, it is our policy to collect my full session fee for no-shows and sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.

If you are an OHP client, our contract prohibits us from charging for missed appointments, but we are unable to hold appointment space after two missed/late-cancelled appointments.

Bio: I received my BA in Psychology from Dowling College in Long Island, New York, and am presently an MA Candidate at Lewis & Clark College here in Portland, Oregon. I worked for 5+ years with clients in residential mental health advocacy and care, which has given me deeper understanding of the relationship between marginalization and health, as well as the desire to help people navigate the many roadblocks that are intrinsic to the systems we all exist in.

I decided to pursue my Masters in Marriage, Couples and Family therapy when I observed through my work how strong support networks have power to influence individual’s sense of well-being; I align with the belief that society is unwell and we must seek out or create our spaces (and often our own families) to thrive. I have diverse experiences working with clients of varying SES backgrounds, races, sexualities, genders and abilities, both individually and in relational mediation, as well as social justice training in my program at Lewis & Clark College. My training has also taught me to be aware of how my own culture and identities – of both privilege and marginalization – influence my therapy. I come from an intersectional, trauma informed lens, and am LGBTQIA-affirming.

I often work from an Experiential and Attachment lens; fostering mutual respect and trust is essential to any relationship, including therapeutic…I believe people are most fulfilled when they are in touch with and able to express their honest feelings, and it is important for me to hold space for you and/or to create space for family members to feel heard and seen. My observation has been that through discovering self and relational acceptance/compassion people can create the most positive change in their lives. I also use Solution Focused, CBT and narrative approaches, and ultimately try to integrate modalities that best suit your needs.

Licensure:  I am a graduate student intern enrolled in Lewis & Clark College’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. During my internship at Owl’s Nest North, I am under the clinical supervision of Heather Sutch, LCSW. I adhere to the code of ethics set by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and Oregon Licensing Board (OAR chapter 833, division 100).

Contact: * 503.281.1166

Please be advised that email is not a secure form of communication, and while it is unlikely that your email communications would be of interest to nefarious pursuits, it is your risk to take. Owls’ Nest and I accept no responsibility for misuse or abuse of your communications. In an effort to minimize exposure/risk, we ask that you do not include any sensitive or process-oriented information in email, and utilize it solely for the purpose of logistical issues.