Author Archives: FireSpike

Is Your Telehealth Therapist Licensed for Your State?

Therapy Licensing for Oregon, Washington & Florida

telehealth therapy licensing explainedYou may think that telehealth allows you to see any clinician anywhere. This makes logical sense. You are on video. Your therapist is on video. Why would it matter where you are located?

It does matter where you are located. Legally you need to be in the state where the therapist is licensed.

When I had an office where people came to see me in person, we were all located in the same place. It was never an issue. Easy peasy, it was not an issue. People came in or cancelled.  We didn’t typically just switch venues to video or phone because of a cancellation.

Telehealth changes everything because you and the therapist can be located anywhere. Yet legally, your therapist needs to be licensed in the state where you are in when you are having the session. I will state psychologists may be able to cross state lines. Other types of mental health practitioners are trying to gain access to be able to cross state lines with the change to video sessions. That is not yet the case.

As an LCSW, I am licensed in Oregon and Washington State. I am also able to practice in Florida. Some states have an easier system to be able to get a temporary license or to get permission to provide therapy to people in their state. Other states require you to go through more paperwork as if you were getting licensed.

This is something to consider when thinking about seeing a clinician.

Take care, Caroline

If you have more questions about Oregon, Washington or Florida state therapy licensing, contact me or make an appointment.

Science of Romance & Couples Counseling

The Kissing Brain: Investigating the Neuroscience of Romantic Couples

The kissing brain couples counseling.

New study uses mobile EEG to investigate real-life emotions in romantic couples.

Think about the last situation in which you experienced an intense positive emotion.

Did it involve another person?

The answer to this question is highly likely to be “Yes.” While negative emotions like sadness are often experienced when we are lonely, positive emotions often (but not always) occur while we interact with other people, like family, friends, or romantic partners. Despite this, neuroscientific studies aimed at investigating human emotions often involve people sitting in a laboratory alone while looking at pictures of emotional scenes. While this highly controlled environment has several benefits when conducting psychological experiments, it has one big drawback: Pretty much anyone can tell that looking at a picture of two people kissing is not the same as passionately kissing another person yourself.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

If you and your partner need help, I offer online couples counseling for Oregon clients. Contact me and find out how I can help.

Seasonal Winter Mood Therapy

The Neuroscience of Springtime Bliss & Wintertime Doldrums

Seasonal rhythms may affect our mood via mu-opioid receptor (MOR) availability.

“We were shining our light into the days of blooming wonder. On and on and on, we kept singing our song. It’s easy to describe leaves in the autumn. And it’s oh so easy in the spring. But down through January and February, it’s a very different thing. On and on and on, through the winter of our discontent. When the wind blows up your collar and the ears are frostbitten, too.”
—from “A Sense of Wonder” by Van Morrison

Seasonal Affective Disorder’s acronym, SAD, sums up how many of us in the Northern Hemisphere feel during this time of year—when the days tend to be shorter and colder. February is one of Americans’ least favorite months, Gallup Polls have found.

Long before SAD was included in the DSM-IV in 1994, William Shakespeare summed up the seasonal pattern of recurrent depressive symptoms that usually begin in late autumn and continue through early spring in the opening line of William III: “Now is the winter of our discontent.”

In 1985, this age-old phrase was repurposed by Van Morrison in “Sense of Wonder” to juxtapose how the song’s protagonist feels in January and February compared to the spring and summer months. The Winter of Our Discontent is also the title of John Steinbeck’s final novel, which has been described as a “tale of spiritual crisis.”

When it comes to seasonal variations of mood, humans since de temps immémorial seem to grow increasingly happy and contented as the days get warmer and longer, which happens in opposite months for those living in Northern vs. Southern Hemispheres. (December to February is summer in Australia, for example.) Literally and figuratively, the transition from spring to summer is generally considered a hopeful and regenerative time of growth or rebirth.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact me about telehealth Therapy in Oregon.

Grief Counseling Advice During Pandemic

Counseling Reflection on Grief & Loss During the Pandemic

We are now close to a year into this pandemic and life has been trying on many levels. People who used to have access to ways to care for themselves don’t have the same access as before. Self care is challenging to say the least and I know people have different levels of comfort with risk.

One thing I talk to my clients, as well as my family, about is that there is a lot of loss. And the loss keeps coming. Winter holidays have come and gone, and for a lot of people holidays were extremely different then years past. Life is different. Most people have had birthdays already. And yet we are still in it.

Please don’t compare your pain. On a Brenee Brown pod cast with David Kessler, who is an expert in grief, he shared that the worst grief is the one you are going through. Don’t compare, you can almost always find people in worse situations or better positions. Comparison keeps you from feeling what is really going on. You grief is your grief. Feel it.

If you need help in this trying time, contact me for ways I can help.

I wanted to share this video, It does have curse word in it, just FYI.

Benefits & Obstacles of Telehealth Therapy

Review of Telehealth Therapy Sessions

It has been an interesting time. Back in March I thought 2 weeks for telehealth, then it extended again and again. Here are some things that I have found to be helpful for my clients, as well as the downfalls.Telehealth therapy review from Oregon Therapist

Telehealth Benefits

1) It is easy. People love being able to just sign in. They can just have woken up. Be running late. And then sign on. When in person, I would text and they would scramble, unless they lived in the neighborhood, they couldn’t make it in time, so it was a missed session. So in addition to ease no late cancellation fee.

2) No need for babysitters and no commute. I am able to see people all over Oregon. Hopefully in Washington and California soon with getting licensed. It opens up possibilities for people to be able to see who they want and not be confined to geography and commute and schedules.

3) it can be much easier to schedule because there isn’t a commute or geography to deal with. People can use their lunch break or leave work and talk in their car.

4) We can talk and not wear masks. Masks cover much of the face which is a big part of therapy, me being able to see you as well as you seeing my reaction.

Obstacles for Telehealth Therapy

1) no babysitters, so depending on the age of the kids, they can come in and interrupt the session as they also need attention.

2) The physical location. Not having a space to go to, that is safe, and confidential. Sometimes it can be very challenging for people to be able to find a quiet, confidential space to talk.  Some people have mentioned they miss coming in to a different space than their home or car.

3) Being in person. And there isn’t the same three dimensional aspect of seeing someone in person.

Contact me for more information on Oregon telehealth therapy.

Joy & Personal Growth with Online LGBT Counseling

All Work and No Play? Why We Need to Take Advantage of Opportunities for Joy and Personal Growth

Online LGBT Counseling for Personal GrowthFor some of us, it can feel like we should spend every moment of our days being productive. A wasted moment is a missed opportunity to make more money, impress your boss, start a new project, or simply get more work done. To succeed in “adulting,” we might push free time to the back burner in favor of working longer hours instead. Without a doubt, many of us feel a lot of pressure to work hard and focus on productivity above all else.

Yet, if we neglect opportunities to prioritize our own personal growth or simply experience joy with no pressure to compete, we may begin to feel like our lives are incomplete or stagnant.

Why do we need time to simply be ourselves, engage in our hobbies, and let go of high expectations?

Continue reading on PortlandPsychotherapy.com.

All Work and No Play? Why We Need to Take Advantage of Opportunities for Joy and Personal Growth

Gender Diversity Health Model

Gender and Sex are Complex

Gender and sexy health therapy.Gender is not as simple as putting people into neat boxes of “male” or “female.” A useful way to understand gender diversity is the gender health model, which encourages people to fully explore all parts of their gender identity and gender expression. Gender identity is one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both, neither, or something else. Neurologically and philosophically, gender identity is anchored in the brain or mind. But what about sex?

Continue reading on PortlandPsychotherapy.com.

Gender and sex are complex.

Portland Public Therapy Resources

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Resources

Mindfulness public resources from lgbt counselor.At Portland Psychotherapy, for years we’ve been maintaining a list of the best ACT resources for the public that we know about. We have links to video, self help courses, meditation recordings, apps, and much more. I recently went out and searched the web for additional Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) resources to update our list. Below are the newest additions. To see the complete list of resources, go to our ACT Exercise and Audio Files page. […]

Continue reading this article at Portland Psychotherapy.

Holiday Relationship Tips During the Pandemic

Relationship Tips for Holidays

Relationship tips for the Portland Pandemic holiday.This time of year can be hard. I think this year in particular may be harder. We are 7 plus months into the pandemic and not seeing a clear way out. People are tired, people want connection and socializing and some normalcy. With colder, wetter weather coming in the Pacific Northwest, in person socializing can be harder.

I have heard people talk about the upcoming holidays. And most likely it won’t be the same as years past. Some people don’t want to do anything if it can’t be the way it has been. I don’t know if anyone actually threw the baby out with the bath water, but please don’t. There are things that are good and can be reworked with some creativity. Holiday rituals don’t have to be non-existent. It can be different. I encourage you to be creative in finding different ways to connect with family and friends. Find different ways to do things that you have enjoyed in the past, just tweak them a bit.

If you are struggling and need some help, contact me for more information on Oregon Telehealth relationship therapy appointments.