Professional psychotherapy supporting people, families and couples
Please note that due to the pandemic, my practice continues to be in flux. I am just starting to see fully-vaccinated clients in person and I will also maintain an online practice using Doxy.me, Zoom or Facetime. Let’s have a conversation about what works best for you.
People sometimes feel overwhelmed or unable to make the changes they desire as they go through transitions, negotiate day-to-day life, engage in relationships, or find themselves repeating unhelpful patterns of behavior. I offer empathy, support, and collaborative challenge to create the possibility for greater mental wellness. I work with families, adults, and couples.
Couples – We’ll work to create deeper connection, physical and emotional intimacy, and new joy in your relationship. I specialize in helping couples understand themselves and their partners more fully; create boundaries and intimacy; develop new communication abilities; address interactional patterns that may be harming the relationship; and work to heal old wounds and trust issues.
Families – We look at the complex interactions, emotional connections, and reactive patterns present in most families. I support you in developing new patterns; negotiating day-to-day living; developing parenting skills; addressing challenges in blended families; forming secure relationships in adoption; addressing transition issues in divorce and separation; facilitating more workable teenager and parent relationships; and developing communication skills.
Individuals – I work with both men and women offering a safe place to reflect, think, feel and perhaps begin to experience yourself and the world differently. I find that many of my clients are working on transitions, growth, relationship challenges, existential questions, past hurt and trauma, and wanting to have a full and authentic life.
Specific areas of expertise in my practice include:
- Couple relationship challenges
- Blended families, adoption and foster children
- Family communication and interactional struggles
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Anxiety, Depression and Mood Instability and associated harmful behaviors (self-harm, eating disorders, self-sabotage, substance abuse, sleep disturbance, and physical health issues)
- Personality Disorders and associated relationship issues
- Trauma (abuse, neglect, sexual, and specific events) and stress reactivity
- Attachment issues (from early childhood and impact in relationships)
Holistic, Integrative Approach to Mental Wellness
Therapy is different for each person, couple or family depending on who you are and what you are seeking – whether it is greater self understanding and acceptance, increased ability to cope effectively with anxiety and depression, wanting to change the way you fight with your partner, or creating more joy in your life. We’ll focus on healing and work collaboratively to meet your needs. In therapy we’ll explore the following:
- stories about your life and your ways of thinking
- emotions and your ability to tune into, understand and express them
- your bodily experience of your emotions and thoughts
- creating a different experience of safety, acceptance and understanding in order to create new possibilities
From a more technical perspective, I pay attention to development, family of origin and family systems, attachment, trauma, and neurobiology. If you are curious about any of these things, please ask.
In therapy I tend to be nurturing, engaged, kind, calm, straight-forward, and sometimes fun. I believe that it is important to have a good therapist/client match so that you feel seen, safe, and have the opportunity for growth and change. I like to work collaboratively. We’ll work together to set specific goals and track them throughout therapy.
What happens in therapy?
I am primarily a talk-based therapist, meaning that you come to the office and we talk to help you access feeling and thoughts and new ways of being. I often offer resources, readings, and knowledge about things like the brain, relationships, skills, mindfulness, etc… Based on your comfort level, I will integrate movement, creative, and mindfulness-based techniques to deepen the integration of a new experience. We might take a walk, develop an art project, do a family sculpting exercise to explore relationships, use relaxation techniques, develop mantras, or explore self-compassion. I also believe that therapy can be fun and that humor is important in expression, growth and resiliency.
In our work together I will draw from my experience and training in the following therapy modalities:
- Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Experiential, Somatic and Mindfulness Practices
- Internal Family Systems, Narrative Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy
For couples specifically, I typically use:
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
- Pragmatic Experiential Couples Therapy
- Gottman Couples Therapy
I have more than 13 years of experience working with teens, families and couples in the mental health field. I’ve worked as a Family Therapist at an adolescent drug treatment program, as a Family and Individual Therapist at a small community-based mental health agency in Portland, and in private practice at Life Motion Counseling for over seven years. Much of my work has been in community-based settings with individuals, families, teens and children with intensive therapy and crisis intervention needs. Through this work, I’ve developed the ability to address a wide variety of mental health needs and have had the pleasure to work with many wonderful people who have taught me about gratitude and the idea that we are all doing the best we can in any given moment.
I am a Family Therapist and Professional Counselor with a specialization in addictions studies. I am a Licensed Couples and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). I have a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I have a BA in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
I am a native Oregonian who has lived in other places but always seem to return home. In my previous life, I was a high tech marketing executive which is an interesting balance to being a therapist. I think that it has given me a wider perspective about the world. In conjunction with my community work, I have a wide understanding of the pressures that modern people and families face. I am a mother of two amazing humans who have given me the opportunity to change and grow and understand the art and challenges of parenting. I take care of myself by running, biking, paddle boarding, and pursuing other physical and expressive activities. I am often exploring things in regards to mindfulness, gratitude, community support and activism related to equality and justice. Liberation studies and practices inform my work and my life. I have a wealth of experience to draw from in supporting families and people when they are struggling and growing. I find joy and energy in the collaboration of therapy with clients as they work to create more fulfilling lives or overcome obstacles that have gotten in their way.
Fees Forms and Getting Started
Please note that due to Covid-19, I am just beginning to see fully vaccinated clients in-person. I hope to also maintain an online practice as it is helpful and convenient to many clients.
I am available for a free 15 minute initial conversation to see if we are a good match and if I can meet your therapeutic needs. This is usually done over the phone and I can be reached at 503-544-4402.
I charge $130 per hour for a standard session of 50 minutes. For sessions that need to be longer, such as intensive family therapy sessions, the fee is $160 for 90 minutes. I have a limited number of reduced-rate appointments available for people with financial need. If you have concerns about your ability to afford fees, please speak with me.
I accept insurance for Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Moda, PacificSource, Optum/UBH, Providence, Aetna and Cigna. Please note that each plan is different and we will need to confirm your benefits before you attend your first session. I can sometimes bill out-of-network for other insurance companies. Let’s discuss if appropriate.
Attached is an intake form and another form with information about me and how I work, policies around scheduling, missed appointments, payment, your rights, and confidentiality. Also attached is a specific policy about couples and confidentiality.
Please download, fill out and bring the intake form with you to our first session so that I can get to know some things about you that will be helpful in our work together. Fill out what you feel comfortable addressing in writing and we can check in about it in our first session. We will review the other form(s) together and sign in session.
I look forward to meeting you.
Please note – I HAVE A NEW OFFICE LOCATION.
My office is located in inner-NE Portland in an easily assessible location from public transportation and many locations in Portland. Parking is available in an adjacent parking lot.
333 N.E. Russell Street #211, Portland, Oregon 97212
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To follow are some resources and books that I often recommend and that clients tend to find helpful. Some tend to be more “self-helpy” while others are more academic or theoretical. If appropriate and wanted, I will make book recommendations in the course of therapy that we can then discuss and reference in our work together.
Chopra, Deepak. The Path to Love. Spiritual Strategies for Healing (1997)
Gottman, John M. and Silver, Nan. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (1999)
Johnson, Sue. Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships (2008)
Patterson, Kerry. Crucial Conversations – Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High (2011)
Richo, David. How to Be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving (2002)
Schnarch, David. Passionate Marriage, Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships (2009)
Greene, Ross W. The Explosive Child, A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children (2014)
Illsey Clarke, Jean. Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children (1998)
McCurry, Christopher. Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance (2009)
Siegel, Daniel J. and Hartzell, Mary. Parenting from the Inside Out: How A Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive (2003)
Shapiro, Shauna and White, Chris. Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child (2014)
Begley, Sharon. Train Your Mind – Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves (2008)
Brown, Brene. Daring Greatly – How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead (2012)
Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life (2011)
Kreger, Randi. The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder (2002)
Levine, Stephen. Unattended Sorrow: Recovering from Loss and Reviving the Heart (2005)
Manning, Shari. Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (2011)
Real, Terrence. I Don’t Want To Talk About It: The Secret Legacy of Male Depression (1998)
Sheffield, Anne. Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond (2003)