Individual and Relationship Counselor
Philosophy and Approach: There are very few places where one can enter and feel calm, heard and validated. That is the environment I strive to create for each one of my clients. The therapeutic space is a place for healing and growth. I strongly believe those two things cannot be achieve without an environment to facilitate this change. As your therapist, I will work side by side with you to jump into your worldview and immerse myself into your story. As your partner in healing, there are a few approaches that I tend to gravitate toward in my eclectic approach.
I utilize a relational-cultural perspective with each of my clients. Relational-cultural theory steers away from the Western ideals of independence and solitude, and has a strong focus on community, connection and shared experiences. This approach also has a direct focus on reducing sources of individual isolation due to social injustices those within marginalized communities are faced with. After each session, my goal is for my client to leave feeling empowered and validated in their lived experience.
For those seeking change in their thought processes, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is another approach I utilize to gently allow clients to view their life and their thoughts in a different way. Restructuring negative thought patterns can be a challenging process, but internalizing the mantra that thoughts are not always reality can be a life-changing revelation.
For clients wondering about the neuropsychology behind their mental state, I have a background in neuropsychological testing and diagnostics. I find it comforting to know the neuropsychology and biology behind my own repetitive thoughts and maladaptive behaviors. The loss of control that one may feel while navigating their mental state can be exhausting. I believe that learning what is happening in the brain can give some of that power back.
For clients that struggle to articulate their feelings with words, I am a strong believer than non-verbal communication can have just as powerful of effects. I am more than willing to integrate expressive arts into our practice together including drawing, painting, story-telling within a narrative approach, sculpting, sand tray, movement, and more.
Other approaches I have integrated into past practice include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and more. The course of our time together and the approaches I select entirely depends on your personal needs and goals. If there are any other approaches you are interesting in, do not hesitate to ask about my background. I will be completely honest if I feel the approach is something I have enough experience in to explore with you.
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 prohibits us from charging for missed appointments, but we are unable to hold appointment space after two missed/late-cancelled appointments.
Bio: : I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and lived there my entire life until my recent move to Portland in August of 2019. I always knew I wanted to work in helping field, but wasn’t quite sure what. I went into my undergraduate career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a nursing major. During my freshman summer, I embarked on a volunteer trip to Costa Rica, providing medical care across the country to those typically without care. During this trip, I found myself fascinated with the mental health and social justice aspects of the volunteer work. Once I returned to Wisconsin, I changed my major and eventually graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and gender studies.
During my time at UW-Madison, I was deeply involved in my scholarship groups Powers-Knapp, a merit-based scholarship group established to attract, support and develop the abilities and potential of academically talented and outstanding individuals from underrepresented groups.
After graduation, I spent a year working at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. While attending graduate school at Concordia University in Wisconsin, I worked at a neuropsychology clinic for two years. While at the clinic I worked in a variety of settings, including outpatient, inpatient and intraoperatively, running tests and measurements with patients. These measurements were utilized to diagnose and better understand and treat each patient’s unique neuropsychological condition, ranging from traumatic brain injuries to dementia.
While a graduate student at Concordia University, I interned at a counseling center with a social justice focus, treating mainly individuals of color who are traditionally underserved in terms of mental health care.
Outside of my education and work experiences, I am a queer woman of color who grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I know first-hand how it feels to be a member of multiple marginalized communities and have a deeper understanding of these issues because of my own experiences. Being a therapist isn’t simply a job for me. It is my life passion.
Quick Milwaukee/Wisconsin facts: Approximately 30% of the population of Milwaukee lives at or below the poverty line, with the national average falling typically between 10-14%. Milwaukee has the highest rate of incarceration for black individuals out of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the country. Milwaukee is also one of the most segregated communities in the country. Prior to the election of our new governor in 2019, Wisconsin’s previous governor voted to prohibit same-sex marriage, among other abhorrent acts against the queer community.
Growing up within that system was difficult. Fortunately, it gave me strength and experience to be a better therapist.
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. Please feel free to visit the OBLPCT’s website (http://www.oregon.gov/oblpct) for additional information regarding any licensee or registered counseling intern or let me know if you’d like a hard copy of these professional standards. I am under the clinical supervision of Jessamyn Wesley, LPC and Kristi Erlich, LMFT.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org * 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.