Aaron Kelsay (LPC, LMHC, CADC-1)

Progress Counseling Founder and Clinician


In person and tele-health services:

  • Adolescent / adult individual counseling (IFS, strengths-based, SFBT, EMDR)
  • Addiction and substance use recovery (MI, harm reduction, 12-step, ACT)
  • Couples counseling (Gottman Level 1)
  • Trauma recovery and EMDR

Aaron Kelsay is a licensed therapist (Oregon and Washington) specializing in therapy for trauma, addictions, adolescent counseling, men's issues, and EMDR

Aaron is currently able to bill in-network Aetna, Cigna, Pacific Source, and OHP.

After starting his helping career in the non-profit sector, Aaron moved on to community mental health. In this context, Aaron worked with clients in some of the most challenging moments of their lives -- transitioning out of the carceral system, processing trauma, and recovering from substance use. There, Aaron grew in his passion and skills for helping clients make progress through compassion and client-centered treatment.

From Aaron to any prospective client:
Healing is a journey. For some, "healing" means reversing years of trauma, and for others it means 'getting out of my own head' or 'getting un-stuck.' For everyone, the path to healing is a difficult one, and it is lighter, easier, more meaningful when others join in with you. To you who have tried to go it alone, I invite you to reach out. Connecting with a counselor is a way to get un-stuck in your journey towards health, to bring healing to those deeper places of hurt. My goal in working with a client is to help them develop the insight, skills, strengths, resources, and supports to work toward that state of being "healthy." I work with the best available, evidence-based modalities to support people on their journey towards health. This includes EMDR, trauma-based, and attachment-based modalities. Life is hard, and for many, so is asking for help. And life is better, and easier, with the help of others. I would encourage anyone who has lost hope, who feels over-burdened, or worn out by life to reach out. I can help you get back on track to living a healthy, hopeful, meaningful life.

In-person and telehealth services available (telehealth is available in Oregon and Washington)

Contact Aaron
Phone: 971-2OO-5789
Email: aaron@progresscounselingllc.com

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a type of therapy that focuses on understanding and working with the different parts of a person's inner world or psyche. It was developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz in the 1980s and has since gained popularity as a form of trauma-informed therapy.

The central idea of IFS is that everyone has multiple "parts" within them, each with their own unique characteristics and functions. These parts can be thought of as different aspects of a person's personality or psyche. IFS proposes that these parts can be categorized into two types: exiles and protectors.

Exiles are parts of a person's psyche that carry emotional pain, memories of trauma, and vulnerability. Protectors are parts of the psyche that try to keep the exiles hidden or protect them from further harm. Protectors can take on many different forms, such as perfectionism, anger, or avoidance.

IFS aims to help people identify and understand these parts of themselves and develop a relationship with them that is compassionate and accepting. Through this process, people can learn to access and work with their inner wisdom and make positive changes in their lives.

During an IFS therapy session, a therapist may guide the client through a process of exploring and understanding their different parts. The therapist may help the client visualize their parts, dialogue with them, and learn to access their inner wisdom. Through this process, the client can gain insight into the underlying emotional patterns that may be causing them distress and work towards healing and growth.

Overall, IFS is a form of therapy that seeks to help people develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of themselves, their emotions, and their experiences. It can be particularly helpful for people who have experienced trauma, as it provides a compassionate and non-judgmental way to work with the complex emotional states that can arise from traumatic experiences.

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals identify and achieve their goals in a positive and solution-oriented way. It is a short-term and goal-directed approach to therapy that typically lasts between five and ten sessions.

SFBT is based on the idea that people have the capacity to create change in their lives and that this change can be achieved by identifying and amplifying existing strengths and resources. The therapist's role is to help the client identify what they want to achieve and to guide them towards finding solutions and making progress towards their goals.

The therapy is typically structured around a series of questions that help the client to identify their goals and strengths, and to develop a plan for achieving them. These questions might include:

  • What do you want to achieve from therapy?
  • What are your strengths and resources?
  • When have you been successful in the past?
  • What small steps can you take towards your goals?
  • How will you know when you have achieved your goals?

The therapist uses these questions to help the client focus on their desired outcomes and to identify the resources and strengths that will help them achieve those outcomes. The therapy emphasizes positive change and is focused on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

SFBT is a flexible and adaptable approach to therapy that can be used with individuals, couples, families, and groups. It has been shown to be effective for a wide range of problems, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and relationship difficulties. It is often used in combination with other types of therapy and can be an effective complement to other forms of treatment.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that is used to treat trauma and other mental health conditions. EMDR was developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro and has since become a widely used approach to trauma therapy.

The basic idea behind EMDR is that traumatic experiences can become "stuck" in the brain, causing ongoing distress and symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. EMDR aims to help individuals process these traumatic experiences and reduce the distress associated with them.

During an EMDR session, the therapist will guide the individual through a series of eye movements or other types of bilateral stimulation, such as tapping or sounds. The individual will be asked to recall the traumatic experience while focusing on the eye movements or other bilateral stimulation. This process is thought to stimulate the brain's natural healing processes and help the individual to process the traumatic experience in a new way.

EMDR also involves a structured series of phases, including assessment, preparation, desensitization, installation, and body scan. During the assessment phase, the therapist will work with the individual to identify the specific traumatic experiences that are causing distress. During the preparation phase, the therapist will help the individual to develop coping strategies and build a sense of safety before beginning the desensitization phase.

During the desensitization phase, the individual will recall the traumatic experience while engaging in the eye movements or other types of bilateral stimulation. This phase may be repeated multiple times until the individual feels less distress and the traumatic experience is no longer causing significant distress.

The installation phase involves focusing on positive beliefs and emotions related to the traumatic experience. The body scan phase involves checking in with the individual's physical sensations and making sure that they feel calm and relaxed.

Overall, EMDR is a type of therapy that aims to help individuals process traumatic experiences and reduce distress. It is based on the idea that the brain has natural healing processes that can be activated through specific types of stimulation, and it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions related to trauma.