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.
I believe that the best way to grow is through an intimate relationship with someone else. I've seen that with my own relationships and with 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.
Relationship 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:
I honor the diversity of your culture, your race, your religious beliefs, your gender and/or your sexuality/sexual orientation.
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 are willing, motivated and accountable. s
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 Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT) 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.
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 $175/90 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. I ask them to pay what is affordable for them. Please ask me about this. 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).
Couples Process Group October 3-November 28 (7-9 pm)
Reach Out to Me Here
Note as of January 2023: I am full and currently not accepting new clients. If you are interested in seeing me in the future, please contact me below and let me know your availability (am/pm) and how you found me (online, therapist referral, etc. I also encourage you to look at www.terryreal.com under "Maps/Oregon RLT therapists" for more local referrals to trained couples therapists, as well as my referral list on this site.
Helpful Links & Resources
Resources for Couples
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
Referrals for Couples/Individual Therapists
There are a lot of skilled therapists in Portland. Here are a few I recommend:
Low-Cost Counseling Resources
The William Temple House offers pay-what-you-can fees from $0 - $40/session. Clients work either with student interns or community volunteers who are licensed. https://www.williamtemple.org/our-services/counseling/
The PSU Community Counseling Clinic offers low-cost individual, relationship, and family counseling, including services for children and teens for $15/session.. Sessions are with supervised counseling students. https://www.pdx.edu/education/clinic
Lewis & Clark Community Clinic offers individuals, couples, and families sliding scale rates from $5 to $75. .. Problem gambling services are offered free of charge. There is currently a waiting list: https://graduate.lclark.edu/clinics/community_counseling/
The Process Work Institute’s River’s Way Clinic is an affordable, sliding-scale clinic providing services to individuals, couples, families, children, and groups: https://www.processwork.edu/rivers-way-clinic/rivers-way-training-clinic/
The Pacific University Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinic offers individual, family, and group therapy for self-pay clients or those covered by OHP. . Sessions range from $18-$47 for those who qualify. They offer additional veteran and student discounts. https://www.pacificu.edu/about/community/healthcare-clinics/pacific-psychology-comprehensive-health-clinic/scheduling-fees
A New Day Counseling Center through Western Seminary offers individual, relationship, adolescent, and family counseling for $20/session with pre-licensed graduate students and licensed counselors. https://www.anewdaycounseling.org/
George Fox’s Portland Counseling and Training Center offers services to services to families, couples, individuals, children, adolescents, and groups for $5 - $40/session. Sessions are with pre-licensed counseling graduate students under supervision.. https://www.georgefox.edu/clinics/portland-counseling-training-center/index.html
Oregon State University Counseling Clinic offers free session to community members via telehealth. Sessions are with pre-licensed counseling graduate students who are supervised by faculty. https://osucascades.edu/counseling-clinic
The practice of Dr. Sanderson and Associates offers sessions with pre-licensed counselors for $35-$50/session. The practice is in Tigard, and they are currently providing telehealth. https://drsandersonandassociates.com/individual-therapy
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.
Principles of Pleasure -
In case of emergency:
If you are experiencing a crisis or mental health emergency, please seek 24/7 support by contacting:
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