Our clinicians are committed to providing state-of-the-art therapeutic intervention.

We offer brief and long term therapies including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) and Behavioral Therapies for Adults
  • Insight-Oriented Psychotherapies
  • Group Therapy
  • Couples Therapy for straight, lesbian and gay couples
  • Children, adolescents and families

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) and behavioral therapies (BT) are widely used, evidence-based therapies (could click on this site) for children, adolescents and adults with a range of problems. These therapies are usually brief (anywhere from 10-20 sessions usually and sometimes shorter) and involve the therapist and client working together as a team practicing new skills in and outside of the session. Homework outside of the session is important to helping clients try out new ways of thinking and behaving outside of therapy.

What do you get out of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

Learn how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all linked together.

Example: If you are at a party thinking "nobody here likes me," you are more likely to feel sad, disappointed and hopeless and are more likely to not try to talk with others. You may leave early, be less likely to go to other parties in the future and end up feeling even more isolated and sad. Learn how to look at an upsetting situation more realistically and develop new ways of thinking and behaving that are more helpful and lead to greater success. Do behavioral experiments that challenge unhelpful predictions and help you try out some new skills.
Example: At a party, you might talk to three people even if you feel nervous or convinced that they won't like you. Then you would assess whether people were as critical as you thought they would be and whether you ended up having more fun than you originally predicted. Develop a new sense of self in which your beliefs about yourself, others, and the future are more hopeful while at the same time realistic.

What can you expect in behavioral therapy?

Look at how certain situations can trigger problematic behaviors and how consequences can contribute to the behavior continuing.

Example: A child learns that if he has a temper tantrum in the grocery store, his father will almost always buy him candy and give him a lot of attention (even if it is yelling at him).

Develop new strategies and behaviors that are healthier and lead to better outcomes.
Example: The therapist will work with the child to learn new ways of “earning” a candy bar and father's attention through more age-appropriate behavior like doing chores and earning money or by asking his father in a polite manner.

Insight-Oriented Therapies

Other psychotherapies like Gestalt therapy, interpersonal therapy, existential therapy and psychodynamic therapy also have demonstrated effectiveness particularly for clients dealing with depression, relationship problems and other areas of difficulty. These therapies tend to be more long term than CBT and BT.

What can you expect from insight-oriented therapies?

Learn how past relationships (especially childhood) may influence how you feel about yourself and how you relate to others in your life.
Become more aware of your current ways of relating to important people in your life and how to be clearer about what you do and don't want in relationships.
Develop new ways of making meaning of your life that are more helpful and promoting of self- growth.
Example Sometimes clients feel like so many bad things have happened to them that they believe they are "damaged" or "victims" and give up hope of having positive relationships in the future. Clients may be able to see that they are "survivors" with much to offer in future relationships due to their understanding.

Psychotherapy and Skills Groups

We offer a range of psychotherapy groups at the Pacific Psychology Clinic. Being in a group with others with similar concerns can help you recognize you are not alone. Group members with the assistance of an experienced therapist as the group facilitator help each other try out new strategies to overcome concerns in a safe, supportive and confidential setting. Many groups also focus on teaching and practicing new skills in a class-like format. The "Groups Forming Now" tab on our webpage or clinic's main line (Portland: 503-352-2400, Hillsboro: 503-352-7333) can offer information about groups starting soon.

ADHD Skills Groups

Couples' Therapy for Straight, Lesbian and Gay Couples

Our clinicians use interventions shown to be effective in treating relationship problems such as improving:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Ways to repair conflicts
  • Ways to accept differences
  • Ways to improve your emotional connection

Therapy Services for Children, Adolescents and Families

Child and family clinicians are trained and supervised by a licensed psychologist with expertise in working with youth and families. Specifically, we offer cognitive-behavioral and behavioral therapies that involve teaching the child (and parents) how to challenge negative, pessimistic or anxious thoughts, develop better coping skills, learn new ways of problem-solving and improve communication and conflict resolution among family members.

Because we understand that therapy is just 1 hour of the week, children and parents attend the therapy sessions together and work as a team outside of the session practicing the new skills and doing therapy "homework." Therapists provide parents with guidance and training in the ways to coach their child to use the new strategies at home and school. Therapists can also consult with the child's teachers to help support the child using new skills learned in therapy in the school environment.

Adolescents may choose to have more individual therapy sessions with our clinicians; parents are involved in treatment in terms of providing consent to treatment, developing an appropriate treatment plan and participating in regular update/feedback sessions as needed.

Sometimes a family will be seen regularly for family therapy to work on family-wide problems like communication and conflict resolution.

Common Problems for Children and Adolescents:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Behavior problems
  • Academic difficulties
  • Problems with peers/making friends
  • Parent-child relationship problems
  • Attention difficulties