Category Archives: therapy

Telehealth Therapy Tips: Listing to Your Future Self

Oregon Runner Considers Therapy of Listening to Self

Oregon Runner Contemplates Therapy of Listening to Self

I went running today. I would not consider myself a runner yet I do run. I picked it up after adopting my son and I stopped going to the gym. I needed the exercise for my general well being and I feel better when I get my heart rate up. I stopped after a knee injury and then picked it up again once in the pandemic. So this go around I have been running for almost a year, so really I think I can call myself a runner.

How do we characterize ourselves? What labels do we own or push away. What do others put on us that we accept or reject. Sometimes these labels can be helpful and sometimes limiting.

I would not say I like running. Often times I choose to push myself to go because I really don’t want to. Pick the excuse: it is hard, it is rainy and cold, it is not a good time, maybe the rain will stop, I can do it later. And I learned years ago after going to gym classes regularly that I always felt better after. I used to have a chat with my future self when I didn’t want to go. And she always said, “You will feel better. Go. Talk to me after. Move it. Just go.” She gave me a gentle shove out. And I have learned to listen to her. And to be honest, I did sometimes have this conversation out loud. Now I just experience a deep down knowing to go now; if I wait too long  the inaction will become the decision of not going because there isn’t enough time.

Can we all check in with our future selves and see what may be something that would be beneficial in the future that we may not see or know now? How often do we listen to this? How often do we choose the easy instead of the hard, and choose not to push ourselves?

I do not run for speed. Or for distance. I do not compete yet. I do compete against myself. I push myself to go a little harder in the big picture. And I also listen to my body when it says it needs something easier. Better, faster, harder is not always better. I have good days and bad days; days when I need some slow gentle run and days when I need to push hard.

Can we give ourselves compassion and listen to what we need? And to be okay with what we need changing?

Just a few thoughts running through my head (no pun intended, yet a good one).

Take care, Caroline
If you or someone you know is interested in Oregon telehealth therapy, contact me to make an appointment.

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.

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.

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.

How I work with people: part 4

Things to Love About Coaching Homework

Another word on homework. I often have people come in having not done their homework. It is not my job to shame you, I find that people do that enough without adding any more. We can explore what occurred that you didn’t do it. Although, I often find that a couple of things can happen when people haven’t “done” their homework:

  1. they did and just didn’t realize it
  2. they explored something else that had meaning to them
  3. what was homework, didn’t show up for them so they didn’t have the opportunity to explore it
  4. there was hesitation to facing into the homework and then the work is to explore that.

LGTBQ-friendly coaching homework Portland.The thing I love about homework is that the therapy or coaching session is not just this isolated event, a bubble of time for you to focus on you. Granted it is time for you, sometimes the only place people have to be listened to, connect with another and heard fully. Homework is a thread that connects the sessions together. It is a time for you to continue your intention to work on your goals outside of the walls of my Portland office. It is practice in “real time” in your “real life.”

To get started with your homework contact me to start your Portland coaching sessions with an LGTBQ-friendly therapist.

Photo compliments of Mister GC at freedigitalphotos.net

How I work with people part 3

What is Counseling Homework?

In counseling and coaching, people may come in wanting to be “fixed.” That is not my job. It is also not how I see people. I see people as whole, yes you are on a journey and there may be things that you want changed (that is why people come see me because they want something changed and don’t know how to go about making the changes). And you are not broken or messed up or completely shattered, you are whole just as you are in the midst of the challenges that you are facing.

Often times the steps may be small. People often don’t take a gigantic leap. More often than not, it is a baby step by baby step and sometimes  it may feel like you’re either going backwards Counseling homework for Portland, Oregon LGBT friendly therapist.or falling down. Sometimes the sessions are not a nicely wrapped present with a beautiful bow on top. Sometimes they end in a way that feels very undone. This can also be a time when a lot of change can happen, as you sit with what’s going on.

I do like to give homework, I have adolescents who call it something else since they have enough homework from school- growth opportunity, advancement protocol, something to think about. The homework, or whatever you choose to call it, is something that was explored in the session. Of course that is not always the case, sometimes people want to inquire into something completely different. Either way, I ask if you have ideas and I can toss out some ideas as well. You get to decide what you want to do. The concept of homework is to keep you thinking, exploring, delving into, to keep your intention and attention on movement, to be aware of how you are in the world so that what “just happens” will become conscious and therefore you have a choice in the matter.

Are you ready to work on your counseling? Contact me for area Portland, Oregon LGBT friendly counseling.

Photo compliments of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

How I work with people in coaching and therapy: part 2

Questions are Part of Relationship Coaching

This is part two in an attempt to describe how I work with people.

Once we’ve set up a full session, I will send you some paperwork. It may feel completely tedious. And it is quite a bit of paperwork. Some of it is history, some of it is gathering more details about what’s going on. A big part of it is also about your goals, and how you know when you will be done with either coaching or therapy. I see both relationship coaching and therapy as a way to learn skills,Questions are the next step in relationship coaching Portland! to make changes and shifts in your life so that you can go out and do these things on your own. Goals give us a guide. They give us something to work toward, so that we are not just floundering around meeting after meeting without making steps towards what you want.

The first session is often me asking you a lot of questions. I am gathering information about what is going on, what has been going on, and what you are wanting as you move forward. The first session is not typical of how I work with people. It is you talking more and me asking more questions.

In subsequent sessions, I am more active. I see us as collaborators. I am a professional. I have a license. I go to continuing education courses. You are the expert on you. This is an on going conversation, back and forth. I am not just going to sit and listen. I am an active participant in our sessions, asking questions, gently challenging, throwing out ideas that may or may not land with you. And I am open to feedback. That is also important for you to know. If you are not getting what you want, say something to me. It doesn’t help to vent to your friend or even just stop coming. Let’s have a conversation about it. I don’t want it to be a waste of your time or your money. If I am not able to provide the support you are looking for I can give you referrals.

If you have more questions about relationship coaching services I offer in Portland – call!

Photo compliments of punsayaporn at Freedigitalphotos.net

How I work with people in coaching and therapy: part 1

Portland LGTBQ Coaching Consultation

Often times people will come and not know what to expect. I thought this might be a good platform to talk about that.

What to expect in a coaching consultation for Portland LGTBQ clients.I offer a free 20 minute coaching consultation. During this, I meet with people briefly. We don’t necessarily get into the nitty-gritty of what’s going on. I see it more as a meet and greet. It gives both of us an idea of the other person, to find out if we may be a good fit. This gives you a chance to share what you are looking for in a therapist and what issues you are working on to determine if I may able to work with you.

One of the main things to consider doing a consultation or a first meeting, is to ask yourself if you can see yourself trusting this person. A therapeutic or coaching relationship is like any other relationship, it takes time to build trust. You may end up talking about very intimate things. And trust is part of the foundation.  I certainly don’t expect you to trust me in the first 5 or even 20 minutes, or even the first several sessions. What I do ask is, do you see yourself being able to trust me with the intimate details of your life. Do you trust me to guide you on this journey towards your goals?

Make a consultation appointment today! I offer coaching for Portland area LGTBQ and ally clients.

Compliments of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net