• Relationships

    are tough.

  • If your relationship is stuck in frustrating patterns, and you want to get back on track,

    I can offer you realistic, direct guidance.


    The point isn't for you to spend years in therapy. It's to walk away
    with insight and skills that will help you stay connected to your partner.

    You can have a good relationship.

    You can learn to be a good partner.

    Couples counseling could help you get there.

  • Exclusively Couples

    I believe that the best way to grow is through an intimate relationship with someone else. I've seen that in my own relationships and in my clients.


    My focus is couples and my training and commitment is to couples work. There is a ripple effect: by strengthening the couple, you strengthen all parts of your life from your family to your work to your friendships to how you feel about yourself.


    This is the best work we can do on
    this planet. Everything else springs from that fierce connection.

    Outside the Box

    It takes all kinds of couples to make a world and I welcome them all. I am experienced in working with the following couples/relationships:



    parenting couples

    spiritually diverse
    racially diverse
    open relationships
    age difference

    sexual differences


    I honor the diversity of your culture, your race, your religious beliefs, your gender and/or your sexuality/sexual orientation.

    My Approach

    I see problem patterns, not problem people. I work with couples to help them understand and shift those patterns, while respecting who they are and how they live their lives. I work best with clients who want a therapist who is direct, transparent, funny, flexible, moves quickly and is not afraid to tell them the truth.


    My focus is couples, but I am particularly interested in working with bi-racial and bi-cultural couples, as well as sexuality/sexual issues.

    I also have experience
    working with infidelity, addictions, gender issues/ transitioning, cultural disconnect, childhood trauma/abuse, parenthood,
    prejudice/social disenfranchisement and depression/anxiety.


    Like all humans, I have blind spots and I make mistakes; I work to own those and welcome my clients challenging me.


  • Who I Am

    I became a couples counselor because I believe that we all long to connect to others emotionally, physically, sexually, spiritually--and I wanted to help others achieve that connection.


    I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Oregon with a private practice in Kenton/North Portland. I have a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Portland State University


    I am certified in Relational Life Therapy with Terry Real (www.terryreal.com) and have additional training in Susan Johnson's EFT-C (Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples), Bessel van der Kolk (trauma, Dan Wile's Collaborative Couples Therapy, Esther Perel (sexuality and infidelity) and Martha Kauppi (sexuality, sexual desire, polyamory).


    I work from a family systems perspective (we are all connected in a system and making one shift can shift everything else in that system) and attachment theory (how we bonded as infants affects how we bond to our adult partners).


    Before becoming a therapist, I was a journalist, editor, writing instructor, worked in midwifery, led parenting classes and groups for teen girls in the foster system. Most of my early life was spent living outside the United States. I speak conversational German and Italian and am tackling Turkish.

  • What I Charge

    Because I believe couples work requires the time to go deeper, I see couples weekly for 90-minute sessions. My rate is $150/90 minutes.


    I am committed to making couples therapy accessible to all, therefore I keep half of my spots open for couples who are economically disadvantaged. Please ask me about this and let me know what is affordable for you. I can also point you towards other low-cost counseling resources.


    I offer a free 30-minute consultation on the phone or Zoom. I do not take insurance. I donate 10% of my pre-tax earnings to several domestic and international non-profit organizations that advocate social, racial and economic justice, gender equality, peacemaking and disarmament and ending hunger.


    If my schedule is full and I cannot fit you in, please see my list of referrals (below).

  • How to Contact Me


    Note as of September 2021: I am not taking new couples right now. Please look at my referral list for other couples therapists I recommend. I also encourage you to look at www.terryreal.com under "Maps" and "Oregon RLT therapists" for more local referrals to trained couples therapists.


    Covid-19 Guidelines:

    Currently, my sessions are held online using Zoom. As of October 1st, I will be seeing some clients in person in my office in Kenton/North Portland.


    Counseling for Couples

    Portland, OR 97217


    100 NE Farragut St., Suite 02. Portland, OR 97211
    Tuesdays through Fridays
  • My Blog

    Welcome to the blog! You can see my blog posts below.

    January 18, 2021
    Like many women, I grew up in conflict with my body. Namely, I thought I was too big. Too big for...
    December 2, 2020
    I saw a headline the other day: Can We Survive the Rest of the Pandemic without Drinking or Doing...
    Sometimes couples will describe their painful and seemingly unending struggles and end up telling...
    There's a pattern I notice to couples who've stopped having:fungood argumentsthe ability to...
    February 20, 2020
    Sometimes I sit with couples, listening to the sturm und drang of their conflict, I feel the pain...
    January 31, 2020
    This is some wall. If nothing else, the automatic machine gun tower should convince you of its...
    It's hard not to be awed by Lucy. Even though she only stood a meter high and weighed less than...
    Sometimes I feel like this old window carved out of stone, covered with moss, hundreds of years...
    This blog is part of a series on What to Ask When You're Getting Serious about Each Other. Part 1...
    December 7, 2018
    It's a crazy thing, this thing called love. A therapist told me the other day that she told a...
    More Posts
  • Helpful Links & Resources

    Resources for Couples



    • I Don't Want to Talk About It - Terry Real. Important and groundbreaking book on men, depression and how patriarchy influences male emotional health and resilience.
    • New Rules of Marriage - Terry Real. Straightforward skills and insight on being "relational' and having "fierce intimacy."
    • Rethinking Infidelity and Mating in Captivity - Esther Perel. A fresh voice with pioneering ideas about women's desire, couples & sex and infidelity. 
    • Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person, by philosopher/essayist Alain de Botton and his School of Life videos.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EvvPZFdjy and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuV80wYRld0
    • Wired for Love and Wired for Dating - Stan Tatkin. Clear understanding of how we attached as children affects how we find (and sometimes struggle with) partners. stantatkin.com
    • Brene Brown She's made a name for herself diving into shame & resilience. brenebrown.com
    • Pia Mellody I call her the Queen of Codependence. Her writings/talks on boundaries, codependence and addiction are brilliant. piamellody.com
    • Byron Katie Katie is all about investigating thoughts/beliefs that keep you stuck and in pain. She's definitely woo but the real deal. Find out more at www.TheWork.org. Watch her on youtube.
    • Terryreal.com Terry Real is the founder of Relational Life Therapy (RLT), a direct and practical approach to couples counseling and intimate relationships. This site offers tips and useful resources for couples.

    • Where Do We Begin? - a series of free podcasts hosted by Esther Perel. Each features a couple in a live session working on issues from sex/desire to parenting to cultural/gender differences.

    Sexuality & Desire Resources


    • Where Do We Begin? - a series of free podcasts hosted by Esther Perel. Each features a couple in a live session with Perel, who works on a range of issues from infidelity to parenting to cultural and gender differences in couples. Listen to Season 1 "Talk French to Me" dealing with sexual desire.
    • Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski. I can't rave enough about this book. It's the latest scientific and common-sense knowledge about women's sexuality and sexual desire. A book for everyone.   .
    • Sexual Intelligence. by Marty Klein. An in-depth explanation of how our minds influence our sexual desire. A must-read.
    • Institute for Relational Intimacy. Sex educator Martha Kauppi has informative resources and an excellent blog covering all aspects of sexuality. .https://instituteforrelationalintimacy.com
    • Lesbians & Sex. Educate yourself if you're not or get new ideas if you are. https://www.autostraddle.com/how-do-lesbians-have-sex28898 or https://www.thecut.com/2015/04/what-can-lesbians-teach-us-about-female-libido.html


    Referrals for Couples/Individual Therapists

    There are a lot of skilled therapists in Portland. Here are a few I recommend:


    Couples Therapists:

    • I highly recommend all of these Oregon RLT therapists: http://www.terryreal.com/therapist-map#oregon
    • Katrina Gould, LCSW - Hakomi trained; SE.www.katrina.gould.lcsw.com
    • Lori Severson, LPC - training in Terry Real's RLT;  addictions, Native American, Beaverton. www.loriseversoncounseling.com 
    • Emalee Assenberg - AEDP therapist. SE. www.auxiliumcounseling.com
    • Barry McVay, LPC - individuals, couples, expertise in sex/pornography addiction; Sellwood
    • Kathryn Williams, LPC - LGBTQ+ couples & individuals. 
    • Elaine Korngold - couples financial therapy; SW.- https://askcounseling.com/financial-therapy/
    • Tina Lilly, LPC - open/polyamory relationships:/sexuality. English and German. 
    Individual Therapists:
    • Ryan Brown - LGBTQ+ and polyamory. Downtown
    • Helen Goode, LPC - expertise in addictions and adult children of alcoholics. Offers groups. SE. www.goodecounseling.com
    • Kristen Beck - anxiety & depression; Gresham
    • Gia Buckberg, LCSW -- life changes; NW
    • Jeannie Songer, LPC - relationships; LGBTQ+; NE
    • Erika Ruber, LCSW - trauma recovery. Process/movement groups for women & girls. NE
    • Kerry Ogden LPC - uses yoga, mindfulness & somatics for personal growth. Downtown

    Low-Cost Counseling Resources


    William Temple House

    2021 NW Hoyt

    Offers low-cost counseling for individuals and couples.

    Apply online or in person.


    Owl's Nest -

    Other Books & Resources

    Wedding Toasts I Never Gave - insightful and funny collection of essays by Ada Calhoun.

    Queer Eye - struggling with finding empathy or hope in anxious times? Feeling stuck? This is a different kind of reality show in which five gay men help people get out of a life/self-image/outlook ruts. Great to watch with your partner because it's all here - depression, relationships, stuck beliefs, loneliness and hope for these troubled times.. Netflix.



    Portland Resources


    • Multnomah County Health Crisis
    • IRCO
    • Outside In
    • Q Center
    • Dougy Center
    • Be Nourished
    • “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” James Baldwin
    • “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” Anaïs Nin
    • “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

    Addiction & Recovery


    About Therapy

    • People of Color & Therapy http://www.oprah.com/health_wellness/how-racial-bias-affects-mental-health-treatment - challenges that people of color face finding effective therapy.
  • Note: Our workshops/groups are on hold for 2020. We hope to continue them when it's safe to do so.

    We can help improve your communication skills and deepen your intimate connection. We will offer a Couples Process Group (the spring group is now closed) in the fall that offers couples a deep and supportive dive into their relationship in a group setting. For more information about any of our workshops/groups, go to Contact.

  • Couples Workshop: Relationship Skills for Connection, Sunday May 17

    Couples Workshop: Relationship Skills for Connection, Sunday May 17

    CANCELLED. Please check back for future workshops.
    Why do we do the things we do in our most intimate relationship? This four-hour workshop attempts to answer that question while offering a set of skills you can use right away to resolve conflict and gain resilience as a couple.
    Sunday, May 17
    1-5 pm
    Pine Street Sangha in Montavilla
    Add to cart
    Couples Skills & Connection Workshop Sunday, March 15

    Couples Skills & Connection Workshop Sunday, March 15

    CANCELLED. Please check back for future workshops.
    Why do we do the things we do in our most intimate relationship? This four-hour workshop attempts to answer that question while offering a set of skills you can use right away to resolve conflict and gain resilience as a couple.
    Sunday, March 15
    1-5 pm
    Pine Street Sangha in Montavilla
    Add to cart
    Process group for Couples March 9 -- April 27 -- GROUP is FULL

    Process group for Couples March 9 -- April 27 -- GROUP is FULL

    NOTE: This group is full. Please contact us if you are interested in being part of a future Couples Process Group.
    A process group uses the power of group experience and support to help couples grow and thrive.
    This is an 8-week group that allows couples to be real about their experiences in a safe place, while gaining strength and wisdom from others. The result can foster more intimacy, connection and pleasure in your relationship.
    Runs Mondays March 9 - April 27 from 7-9 pm
    Meets at Pine Street Sangha in Montavilla
    All options are out of stock
    Add to cart
  • Supervision & Consultation for Therapists


    Individual Supervision

    I provide supervision to registered LPC and LMFT interns. I am an Approved Supervisor on the OBLPTC's Supervisor Registry. My focus is on providing supervision to those interns wanting guidance in working with couples. My rate is $75/hour.


    Group Supervision

    I run groups for registered interns and licensed therapists wanting extra consultation and education in couples therapy. Currently, I have openings for a Wednesday morning group beginning in February 202o.

    Groups are limited to six. My group rate is $45 for 1.5 hour groups.


    Case Consultation

     I offer one-on-one consultation for therapists working with couples. I use a variety of models and my training in couples, sexuality and bi-cultural issues. (See "Who I Am" for details). I welcome therapists of all experiences and modalities. My rate is $75/hour (less for your sliding-scale couples.)

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