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We have a limited number of in-office sessions. Most of our sessions continue to be telehealth-only. Talk to your provider for more information.
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Supporting Our Community

The COVID pandemic along with the racial and financial injustices that Oregonians are experiencing, concerns all of us. In psychotherapy, we often talk about 'loving containment' -- the consistency and compassion that comes with knowing your clinician will be there for you, will be on time, will be emotionally present, and available in a predictable and caring manner.

All of this serves to foster emotional as well as physical safety, and promotes healthy change. 

Much of what people are feeling right now is the inconsistency of threatened containment; which creates anxiety and reasonable fear. As clinicians trained in understanding the systemic reasons why problems develop and are maintained, we know that our best chance of getting through this together is dependent on our ability to identify, validate and encourage our innate and burgeoning resilience.

But we also know that these are different times. Several of our therapists are volunteering to provide pro bono and reduced fee sessions to people in need. If you know of someone who has been negatively impacted by recent events, please encourage them to reach out to us at or so we can connect about the availability of pro bono sessions with our clinicians. 

Thank you for standing up for mental health, for social justice, for equitable health and for a brighter, more secure future. 


From our Entire Staff
Oregon Counseling & Eugene Therapy

In this issue:

Thank you to PacificSource CHE

Our practice has received a grant from PacificSource's Community Health Excellence (CHE) Responsive Grants program. During this difficult time, the CHE grant has helped us fund the employment of our pre-licensed clinicians so that we may treat even more community members impacted by COVID-19, at a reduced fee.
PacificSource Health Plans

Raising Racially Aware Children


One way to make the world a better and more accepting place is to raise racially aware children. But when should you start? What about when your children are very young? Is it possible or advisable to introduce the concept of race to toddlers and pre-schoolers?

The answer is yes, it’s both possible and advisable. And there are many ways to do it. Here are some ideas and tools you can use to raise your racially aware child from a young age.


​As with many other aspects of modern child rearing, parents are sometimes nervous about teaching their kids about ​race​ and may tend to avoid the conversation altogether. ​Just as we point out blue skies and red fire engines, it's important that we 'name what we see'. When parents are silent, kids tend to make up their own stories about what's missing. It's helpful for kids if parents describe the actual color of a person's complexion and then explain how those shades are most often categorized by society into 'white' and 'black'.

Lori Taliaferro Riddick and Sachi Feris from the site Raising Race-Conscious Children say, "Parents often ask which words they should use to describe skin tones. We advocate for using both types of words — actual skin tones (like “brown” or “peach”) is more descriptive and more accurate to what we actually see; but I use the words “white” and “black” even though it is a social construct just to break it down for my children. If I don’t use those words, it’s harder to talk in a larger way about race in our society."  That lays the groundwork to talk about race in a more substantial way down the road and helps kids build the vocabulary they need to talk about race and diversity, as an open and healthy topic.


Choose books by authors of different races so that children learn from other perspectives. Balance books that simply tell a story with a diverse cast of characters, such as those by Ezra Jack Keats, with books that focus on race and culture. This exposes children to the idea that other cultures and races exist and have value, and that people can do the same things regardless of their skin color. Here are some children's books with characters of color: 

And here are two wonderful books that explicitly talk about race:


Media portrayals are often stereotyped, so be aware and point out those flaws to your children. Sometimes we feel nostalgic and want to introduce shows from our childhood to our kids. Doing so can be a lot of fun and build a sense of connection. It can also provide a great opportunity to point out any flawed portrayals that you observe while still allowing you to watch together. In addition, look for ways to choose movies that portray characters in counter-stereotypical roles. The goal is for your children to understand that people are individuals, with unique personalities, desires, and should be free to each make their own choices.


Introduce racial diversity through everyday playthings. If your child plays with dolls, consider including in the toy box dolls with different skin colors. When you color with your child, use shades of peach and brown to color in the people. These things convey that different skin colors are perfectly normal. People Colors Crayons is a great crayon set that allows kids to represent themselves and others in their artwork in a way that traditional crayon color schemes do not.


Learn about other cultures and celebrate them with your children. Cook different ethnic foods, try a traditional craft or game, or learn a song from another culture. Also let children know about things that are part of your own cultural heritage. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, eats the same food, or has the same traditions, but each culture is special in its own way.


Help your children develop a diverse group of friends. If you live in a less diverse neighborhood, consider joining a more racially diverse play group, religious congregation, or kids’ sports team. As children develop relationships with people of different racial and cultural backgrounds, they are more able to appreciate people as individuals, instead of categorizing or stereotyping them. 

Teaching children about race is something they will appreciate and is an opportunity to forge deep, authentic connection. By teaching your children about race and diversity from a young age, you can prepare them to tackle difficult topics as they get older, be accepting and inclusive of others, and develop a sense of cultural pride in their own unique heritage. 

Finally, here is a great blog with a list of 5 books to teach your kids kindness. The world can never have enough empathy and understanding. Here's to all of us doing our part!

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Think Like a Therapist

Practical Advice for Managing Emotions


Some of the basic tools of therapy are more accessible than you think. Here are a few practical ideas:


Emotions are like the weather

When a problem arises, it's human nature to respond with shock, surprise or blame. But what if emotions are like weather? Not something to be judged, but to be managed. When it's raining, we don't curse the rain, we wear a raincoat. Similarly, when the 'weather' of your emotions is 'less than sunny', practice self-acceptance by noticing and adapting rather than judging. The troubling emotions you may be experiencing are just like the weather: They may not be comfortable, but they will pass. In the meantime, there is a very good chance you can handle it better than you give yourself credit.

Take care of yourself

Pay attention to what you eat, what you do with your time, what you say and how you behave; within reason. Without going to extremes, practice developing healthy eating, exercising, social and sleep habits. Taking time out of your day or your week for yourself, can be just as good. When you're on the go all day, you may tend to forget about taking a moment (or more) for yourself. This can be a time to meditate, to call a friend, to take a nap; anything that recharges you is not worth putting off. Our practice prides itself on hiring great clinicians who are therapists both in the therapy room and out. This means that while we certainly aren't perfect, we are doing our best to lead a life that is full of kindness, compassion, commitment to growth, self-acceptance and fun! We must put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we can take care of others. Similarly, putting yourself first can be a meaningful act of kindness.

Be open and accepting of yourself (and others)

It's true, honesty really IS the best policy! The first step towards having an open and honest relationship with others is having one with yourself. Notice what you like and don't like. Accept yourself as the discerning individual you are, without judgment. Notice if you start to judge yourself -- it's normal and we all do it from time to time, but it's not necessarily something you MUST respond to. Self judgment can be another form of 'weather' and it doesn't necessarily require an intense response. Rather, try to say to yourself, "Hmmm I notice I'm really being hard on myself." Just the act of noticing the 'weather of your emotions' can help you resist grappling with yourself and increase your self acceptance. 


Practice a grounding exercise

Sometimes, it takes physical grounding to nudge our minds back into a place where we can embrace observation, loving kindness and acceptance rather than judgment. A simple grounding exercise is The 54321 Grounding Method.

In this exercise, stop where you are and focus your attention on:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Taste is sometimes hard to identify, so you could substitute that by thinking of your favorite thing to taste. The goal is to identify elements in the world around you. As your mind begins to focus on these things, it will be less focused on the sudden rush of emotional disturbance. This will help slow your heart rate, control your breathing, and make you feel better overall.

There are many different grounding exercises you can use. The point is to embrace the mind-body connection and resist the urge to over think your worry or frustration by placing attention outside of your thoughts. 

Remind yourself that you are not your thoughts

The things we think about do not necessarily define who we are. Be accepting of your thoughts as well as your faults, and recognize that there are some things in life you just can't redo. If you tend to dwell on negative thoughts or negative past events, try to notice that you are dwelling, give yourself a break about doing so, and move on. Thoughts are simply tiny electrical impulses in your brain, why judge them? It's okay to think what you think. No need to judge yourself. Be your own best friend and resist the urge to judge yourself.

Set reasonable goals for yourself

Goals are important, but making them attainable, reasonable and measurable is the key. This is your life. It is what you make of it. Take time to pursue the hobby or activity you always thought of doing, but never actually pursued. Our lives can become very stressful and overwhelming with all the errands we run, our work, family, and other obligations. So take some time to indulge in something YOU find meaningful, rather than something you think you SHOULD do. Doing something you enjoy will help to shake off the daily stressors you face. If you have measurable and attainable goals you are more likely to feel more secure and purposeful in your daily life. Whenever you come up with a goal, such as learning to play an instrument, making new friends, or enhancing your social life, look for ways to identify small, incremental changes you can make today. And remember that if you are struggling with this, chances are your goal is too big; make it smaller and start there. 

Talk to yourself like a loving parent or a good friend 

One of the secrets of therapy is that it is an intimate process of helping clients 're-parent' themselves by having the therapist act as a loving, consistent, supportive surrogate. Would a loving parent or good friend be as hard on you as you are being on yourself? Would you be as hard on a good friend as you are on yourself? Practice interrupting any stream of negativity and self-judgment with love, kindness and compassion. It can feel difficult at times, but deep down, you've known how to do this since you were a child. You can be kind to yourself. Practice it :)

For more helpful tips on how to be your own therapist, check out our blog archives.  

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Simple Summer Tips for Kids & Teens



For many teens, COVID-19 has taken away a good chunk of their school year, socializing with friends, and attending events like prom, graduation, or sports games. Now that summer is here and social distancing measures are still in place, this can be an especially tough time for teens. But by making time for a few basics you can help your older child to make the most of their summer despite the difficulties.

Make time for Healthy Habits

It’s tempting for teens to stay up late and sleep away most of the day, but this isn’t healthy for either their physical or emotional health. Although you can be more flexible in the summertime, encourage your teen to go to bed and get up at a regular time each day.


Developing a work ethic may not always be popular with teens, but it’s important for them to take responsibility and contribute where they can. Assign them some regular chores, and, if possible, collaborate with them on establishing a reward system that is meaningful to them for completing their assignments.


Teens need time with friends. While it can sometimes seem that they spend too much time with their peers, it’s important, especially during social distancing, for teens to feel connected. If you’re in a position to do so, allow your child’s friends to come over for socially distant activities, and allow your teenager a reasonable amount of time to connect with their peers electronically.


It’s also important for teens to spend time with family. Plan meals they like and activities they enjoy to make family time more appealing to them, and set aside time to be with them one-on-one. Spending time together can strengthen your relationship and allow you to continue teaching your teenager important lessons and values as they prepare for adulthood.


Summer jobs may be hard to find, but they are out there, and are a great way for teens to keep busy and earn some money for spending or saving. Job searching can be intimidating, so let them know about places that are hiring, help them fill out the paperwork, and be supportive in encouraging them to find work.


Of course, no summer vacation is complete without time to play, relax, and have fun. Make sure that your teen is rewarded with leisure time to do things they enjoy so that summer feels like a vacation—even if it’s not quite the one they had in mind.

And remember

Teens exist in an emotional world that fluctuates between desiring autonomy but wanting to know they can fall back on you when needed. Be prepared to parent a teen with collaboration and respect in mind for these two distinct parts (autonomy and dependence).


Younger Kids

By now cabin-fever has likely set in. These are tying times for all of us. The disappointment of spending summer vacation in COVID-isolation is palpable.  But summer 2020 can still be fun—here are some creative things families can do to make this year’s summer vacation still feel like one.

  • Break out the tent and sleeping bags and have a campout in the backyard (or the living room).

  • Go stargazing. Be sure to pack a blanket and some hot chocolate. The days may be warmer, but the nights are still chilly.

  • Find a drive-in movie. It may not be the theater—but it’s socially distant!

  • Buy some sidewalk chalk and decorate your driveway or the sidewalk in front of your house.

  • Pack a picnic lunch, a blanket, and a frisbee, and spend the afternoon at your local park.

  • Make a homemade summertime treat like ice cream, lemonade, or popsicles.

  • If the weather isn’t great or you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, make a pillow fort with cushions, pillows, and old sheets.

  • Go for a bike ride, hike, or walk around the neighborhood. Bouncing on the trampoline or running through a sprinkler are also fun ways to stay active closer to home.

  • Have a car wash party. How do you turn a car wash into a party? Think water fights with the hose, and maybe a cold treat afterwards.

Summer is a great time to just play and have fun with your kids. Relaxing, working, and playing together can strengthen your relationship with your children, and is a great way to create memories and stay healthy—mentally, emotionally, and physically.

As a parent you don't have to be 'on' all the time. Give yourself meaningful breaks and just be sure to insert at least some intermittent fun into your child's day.

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Call or TEXT us at (541) 868-2004
for Portland, EugeneCorvallis & Bend Appointments
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