THERAPY IS WHERE WE GO TO TRANSFORM PAIN INTO MEANING.
Change is inevitable when you bring your full commitment home to yourself.
Hello. My name is Meghan O’Connor. Welcome to my website! I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist licensed in both Oregon and California, currently offering Tele-therapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. I'm also certified to offer clinical supervision to therapists working towards licensure.
I have worked successfully with a wide range of issues and I love the work that I do. Whether you are seeking therapy for the first time or looking again, finding a therapist is always a daunting task. I encourage you to browse my website and see if anything resonates. That's usually a good start to finding the right fit.
HOW I WORK
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.
WHY I WORK
Do you have an adept ability to flex and bend to the needs of your environment? Do you struggle to identify and prioritize your own needs? Are your goals and dreams collecting dust while you compulsively tend to those around you? Codependency often develops in the personality structures of people who are raised in chaotic and neglectful environments as children. A finely tuned childhood survival strategy, it leaves many feeling a complex array of emotions in their adulthood: emptiness, resentment, loneliness, and confusion. Your personal wishes become off-limits, you hide from others and you hide from yourself.
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.
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.
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 I, II, and III 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
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Oregon and California
Contact Me for Details
NO SURPRISES ACT
GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE
Under Section 2799B-6 of the Public Health Service Act, health care providers and health care facilities are required to inform individuals who are not enrolled in a plan or coverage or a Federal health care program, or not seeking to file a claim with their plan or coverage both orally and in writing of their ability, upon request or at the time of scheduling health care items and services, to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” of expected charges.
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.
You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service.
If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call 1-800-985-3059.
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.
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.