Douglas Johns

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Couples counseling is the primary focus of my therapy practice. I teach skills and provide tools anchored within two complementary concepts: differentiation and collaborative conversations.


  • Couples Therapy
  • Couples Therapy

My Approach

Differentiation (as described by David Schnarch, Ph.D.) is the ability to 'self-soothe' when painful interactions tempt you to angrily blame your partner and/or surrender your innate strength and resiliency. Collaborative Couple Therapy (created by Dan Wile, Ph.D.) structures intimate conversations that enable couples to maintain emotional connection during painful interactions. These skills are foundational to healthy relationships. It sometimes takes courage to maintain emotional presence and connection in relationship. Remaining present means you relate with both the pleasure and the pain in the relationship. In so doing you cultivate intimacy with yourself and learn to compassionately soothe your own hurt feelings. Cultivating differentiation and practicing collaborative and intimate conversations encourages you and your partner to grow individually and as a couple.

My Background

I am a 1992 graduate of Portland State University where I earned my Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in practice since 1998. In theory and practice my work with couples is grounded in family systems theory, in Dan Wile’s concept of ‘intimate conversations’ (Collaborative Couple Therapy), and in David Schnarch’s description of ‘differentiation’. I am also informed by Existential Psychotherapy and Brief-Solution Focused Therapy, both of which I have deep training and practice with. I have been helping couples and families since 1993. In my private life I have been a student of Zen Buddhism since 2002. My zen practice and daily meditation certainly inform my psychotherapy practice and I am open to speaking with clients about meditation and Buddhism if that is of interest to you. Buddhism is often thought of more as a psychology than a religion and it has a rich tradition and understanding for decreasing human suffering.

Insurance Plans Accepted

  • Out of Network


  • 503-252-3739
  • Website
  • 811 NW 20th Ave., Suite 304
    Portland, OR 97209

At a Glance

  • Experience: 19 Year(s) of Practice
  • Neighborhood: Northwest
  • Rate: $110-150/session

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