Are you looking for a wise and experienced therapist who has a kind, effective, down-to-earth approach to help you with these challenges?
My 30 years of experience as a therapist and registered nurse enables me to give you the support, caring and respect you deserve. Together we will explore effective tools to improve your life. Together we will explore your thoughts and feelings in a new way to help you make positive changes.
I care and listen deeply to your needs, your challenges, and remind you of your successes. When I sense that negativity might be getting in your way, I gently help you free yourself from limiting ideas and stuck feelings.
I understand that like everyone, you have had good times and chalenging time. Though you might have made mistakes, you have also accomplished things you can be proud of.
You may find me asking about the positive parts of a situation, or I may ask you to describe something beautiful in your life. Successful therapy balances pain and sorrow with beauty and gratitude. Most people are surprised to find how often we laugh together and that they enjoy coming.
You may sometimes struggle to love yourself and feel loved by others. Sometimes you can get settled into a rut, or a negative story, repeating similar challenges This can happen at any age.
Using my life experience, training and expertise, our therapeutic relationship can help you to overcome these stress-filled stories, so you can make choices to live a more authentic life — the life you want, rather than the life you may feel you’re stuck with.
We live in a culture which tends to unnecessarily feed anxiety. Left alone, we tend to give more credence to the negatives than to the positives in our lives. We come by this tendency naturally: To survive, the caveman (and woman!) had to pay constant attention to the threat of physical harm.
In our modern lives, we have the opportunity to focus more on learning, growing, enjoying and evolving rather than just surviving. But, because we have the same brains as our ancient ancestors, our “fight, flight or freeze” states can get us stuck since we live with enduring emotional and mental stress, but less physical danger.
Our culture supplies plenty of frightening ideas to focus on. We can catastrophize, and “what if” ourselves into a level of anxiety better suited to fighting a saber-toothed tiger than to reading a book or enjoying the company of a friend.
I can show you how to gently undo these mental tangles, and shift from “surviving” to “thriving.”
Wouldn’t you enjoy more confidence and less self doubt? Time enjoying your life rather than just managing anxiety?
Among the many tools I use to help you conquer fear and anxiety are:
- Active imagination
- Guided imagery
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dream work
In our work together, you will probably recognize and appreciate my enthusiasm for my life and our work together, as well as my admiration for you in your willingness to improve your life.
You will recognize that I “have a life” because I practice what I teach. It’s paid off.
I will sometimes challenge you, but I will always do so kindly, and with tremendous respect for you and your courage in facing difficulties. I will provide support and encouragement as we look at things that may be blocking the changes you want to make.
Many clients have thanked me for helping them see their world in a more positive light and for helping them conquer the negative critic within. Clients say I make them stronger. But I tell them they are mistaken about this. I simply guide them in the journey of discovering their own inner strength and confidence.
I am amazed by the wisdom I gain from my clients. I sometimes feel that we grow with each other.
Gael Specializes In:
- Deepen Self awareness
- Improve the quality of life
- Finding meaning in suffering
- Improving communication for couples
- Finding fun in later life
Some of My Specialties
Older Adults …
…who may have never worked with a counselor and don’t know what to expect.
You may have been referred by your doctor or a family member and are coming because of their concerns.
You can rest assured that, as an older adult myself, I understand the challenges you face, as well as the years of experience, skills and wisdom you already bring to counseling.
I love to listen and learn about you and the richness of your life. Together we will help you through challenging times.
I’m on the Medicare panel to make counseling affordable for you.
I also find that group therapy can be particularly effective and rewarding for my clients. Some of the benefits you may enjoy from my groups include:
- Tremendous support as you explore yourself and the changes you’re making.
- You get a reality check, and see how others respond to you.
- Encouragement to challenge what is not working for you.
- Improved self-awareness.
- Opportunity to practice new behavior in a safe and trusting environment.
- Better relationship skills.
- Helping you learn to trust others.
- The opportunity to be helpful to others as you learn you have much to offer them.
- A sense of community
Clients have told me that group therapy has been instrumental in helping them make the changes they want, and in providing them a safe place to deepen their understanding and acceptance of themselves and others.
Everyone is different, and each client has different needs. No matter which therapist you choose, it is very important that he or she recognize and treat you as an individual. When you make a real connection with your therapist, that you feel comfortable, welcome and accepted.
If you’re looking for a deeper therapy experience, my in-depth background and training in Jungian Psychotherapy can be very helpful. Jungian Therapy can help mine the depths of your being to help you find answers, clarify issues and find solutions.
Education and Post Graduate Training:
- 1989 Master’s in Social Work, Portland State University
- 1987 Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Art, Portland State University, Highest Honors
- 1973 Associate Degree in Nursing, Portland Community College, Honors
- Date Certification as a Practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy, with over 1000 supervised training hours
- Date Certification to supervise, forty-eight hours of supervision training by NASW and PSU
- April 2005, Lifeworks NW, Beaverton, OR
- 2003 – Present, Private Practice, Psychotherapist, Portland, OR
- 1992 – 2003 Private Practice, Psychotherapist , Lincoln City, OR
- 1990 – 1992 Tillamook Family Counseling Tillamook, OR specializing in sexual abuse
- 1981 – 1984 Good Samaritan Hospital Portland, OR Registered Nurse, Cardiac Care
- 1977 – 1981 Emanuel Hospital Portland, OR Registered Nurse, Cardiac Care and Pain Center
- 1973 – 1977 University Health Sciences Hospital. Portland, OR Registered Nurse, Cardiac Recovery and ICU
- National Association of Social Workers
- American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama
- Oregon Friends of C. G. Jung
- Thirty-two hours Professional Mediation Training
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of Oregon
- Certified Group Psychodramatist/Certified Group Psychotherapist