Bernard McDowell

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

With decades of experience, I’m comfortable working with couples or individuals over a wide spectrum of concerns. See my in-depth articles on couples, depression, anger, etc ( With refined skills, I bring my heart and soul to my work (and plenty of research).


  • Couples Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Individual Therapy

My Approach

Therapy has a reputation as a painful process of facing difficult, painful feelings to get unstuck. True at times, but just as often people find therapy, in my approach, to be a surprisingly delightful process. It's often a humor filled, creative, joyful experience to reveal oneself, make a specific decision, unburden pain from the past, or bring a new perspective or way of life into focus. The process may be deeply moving or a straightforward, educational and practical activity. The main ingredient a good therapist brings is, no doubt, a refined quality of listening – ideally an 'unconditional attention' inviting clients to explore and elaborate their perspective to clarify what they want for themselves. In my case, that's further enhanced with the study of precision language skills for asking questions to help clients unfold an enriched “map” or vision of what they want – consistent with their values as well as achievable. (I also greatly value the science on therapy.)

My Background

Couples counseling accounts for half my practice; the rest focuses on individual concerns, primarily depression and anxiety. Rather than claim couples counseling or the treatment of depression as “specialties”, a great deal of science echoes common sense – these issues are entwined: When first in relationships, people usually get excited about life. Conversely, anxiety and depression are frequent responses to breakups (physical diseases spike up after divorces). Licensed in ‘95 with decades of “post masters” practice, I recently wrote a book with exhaustive research integrating the methods of the most prominent researchers on marriage counseling. Reviewing models focused how couples navigate conflict, I integrated them with recent science into a condensed model I've successfully used with countless couples. [I use ‘focus of practice’ above because I don’t intend to imply any of the many legal definitions for ‘specialty’.]

Issues I Treat

  • Relationship / Marriage Issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Personal Growth


  • 503-234-9904
  • Website
  • 811 N.W. 20th Avenue, Suite 104
    Portland, OR 97209

At a Glance

  • Experience: 26 Year(s) of Practice
  • Neighborhood: Northwest
  • Rate: $145-185/session

Other therapists in the area