Lotus Flower

THERAPY IS WHERE WE GO TO TRANSFORM PAIN INTO MEANING.

Transformation and change are inevitable when you bring your full commitment home to yourself.

 

SERVICES

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

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Pampas Grass

COUPLES THERAPY

SUPERVISION AND CONSULTATION

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GROUPS

EMDR

Reflection of Monks Crossing a Wooden Bridge
Contact
 
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HOW I WORK

Hello! My name is Meghan O’Connor. Welcome to my website! I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, couples, and groups in Portland, Oregon. I also offer clinical supervision and consultation to therapists working towards licensure. 


I have worked successfully with a wide range of issues and I love the work that I do. 


Drawing from extensive training in Gestalt Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, EMDR Therapy, and Somatic Experiencing® psychobiological therapy, I support people toward the resolution of their trauma and the reclaiming of their lives. 

Psychotherapy offers a consistent and dedicated space to enhance and actively deepen your awareness of your inner world. When you are guided to thread together words, emotions, sensations, and beliefs in a safe and supportive relationship, you can emerge from the limiting grip of distressing symptoms into a deeper state of intimacy with yourself and those around you.

We will explore how environmental adaptations and survival mechanisms in your early life continue to shape your behaviors, emotions and perceptions today. I will attend to both content - what you say  - and process - what you do. I will often guide you to become more curious about what is happening in your body, offering tools and resources to help you establish more safety and ease in your system so that we can, in turn, safely approach what feels painful and overwhelming. The body offers up a clear path to the parts of us that need attention. When you feel safe, steady and connected, your own organism becomes a conduit for therapeutic healing. 

My therapeutic style is deep, interactive, collaborative, steady, warm, and at times, directive. My hope as a therapist is to help you experience more safety and ease in your body, to develop strong and compassionate boundaries with a demanding world, so that your life can unfold authentically rather than reactively, so that you can do what you know you are here to do.

Get in Touch
 
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WHY I WORK

We are all shaped by our families, cultures and places of origin. We inherit a toolbox for life. Some of our tools feel useful and some of our tools no longer serve us. Yet after decades of hard wiring, we struggle, despite our best efforts, to put the outdated tools down. We try to trick ourselves into different behaviors, white knuckle our way through cravings, read one self-help book after another, and exhaust every Brene Brown podcast available, but our reactions to people, places, events and things continue to feel automatic and out of our control, leaving us feeling ashamed and hopeless. Dominated by familiar thoughts and projections about ourselves and others, our lives, our decisions, and our relationships keep circling back to the same dissatisfying places. We feel...no, we know that we are missing out on this living opportunity. 


When our learned patterns of protection and survival, although safe and familiar, begin to feel prohibitive and even destructive, we seek counseling. 


I encourage you to browse my website, and see if anything I’ve written feels relevant to you. That’s usually a good start in finding the right therapist.  

 
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ABOUT ME

I grew up in a rough neighborhood in inner-city Boston. Addiction, poverty, deep racial and ethnic divides, and systemic neglect plagued most systems that were meant to support me - my school, my family, my streets, and my friends. It’s in cultures like these where therapy carries the biggest stigma. Nobody I knew went to therapy. A parochial place, people still leaned on the Catholic Church for relief, community, and for self-understanding. But the church did not encourage self-reflection or contemplation; it enforced rule-following and small-mindedness. Like many queer youth, I had to leave my home in search of a culture where I could be safe and out. I succeeded in that - I made new kinds of friends, I went to college on a full scholarship, and I traveled the world. I had escaped. I had survived. 


Although I went on functioning, I felt detached from myself, from my emotions and my own vulnerability. I had many relationships, but little Intimacy. I didn't know at the time that this feeling constituted the double life that most trauma survivors navigate inside of themselves - a painful psychic split, a feeling of deep self-alienation. 


Therapy, when I found it at age 25, was my magnum opus - a process of unlocking child hood trauma and re-finding the pieces of me that I’d left behind when I’d escaped my past. With enough support, I could finally stop avoiding and start paying attention, stop pushing and start belonging, finding the courage and the safety to come back home - to myself. 

Healing became my primary focus. I eventually enrolled in a Counseling Psychology graduate program in California because I wanted to give back what I had received.


Due to the details of my own journey, I work well with people who grew up in one place but find themselves in another. They are resilient, but still feel like they may lack certain life and emotional skills to really thrive. They may feel like their future, despite all the striving, is still laid out on the tracks of their past. 

 
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MY QUALIFICATIONS

 

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  • Somatic Experiencing® trauma resolution, Intermediate with Joshua Sylvae, PhD (Current)

  • Advanced Gestalt Training with Steve Zham PhD and Jon Frew, PhD (Current)

  • Ongoing Case Consultation in EMDR therapy, Psychoanalytic Therapy, and Somatic Experiencing® trauma resolution (current)

  • Somatic Experiencing® trauma resolution, Beginner with Joshua Sylvae, PhD 

  • EMDR Basic Training with the Personal Transformation Institute 

  • Training in Clinical Supervision with James Gurule, MA, LPC

  • Couples Therapy Consulation and Training under Michael C. Klein, PhD

  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program with the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis

  • Wilderness Rights of Passage Therapy with Amy Biesemeyer, MFT

  • Intensive Psychodynamic Training Internship (2 year) at the Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street

  • Advanced Gestalt Training with Jim Conwell, MFT, and Gieve Patel, MFT 

  • Training in Mindfullness and Psychotherapy with Jack Kornfield, PhD

  • California Institute of Integral Studies, Master of Arts in Integral Counseling Psychology

  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Womens Studies

CLINICAL AND RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Individual Private Practice (Current)

  • Adjunct Professor with Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling (Current)

  • Clinical Individual and Group Supervisor and Consultant for Pre-Licensed Interns and Site Partner with Lewis & Clark Graduate Counseling Program (Current)

  • Private Practice Internship under the supervision of Delia Shargel - working under the auspices of Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center

  • Staff Therapist Intern at the San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center

  • Staff Therapist Intern with WE CAN Pediatric Brain Tumor Network

  • Staff therapist intern and trainee at the Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street

  • Behavioral Coach Intern at Edgewood Center for Children and Families

  • Teaching Assistant in Multicultural Counseling and Human Development at the California Institute of Integral Studies

LICENSES

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Oregon and California

Ducks Over the Lake

FEES

Individual Session (50 minutes): $180

Couples Sessions (50 minutes): $190

Supervision (50 minutes): $140 

Group Sessions: Varies. Contact me for details. 

 

FAQS

HOW DO I START THERAPY?

We’ll begin with a 15-20 minute consultation over the phone. You can ask me any questions you have for me and I’ll get a sense of what’s bringing you to therapy. If we both decide it’s a potentially good fit, we’ll then schedule an in-person intake session. This is the length of an average session - 50 minutes long. It may take a few sessions for us to determine if we’ll work together.

CONFIDENTIALITY?

Everything that you say in session is between you and I. Confidentiality is a legal and ethical cornerstone or psychotherapy. However, if I hear of a child or elder being abused, or if I hear that you have a plan to hurt another person, I am legally required to break confidentiality and contact authorities.

HOW LONG IS EACH SESSION?

Sessions for Individuals: 50 minutes
Sessions for Couples: 50 - 75 minutes
Sessions for Groups: 2 hours

HOW LONG DOES THERAPY LAST?

The length of treatment varies from person to person. The decision to leave therapy is ideally a collaborative conversation between you and I. I’ll use my professional assessment to determine your readiness, but you always have the right to make the final call.

HOW DO I PAY?

You can pay for session by cash, credit card, or check.

DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?

I am an in-network provider with PacificSource Insurance. If I am out-of-network with your current insurance provider, I can provide you with a monthly superbill that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE HOW THEY THERAPY IS GOING?

Just let me know. This conversation tends to be fruitful. You have the right to terminate therapy at any time.

 
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CONTACT ME

I love helping my patients develop the tools they need to cope with all of life’s challenges. Contact me today to learn more and book a session.

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