M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic
Though we want to live our lives fully and with joy, 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. Or you may have a sense that there is more for you, somehow.
The M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic is a lower-cost clinical training site with a focus on Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches. We offer counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups. M.E.T.A. counseling uses mindfulness of the present moment to help you turn toward yourself with attention and curiosity. This offers fuller self-awareness and choice around self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, and supports being your best and truest self.
We at the META Counseling Clinic are doing everything we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to support the continuing care of the clients we serve. All counseling sessions are being conducted remotely. We continue to accept new clients who are interested in remote counseling and whose needs can be supported in this format.
M.E.T.A. currently offers services in Spanish. If you or someone you know would like therapy services in Spanish, contact us!
Ofrecemos servicios en Espanol. Si usted o algien usted conoce desea los servicios de terapia, ¡contactanos!
What to expect
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; the Re-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 fees, offered on a sliding scale ranging between $40-$70 for individual sessions and $50-$80 for couples or family sessions, fit this intention. We also generally recommend and expect that clients will be attending therapy sessions every week.
M.E.T.A. offers services in Spanish. If you or someone you know would like therapy services in Spanish, contact us!
Ofrecemos servicios en Espanol. Si usted o algien usted conoce desea los servicios de terapia, ¡contactanos!
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.
Staff: Each intern is completing their Master’s degree in counseling or counseling psychology, and has at least 6-10 months of advanced training in mindful-experiential somatic therapy approaches, such as Hakomi, the Re-Creation of the Self, Experiential Attachment Therapy, etc. They come from graduate schools such as Portland State Universty, Lewis and Clark College, California Institute of Integral Studies, Prescott College, Goddard College, and Saybrook University. Interns are supervised by three licensed professional counselors, M.E.T.A. clinic co-director, clinical supervisor, Stephen Keeley, LPC; clinic co-director, clinical supervisor Deah Baird, ND, MS, CHT, Certified Hakomi Trainer; clinical supervisor Selin Strait, LPC and adjunct clinical supervisor, trainer, Anne-Marie Benjamin, LPC, CHT.
Appointments: Following an initial FREE 30-minute consultation, we offer 60-minute sessions for individuals, 75-minute sessions for couples and families, and 90-minute to 2-hour group sessions for 4-8 members. Your counselor will work with you to determine the best schedule to suit your needs.
Fees: Our fees are offered on a sliding scale ranging between $40-$70 for individual 60-minute sessions and $50-$80 for couples or family 75-minute sessions. Our fees for groups range between $160-250 for an 8-10-week series, depending on length of time and number of members.
Email (for a faster response): firstname.lastname@example.org (if clicking this link doesn’t work for you, please copy and paste the address)
Address: 4531 SE Belmont Ave., Suite 300, Portland OR, 97215 map/directions
Clinic Administrative and Supervisory Staff
CLINIC CO-DIRECTOR AND CLINICAL SUPERVISOR
Stephen Keeley, LPC, CHT is a licensed professional counselor and certified Hakomi therapist, and has been in private practice since 2012. He worked for 10 years prior as a counselor in several community addiction treatment centers in Portland. He was an adjunct faculty member in the Counseling program at Portland State University from 2010-2017, and provides pre-licensure clinical supervision for interns in his private practice.
Stephen joined the META Counseling Clinic as a clinical supervisor in 2014 and became clinic director in June 2018. He provides weekly individual and group supervision for the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic interns. His supervision style is based on supporting and enhancing the supervisee’s strengths, fostering their stage-appropriate development, and encouraging thorough self-examination and personal process as a way of increasing effectiveness as a counselor. He is passionate about providing clear and compassionate supervision, and embraces the multiple roles supervisors need to hold in order to support the selfhood and professionalism of each supervisee in each moment.
CLINIC CO-DIRECTOR AND CLINICAL SUPERVISOR
DEAH BAIRD, N.D., LPC, CHT is a licensed professional counselor, naturopathic physician, certified Hakomi therapist and Teacher. She has been working in the healing professions since 1994 and specializing in mental health care in private practice since 2008. In addition to her mental health focused practice, she teaches at the National University of Natural Medicine and in M.E.T.A.’s professional trainings and offers clinical supervision to pre-licensed counseling interns.
Deah joined the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic in 2018 and provides weekly individual supervision for the M.E.T.A. counseling interns. Her approach to counseling, teaching and supervision is imbued with a deep belief in the inherent, embodied wisdom within each individual. She supports students and supervisees to develop their skill and capacity to offer mindful, experiential counseling approaches to their clients, while also holding as a priority their ongoing personal growth and professional development.
Selin Strait, LPC is a counselor, dancer and gardener living in Portland, OR. Inspired and committed by the people and work of M.E.T.A., she also works to coordinate M.E.T.A. trainings. Originally a social justice activist, waiting tables to pay the bills, she became inspired by the healing potential of our human capacity for embodiment and connection. She trained in Dance Movement Therapy and continues studies in Interpersonal Neurobiology and Attachment, which are the foundations of her work.
CLINIC FOUNDER, TRAINER, SUPERVISOR, AND SENIOR ADVISOR
Donna Roy, LPC, CHT, is a licensed professional counselor and certified Hakomi therapist and Trainer, has been in private practice since 1997, and has offered clinical supervision since 2006. Besides her counseling practice, she 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 founded the clinic in 2010, and served as its director and primary supervisor through May 2018. Donna provides monthly clinical trainings twice per month and backup supervision for the interns. As a clinical supervisor, Donna supports each intern’s development in service to ensuring all clients experience care, empowerment and help. Donna also continues to collaborate with and advise clinic supervisors on an ongoing basis.
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 and in-service facilitator in 2011. She continues to serve the clinic by providing group supervision, in-service training and individual supervision on an as-needed 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.
Ashley Adler: I believe that clients are the experts in their own lives and hold within them the power to heal, grow and be their most authentic selves. The experience of being human is expansive and can sometimes include difficult and painful challenges. It is my goal to work collaboratively with my clients to help expand awareness of harmful patterns and internalized narratives, while also creating positive change and new meaning in a safe, compassionate and non-judgmental environment. I hold unconditional positive regard for my clients and welcome all the messy parts of being human.
I approach therapy through a systemic, social justice and trauma-informed lens. It is important for me to understand the context in which my clients are imbedded in order to understand the full picture of their lives. I work from a strength-based lens, pulling from humanistic, attachment, somatic, narrative and feminist theories. This approach helps create flexibility and can be tailored to best suit each individual client, couple or family I work with.
I am currently pursuing a master’s in Marriage, Couples and Family therapy with an emphasis in sex therapy at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. I embrace sex-positivity, non-monogamous relationship structures and health at every size. I am LGBTQIA+ affirming and have additional training working with folks experiencing eating disorders from an anti-diet lens. I am also interested in working with clients experiencing pregnancy and post-partum.
Gemma Baumer: There is so much in life that is out of our control, and we all live and cope with this uncertainty and anxiety in our own ways. I believe we all have wounding, which shows up uniquely for each individual in the forms of depression, anxiety, and manifests in our bodies, emotions, and relationships. I also believe we are all capable of immeasurable growth when we compassionately work with this material, and enter into deeper relationship with ourselves. This is no easy task, but it can be so rewarding!
Starting therapy with a new clinician can be daunting and vulnerable, and may bring these deeper wounds to the forefront. I will do my best to honor the inherent bravery it takes to engage in these ways. My approach is compassionate, relational, and person-centered. Essentially, this means that my primary belief is in the value of an authentic therapeutic relationship and what unfolds. I also aim to facilitate a non-directive space in which to explore past wounding and present concerns in a collaborative, curious, and non-judgmental way.
I work with clients on a wide range of concerns, including anxiety, grief, and complex trauma. I also believe in the value of exploring alternative states of consciousness, and support clients in integrating these experiences. My approach to therapy is trauma-informed and non-pathologizing. I draw from an existential-humanist orientation, emphasizing what brings each of our lives meaning and exploring how we want to live. I also utilize somatic and mindfulness approaches, drawing from the felt experience of the present and exploring how our physical and emotional experience helps us to better know, understand and support ourselves. I am also body and sex positive, and kink, LGBTQ+ and polyamory affirming.
I am currently working on completing my Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Lewis & Clark College. I also serve on the board of Existential Humanist NW, where I curate the blog.
Aletha Eastwood: We all face struggles as human beings, and as human beings our journey can be lightened and enlivened when we are supported by others. My primary purpose in counseling is to provide support and to help you navigate with compassion as you explore your own change process: what is getting in your way, what is moving you forward, what aspects of your being can be strengthened to support you, and what inspires you and can bring more aliveness into your experience. Together, we will navigate the painful and rocky places with care. We will tend and nourish the roots of change that are needed for your growth.
My approach to counseling is informed by person-centered, experiential, attachment-based, and mindfulness-based models as I work to provide a safe space for you to feel into your own experience and be with yourself, to delve into the corners with warmth, gentleness, and directness and see what work is needed for the changes you want to make at this time. For me, counseling is about growing and understanding relationships: the relationship you have with yourself, with the world, and with others. We will explore these together, at a pace and depth that are right for you.
I have been a Certified Hakomi Practitioner since 2012 and have offered guidance and instruction in mindfulness and meditation since 2015. I draw on nonviolent communication and neurobiology in my approach to working with attachment/relationship issues. Early in my career, I completed a 4-year training in energy healing from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and I incorporate this as a kinesthetic and intuitive way of understanding how we connect with our world and one another.
I love to laugh. I also love the natural world and like to spend time outside of work in my garden, in the forests, or just being in my body and exploring mindfulness-awareness practices.
Jane Flanagan (she/they) values and always seeks to deepen curiosity, empathy, creativity, and authenticity in all areas of life— a process enriched by a combination of experiences in somatic movement, improvisation, art, and mindfulness. As a visual artist, musician, improviser, dancer, meditator, and counselor, she explores the nuances of relationship, trauma, and systems to intently examine what keeps us held and what frees us. Jane manifests and supports presence, collaboration, and care in all she endeavors.
Having studied primate behavior, evolution, culture, and human development, Jane is inspired by diverse historical and experimental modes of creative emotional expression. Through the use of the Hakomi method, embodied movement, and expressive art approaches, she guides compassionate study of deeply held experiences, providing space for personal and relational growth to unfold in its unique ways through the body. Jane sees influences of systems of power and oppression, intersecting identities, and personal relationships as crucial roles in our unique wellness processes and walks with those she works with to embody their true senses of belonging, meaning, and vitality.
Currently, Jane is completing a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Oregon State University and continues to train in embodied movement and expressive arts approaches, trauma therapy, and somatic methods. She has also earned an MS in Primatology at Oxford Brookes University in the UK and a BA in Anthropology, where she focused on physical anthropology, cultural studies, and primate behavior.
Echo Hammond (they/them) holds the therapeutic relationship as a sacred container in which to support self-exploration, growth, and deep healing.
Life can be really complex at times and what is going on for you matters to Echo. You can expect to be greeted with warmth and respect as Echo is committed to providing a safe, authentic, and caring space to bring even the most sensitive parts of your self. Echo combines the emotional intelligent and empathetic approaches of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) along with the mindfulness based, somatic approaches of Hakomi to create a space to slow down and tend closely to your moment to moment experience. When we visit these places in ourselves with a compassionate, caring, and skilled guide, there is much that can be discovered and reintegrated in ways that truly change how we experience our lives. Whatever is already showing up or is to be discovered for you, Echo is honored to witness and support.
Echo has been focused on learning tools to support this very type of healing and growth for many years now. Echo has studied NVC for over ten years with additional experience facilitating introductory workshops, leading practice groups, and providing one on one coaching. In addition, Echo has completed the M.E.T.A./Hakomi two-year comprehensive training, most of the M.E.T.A. training modules (Recreation of Self, Attachment, Trauma, and Character Maps), and assisted an additional two-year comprehensive training. Currently Echo is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. As part of their current program, Echo also recently finished three months supporting patients at the in-patient psychiatric ward at Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center. Echo also brings to their work a very eclectic background of training and experience in other areas as well, including engineering, corporate finance, and professional dog handling, to name a few.
“…to being more fully human.” – Carla Pickering
Craig Hennecke (he/him) is currently completing a Master’s degree in counseling at Portland State University with a focus on working with individuals, relationships and families. He has completed the Re-Creation of Self professional skills module at M.E.T.A. Trainings. He has also completed Pema Chödrön’s “Making Friends With Yourself” program on the self, selflessness, and the roots of attachment.
Craig treasures a core belief that human beings are inherently wise, compassionate and authentic. Then life happens and people begin to lose connection with their inner resourcefulness. Therapy offers a space to contact your own wholeness with curiosity and presence. Craig’s work is rooted in connection, authenticity and empathy. He believes change and healing occur both experientially and relationally. Through honesty, humor and compassion he creates a supportive and non-judgemental environment for self-exploration and growth within the present moment. His approach involves the examination of the self through the use of experiential techniques informed by mindfulness (Hakomi), Internal Family Systems and somatic exploration.
Craig is also a father who enjoys supporting parents and guardians to deepen connections within family systems. He has experience working with men’s groups, specifically with new fathers. Craig works with clients exploring a range of experiences, including but not limited to, family of origin wounds, relationship strains, anxiety and depression, systemic oppression, liberation from family patterns, grief and loss, and integrating mystical transformative experiences. He welcomes folks from all identities, abilities, and backgrounds. Before embarking on a new profession in counseling, Craig was a community organizer focused on fair trade, immigrants’ rights, and prison abolition work. When he’s not in session or studying, Craig spends time in joyful play with his kiddo making music, watercolor painting and pouncing around riverbanks.
Erin Howe (she/her) offers direct, intuitive, and nurturing support to clients. As a therapist, she is drawn to ways of working that attend to the present and incorporate body, mind, and spirit. She deeply believes in the power of relational healing and collaborates with clients to allow their whole self to come through and create lasting change within their lives. Erin is a writer and poet and brings a creative and curious approach to therapy. She has completed training in Gestalt and focuses on mindful-experiential and holistic approaches, as well as strengths-based and attachment models of therapy. She works with individuals and couples.
Erin helps clients work with present-moment experiences to explore the ways identity, oppression, and systems of power manifest within ourselves, naming these entities and deconstructing their meaning from a social justice oriented lens. Erin is body positive, sex positive, and LGBTQIA+ affirming. She is also dedicated to anti-racist work.
Erin is completing her graduate work in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She currently participates in an apprenticeship program where she studies ancestral work and plant wisdom. A lifelong Oregonian, she received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon studying Spanish. Prior to becoming a therapist, she taught language in Spain for several years and worked in arts administration and as a florist. Erin has been speaking and studying Spanish since childhood, and is available to work with Spanish-speaking clients.
Emily Palmgren (She/Her/Hers)
Individual and Relationship Therapist
I believe we all hold the capacity for change and healing within ourselves, and sometimes we need extra support to get there. I view all therapy as a process towards understanding our authentic selves by promoting pleasure, dismantling shame, and bearing witness to our challenges and traumas. You are the expert in your own life. I understand my role as your therapist to offer advocacy, insight, and support as you embark on your healing journey. Therapy can be a difficult and personally unique process. Together we will move at your pace and comfort level. I practice a holistic and integrative approach rooted in evidence-based attachment theory and mindful experiential work. Our relationships with ourselves and others are deeply impacted by our lived experiences: our families, cultures, communities, and broader social systems. Our work will cultivate compassion and awareness towards the self, while creating space to sit with tough feelings and celebrate your natural strengths. I work with individuals, intimate partnerships, and families.
I am currently finishing my master’s in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy with a specialization in Sex Therapy at Lewis & Clark. My studies have focused on anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship conflict and intimacy, and grief. I have clinical training in sexual and relational concerns like sexual difficulties, trauma, desire/arousal differences within partnerships, gender and sexuality expression, nonmonogamous and polyamorous relationships, and pain during sex. Working from a stance that promotes social justice is integral to my practice. In my mission to be a trauma-informed provider, I prioritize client consent and safety. I am a kink/BDSM, polyam-, LGBTQIA+ affirming, and fat-positive care provider. I work to cultivate a space that centers around you and your needs. I am always open to feedback in our collaborative relationship.
My own life experience inspired my interest in this work. Much of my own healing has come from bodywork like acupuncture, massage, and psychotherapy that incorporates somatic mindfulness. Born and raised in Idaho, I’ve resided in Oregon for 8 years and live with my long term partner and our cat. I love going on walks to admire Portland’s gardens and moving my body through yoga, hiking, dance, running, and biking. I am grateful to do this work; I would love to meet you!
Allison Riegel’s approach is nurturing, heart-centered and connective. She believes that psychotherapy is a collaborative, creative act, and enters each therapeutic relationship with genuine compassion, openness, and presence. Allison’s practice is LGBTQIAP+ welcoming, socially conscious, trauma-informed, and sex and body positive. She maintains awareness of the systems of power and privilege that exist in our cultural framework and holds space for responding to the impacts these systems may have on her clients. She also acknowledges the complexity of our modern world, and the systemic forces that keep many of us from finding a sense of safety, grounding, and meaning in our lives. Allison is interested in discerning ways for fulfillment to flourish in the experience of her clients despite these worldly challenges and restrictions.
With years of embodiment practice, Allison brings a deep understanding of the interrelation of body and psyche to her work. Her approach is rooted in Jungian psychology, honoring the wisdom of the unconscious appearing through dreams, the body, creative practices, and mindfulness. She works with clients to connect them to their innate sense of inner resource and generative self-potential. Allison practices the holistic principle that presenting symptoms are our guides, leading us toward greater integration, rather than something to be eradicated. Allison is dedicated to holding space for aspects of experience that might feel wild, radical, “abnormal,” or “wrong,” as from some of these shadowed places come the most powerful and life-giving energies. Offering a container both sturdy and flexible, Allison supports her clients in their processes of self-exploration, deepening and transformation.
Allison is in the process of completing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Meridian University in Petaluma, CA, and has completed the Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy Module 1 at M.E.T.A. With an extensive professional background in Yoga Therapy, Hatha Yoga, Plant Spirit Medicine, Western Herbalism, Magic and Ritual, and a B.F.A. in Art and Design from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA, she offers a holistic, psychospiritual perspective that honors the full spectrum of what it means to be human, supporting clients in living their most authentic lives.
Dasia Star (She/Her): My relationship with counseling began when I entered therapy for an addiction that consumed my early adulthood. Therapy offered me a space where I felt genuinely grounded, supported, and seen for the first time in my life. My inspiration for becoming a therapist was rooted in the love and safety I found in the therapeutic relationship.
Through my personal journey with counseling and my professional training and education, I have come to wholeheartedly believe that every human possesses the ability to heal and grow. Viewing all people as fundamentally resilient and resourceful, I see my role in therapy as akin to that of a steward: tending to clients as they work to rediscover their innate internal wisdom. My mission is to meet clients with a loving and steady presence so that they may explore all of the tender, messy, and confusing parts of existence. I also see therapy as a space to honor the beauty and wonder that are so characteristic of the human experience.
I’m currently pursing my Master’s in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis & Clark, specializing in Sex Therapy. My theoretical foundation is trauma informed, attachment based, and draws from Emotionally Focused, Person Centered, and Somatic therapies. In session I use mindfulness as an instrument to help clients increase self-awareness and self-compassion, move through painful and immobilizing places, and journey within to regain access to concealed or restrained inner magic. My intention is to walk alongside clients as they envision new possibilities for their lives, while transforming in ways that reflect their unique needs, values, and desires.
As an activist and systemic thinker, issues of equity and justice are always on my mind. Given our current cultural and political landscape, many of us are in real need of de-stigmatizing and non-shaming therapeutic spaces where we can fully be ourselves. My hope as a therapist is to give folks a space where they don’t have to edit or disown any of their parts. I am body positive, sex positive, kink positive, LQBTQIA affirming, anti-racist, and spiritually open. I value working with couples and families of all kinds, including with non-traditional and non-monogamous relational orientations. Everyone is welcome here!
Claire Winograd believes that you are the expert of your own experience and their hope is to create a space where you feel cared for, safe, respected, and welcomed to be yourself. Their approach is strongly influenced by Zen Buddhist Philosophy, Rogerian Therapy, Logotherapy, Mind-Body connection, and Non-violent communication. Claire’s approach also centers on a social justice and a multi-cultural orientation, acknowledging the complexity of identity and the ways that power between the counselor and client shows up in each session.
Claire is in the process of completing a master’s degree in Professional Mental Health Counseling at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. They have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR where they majored in Ethnic Studies. Studying the ways in which people are affected by systematic oppression was a significant part of Claire’s studies and it has continued to inform their understanding of healing as a process of being with violence often caused by systems of oppression.
They are passionate about coming into the Here and Now with clients and believe in the healing power of being witnessed with presence and loving kindness. Claire enjoys experiencing the client and counselor relationship as a microcosm of the client’s greater relational life, and an opportunity to do deep healing. Claire practices trauma informed care working from an anti-racist, LGBTQIA2S+-friendly, sex-positive, and kink-positive lense.
In their free time, Claire is passionate about going on long walks with their dog and talking to their loved ones. In the not so distant pre COVID past, they enjoyed participating in Grief Ceremony, Authentic Relating Groups, and potlucks with friends.
Sarah Zimmerman (she/her) believes that everyone (yes, everyone!) is innately whole. Coming home to yourself and this truth can be incredibly freeing and powerful. When we can discover and live from our self-defined deepest values while cultivating a compassionate relationship with ourselves, it leads to lasting change and thriving. Sarah endeavors to support her clients in creating meaningful change in their lives through warm, unconditional acceptance and a direct communication style. Mindfulness is important to Sarah, both in her life and in her work, and she incorporates mindfulness into her work with clients.
Sarah is completing a Master of Arts degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis & Clark College. She has been training with M.E.T.A. since 2017 and has completed training in experiential trauma psychotherapy, primary attachment psychotherapy, the Hakomi Method, and the Re-Creation of the Self (R-CS) model.
Sarah also has extensive training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC). She has experience assisting and co-facilitating NVC-based workshops for couples and individuals, as well as coaching couples and individuals in communicating what is authentic for them in a way that leads to more connecting, fulfilling relationships.
Relational justice is important to Sarah, and she welcomes all races, genders, bodies, and abilities. She is sex-positive, LBGTQIA+ affirming, anti-racist and welcomes non-dyad relationships.
An avid rower, Sarah enjoys spending time outdoors, especially when she can be on a river or a lake. She lives with her husband, who is also a mindful experiential therapist, and her two dogs (fur children). She is an enthusiastic learner, and would probably spend her life collecting degrees if it wasn’t so expensive.
Intake and Professional Disclosure Forms
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Applying for an Internship at the Clinic
At the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic, we have been striving to adjust and respond to the many changes and hardships we have all been facing this year. These challenges have inspired us to examine the essence of who we are and what we do.
The pandemic, and the resulting necessity for video-based trainings and counseling sessions has substantially limited our ability to support and provide depth-oriented and somatically-based experiences for our counseling interns and their clients. The collective uprising and increased awareness around systematic racism has inspired us to confront even more deeply how these systems are integrally at play in this organization. And, we are approaching a time when we need to reevaluate our fundamental business structure as we navigate this economic depression.
In response to these challenges, we have decided to take an organizational step back, a deep breath. We will use this time to engage with outside consultants, do the important self and organizational analysis, and redefine our missions and the staff, business and organizational structures that can truly support these missions.
Regrettably, this means that the M.E.T.A Counseling Clinic will not be accepting applications for the 2021-2022 internship year, and we will not be providing counseling services after May 31, 2021. Current internships and counseling will continue to be supported and offered as usual through May 2021.
The M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic has been in operation since 2010. Over the last ten years, the Clinic has offered counseling services to hundreds of Portland residents looking for the depth of support available from our mindfulness-based, experiential approach to therapy. Dozens of therapists have launched their counseling careers from the Internship Program. We have been honored by the trust that our clients and our interns have placed in us, and feel grateful for the opportunities to serve the community and to learn and grow together.
We recognize that this closure will impact the community: this will leave a gap in services for those seeking counseling in the Portland area. We are committed to doing the work that will allow us to once again offer our services to the community. Please check back with us via the website for updates or contact us at email@example.com.
Rebeca Beeman (she/her) believes that we were all born complete and whole, deserving of lives that are happy and healthy. The experience of being human is full of potential and it is also complicated and sometimes painful. There can be challenges and pitfalls along the way – sometimes making it difficult to flourish or have the lives and relationships we would ideally like. Rebeca’s goal as a therapist is to support her clients through a compassionate exploration of their experiences, paying close attention to the places where they may feel stuck, as well as the places where they feel free. By engaging in this way, clients begin to understand themselves and their experiences more completely, moving towards the fully authentic and whole person that they truly are and want to be.
Rebeca naturally leans towards a somatic and experiential approach and draws from narrative and attachment therapy models. Her clinical work integrates a variety of modalities which are generated by a collaborative relationship with the client. This client driven approach helps create optimal growth specific to the needs and interests of the person. The use of metaphor, imagery and other techniques in Rebeca’s practice allows for a creative counseling experience.
Rebeca’s multicultural and bilingual background supports a therapeutic environment that endeavors to be inclusive, hopeful, and strengths-based. Her specialty in Ecopsychology also offers dynamic nature-based therapeutic options. She works with individuals, couples, and families of all types. Rebeca was born in Mexico, is bilingual in Spanish and English and is culturally competent with people from a variety of backgrounds. Rebeca welcomes clients of all identities and backgrounds.
Before entering the counseling profession, Rebeca worked in International Public Health and International Education in various parts of Latin America and the US. She was a digital storytelling teacher and photographer both in the US and Mexico, and worked as a community and union organizer with a focus on housing justice and healthcare worker advocacy.
Rebeca enjoys traveling and being outside in all weather. She can often be found on a mountain, in a river or the ocean – preferably with friends/family and her trusty canine companion.
Carrie Koester, LMT (she/her) is currently completing her Master’s in Counseling at Pacifica Graduate Institute and has also completed four years of study in the M.E.T.A/Hakomi Comprehensive Training program; two as a student, and two as a Teaching Assistant. Additionally, she has been trained in Primary Experiential Attachment and Re-Creation of the Self (RCS).
With an extensive professional background in yoga, Pilates, meditation, bodywork, women’s health, and authentic relating, she offers a deeply informed perspective of the interplay between body and emotion, somatic psychology and spiritual realization.
Carrie’s approach is relational and engaging, yet also direct. She stewards a clear and compassionate environment in which each client can explore their unique strengths and inner resources, as well as struggles or challenges that may prevent them from thriving. She collaborates with each client to foster a space in which healing, growth, and understanding can create lasting change and translate into a life full of meaning and purpose.
Carrie’s practice is trauma-informed, sex and body positive, LGBTQIAP+ affirming, and socially aware. Carrie maintains a culturally curious stance, considerate of people’s intersecting identities, and thinks critically about how systems of power and privilege relate to each person’s experience in the world.
Ayala Parker begins therapy with the understanding that people are “basically good” (a Shambala Buddhist principle), and are doing their best given the circumstances they are navigating. She believes individuals, couples, and families have an innate propensity for growth, and have the strength and ability to overcome challenges. Drawing from attachment based, and experiential modalities, Ayala supports individuals, couples, and families explore their inner worlds to allow the openness and freedom they seek.
Ayala strives to provide a non-judgmental, compassionate, supportive, and positive therapeutic environment that encourages growth and healing. She believes problems occur in context and brings to her approach an understanding of social justice and cultural issues such as race, socioeconomic status, immigration status, gender, sexuality and ability. Ayala works to bring equity into the relationship(s) in the room, and the social systems in which they exist.
Ayala is in the process of completing a master’s degree (MA) in Marriage, Couples, and Family Therapy at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. She has a bachelor’s degree from Naropa University in Boulder, CO where she studied Contemplative Psychology and Visual Art. Mindfulness and meditation practices were a significant part of her studies at Naropa which had a profound influence on her personal journey, and her decision to join the M.E.T.A. community. Ayala attributes the work she did with children at a residential facility for mental health and behavioral issues as another important professional experience that brought her to the counseling field. Through that work, Ayala learned about trauma informed care, managing crisis situations, and the importance of working systemically and relationally.
When Ayala is not in the therapy room, she enjoys being outside in nature, making art, dancing at live music events, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
James Reling (he/him) believes in a holistic and collaborative approach to therapy in order to help clients explore their inner wisdom. The therapy room is a safe space to examine painful and problematic aspects of one’s life and draw on resources to increase well-being.
Prior to beginning as an undergraduate in his 30s, James was a touring musician and writer while working in offices of small businesses related to the music industry. He collaborated with other artists and met creative people living outside of societal norms and fostered a nonjudgmental curiosity about people from all walks of life.
James is passionate about the disability rights movement and welcomes and affirms folks from all abilities, identities, and backgrounds.
James is completing his Masters in Rehabilitation (disability focus) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University. He has completed the Hakomi Professional Skills Module #1 training with M.E.T.A. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga, meditation, listening to music, and reading about the brain and hopes to someday write utopian science-fiction.
Michael Running (he/him) is a native Oregonian completing a Master’s in counseling at Portland State University focused on individual, relationship, and family counseling. His therapeutic approach is rooted in mindful awareness and acceptance, informed by developmental and systems-based perspectives, and guided by an appreciation of our own unique existential search for meaning. Using mindfulness to study our present-moment experience and social justice to name and overcome systematic oppression, Michael brings transformational approaches to his counseling relationship with clients.
Michael has received formal training in a number of approaches and tailors each counseling relationship to what is most beneficial for the client. These trainings have included body-focused, mindfulness-based therapy (Hakomi); values-focused, action-oriented counseling (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy); present-moment, relationally-centered therapy (Gestalt); and emotion-focused, integrative counseling (Emotion-Focused Therapy). In addition, his Master’s program has provided extensive education and training on a range of topics critical for being an effective, culturally-responsive, and integrative counselor.
Michael sees becoming a professional counselor as the culmination of a varied and fulfilling life course. He received a Master’s in community and regional planning in 2002 from the University of Oregon has led and worked with conservation land trusts across the state for a decade. Michael also has a 20-year meditation and mindfulness practice, including spending nearly nine years as a Buddhist monk in monasteries both in the U.S. and in Taiwan. While in Taiwan, he focused on learning Chinese to be able to access and study early Buddhist texts directly, and he continues to work on various translation projects helping to bring the earliest Buddhist teachings to the English-speaking world. Michael left monastic life in late 2013 and returned home to Oregon with the wish to re-enter community and commit to a profession that integrates his life experiences and personal values. Becoming a counselor fulfills this long-standing wish.
While not in the therapy or classroom, Michael enjoys spending time adventuring with his wife and teenage stepson, playing soccer and futsal, commuting by bike around town, and studying anything that helps bring more kindness, awareness, and connectedness into the world.
Emily Van Der Laan is a counselor in training with a focus on Ecopsychology at Lewis and Clark College and a student at M.E.T.A. She is an avid learner across the worlds of human health, empowerment, and relationships. She has a working background in social change and environmental activisms and non-profits, environmental education, sexual assault survivor advocacy, and personal practice in dance, yoga, and gardening. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University which rooted a passion for the healing powers of dialogue, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Emily currently volunteers as a dialogue facilitator.
Max Wilson (they/them): I believe in finding ways to rewrite our stories, align with our core self, and allow space for the wisdom we carry within us to be heard. Therapy can be a collaborative space to seek change and reconnect with the authentic self that is held within each of us.
I believe we all have the ability to heal and grow from our sources of wounding. I work from a trauma informed lens and draw from theories such as Mindfulness, Narrative, and Emotionally Focused modalities. I am passionate about working with individuals, families and relationships while offering a container to navigate healing. As a direct and relational therapist I view therapy as a place to engage in our present experience, show up as we are, and find awareness, choice, and support in the life that awaits us.
I work from an anti-racist, sex-positive, pro-disability justice, kink positive, fat positive, queer-friendly, polyam-friendly, trauma informed and strengths based perspective. I am especially interested in serving queer, trans, non-binary, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming youth, families, and relationships.
I am currently completing my final year of a master’s program in marital, couple and family therapy at Portland State University. I received my B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College with a focus on Art and Writing. I later went on to get an M.F.A. in Poetry from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My identity as an artist and poet informs the way I come to the world and how I engage with my clients.
Kasha Stacey Woodcock (she/her) tends the therapeutic relationship with a natural curiosity, warmth, and trust in each human’s essential goodness. She seeks to facilitate healing through counseling approaches that integrate body, mind, and spirit. Through the use of mindfulness, she supports clients to increase self-awareness and self-compassion, navigate the hurt and stuck places, and dig deep to access hidden and forgotten gems within.
A commitment to healing and personal development led her first to a career in teaching. Kasha taught high school English for close to a decade with emphasis on critical thinking, self-awareness, empathy, and community building. She then switched focus to offer professional development trainings for educators on topics including emotional intelligence, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), mindfulness, and self-care for teachers facing compassion fatigue. She has also facilitated community workshops on connection, belonging, and embodiment.
Kasha is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling with emphasis in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and will graduate the spring of 2021. She also holds a master’s degree in education with emphasis in social justice, culture, and ecology from Portland State University. Kasha completed the M.E.T.A./Hakomi two-year comprehensive training in the spring of 2019.
A meditator since 2005, she has participated in numerous meditation retreats, including ten days of silent vipassana. She finds nourishment and inspiration through the subtle energy arts of qi gong, yoga, reiki, and dance. A kindhearted guide, Kasha has a passion for cultivating positive change in herself and others.
After her year as an intern at M.E.T.A., Kasha continued to see clients and receive training and supervision in process-oriented psychology as an intern at River’s Way Clinic at Portland’s Process Work Institute.
You can reach Kasha at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Zimmerman (he/him) is currently completing a Master of Arts in Professional Mental Health Counseling at Lewis and Clark College and has completed the two-year M.E.T.A/Hakomi Comprehensive Training program and the Recreation of the Self professional skills module. He also has background and extensive training in Compassionate Communication (NVC) and Mindful Compassionate Dialogue, a system that combines mindfulness practice, NVC and Hakomi.
No matter who you are, where you have been or where you are now, David believes that you are already complete and worthy of a life of thriving. He holds the therapeutic process as a quest to help individuals rediscover and stand in their innate goodness and expansiveness. David seeks to create an alliance that promotes empathic understanding and trust and nourishes a container in which all parts of a person are held with care. He makes use of the space between therapist and client as a compassionate training ground of self-discovery in which clients are welcomed and invited to explore new ways of being and relating to themselves and others.
David views therapy as a process of working collaboratively to identify and compassionately move blockages that may be impeding one’s natural vibrancy and authenticity. His approach is heart centered, spacious and holding. It is through curiosity that he seeks to honor and allow each and every aspect of a person to show up fully. His work is rooted in mindfulness and combines a systems and somatic focus to deeply consider all parts of a client’s experience as valuable and integral to the healing and transformation process. He invites his clients to walk together with him in this journey; a sort of radical rediscovery from within.
Jessica Barnese is currently completing her Masters in Counseling at Pacifica Graduate Institute as well as the two-year M.E.T.A/Hakomi Comprehensive Training program.
Jessica approaches therapy with an open heart and a directness in her demeanor. Her objective is to help her clients integrate the pieces of their current lives and their past to reinforce the self in a way that feels empowered and capable. She works with her skills from Hakomi, Re-Creation of the Self, Depth Psychology, and dream tending to meet her clients in a way that honors their own self-directed process of personal inquiry while facilitating greater awareness of the self.
Jessica has worked as a counselor with populations including homelessness, substance abuse, mood disorders, and personality disorders. She has also facilitated group counseling for homeless women. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Michigan State University with Honors thesis research in cognitive-neuroscience. Jessica has a background in somatics through her bodywork practice of craniosacral therapy and interoceptive structural integration as well as her years of movement practice with contact improvisation.
Steven “Evan” Fidel believes each person’s inner wisdom seeks to guide them to a life of authenticity, love, and fulfillment. Daily demands and stress, though, may impede that wise deep voice. His practice is trauma-informed, sex- and body-positive, and helps clients understand how relationships with self, others, family, community, and our environment(s) impact psycho-emotional well-being.
Evan grew up on a farm in Yamhill County, and comes to the therapy world with a rich background working and traveling around the world. As an educator, he taught, studied, and has done research in Thailand, Germany, China, and Mexico; and worked in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps volunteer. Living his life through a multi-cultural lens has enriched Evan’s understanding of human diversity and deepened his profound respect for the ways each of us creates a unique path of healing.
Twenty-five years ago, Evan began a mindfulness practice at a Vipassana retreat at the monastery of Suan Mokh in Thailand. His interest in therapy grew from an increasing understanding that mindful awareness of the body in the present moment creates a stronger knowledge of both our seen and unseen parts. Through experiential methods of body-mind, Evan helps his clients bring those parts together to create a unified awareness of self.
Evan graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a Master of Arts in Integral Counseling Psychology, an internationally-recognized program that blends western and eastern traditions of psycho-emotional-spiritual health. He has clinical experience with Relational-Gestalt therapy, Dialectical Behavioral therapy, and is trained in Hakomi Mindful Somatic therapy.
Evan’s personal and professional life have centered on multi-cultural understanding and empowerment. He has worked with people from a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and speaks Spanish and German. He finds rich ground where identity intersects and has a special interest in working with LGBTQIAP+ people.
Silvia Gozzini believes that everyone has an innate propensity towards personal/ interpersonal growth and change. Sometimes, pain and hopelessness interfere with this, though often our longing to thrive persists. Silvia strongly believes that clients are the experts at their own lives. Drawing from theories of attachment, interpersonal neurobiology and mindfulness, she honors the opportunity to witness folks becoming fluent in the language of their inner wisdom.
Silvia is currently completing her Masters Degree in Marriage Couple and Family Therapy at Lewis & Clark College, with a specialty is Sex Therapy. Silvia’s practice is trauma-informed, sex and body positive, LGBTQIAP+ affirming, and socially aware. Influenced by her own transnational identity, Silvia maintains a culturally curious stance, considerate of people’s intersecting identities, thinking critically about their social location and how systems of power and privilege relate to their experience in the world.
Our relational nature calls for caring and loving relationships where autonomy and belonging are both valued. Silvia believes we all aspire to such balance, and engages in collaborative efforts with emotional honesty, vulnerability, and integrity. In sitting with individuals, intimate partners and families, Silvia regards all relationships as part of the healing process, including chosen families, communities, and ancestral lineages.
Silvia has a B.A. from the University of Louisville, KY in Psychology, Sociology and Conflict Resolution and a decade of experience in Family and Community Mediation as well as equity informed facilitation. Silvia has professional experience working with the adoption community, she brings humility and sensitivity to the complex experience of transracial families, birth parents, and the adoption constellation at large.
Silvia followed her heart to the U.S. from Florence, Italy in 2006. When not in the therapy room, she is busy with her two young children from whom she learns everyday how to remain present, playful, and tender.
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.
Josh Jarnagin is currently completing a Masters Degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis and Clark College where he has studied art therapy and somatic psychology in addition to core coursework. He has completed the Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy Module training with M.E.T.A.
Josh views therapy as a valuable and collaborative relationship in which problematic and painful aspects of clients’ lives can be studied and transformed with empathetic curiosity and exploration. He seeks to promote hope and empowerment by helping clients find the workability in every situation. In therapy, he aims to promote a mindful and holistic approach by including internal exploration as well as exploration of societal and relational impacts on client lives. He aims to help clients delve deeper into how they may have organized their lives around painful experiences and helps them address problematic strategies that have been used to get by in life, so that clients may begin relating to life from a place of wholeness and authenticity. He believes that each client is inherently oriented for health and growth and that an essential part of therapy is about uncovering and nurturing the strengths and resourcefulness that lie within each individual.
Nova (Stephenie) Knutson, LMT, CHP, Certified Hakomi Teacher believes that each person retains an unbreakable wholeness at their core. Using a body-centered approach, a present moment orientation and a deep respect for the spirit of her clients, Nova seeks to support clients in defining and reaching their own goals, and in accessing, experiencing and living from their own sense of wholeness, to support a life of self-defined meaning and purpose. Nova believes that the best and most lasting kind of change is that which supports you becoming more and more yourself, in your relationships and in your life.
Nova is deeply engaged in fostering healing and personal development. A massage therapist in private practice for over 20 years, she graduated from Portland’s first M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Training in 2006, was certified in Hakomi in 2010, and went on to create and teach M.E.T.A.’s Integrative Bodywork Training Program. She is a co-teacher of M.E.T.A.’s personal growth training, “You are the Home You are Looking for,” bringing kindness and a lively sense of humor to her teaching and facilitation style. Nova is honored to support clients as they explore their inner landscapes; and to foster the conditions for deep and lasting change.
Natasha Trees provides a wide range of experience and a deep capacity to understand many perspectives. She is prepared and often able to see the multiple and complex issues presented within a counseling session, while offering a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental space.
Much of the foundation of Natasha’s theoretical orientation is humanistic using an experiential, strength-centered, and integrative approach. Additionally, as a long-term body worker with her own holistic healing practice of almost twenty years, she is deeply inspired by somatic/mind-body therapies. Through collaboration, mindfulness and somatic presence, Natasha looks to support clients in connecting to a place of self-care and curiosity. A place where trust and resiliency can grow and flourish.
Natasha holds professional licensure for bodywork in Washington and Oregon, and has both participated and facilitated numerous professional trainings throughout the years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and Theater, along with Award Certifications in Conflict Management, Leadership Development, Project Management, and Interpersonal Communications. She has also volunteered with Rose City Non-violent Communication and the Oregon Prison Project.
Natasha is currently completing her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University, and will graduate in June of 2019. She has completed Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy and Re-Creation of Self (R-CS) Professional Skills through the M.E.T.A. Institute
Natasha brings humor, compassion, and warmth to her sessions; she welcomes people of any gender, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, religion, family structure, culture, and self-identification.
Gayle Waitches believes that all human beings contain an unquenchable, innate impulse for health, wholeness and authenticity. Her approach stems from the conviction that each of us harbors a “Core Self” which offers inner resources and compassionate guidance. Because we are complex creatures comprised of multiple dynamic parts, learning to witness and befriend these myriad parts through the lens of one’s organic Self fosters greater self-knowledge and self-leadership. Gayle believes that collaborative relational therapy provides a safe and loving space to deepen capacity for awareness, insight, growth and connection to one’s truest Self. Mindful and somatic practices and emotional and relational exploration are just some of the reliable portals to one’s rich inner world. When we are able to honor and tap into our inherent wisdom, we live with heightened personal integrity, greater vitality, and deeper compassion. Gayle welcomes individual as well as couples and family work.
Gayle is currently in her final year of a master’s program in marital, couple and family therapy at Portland State University, and will graduate in June of 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences from the University of Chicago and an Osteopathic Medical degree from Midwestern University. While Gayle has been practicing radiologic medicine since 1991, a yearning for deeper human connection and soulful exploration created a shift in her practice toward the study of mental and emotional well-being. And yet, diagnostic imaging and psychotherapy share similarities as both specialties require investigation and revelation below surface level. Gayle’s training and experience in the holistic world of Osteopathic medicine braided with her conviction in the strength and resiliency of the human spirit provide a foundation for her counseling approach. She guides the therapeutic journey by employing Mindfulness-based, Humanistic, Internal Family Systems, Emotionally-Focused and Existential philosophies. Gayle’s training in mindfulness experiential approaches includes Hakomi and Re-Creation of the Self as well as Accessing and Living from Self through Meditation, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy with Dr. Loch Kelly and Dr. Richard Schwartz. Gayle completed an externship in Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy, and has nearly finished Level One training in Internal Family Systems.
A devoted yoga practitioner, Gayle deeply appreciates the health, empowerment, teachings, joy and community experienced within this therapeutic somatic journey.
Gayle embraces multicultural humility and welcomes and affirms people of all genders, abilities, races, ethnicities, spiritualities, religions and other intersectional diversities.
Jenna Abernathy believes each of us has an unbreakable wisdom inside that through various life experiences gets blocked, like the sun behind the clouds. She sees her job as one of supporting clients to navigate towards their own internal sun regardless of external circumstances. Jenna regards symptoms as sacred doorways leading us back to our innate wholeness. She works with present moment body-mind awareness to uncover the creative resources within the self and reclaim personal power that is every human’s birthright.
Jenna’s own struggles and transformations have fueled a lifelong pursuit of wisdom and personal growth. This journey has been supported her own commitment to her meditation practice and a continual pursuit of body mind trainings.
In addition to running her own wellness practice since 2000 as a yoga teacher and bodyworker, Jenna has also been an eating psychology coach since 2009 and has incorporated M.E.T.A. practices into all of the above since 2012. She has worked one on one with clients locally and internationally as well as run group classes on body image, relationship to food, yoga, living a creative life, emotional eating, and JourneyDance.
Jenna is in her final year at Saybrook University earning her Master’s in Psychology with a specialization in counseling. The impetus for this training grew from her commitment to further her skills as a somatic based therapist. In 1996 she completed her Bachelors in women’s studies and photography at Goddard College.
Recent trainings at M.E.T.A. have included the 2015-2017 comprehensive training which incorporates Hakomi, Re-creation of the Self, attachment work and trauma informed work. She has also been an assistant teacher for the M.E.T.A. for bodyworkers training after taking it twice and currently she is studying clinical maps and will be enrolled in the comprehensive 3rd year program.
Jenna honors, welcomes and encourages all races, genders and abilities into her practice.
Amanda Ball has always felt that significant experiences cannot be learned on paper, but rather, must be learned in the body. Using mindfulness and experiential methods she aims to assist her clients in learning new ways of being that lead to more fulfilling lives. Amanda provides a deeply compassionate and caring presence, and is honored to hold space for clients as they explore and examine patterns of living that no longer serve them, and ultimately work to create new, self-actualized ways of being.
Amanda is currently completing her Masters Degree in Counseling at Portland State University, and will graduate in June of 2018. Amanda has trained in specific mindful/body-centered/experiential approaches to therapy, including the Hakomi method and Re-Creation of the Self. Amanda has also attended trainings for counselors working with LGBT youth, and experience working with trans youth and their families in the medical field. Amanda has also worked with a variety of diverse populations during her public health career, including LGBT individuals, young women, teens, and people of color.
Amanda has a background in art and theatre, which inform her counseling work with an attitude of playfulness, creativity and curiosity. Her background in public health, particularly in working with vulnerable and under-served populations, inform her belief that many factors influence personal wellbeing, many of which individuals have limited ability to control. Amanda operates from a place of cultural humility, recognizing that her particular experience of and privilege in the world may be different than that of her clients, and aims to learn about the experience of others with curiosity and respect. Amanda has a particular interest in working with young women, and trans youth and their family members.
Alicia Banister is currently completing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark College. Beginning with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Alicia has long held a curiosity about people’s inner and outer worlds. She has traveled extensively around the world, engaging in both formal study as well as the learning that comes from having conversations with complete strangers.
Alicia has a broad background in somatic-oriented therapies, including massage therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, and therapeutic yoga. For the past 8 years, she has had an Integrative Bodywork practice focusing on mind-body integration and trauma. She completed training in massage therapy in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a 2-year intensive Craniosacral training leading to certification in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Alicia’s studies have also taken her to the mountains of Northern India to study yogic traditions and complete trainings in yoga teaching and sound healing. Claiming Self and cultivating a sense of embodied wholeness informs to all of the work that Alicia does. She holds a deep respect for the wounds we each carry and a profound gratitude for the brilliance inherent in each person that helps them to navigate the world with these wounds. Alicia’s approach to counseling involves both holding oneself with radical acceptance and inclusion, while also holding the possibility of change.
Alicia has studied extensively the work of Stephen Porges and Peter Levine and finds that their work informs much of her approach to counseling, focusing on the nervous system, neuropsychology, and the relationship between trauma and the body. In both bodywork and counseling, Alicia has a special interest in working with the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming folks.
The natural world is where Alicia feels most alive, with soil under her feet and the chorus of plants and animals for company. She seeks the solace of natural spaces as often as possible, often in the company of her 2 dogs.
“It is better, more graceful and far more soulful to just be what & as you are, and let the other creatures be what they are too.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Jenni Goldstein’s approach is both gentle and direct. She holds a deep well of compassion for the wounds that come with being human, as well as the capacity to see beyond those wounds to the indestructible that exists in all. Her willingness to accompany clients on this journey of paradox is far-reaching and filled with wonder.
Her greatest wish is to support clients in coming home to their true nature and to join in the discovery that comes from this rich foundation. She loves to play in the realm of soul, dreams, movement and intuition. Jenni utilizes mindfulness, embodied experiments, and the relationship between client and therapist to foster this exploration.
Jenni deeply values embodiment and has a regular yoga and dance practice. In addition, she has been practicing meditation, and receiving mentorship from her beloved dharma teachers since 2011. She is also a poet, a dream-collector, a nature-explorer, a singer, and a lover of people.
Jenni is completing her Masters degree in Psychology with a specialization in Counseling at Saybrook University and has completed the two-year META Comprehensive Training, which includes training in: Hakomi, the Re-Creation of the Self, Experiential Attachment, and Trauma-Informed Therapy. She plans to participate in the third year Advanced Comprehensive training, and is taking META Pro-Skills courses in Clinical Maps and Experiential Attachment Therapy.
Jenni welcomes and affirms folks from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Valentina Iadeluca moved from Rome, Italy, to Portland, Oregon, to do her internship at the M.E.T.A Counseling Clinic. Before developing an interest in body-oriented counseling, Valentina was a jazz and pop singer, music educator and teacher educator of the Orff-Schulwerk approach. This methodology emphasizes an experiential pathway to developing musical skills over technical proficiency, and uses creativity, voice and movement.
During her 20 years working with children and adults in numerous contexts, Valentina’s interests progressively shifted from music-making and teaching to understanding and supporting the emotional and social experience of the person “behind” the music. This passion became the bridge to obtaining a second Masters’ Degree in Clinical Psychology and completing a 4-year training in Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy in Mallorca, Spain.
Valentina loves to use her background as an artist, and her familiarity with the language of dancing, singing and storytelling as tools to accompany people through the shadows and lights of their lives. Like following an improvised musical dialogue, Valentina approaches therapy as an experience unfolding in the here and now, and where the style of each participant – both therapist and client – plays a central role in creating an unforeseeable and irreplaceable “masterpiece.” Towards that end, Valentina aims to establish a safe and warm, but also playful and creative atmosphere within the counseling room where each individual’s pace, process, suffering, joy, and wishes can feel deeply welcomed and valued.
Marcy Irene Jenks believes that the discovery of one’s true nature as a human ultimately connects them with the source of healing, peace and happiness. She understands that becoming aware of and embracing the strengths and the shadow parts of the self leads to a powerful state of being that is whole and undivided – existing in integrity with itself. Blending eastern and western traditions of healthy mind, body, spirit and soul, Marcy incorporates mindfulness, somatic awareness, and experiential techniques into her counseling sessions. She encourages her clients to welcome all facets of their personhood, and with gentle curiosity, grace and wonder, Marcy guides her clients to a place of self-integration and fullness of being.
Marcy has explored various aspects of mental health and its relation to physical health through her work as a hospital nurse, working on the psychiatric units at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Harborview Medical Center, and at Stanford Medical Center and all the Providence Hospitals in the Portland metro area. She has also studied psychology through an eastern perspective, providing assessment, diagnosis and treatment consultations to clients using Ayurvedic medicine. These experiences have seasoned Marcy’s rich understanding and reverence towards human diversity with a deep respect for the unique healing path that each person discovers for themselves. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Washington and is a Certified Ayurvedic Consultant.
Marcy is currently in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Walden University, and will graduate in June of 2018 with a Master of Science degree in Counseling. She completed the Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy professional skills module in 2017 and will attend other M.E.T.A. modules throughout the year. Integrating the comprehensive professional knowledge and diverse practical experience she has gained over the years, Marcy compassionately uses psychotherapy as a vehicle to authentically join with her clients on their mindful journey to wholeness, freedom and peace.
Sheila McShane is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark College and is studying the methods of Hakomi and Advanced Clinical Maps with M.E.T.A. She has a teaching license and fifteen years of experience working with high school and middle school students. Teaching overseas in several countries and working with immigrant and refugee youth with a non-profit organization in Portland, she has a passion for working with people from diverse cultures and looks forward to meeting with clients from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Sheila honors the unique gifts and wisdom of each client and works collaboratively with them to facilitate the process towards deeper self-awareness and insight into their lives. Through a holistic, client-centered approach to counseling, her intention is to offer a supportive and attuned therapeutic relationship that invites clients to explore their experience with kindness, curiosity, and acceptance. Sheila uses a mindfulness and somatic approach to therapy which focuses the attention inward so we may study the self through the present experience. This allows us to access deeper material, beliefs, or patterns that may be outside of our ordinary awareness and work together to bring about healing and change. Sheila brings a warm presence, sense of humor, and compassionate heart to this work.
Heather Talbot provides a collaborative and holistic mind-body approach to therapy. She believes that you have an innate capacity to heal and deepen your connection to self, others and the greater world around you. She offers practical tools to help you achieve a greater sense of health and well-being and find relief from the painful patterns that might be keeping you stuck.
She has a relational and engaging style and strives to create a safe and compassionate environment in which your unique strengths and inner resources can be accessed and the painful experiences from your past that continue to affect your present-moment-lived-experience can be uncovered and transformed.
Heather brings over 7 years of experience and advanced certificates as an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or ‘Tapping”) Practitioner, Relationship Coach, and she utilizes her training in Compassionate Communication techniques which help people effectively communicate their needs, wants and feelings.
Heather graduates from Saybrook University with a M.A. in Counseling Psychology in June, 2018 and has completed the 2-year Comprehensive training at M.E.T.A. Institute, which weaves together Hakomi, Mindfulness-Based Trauma and Attachment work and is particularly inspired and passionate about the profoundly powerful and strengths-based modality, Re-Creation of the Self.
Heather welcomes people of all ages, genders, abilities, ethnicities, religious/spiritualities, races and other intersectional diversities and seeks to support an anti-oppression and pro-empowerment/pro-inclusion environment for clients of all backgrounds to find the support they seek.
Shardé Werth brings humanist, existential and mindfulness values to therapy. She believes that we are constantly learning, emerging and evolving in response to life and that our natural tendency is one oriented towards growth. Shardé’s approach is compassionate and collaborative, focused on helping clients identify and create meaning in their lives and live more authentically. She provides a safe place for client self-exploration of patterns or roadblocks that get in the way of meaningful living. Her intention is to meet clients where they are, building a therapeutic relationship that honors client’s inherent wisdom and strengths. Shardé welcomes and affirms members from the LGBTQ+ population.
Shardé is currently completing a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Marital, Couple and Family therapy at Portland State University. She has completed the Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy training with M.E.T.A.
Rachel Bagley. Ten years ago Rachel had a serious knee injury from a bike accident. During recovery, pain would jolt her awake at night. Though she was reluctant to take pain pills, the allure was strong as Rachel struggled with her injury. One evening the pain woke her up, and, just as she reached for the pill bottle, she remembered something she’d learned in a Qi Gong workshop: look toward the pain rather than away from it. She put the bottle down and simply put her hand on her knee and, for the first time, looked at the wound with curiosity rather than fear. Relief was instant. Accepting the pain made it less activated.
This incident intrigued Rachel and led her to question how our thoughts and fears influence the experience of acute or chronic stress and trauma. The mantra of looking toward the pain rather than away from it became a foundational idea for Rachel when it comes to therapy.
Rachel provides a supportive place for clients to look at their own pain, while basing her practice on the belief that every individual is innately good and strives toward balance. From a place of equanimity within the therapeutic connection, Rachel provides space in which clients can explore and be curious about their lives and relationships. She uses therapeutic tools that help clients connect to the physical body and, in turn, connects them to a deeper level of insight than talk therapy alone could provide.
Drawing from both Eastern and Western philosophies, Rachel compliments her counseling practice with experience as an athlete, world traveler, yoga practitioner and meditator. Rachel earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from Portland State University. She completed the Hakomi, Attachment, and ReCreation of the Self trainings through META and is fully trained in EMDR. Rachel specializes in working with both complex and acute trauma, relational issues, anxiety, depression, and finding authentic meaning in life.
Rachel is bilingual in Spanish, works with individual adults, couples, and welcomes all forms of diversity. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Nina Landey approaches therapy with curiosity, respect, and unconditional support. She will work collaboratively with you so that you can heal, evolve, and free yourself from ways of being that aren’t working for you. With Nina, you can forge new patterns that are more aligned with your authentic self. She believes the foundation for change is the relationship between you. By bringing authenticity, attunement, and empathy, Nina will hold a safe place for you to explore. You will become aware of the beliefs and patterns that have been directing your experience by using mindfulness to slow down and notice your automatic reactions, feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Nina will collaborate with you to fill in the missing experiences you need and uncover paths toward more meaningful and satisfying ways of being in your life and relationships. Her approach is based on studying your present experience with mindful, experiential techniques drawn from the Hakomi Method, Internal Family Systems, and EMDR to work with parts of you that may still be stuck by past experiences.
Nina earned an M.S from Portland State University, where she focused on marital, couples and family therapy. Her course work included: developmental psychology, attachment theory, multicultural competency, couples therapy, family therapy, grief and loss, group therapy, and sexuality. Nina has professional training in the Hakomi Method and RC-S from M.E.T.A., where she completed a year-long internship. She also completed full basic training in EMDR and is pursuing certification. Nina learned non-violent communication with children from Echo Parenting and Education, which focused on empathy, language, and understanding a child’s emotional, physical, and brain development. She also has specialized training in grief counseling from The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families, where she was a volunteer facilitator. Additionally, Nina earned a B.A. in English-Theatre from Barnard College and an M.F.A from the Yale School of Drama.
Nina welcomes and affirms people from the LGBTQIA community. You can contact Nina at email@example.com _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Stuart Malkin believes that each of us holds the truth of what makes us whole and fulfilling our life purpose. Sometimes we forget what fulfills and inspires us or we form habits that move us away from being nourished in our personal and professional lives. Using mindfulness to study the present, he supports clients in compassionately visiting and honoring the places they get stuck and helps them identify and practice being with their strengths, resilience, and wholeness so that they can show up in life with authenticity, compassion, and purpose.
Stuart completed a Masters Degree in Counseling at Portland State University in June 2017 focused on Clinical Mental Health. He also completed a year-long internship training with the M.E.T.A Counseling Clinic in 2016-2017 and a two-year Comprehensive Training program studying mindfulness therapy approaches including Hakomi, Recreation of Self (RC-S), attachment, and trauma work in 2014-2016. He has also assisted in teaching the M.E.T.A Comprehensive year one program in 2015-2016.
In his practice, Clear Heart Counseling, Stuart works with individuals and couples and is starting a men’s groups to help men build better relationships, build skills in fully expressing themselves, and feel more holistically empowered with their masculinity. Stuart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 971-266-1693.
Anya Moses completed her Masters degree in Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Her work has been focused around social justice, couples work and sex therapy. In addition to her Masters degree Anya has trained in Hakomi methods at M.E.T.A. Hakomi Institute.
Anya approaches therapy as a healing journey, that is centered around holistic, client- centered, somatic and systemic principles. This works allows individuals, couple and families reach their fullest potential and find harmony in their lives. The process varies for everyone. Anya believes in honoring the uniqueness of each individual she works with, whether it is in the context of individual work, or relational therapy.
Sustainable change is possible through the somatic, expressive arts and experiential modalities Anya implores in her practice. The true essence of change relays on the therapeutic relationship. The safe and nurturing environment Anya creates, provides opportunities to bring about self-exploration, healing, empowerment, growth and a genuine expression of self.
Through this journey Anya helps clients get in touch with their inner wisdom and resiliencies to help heal past experiences and beliefs that block them from experiencing the world in the way they wish to. Our experiences are all that we have, and together we can move towards a place where our inner and outer experiences exist in harmony.
Contact info: email@example.com ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Courtaney Walter is in her final year towards completion of a Masters Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Women Studies and Legal Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Davis. She approaches therapy with an integrative framework, intertwining Hakomi Method, including the use of Mindfulness, Gestalt, Psychodynamic theory, Internal Family Systems principles, Non Violent Communication, Trauma Informed practices, Attachment Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Transpersonal Theory, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She works with clients in exploring a range of experiences and wounding, including but not limited to, trauma, infertility and grief, substance use and addiction, attachment issues, anxiety and depression.
Courtaney is open to and interested in the wisdom of her clients as whole beings. Her work is not just limited to the mind. She works with body, soul, unconscious, inner child, and other parts of her clients relevant to their growth. She approaches her work through a client-centered lens, as a joint navigator through places where physical, mental, and emotional intensity reside. She believes that beneath the childhood wounding, developmental, sexual, or generational trauma, lies a unique aliveness and authenticity that is the core Self. She meets clients where they are and together, as a team, they design the best way to navigate their journey in search of discovering this truth.
She holds an underlying premise that we all have a sacred, intrinsic wholeness or organic Self. She works with clients to notice how they experience their sense of Self and the various ways in which they’ve developed behaviors to protect the Self from further wounding. She holds a belief that when we are embodied in our Ideal Selves, we feel ourselves as centered and secure and are more able to navigate the world with compassion and expansiveness. She approaches her work with clients from the present experience and invites that knowledge to direct the sessions. Bodies can hold clues that can point to memories, beliefs, or patterns and together with her clients she navigates those places with compassion to help learn new, healthier ways of being. She believes that each person is an adaptable being and it is her hope that the work done in therapy will bring clients closer to their authentic Self. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Erin K. Gallagher is in her final year of Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a certified yoga instructor, and has created programs to help re-introduce individuals to their bodies after physical trauma. She has also worked with adolescents in a residential treatment facility teaching emotional regulation skills through Dialectical Behavior Therapy (D.B.T.). Training with M.E.T.A., she has studied the “Re-Creation of the Self” and Hakomi therapeutic methods.
Intertwining facets of depth psychology, soul-centric, and trauma-informed practices, Erin sees herself as an advocate for personal and inter-personal evolution in relationship to ourselves, others and the universe. Exploring the mind-body-spirit and soul, she has the job of a loyal guide; one who will walk sometimes beside and sometimes behind you, through all of your experiences- however painful and dark they can be- offering skills, tools and support along the way.
Erin approaches this work as a journey that is navigated as a team. Together, you will name and feel into what is happening, design the best ways to navigate the territory, and discover the natural buoyancy of your deepest, most clear, calm, knowing and wise, whole Self along the way. Through her experiences working with people, Erin absolutely believes that it is through uncovering who we really, really are, beyond the woundings of ancestry and childhood, and cultivating the audacity to radically accept what we discover, that the expression of our unique aliveness can surface.
Her focuses in counseling practice include: developmental, acute, and inter-generational trauma, the neurobiology of trauma and re-integration, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), gender creative children, the LGBTQQIA… community, adolescence and rights of passage into adulthood, sacred personal ritual and yogic practice for awareness and healing.
Erin welcomes and affirm all forms of diversity and celebrates what makes you uniquely who you are.
Kelly approaches counseling from a holistic, client-centered and depth orientation that encourages personal growth, transformation, and self-empowerment. She works in a heart-centered way, inviting the whole person to come forward, even those parts we may have strong aversions to within ourselves. She offers ways to explore the self with curiosity and compassion, assisting clients in developing more acceptance of their authentic selves.
Kelly believes that the mind and body work together as one, and that when we observe them together, we find that the body is expressing certain mental processes and sometimes the mind is a reflection of how balanced and nurtured the body is feeling. During the therapeutic process, she may include the use of mindfulness, experiential and body-oriented approaches, dreaming states, connection to nature, art, spirituality and existential experience, along with health and lifestyle concerns. Her intention is to hold space for the individual’s inner wisdom to unfold with new insight and understanding; with this, one can learn how to integrate this new awareness into a positive, supportive, and life changing experience.
Kelly has an MA in Counseling Psychology from the Professional Mental Health and Addictions Program, along with a Certification in the Treatment of Eating Disorders from Lewis and Clark College. She also studies Hakomi and Attachment methods with the M.E.T.A. (Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches) training center and has some experience in Jungian depth psychology through the Process Work Institute. She holds a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, has been a licensed massage therapist for 10 years, and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
Dori Kuehn, M.A. holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and is a Certified Hakomi Therapist. The focus of her Master’s program was in Community Mental Health where she studied the integration of depth psychology and body-oriented approaches to change. Dori brings a background in somatic and experiential counseling with diverse and high risk populations within a social justice framework.
After completing the comprehensive training and certification in Hakomi, Dori also trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (trauma release), the Re-Creation of the Self Model of Human Systems and Motivational Interviewing.
Dori sees herself as the facilitator of a process that encourages clients to develop a sense of personal agency and empowerment by getting to know themselves through the many realms of their experience. She guides clients in learning how to utilize their bodies as an ally in their healing journey, and she believes that learning to respect and have compassion for ourselves and others can create new and more satisfying ways of experiencing life.
She is passionate about working with teenagers and couples and enjoys working with people from all walks of life. Divorce support and women’s support groups are a particular area of interest of hers as well. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Alex Palecek (Sasha), M.A. holds a Master’s degree in Psychology: Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University. He is also a Ph.D. student at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where his research focuses on mindfulness, psychotherapy, and spirituality in recovery from bipolar disorder. In addition to prior coursework in Hakomi, he will be participating in the META Hakomi Pro Skills module and other META trainings. Sasha has also completed numerous mindfulness meditation retreats and is certified as a mindfulness instructor by Naropa University.
Sasha’s psychotherapy practice draws on mindfulness-based approaches with a background in Buddhist-inspired, humanistic, relational, transpersonal, and somatic psychotherapy. He views healing as a process of coming into connection with our brilliant sanity, which is a basic foundation of goodness in everyone that can actually be experienced and integrated in daily life. He also has training and experience in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, couples’ counseling, giftedness, highly sensitive people, trauma, and working with LGBTQ and gender non-conforming clients. He is committed to non-violence and social justice, and seeks to promote a world where racism and other forms of oppression can be confronted, dismantled, and healed. Sasha feels that a supportive relationship between therapist and client is an essential element of good therapy. Visit him at his private practice, Brilliancy Counseling.
Valerie Strickland has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark College. Valerie has supplemental training and special interests in mindfulness, ecotherapy (nature-based therapy), somatic psychology, expressive arts therapy and counseling men. She has experience working in residential drug and alcohol treatment. Prior to embarking on her counseling education Valerie had a satisfying career in marketing for a large high-tech company and she has an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Valerie views counseling as a supportive relationship that empowers people to achieve mental health, wellness, relationship and career goals. She will work to build a safe environment in which you can explore your unique history, strengths and potential. She will help you talk through your concerns, get in touch with your thoughts, feelings and sensations and derive meaning from your life. She will strive to wholeheartedly facilitate your journey of self-exploration and personal growth.
Valerie’s counseling approach is grounded in a core set of values including acceptance, respect, flexibility and authenticity. Based on your needs and desires, she will help you explore your experience by using mindfulness, attachment, creativity, values identification and emotional processing. Valerie believes that the health of our minds, bodies and spirits are inextricably linked and she will help you tap into your inner wisdom and cultivate your inner strength.
Camillia Thompson is currently completing a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is a Certified Movement Analyst through the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York City and has studied Attachment and Hakomi techniques through M.E.T.A.
Camillia brings a background of cultural psychology, including extensive time abroad studying, living, and traveling through diverse regions of the globe. She brings cultural sensitivity and awareness to her approach and appreciates the unique perspectives her clients bring.
Camillia knows that it is through relationship that we achieve deep and lasting change. The therapeutic relationship is unique in the way it supports personal growth through solid ethical guidelines and specific, scientifically validated methods. Therapy is serious business; but it can also be enjoyable. Camillia brings humor as well as compassion to the work. With her background in religious, spiritual, and cultural studies she draws from somatic, existential and psychodynamic theories to orient the material presented, which lends to a humanistic, nonpathologizing, and collaborative approach to treatment. Camillia believes we are already whole, no matter what circumstances have led us to seek counseling, and that the work of psychotherapy is a process of remembering this wholeness.
Toren Volkmann completed a Master’s degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis & Clark College, and studied extensively with M.E.T.A. Training Center.
Toren believes growth happens at the intersection of healing and change. Having experienced profound transformation in his own life, he is extremely passionate about witnessing and facilitating forward movement in others’ lives. Working from a place where connection, relationship and meaning-making are all central parts of the therapeutic process, he encourages collaborative exploration of the barriers that prevent people from thriving. In therapy, he uses the present experience to help individuals reconnect with strengths, cultivate internal resources, and begin to challenge negative patterns that can create blocks to fulfillment. He believes that all people are unique and have the capacity for alignment with their true selves. Through consideration of one’s social location, societal expectations, spiritual & existential curiosities, creative expression, nutrition & exercise, and the family relationships that shape our lives, he creates a safe environment for people to co-construct a path toward health and wholeness. Through a combined use of mindfulness, experiential processes and attachment-oriented interventions, he works with all walks of life including individuals, couples and families. He encourages integration of body, mind, and spirit in an active process of self-discovery and empowerment. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ghassan Ammar completed a Masters Degree in Counseling at Prescott College. The focus in his studies is on somatic and mind-body therapies, as well as the intersection of these therapies with neuroscience. He also participated in the M.E.T.A./Hakomi Comprehensive Trainingprogram in addition to training at the M.E.T.A. clinic.
He sees us all having an amazing strength, resilience, and natural ability to heal ourselves. Sometimes though, the repairing that we so honorably perform for ourselves leaves us with habitual reactive patterns. Eventually, we start to realize that these patterns no longer serve us in a way that allows life to be as fulfilling as we wish it to be: instead of a source for healing, they become a source of disconnection from both ourselves and others. He believes that therapy gives us a wonderful opportunity to discover and navigate through the causes and conditions of these patterns while remaining firmly rooted in the present moment. He does this in a way that is non-intrusive, non-violent, and compassionately supportive to one’s personal growth and embodiment. Through assisted mindful states, we can really become aware of deeper feelings, emotions, and beliefs with clarity we are often too busy to notice. It is from this place that we discover so much about ourselves, and it is from this place that we are able to re-witness our strength and resilience, and then utilize these to construct new ways of being in and with the world. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Veronica Valenzuela completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University, and participated in M.E.T.A.’s Professional Skills Training Attachment: Assessing, Engaging and Strengthening the Capacity to Love. She has training in Internal Family Systems (IFS), couples therapy and group facilitation. Veronica has specialized training in emergency trauma response, volunteering in community emergency response.
Veronica brings Humanist, Existentialist and Mindfulness values to therapy. As such, she believes people are inherently good, that they have good intention and that we are all works in progress. Working from a mindfulness and attachment perspective, Veronica collaborates with clients as the experts of their stories and their therapeutic paths. With compassion and curiosity, Veronica provides a place that is safe for client self-exploration and questioning of patterns and habits that have outgrown their protective usefulness. Veronica integrates a strength-based philosophy into her work with individuals, couples and young people. As a Latina, Veronica would like to serve as a bridge between the Latino community and mindfulness therapies, while also welcoming people from underrepresented and non-traditional communities, backgrounds, cultures and socioeconomic status. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Michelle Vosika-Cooper completed her Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Goddard College, where she has lead an introductory workshop on Hakomi and a workshop on the use of ritual in therapy. She has also completed the first year M.E.T.A. comprehensive training. Previously, She studied and worked as a Graphic Designer, which she now understands to have been the beginning of her enduring commitment to communication, understanding, and connection. Throughout this period, she also studied earth-based religion, mythology, tarot and became a second-degree Reiki practitioner in the Usui tradition.
Michelle believes that, like the archetypal shaman, her role is to hold the space where transformation and growth take place; to help bridge the gap between who you are, and who you want to be. She does this work with humor and honesty, with mindfulness and compassion, and most of all she does this work with reverence and humility for your trust and your process.
She invites her entire client to participate in the therapeutic process: their mind, body, and spirit. She employs her training in the M.E.T.A. Method, and when called for, integrates shamanistic techniques such as dream and journeywork, as well as working with ancestors, archetype, and myth. She regards your choice to commit to therapy as a sacred undertaking, and is dedicated to honoring your work and the time spent together. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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, 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, 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 16thAvenue in inner SE Portland. Please contact her at (503) 957-1636, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.lisasilverman.info. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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, Advanced Clinical Maps, M.E.T.A trauma training, 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.
Ivy is now accepting clients in private practice. She works with individual adults, adolescents,couples and groups. Her office is located at 2305 SE 50th Ave, in Portland, Oregon. She also does group work on a 36-acre property property in Canby, Oregon for clients who wish to utilize more ecotherapy. To learn more about Ivy and her practice you can check out her website: www.ourinnerlandscape.com. She can be reached at: (503) 505-1270, or email: email@example.com. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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.
Amy helped pioneer the creation and opening of the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic and served as a Registered Intern at the Clinic from the fall of 2010 to the Spring of 2011. She has now opened her own practice in Corvallis, Oregon and can be reached at: 541-740-1506 (Corvallis) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Elizabeth Dissin, LMHC, holds a Masters in Counseling with a Concentration in Grief, Loss and Trauma from Southwestern College (Santa Fe, NM). She is a Level II graduate of Pat Ogden’s Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and completed the 2-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 works relationally, and utilizes mindfulness, to offer a style of therapy that goes beyond insight to promote core level change and a more embodied sense of self.
Elizabeth moved back to her home on the East Coast, and is currently practicing at a community mental health agency in Ithaca, NY. She does individual counseling for adults (18+), and specializes in trauma, grief/loss, and attachment. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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: email@example.com or visit his website HERE _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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: BEYOU@PEARLWALDORF.COM or visit her website HERE ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ava Frank graduated with a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health from Portland State University. She is also a graduate of M.E.T.A.’s two year Comprehensive Training, and has completed M.E.T.A.’s Attachment and Trauma Modules, as well as M.E.T.A.’s Interpersonal Skills Training. Ava also as extensive training in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and experience co-facilitating NVC classes as a volunteer in the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Ava is passionate about helping you connect clearly with yourself and others so you can live your most authentic, empowered, and fulfilling life. Using present moment experience in sessions, Ava encourages non-judgmental exploration of unconscious material that affect how you live in either supportive or non-supportive ways. This helps shift old unhelpful patterns while also building on your unique strengths and innate resources.
Ava opened her private practice in July 2014. Her office is located at 3800 NE Sandy Blvd #210, Portland OR 97232. She can be reached at 971-266-0036 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please visit her website www.liberateyourheart.com. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ryan Hofrichter served as an intern at the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic from 2013-2014 and obtained a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State University in 2014. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) through the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). His counseling practice serves individuals, couples, and other relationship types. He also offers consulting for practitioners wanting to start and grow their own private practices. You can learn more about Ryan at www.ryanhofrichter.com, or contact him at email@example.com or 971-266-0710.