Hi! My name is Meghan O’Connor. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, couples, groups, and families in Portland, Oregon. I also offer clinical supervision and consultation to therapists working towards MFT and LPC licensure.
I have worked successfully with a wide range of issues and I love the work that I do.
If this is your first time looking for a therapist, the process can be daunting. When I first went to therapy, I didn’t have a clue what I needed. So, as a former first-time consumer myself, I understand you may not have a clear sense of your issues, but you know you want or have been encouraged to find extra support. If you’ve been in therapy before, starting over with a new clinician is still no easy task.
So, congratulations to the newcomer and the veteran for taking this initial step into the unknown…and allow me to demystify the process of therapy - with me - a bit below.
Life is a complex and mysterious ride. Many beings are trapped in patterns of protection, rigidity, repetitive self-defeating behaviors, addictions, and limiting beliefs about themselves, without frequent enough access to experiences of engagement, connection, safety, vulnerability, open-heartedness, play, and authenticity. Folks shut down for all kinds of reasons, but the result is ubiquitously devastating. We feel we are missing out on this living opportunity. My hope as a therapist is to help you reconnect to your Deep Self, to develop a meaningful narrative about your life journey, to access more choice, to take more risks, to feel more aliveness, and exercise more creative control over everyday choices.
I will attend to both content - what you say in the room - and process - what you do in the room. I will often guide you to become more curious about what is happening in your body. The body offers up a clear path to the parts of us that need attention and healing. This is, in my opinion, indispensable for therapy to affect deep change.
My therapeutic style is engaging, deep, interactive, warm, yet, at times, directive. I use an eclectic blend of therapeutic orientations - Gestalt, Somatic, and Psychodynamic with some Behavioral applications.
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.
SUPERVISION AND CONSULTATION
I grew up in a rough neighborhood in Boston. Addiction, poverty, systemic neglect, and abuse 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 Church for relief, community, and for self-understanding - Catholic in my case. But the church did not encourage self-reflection; It provoked small mindedness and fear. 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.
I was relatively numb at the time, but I felt one thing for sure - that I didn’t belong anywhere. I was burdened with unfinished business from my past. By the time I got to therapy at age 25, I was full of symptomatic behaviors but had very little understanding of where they came from. I thought symptoms were symptoms. I didn't understand they were adaptations, ways of surviving. Therapy 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 pushing and start paying attention, finding the courage 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.
Because of my background and my diverse experiences, I feel equipped to work with a wide range of clientele. My therapeutic training, orientation, and style draws from somatic psychology, EMDR, systems theory, psychoanalytic psychology, humanistic-existential philosophy, eco-psychology, the sociopolitical tenants of feminist and queer theory, and from my own experience, which lies at the heart of every therapists’ work.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
EMDR Basic Training with the Personal Transformation Institute
Training in Clinical Supervision with James Gurule, MA, LPC
Somatic Experiencing, Level 1 Training with Joshua Sylvae, PhD
Advanced Gestalt Training with Steve Zham PhD and Jon Frew, PhD
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
Adjunct Professor with Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling
Clinical Supervisor and Consultant for Pre-Licensed Interns and Site Partner with Lewis & Clark Graduate Counseling Program
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
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.
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.