Category Archives: therapy

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

Timeframe for Coaching and Therapy

When is it Time to Stop Your Cognitive Therapy?

How do you know when to stop therapy and coaching? Sometimes my clients will ask about The process of cognitive therapy & coaching - Portland Oregon.their graduation date. This is an interesting idea. Some people think of graduation as a destination. I have arrived. Now I have accomplished that. Done. Other people see graduation as a stepping stone. I have accomplished this and now I have a new goal. It is not like this kid who is showing you that it is time. Unfortunately there is not certain answer to this question.

I see life as a process. It is a continual growing place. I am not ever “at” a destination. The age old saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey not a destination,” says it perfectly. There is no set mark at which you finally arrive. I think of a tree- it is growing or it is withering. There is no stagnation, no in between.

People come in with goals. Sometimes these goals are met and they are complete. Sometimes the goals expand to something else or become more complex the deeper we explore. Sometimes people take time off to be able to practice their new skills they have learned and may or may not come back for a tune up. Sometimes it is an ongoing relationship where it is about the process and continual support as life is a journey.

I would encourage you to check in with yourself. It is actually a question I ask on my intake form- “How will you know when you are done?” If you are starting the process of cognitive therapy or coaching or currently seeing someone, ask yourself what your goals have been/are currently, ask yourself what you are wanting out of the process with your coach or therapist.

If you are looking to explore your goals in cognitive therapy in the Portland Oregon area, call for an appointment.

Photo compliments from stockimages of freedigitalphotos.net.

Ch Ch Ch Changes

“Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”
Watch the Ted Talk here.

 

Can your posture or environment change you?

Try curling into yourself, bring your knees in, cross your arms, look down. Portland Oregon Cognitive TherapySit like this for a minute. How do you feel in this position? Now try stretching your arms up, standing tall, looking up. What body sensations do you notice?

Changing your posture can change how you feel, how you interact. She does a much better job at demonstrating this, watch her video to get the full scoop on it.

I what to take this somewhere else: your environment. That may be your home, your organization, your clothes in your closet or even the clothes you wear. Think about when you wear sweatpants and an oversized sweat shirt. I think cozy, comfortable, ease of movement. Now what about going on a date, what clothes do you pick out for that? And it probably depends on how you want to feel. Some women will wear sexy underwear or a camisole to feel sexy even if they are wearing not so sexy clothes.

Posture affects you. Clutter in your home affects you. What you wear affects you.

Check in with yourself when you are feeling a certain way, (Not as a fix it, I don’t believe in fixing your feelings, more as a possible shift move.) and try changing your posture or your clothes. Play with it and notice what happens.

Like I say to many of my clients, life is like a science experiment: have a hypothesis, try it out, determine the next step. Go into this not knowing, being curious, wondering what will happen. And then gather data.

If you think cognitive therapy could help you, contact me for Portland appointments.

Appreciation for use of the photo go to Serge Bertasius Photography At FreeDigitalPhotos.net

YES or maybe not

 

Head & Heart Life Coaching Tip

In the theory of work that I use for myself and my clients, there is a saying, Help with Life Coaching choices in Portland, Oregon.“If it isn’t a full body yes, then it is a no.” This is a very black or white way of looking at it and it hasn’t always sat well with me.

I had an aha with a client this week that shed a different light on that. We were exploring what she wanted and what appeared to be a divergence between her head and her heart. We then looked more closely at the different body centers (head, heart, gut). Each one wanted something, yet toward the end of the exploration we realized that the three centers really wanted the same thing. The what she wanted was the same, the how she would step toward her want was different.

If you are unsure what you are wanting at this time, perhaps feeling in limbo, take a moment to check in with each center. Take a breath, tune into your head, what does your head want? Once you land on something, check in and notice any body sensations around this want. Now, take a breath and tune into your heart, what does your heart want? Once the want percolates to your conscious, take a moment to bring your awareness to your body sensations. Simply noticing. Now repeat this with your gut.

Is there connection between the wants? Are they at odds or closer than you had thought?

Contact me for more information on life coaching in the Portland, Oregon area.

Photo compliments of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.