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10 Years and Counting

Over the past decade we have worked with tens of thousands of our fellow Oregonians working to manage anxiety, ease depression and build stronger relationships. Our outstanding clinical and administrative staff are proud to provide caring support for our friends and neighbors and we thank you for 10 years of working together to create lasting and meaningful change.

In this issue:

 Self: A Source of Strength

Do you think of yourself as a source of strength? For many people, especially those who often experience anxiety, equating self with strength can be difficult. However, no matter what types of mental and emotional health issues you experience, it’s important to remember that you can rely on yourself better than you might think. 

One way you can do this is to internalize your sense of self, meaning that you look inward to develop a sense of self-esteem. This leads to confidence that you can do what needs to be done, solve problems, make decisions, and develop opinions—all on your own. 

It sometimes feels easier to externalize your sense of self, letting others do things for you, or allowing them unnecessary sway over what you think and feel. In the short term, this is often easier. But externalizing your sense of self can make you more dependent on others and may weaken your individuality. Internalizing your sense of self, on the other hand, can strengthen both yourself and those around you. 

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between externalizing and internalizing your sense of self. 

External Sense of Self

When you externalize your sense of self, you rely on others to determine what to do and even how to think and feel. Signs that you are externalizing your sense of self include: 

  • Asking someone else to make sure you get up on time, remind you of appointments, or tell you when to take medications.
  • Not finishing a task or not learning life skills because someone else will take care of it. 
  • Asking advice or adopting someone else’s opinions without first evaluating your own thoughts and ideas. 
  • Using social media likes, a busy schedule, or a job title to boost your sense of self-worth. 
  • Requiring reassurance or praise from others to stay motivated or feel good about yourself.

Internal Sense of Self

When you internalize your sense of self, you depend on yourself to decide what actions to take, determine what your thoughts and opinions are, and direct your emotions. Healthy signs of internalizing your sense of self include: 

  • Problem-solving to overcome challenges and do things independently. 
  • Taking initiative, following through on assignments, and learning and utilizing important life skills.  
  • Consulting your own interests and beliefs and being able to defend them while respecting other points of view. 
  • Appreciating praise but being able to value yourself and be productive without it. 

If you find that you externalize your sense of self more often than you would like, focus on building yourself up so that your sense of self becomes a source of strength you can rely on. Take advantage of opportunities to formulate your own ideas, make choices, follow your interests, and get to know yourself. You can do start to do this with just small first steps and small, simple choices in your daily life. As you continue to rely on yourself for choices and decision making, you’ll find that your relationships, your feelings about yourself, and your life in general will benefit. 

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What Research Says about Happiness

This video on Harvard University's study on happiness is worth watching!
  • "Life is built with good relationships," Mark Twain
  • Building satisfying relationships early and in middle life, is the greatest predictor of good health at age 80.
  • Good close relationships can buffer us from some of the challenges of getting old.

Anxiety Management

Choosing How to Function in the Face of Anxiety


What do you do when you feel anxious? Most of us have some automatic responses to anxiety — but sometimes our automatic response isn’t helpful. One way you can deal more effectively with anxiety is to learn the difference between emotional and intellectual functioning, and try to bring balance between them so that you respect your emotions while also relying on your intellect to help you choose how to act when faced with anxiety.


Emotional Functioning

When we function emotionally in the face of anxiety, we often focus outward. Anxiety can make you feel out of control, so it feels more natural to look to other people for how to handle a situation, rather than trust yourself.

If you’re functioning emotionally, you might distance yourself from others, or, conversely, go out of your way to seek their attention and approval. You may focus on their stress or anxiety, which causes your own anxiety to spike. This can also make you feel that it’s their responsibility to either calm you down, or change their behavior to allow you to calm yourself down.

These are natural reactions, but they often increase your anxiety rather than help you to overcome it. A better way to function in the face of anxiety is to use the power of intellectual functioning.

Intellectual Functioning

Intellectual functioning takes some practice, but it’s much more effective in helping you to control anxiety. When you function intellectually, you put the focus back on what you can control: yourself.

When you function intellectually, you can take a step back and evaluate yourself with greater objectivity. Because you have a clearer picture of yourself, you aren’t as dependent on praise from others, nor are you likely to be as hurt by criticism.

As you become more adept at functioning intellectually, you also become more skilled at examining your anxiety so that you can learn from it, rather than immediately trying to get rid of it.

Choosing How to Function

It’s important to realize that different situations will call for different types of functioning. Balance is key. If you only function emotionally when faced with anxiety, it can lead to more stress and conflict. On the other hand, if you only ever function intellectually, you run the risk of becoming distant in your relationships. The most important thing is to learn the difference between the emotional and the intellectual and learn how to choose which function you will employ. This puts you in control and enables you to act, rather than simply react, when you feel anxious.

As you look at the differences between emotional and intellectual functioning, which do you employ most frequently? What would you say is your automatic mode of function? Think about the ways you automatically react to anxiety, and come up with ideas on how you can change so that you are acting in the ways that you want. Choosing is liberating, and by learning to function intellectually in the face of anxiety, you’ll be able to reclaim a sense of your true self.
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From the Blog

Make This Valentine's Day a Happy One

Whether you're single, in a relationship, or somewhere in between, we're sure you can benefit from these guidelines for positive communication!

Even the happiest and healthiest of relationships require a lot of hard work and dedication. With Valentine's day around the corner, we thought it might be fun to share an easy way to better your relationship with your partner. We aren't just talking about romantic relationships, though; the tips we're going to share today can be applied to any kind of relationship in your life. Although relationships can be hard, they can also be improved by incorporating even the simplest habits. At Eugene Therapy, one aspect of relationships that we feel is especially important is communication. Communication is something that many of us struggle with, but it's also something that is incredibly vital to the maintenance of our emotional connection with others.

Perhaps the first step towards understanding the importance of healthy communication is to understand the ways in which we connect with the people in our lives. By learning how our interactions with other people work, we begin to understand how our behaviors can help or hinder our relationships. Dr. John Gottman, a renowned marriage and parenting researcher, developed a concept called "emotional bidding" that breaks communication down in the simplest way. A "bid" is defined as an invitation for human connection. Bids can be verbal or non-verbal, like an inquiry about your day or widespread arms waiting for a hug -- but the underlying message is the same: they are our way of saying, "I want to connect with you."

Whether our partner's bids are delivered as gestures, touches, statements, or questions, they can elicit one of three responses:

Turning Towards: This is a positive response. Turning towards a bid means engaging with the other person in a way that rewards their effort to communicate. If your partner asks you about your day and you respond with a detailed account of your activities, you are turning towards their bid.

Turning Away: Failing to respond meaningfully is characterized as "turning away." Other ways that you might turn away from your partner include avoidance of eye contact or physical contact, walking away, or responding with something....


5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life

With spring just around the corner, many of us are eager to start fresh! We clean our homes top-to-bottom, give our gardens some TLC, and some of us start focusing on taking better care of our bodies as the weather gets nicer. What many of us don’t do, however, is tackle a little internal spring cleaning – the best kind of tidying up!

Here are a few ways to spring clean your mind, body, and spirit:

1. Re-define your core values. While it’s great to have an infinite supply of values that you strive to uphold, it’s even better to have several that you hold near and dear and use as guiding principles as you navigate through life. If you feel like certain aspects of your life and your values don’t line up, ask yourself what you can do to change this.

2. Weed-out bad relationships. Friendships and relationships are paramount to human happiness, but only if they’re healthy. Don’t be afraid to walk away from people who take advantage of you or don’t treat you well. You deserve to be surrounded only by people who truly appreciate you.

3. Practice self-love. A good rule of thumb for practicing self-love is to ask yourself the question, “if someone spoke to me the way that I speak to myself, would I want them as a friend?” If your answer is no, cut yourself some slack. Most of us are our own worst critics, but much too much self-criticism hurts self-esteem!

4. Make a change. Consider this a second shot at your New Year’s resolution: choose something you’d like to change about your life and set out to make it happen. You can make small changes, like trying a different Starbucks coffee, or big changes like building a new group of friends. Whatever the change, choose something that will make you happier in the long run.

5. Clean out your emotional closet. Maybe you need to learn to say “no” when your boss asks you to take on extra projects, or maybe you’re caught in the middle between two friends who are having a disagreement. Either way, if there’s something (or someone) in your life that is sucking your emotional piggy bank dry and causing you to feel unhappy or stressed, scale back! Keep tabs on your emotional bank account. Don’t overdraft.

Happy spring cleaning, and remember to take care of yourself before you take care of others!


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We are experiencing very high demand for clinical services in the community and are looking for exceptional clinicians to join us.


We are currently seeking licensed and prelicensed therapists. We offer:


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