Life can bring challenges. Relationships, parenting, aging, work, the daily grind, communications, loss, and other typical aspects of being a person can test us. You might sometimes feel afraid, anxious, depressed or sad; confused, insecure or angry; ashamed, disempowered, or misunderstood. Your abilities, strengths and truths may sometimes feel deeply buried or not recognized by others. You may feel tired or overwhelmed.
The M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic is a clinical training site with a focus on Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches. We offer counseling for individuals, couples, families, adolescents, children, and elders, as well as groups focused on topics such as: "Mindful Eating" and "Parenting - A Journey Into Yourself" and "The Brain, Body and Being in Relationship." M.E.T.A. counseling uses mindfulness of the present moment to help you turn toward yourself with curiosity and attention. This offers fuller self-awareness and choice around self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, and supports being your best and truest self.
We'd like to tell you a bit about M.E.T.A., our orientation and what you may experience from receiving counseling services with us.
What is unique about the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic?
M.E.T.A. stands for Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches. This name indicates certain important characteristics of how we work. We use applied mindfulness as a support to your increased self-awareness and any changes you intend to make. We recognize that all any of us really have is our experience, so we place your experience of yourself and the world central to the work we do together. We know there are many styles of therapy and ways of helping and, at the same time, realize you are the most important factor in your own healing and change process. So, our therapy approaches will be responsive and honor your actual needs and preferences. Our work is grounded in ways of helping that honor the body, heart, mind, and spirit. These include the Hakomi Method of body-centered, mindfulness-based psychotherapy; theRe-Creation of the Self (R-CS) model of human systems; the growing science of interpersonal neurobiology; human development and attachment research; and new understanding about how trauma is best processed. This results in our counselors taking a holistic and customized approach to their work with you, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. This may be different from or very similar to what you have experienced in counseling or how you imagine counseling happens. We welcome your feedback along the way.
Besides our holistic clinical orientation, we also have a philosophy of helping that sees the value of creating a training clinic that can sustainably offer affordable counseling to a wide range of people. This requires implementing a fee structure that works for both you and us. We believe our $35 and $45 fees fit this intention.
What to Expect in a Session & Over Time
Mindfulness, Awareness & Change M.E.T.A. counselors may invite you to work with a special kind of consciousness called "mindfulness." This is a way of paying attention to yourself without self-judgment; like being your own inner accepting witness. It often means closing your eyes to focus your attention on your actual experiences in the moment. Since it is done with a counselor, it may feel a bit like assisted meditation, even though it involves no religious beliefs. Mindfulness is simply the ability to have an experience and notice it at the same time, without judging it or yourself. In a supportive counseling relationship, mindfulness provides an opportunity to slow down and take notice of automatic reactions, feelings, thoughts, and body-sensations. This can help you uncover deeply-held beliefs and patterns operating under the surface of awareness. It can also indicate the healing experiences you need and want. Mindfulness is a tool and a process that helps you learn about what is and is not working in your life and how to make choices that lead to a more fulfilling life.
Non-Violence, Unity, Organicity & Change
M.E.T.A. counselors abide by the principles of non-violence, unity and organicity in their support of natural and healthy change. Non-violence is about not forcing things, about trusting the unique evolution of people's processes. Unity assumes we are all in it together; that we are interconnected and have impact on each other. Organicity recognizes all living systems have a flow and a natural impulse toward wholeness and health and that the counselor's job is to help remove barriers to this natural growth.
Respect for You
M.E.T.A. counselors have respect for you. Although M.E.T.A. counselors have valuable training and experience in psychology and counseling methods, they know you are the expert on yourself. You are the authority regarding what you choose to work on, and how far or how fast you go. Your counselor will act respectfully by inviting you to study yourself, by offering suggestions for experiments to try, and by providing a safe space in which to learn about yourself and try new things out. As senior M.E.T.A. trainer, Jon Eisman, says: "The therapist is in charge of the process and the client is in charge of the therapist."
Research shows that true change means replacing habitual patterns with new, more satisfying ones. For this reason, M.E.T.A. counselors are interested in helping you study how you do things and what you are made of, as well as ways your habits support and hinder you. This self-study can lead to a new relationship with yourself and the way you approach your life, which in turn can powerfully impact the quality of your experiences. This orientation may feel different than a problem solving approach to therapy, but M.E.T.A. counselors have learned to trust the unfolding of the client's process as a powerful pathway to change.
Being mindful is a sensitive state and experiences are unique to each person. There is no "right" way to experience or explore your inner world. Sometimes physical sensations or impulses show up, or strong emotions arise, or stunning insights unfold. Other times, poignant memories may emerge or powerful images flash in your mind's eye. Sometimes you might feel younger than your actual years. Or things might simply get very quiet and still, or even boring or frustrating. Any of these experiences are normal and natural; in mindfulness, whatever occurs is welcomed and honored.
Shifting From Fragmentation to Wholeness
M.E.T.A. counselors have compassion and respect for people's struggles, pain, grief, and woundings, and they recognize the powerful capacities and gifts each person embodies. M.E.T.A. counselors may help you explore ways to learn to intentionally shift from disempowered, painful, limiting states of being into empowered, alive, preferred states of being.
The Hakomi Method is a body-centered approach and as such employs the use of touch in some of its techniques. If touch is used in a M.E.T.A. counseling session, its purpose is to support self-study and usually not to provide relief of physical tension or distress (although M.E.T.A. counselors may shake hands or offer comfort for grief or respond to hugs as is comfortable for clients). Touch used experimentally is always explained, done in mindfulness and with your permission, and in service of therapeutic exploration. Of course, you remain in charge and are always free to decline anything that feels uncomfortable for you for any reason.
Integration of new beliefs, attitudes and skills occurs over time and with practice and support. Even after a session is over, you will continue to work on change internally, and, hopefully, externally. You may find yourself in various moods, pleasant or not; you might have more or less energy; you might have particularly vivid dreams; you might feel peaceful, agitated, numb, excited, or tired. All kinds of experiences may present themselves as your inner self makes adjustments and integrates the new options you are creating and discovering. The more you also consciously align with this inner unfolding process, the more the growth you want can happen. Since change and growth take time, it can help to be patient with the process and remember that you deserve compassion and gentleness as you explore and re-create yourself.
CLINIC DIRECTOR AND CLINIC SUPERVISOR Donna Roy, LPC, CHT, is a licensed professional counselor and certified Hakomi Therapist and Trainer. She has a private counseling practice, teaches in M.E.T.A.'s professional trainings, is an adjunct instructor in the Portland State University Department of Counselor Education, and provides supervision for registered interns who are seeking licensure from the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.
Donna also directly supervises the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic interns. This means she meets weekly with them individually, and as a group. These meetings involve exploration of THEIR processes as they develop professionally. This can include discussion of client needs, concerns, appropriate interventions, and other topics related to providing the best counseling services possible. All things discussed in these meetings are strictly confidential and will be not shared outside of the meetings (unless there is a clear harm related need). As the Clinic supervisor, Donna supports each intern's development and strives to ensure all clients experience care, empowerment and help.
ADJUNCT CLINICAL SUPERVISOR
Anne-Marie Benjamin, LPC, CHT, is a licensed professional counselor and a certified Hakomi therapist. She has been in private practice since 1998, and has been providing clinical supervision to registered state interns since 2008.
Anne-Marie joined the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic as an adjunct supervisor in 2011, providing group supervision monthly, as well as standing in as individual supervisor on an as need basis. She is committed to facilitating the synthesis of mindful/experiential approaches with each intern's individual counseling style, and skill level. Drawing from her years in the field, she enhances the quality of both client and intern experience through her clinical wisdom. She also responds mindfully to intern professional developmental needs in her direct supervision role. This clinical role is allied to her additional role as M.E.T.A.’s Alumni Coordinator in which she assesses and facilitates professional growth opportunities for M.E.T.A. Graduates.
In addition to direct clinical supervision, Clinic interns periodically receive consultation and training from Jon Eisman, senior M.E.T.A. trainer. Jon is an internationally known counselor educator who has taught mindfulness-based psychotherapeutic skills to counselors and psychotherapists for 30 years. Jon has a deep understanding of what it means to be a human being, as well as clarity and wisdom regarding the process of becoming a skilled counselor. His expertise powerfully supports each intern's evolution, which in turn supports quality service for clients.
Ryan Hofrichter is completing his Master’s degree in Counseling at Portland State University. He has participated in M.E.T.A.’s Professional Skills Trainings for the past three years and has specialized training in Hakomi, Internal Family Systems (IFS), trauma interventions, and group facilitation. Ryan also volunteers as a yoga instructor for classes held in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers throughout Portland. He comes to counseling with a background in teaching and training, largely with students, community members, and organizations interested in improving communication and transforming conflict.
Inspired by ecological and spiritual traditions from around the world, Ryan believes that all people have the inherent ability to heal themselves and that sitting in close and conscious relationship with others can be a profound channel for this process. He sees therapy as a practice of assisted self-discovery, throughout which he provides a safe and nurturing container for clients’ experiences. Ryan is committed to embodying simplicity, patience, and compassion as a deep and consistent part of who he is and how he works with individuals, couples, and groups in the counseling clinic. He’s supported in this by a community of wonderful colleagues and friends.
Ava Frank, is completing her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University, and is a graduate of M.E.T.A.’s two year M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive training. She has also completed extensive training in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and co-facilitated NVC classes as a volunteer in the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Ava sees the wholeness of every person and assumes an interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit, and a natural tendency of humans to evolve towards health. She is passionate about helping you connect clearly with yourself and others so you can live your most authentic, empowered, and fulfilling life. She sees her role as facilitating a therapeutic process that creates safety and trust to support your growth and healing. Ava works with individuals and couples and welcomes the LGTBQ community.
Joshua Talbert is completing his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College, and has completed an intensive training in Hakomi Somatic-Experiential Psychology from M.E.T.A. Additionally, Joshua is completing a Certificates in Eco-Psychology and Process Oriented Psychology. All his work is influenced by a background in Dance and Classical Studies.
Joshua believes people contain solutions to the challenges that bring them into counseling - both the knowledge of what is most right, as well as the resources to get there. It is his hope to support healing by working with acceptance and respect that trusts this inner wisdom. He sees mental health and well-being as a sense of wholeness – when the many parts of ourselves are negotiating harmoniously so that there is an experience of unity. Healthy functioning in this way is characterized by a sense of connection, control, the ability to have perspective, an openness to new experience, and the awareness that things change. He does not think therapy needs to be long-term, and has the goal that with the skills they have discovered together, clients can in time navigate both current and future challenges on their own.
In working he tries to listen both for what is said, as well as process – the often unspoken patterns of relating. He believes that even the most disturbing or distressing experiences are potentials for growth and learning. In order to address specific challenges he may provide, or work with you to develop, experiments for relating with different parts of self and experience. Joshua is also training in Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy - approaches which consider the effects of the environment/nature on our issues and well-being. If appropriate, he may suggest techniques that use the living world as part of the healing process.
Jennifer L. Anderson, MA, LPCi
Jennifer L. Anderson, MA, LPCI, graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a Master of Arts in Integral Counseling Psychology, which focused on a blend of East and West theories of psychology, as well as an integrated approach to the four waves of psychology: Psychoanalytic, Behavioral, Humanistic and Transpersonal. She has completed counseling internships in Portland, OR at both the National College of Natural Medicine and at Jewish Family and Child Service. She specializes in working with individuals and couples, and the areas she has worked with the most include: depression, anxiety, trauma, addictions, attachment, self-esteem, relationships, and family of origin issues.
She is currently in the first year of the M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training two-year program. She also completed the Portland Women's Crisis Line Basic Advocacy Training and has been facilitating support groups through PWCL for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse since 2012.
Jen believes that we all have the ability to be whole and complete within ourselves. As we find this wholeness, our inner light shines outward and we are more present, clear and engaged with the world. But sometimes we feel stuck in patterns of thoughts and behaviors that are no longer serving us. It can be difficult to get out of the habit of these patterns, which can leave us feeling fragmented and disengaged. Jen believes that therapy can be a helpful tool in dealing with and changing these unwanted patterns. Her theory of change is that it first begins with awareness which leads to subtle shifts in our reactions that help to form new patterns of thoughts and behaviors.
Catherine Griffith, M.S., graduated from Portland State University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and has completed M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training. She currently serves M.E.T.A. as a Teaching Assistant in the Professional Skills training. She also holds a Master's degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University, a program that includes courses on mediation and negotiation. Catherine's focus during her graduate program was on social justice.
In support of her work with individuals, Catherine co-facilitated a mindfulness-based group for adults, called "Mindful Eating." She is committed to meeting clients where they are, understanding their present experience, and helping them discover how their past influences the present. She specializes in working with individuals and facilitating the expansion of self-awareness, while honoring each person's uniqueness and integrating a celebration of this into the counseling process.
Barbara A. Segal, MS, NCC, CHT has a master’s degree in Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling from Portland State University. She is a Certified Hakomi Therapist, graduate of the META/Hakomi two-year Comprehensive training, has completed a third year of advanced clinical training, and has been a training assistant with other META trainings. She has advanced degrees focused in international policy and development, with many years’ experience in cross-cultural communication, education and mentoring with people of diverse backgrounds in the US and abroad.
Barbara provides therapy for individuals, couples and families and has a deep respect and appreciation for the unique experiences, beliefs and potential of all her clients. She has an experiential approach that supports her clients in cultivating their ability to be mindful of the totality of their experience; mind, body and spirit; and helps guide them toward enhanced healing and wholeness. In her counseling with couples and families, she works not only to support each individual but to help cultivate healthy and vibrant relationships between the couple and within the family system. Her approach is compassionate and empowering and she is committed to supporting her clients in finding enhanced aliveness in themselves and healthy connections to others.
Edgar Fabian Frias, MS
Edgar Fabian Frias, MS, has completed his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University and completed his Certificate in Interpersonal Neurobiology. He also completed M.E.T.A.’s first-year Professional Skills training in the Hakomi Method. As a seeker of interdisciplinary and conciliatory therapeutic approaches, Edgar has a strong commitment to bringing in a wide array of modalities and belief systems into his practice, from systems theory and neuroimaging research, to an understanding of mystical and indigenous belief systems. Edgar has many years experience working with people in a wide array of settings, from vocational counseling for low-income individuals and couples in Multnomah County to helping organize inclusionary and empowering art and music events in both the Pacific NorthWest and California. He also has experience working with individuals, couples, groups and community organizations and has spent much of his career developing unique and creative ways to engage with the therapeutic process both in and out of the clinical setting.
An avid believer in the power of our inherent wisdom, his approach honors and respects the organic and emergent process that unfolds experientially within the sacred space of relationship. He believes that within a safe, attuned and empowering relationship, there exists great possibility for the collaborative development of more integrated, coherent and transformative narratives that can guide our life’s story. As it is through relationship that we develop our sense of self and our orientation towards the world. His career background in social justice, art, Chicano/a, ethnic and gender studies along with his strong commitment to ameliorating the effects of oppression help provide a loving, compassionate and creative lens through which he views those he has the privilege of working with.
Lisa Silverman, PhD
Lisa Silverman, MA, has a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State University, where, in addition to her core courses, she took classes in interpersonal neurobiology, in storytelling and ritual, and in existential psychology. She has completed the Two Year M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training through M.E.T.A., and holds a Ph.D. in early modern European history.
She offers counseling using a combination of person-centered, existential, mindful, experiential, and humanistic approaches. Trusting in each person’s unique pace and process, she is committed to meeting people where they are without judgment. Her practice focuses on exploring right livelihood, parenting, partnering, aging, and other life transitions, and on navigating embodied experience from sexualities to wellness and illness to aging to reproductive issues. She is excited to engage with each new client collaboratively and to support their personal journey of self-discovery.
She is currently accepting new clients. Her office is located at 15 SE 16th Avenue in inner SE Portland. Please contact her at (503) 957-1636, at
, or visit her website at www.lisasilverman.info.
Ivy Katz, MS
Ivy Katz, MA, NCC holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology as well as a certificate in Ecopsychology from Lewis & Clark College. She has completed M.E.T.A's professional skills training in Hakomi Body Centered Psychotherapy, and was an intern at the clinic from August 2012- May 2013.
Ivy has an integrative and collaborative approach to counseling. She believes we feel our best when we have a sense of connection and trust. People will often come to therapy because some area of their life feels disconnected. This may be in relationship to others, ourselves, our environment, or to something much larger. We all come into this world seeking connections. It is through life experiences, family, culture and things that are usually beyond our control that we develop maladaptive ways of connecting and may begin to lose trust in ourselves and the world around us. She is committed to help her clients discover the individual strengths and gifts they each already have within themselves, and begin to feel a sense of connection again. Ivy is strongly informed by nature. By pausing and listening deep within, we recognize and remember our deep connection with the world around us. We begin to learn to trust in the natural cycles of our lives.
Amy E. Hulan, MS, M.Ed., NCC, holds a Master of Science in Counseling from Oregon State University, a Master of Education in Special Education from Kent State University in Ohio, and is a National Certified Counselor. She has completed the M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training in the Hakomi Method and R-CS Model. Amy worked in the Greater Albany Public School District for nine years, both as a school counselor and as a special education resource teacher, where she effectively used mindfulness with children and teenagers. She has worked with children as young as 5 years old through high school-age, as well as with students' families.
Amy believes in an interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit, and in an innate human tendency to grow towards health. Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches (M.E.T.A.), the science of neural patterning and human development, and mindfulness as a tool for change all influence her work. She encourages exploration of the past through studying the present, as well as identifying thought patterns, beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve. She assists clients in recognizing and accessing their own internal resourcefulness, and supports them in opening up more possibilities and choice about how they are in the world.
Jennifer Samsom, M.A. MFT, graduated from Portland State University, with a Master's degree in Couples, Marriage, Family Counseling in June of 2011 and has completed the two-year M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training. She is certified in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy through EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association), which incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. Currently she serves as a Teaching Assistant in M.E.T.A.'s Two-Year Comprehensive Training.
Jennifer is a mother of three young children and has a passion for working with families and couples. She is creator and facilitator of "Mindfulness for Kids", a 10-week group for school-age kids that teaches kids about their brains, how they work and how they can help regulate our emotions and incorporates applied mindfulness skills through games, exploratory activities and experiments.
She strives to understand her clients' challenges and facilitates their awareness of how personal history may influence the present experience. She joins clients on their exploration to discover their internal resources for overcoming life's challenges as they strive to uncover and empower their best selves.
Jennifer helped pioneer the creation and opening of the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic and served as a Counseling Intern at the Clinic from the fall of 2010 to the Summer of 2011.
Jennifer has a private practice at the 16th Avenue, M.E.T.A. location in Portland, Oregon and can be reached at: 503-341-6393,
or visit her website HERE.
Elizabeth Dissin, M.A.
Elizabeth Dissin, M.A., holds a Masters in Counseling with a Concentration in Grief, Loss and Trauma from Southwestern College (Santa Fe, NM). She has completed post-graduate training in Levels I (Treatment of Trauma) and II (Attachment, Development, and Trauma) of Pat Ogden's Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and the two-year M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training. She served M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic as an intern from September 2011 to August 2012.
Trusting in each individual’s internal wisdom and inherent wholeness, Elizabeth views her role as leading clients to their own discoveries by holding space for their unfolding journey. She utilizes mindfulness to assist clients in learning about their habitual, automatic responses through direct experience in the present moment, and in challenging and transforming maladaptive patterns for a more fluid and expanded sense of self.
Elizabeth is now accepting clients in private practice. She does individuals counseling for adults, and specializes in trauma, grief/loss, and attachment. Her office is located at 823 NE Broadway in Portland, Oregon. She can be reached at: (971) 266-3120, email:
, or visit her website HERE.
Jon Fox, MS
Jon Fox, MS graduated from Portland State University with a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Portland State University. He served M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic as an intern from September 2011 to June 2012. He completed the two-year M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training in June 2013.
Jon believes in each person's innate wholeness and he highly values each client's unique situation, perspective, and path. He sees his role in the therapeutic process as a helper and guide and works to create a safe, secure, and open relationship with clients that foster growth and healing.
Jon opened his private practice in June 2012. His office is located at the 16th Avenue, M.E.T.A. location in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at (503) 954-4852, by email:
or visit his website HERE.
Pearl Waldorf, MA, MSed
Pearl Waldorf, MA, MSed received her Master of Arts degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in May of 2012. She served M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic as an intern from September 2011 to August 2012. She completed the two-year M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training in June 2013.
Pearl focuses her practice on counseling individuals and couples and welcomes the LGTBQI community.
She views therapy as a process of uncovering the intuitive clarity within each client. She works with her clients to discover and celebrate their unique identity enabling them to more effectively and authentically express themself.
Pearl opened her private practice in August 2012. Her office is located at the 16th Avenue, M.E.T.A. location in Portland, Oregon. She can be reached at (971) 258-2968, by email:
or visit her website HERE.
To download Ava Frank's Professional Disclosure form, please click here. To download Jennifer L. Anderson's Professional Disclosure form, please click here. To download Ryan Hofrichter's Professional Disclosure form, please click here.
To download Joshua Talbert's Professional Disclosure form, please click here.
To download Catherine Griffith's Professional Disclosure form, please click here.
MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
A Hakomi Primer and Window into Character Formation Saturday December 7, 2013 10am-5pm CLICK HERE to register now!