Individual and Relationship Therapist
Philosophy and Approach: I approach work with each client collaboratively and I view change as a journey we undertake together. I bring a contemporary gestalt orientation to my practice. I believe that your identities, personality, present and past experiences in the world informs much of who and how you are and your unique experience moving through the world. The gestalt theory that I have trained in holds that it is by becoming more fully ourselves that we heal. I believe that we each do our best to cope with internal, interpersonal, and environmental stress given the tools we have access to. This coping often happens outside of our awareness and can become fixed into a pattern over time in a way that pulls us out of connection to ourselves. For example, coping strategies needed to survive at age 14 may no longer be necessary in the present. The ways we cope are always important and valid. By bringing that into our present awareness we can take some of our power back and have more choice in how we engage.
I find it especially useful in relationship counseling to trace patterns of communication, looking for barriers as well as developing a mutual understanding of how each partner interprets the words, actions, and reactions of the other. I think that the process of developing this understanding—a deeper awareness of how you are with each other—makes it possible to co-create more options which support you to break through patterns together.
My style is warm, empathic, and direct. I work to establish a space that can be as safe as possible and I trust in your desire to grow and learn; rather than maintaining comfort, I will challenge you to move toward your discomfort. I believe that the greatest change can happen when we trust ourselves to enough to work within our discomfort.
I work with individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, loss, self-esteem, life transitions, and external stressors. Through all of my work, I believe that an awareness of identity, and dynamics of privilege and oppression are important to recognize and often to work with directly. To this I bring an awareness of my own identities, and also a commitment to ongoing self-education.
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: $80 for individuals and $100 for couples/families.
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 does not allow us to charge for missed appointments, but we are unable to hold appointment space after two missed/late cancelled appointments.
Bio: I believe in resilience and the capacity for change. I do not view change as an end-goal, rather as a process, one that frequently necessitates acceptance and understanding of self as a primary step.
Identity is relevant for me both in my personal and my professional life, examined with an ever-evolving lens of anti-oppression. The intersections of identity, in conversation with other life experiences, shape our realities and too often go unrecognized in therapy. I believe that recognition of both marginalized and privileged identities is not only important to our work, but necessary if we are all to survive and to foster change.
I received my master’s in counselor education from Portland State University with a focus on individual as well as relationship and family work. My interest in counseling grew from previous work in sex education and years in social services work, work that showed me that I wanted the skills to work with people on a deeper level.
I value direct and compassionate communication and bring this style into my practice. I will invite you to work hard and I will be there with you through each session.
Licensure: I am registered as a licensed professional counselor intern in the state of Oregon. As an intern licensee of the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, I am bound by its code of ethics. I am under the clinical supervision of Sawyer Salameh, LPC.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org * 503.281.1166
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