How Does Therapy Work? Pt. 2

Aaron has already provided an excellent summary of why therapy works, but it’s interesting to ponder exactly what makes the clinical setting of a trained therapist and an anonymous client so special. Don’t empathetic friends, wise parents or experienced clergy provide the same sort of services for free? Why insist that the therapist and client … Read more

Therapy, challenges to therapy, human connection and vulnerability.

Progress Counseling

Identifying, naming problems, and changing is universally difficult. Addictions counseling can be taken as a microcosm of the healing relationship. The addictions counselors on our team may agree, the process by which substance use becomes a problem is often insidious. Problems rarely announce themselves. Sometimes there is a problem with naming a problem (e.g. “admitting you have a problem is the first step”). This can be the case for individuals, families, larger social systems. This sounds like “I didn’t know it was that bad until (fill in the blank)” or “at least (the identified client) still has a job,” etc. Typical of the change process, especially in the substance use recovery community, is omission, minimization, blaming, “I’ll deal with the problem tomorrow,” and “Other people have it much worse than me.” And, of course this is the case. Change, whether it’s addiction, working through grief, adding a healthy habit, is incredibly hard.

Spiritual Abuse

Portland is considered one of the most post-Christian cities in the United States, which is one of the reasons it has been such a draw for younger people seeking to escape religious environments they’ve perceived as oppressive and toxic. But this exodus has been a national trend, as well – even before the pandemic devastated … Read more

Why don’t men go to therapy?

Telehealth available

Counseling is an excellent tool for mental and emotional support for anyone experiencing difficulties in their lives. However, there is a noticeable gap between the number of women who attend counseling and the number of men who attend. According to studies, only 1 in 4 men will seek counseling, while women are almost twice as … Read more

Is social media bad for kids?

Social media can have both positive and negative effects on kids, depending on how they use it and how much time they spend on it. Many young people will say, in their own words, they know it is bad for them but (“the truth usually comes after but…”) their whole social lives exist within that space. To go without a phone, for many young people, means that they have no lifeline or connection to the outside world. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which in turn muddied the “use of screens” (usually a social or entertainment thing) into “use screens for everything.”

Book / video recommendations for the moment

Mental health book recommendations

There are many excellent books on mental health that can help you gain a better understanding of mental health, treatment options, and strategies for managing your own mental health. I sometimes find that I loan books out and never see them again (and this is fine, because I don’t often read a book more than once), and I confess there are books I only “know” by reputation, catching their value by seeing it lived out in others. Here are a few recommendations which run the whole spectrum, from behavioral to mindful to existential.

How does therapy work? The basics.

Therapy is a type of treatment that involves talking to a trained professional in order to improve mental health and well-being. There are different types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and family therapy, among others. However, most therapies share some common elements that contribute to their effectiveness. Firstly, therapy works by creating … Read more

What is Neurodiversity? (Jo Pedro-Frye)

What is Neurodiversity? (Jo Pedro-Frye)

One of our clinicians, Jo Pedro-Frye, has extensive experience working with clients (and their families) who may identify “neurodivergent.” Here, she does an excellent job breaking down the basics of what neurodiversity means, and some of the common traits of those who identify as “neurodivergent.” Therapy can often be a place where those who experience … Read more