Emma Stern

Emma Stern (she/her/hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor


I offer empowered and embodied therapy for folks seeking to turn challenges and distress into a catalyst for deep healing and transformation

Client Status





At a Glance


Provides free initial consultation

Practicing Since: 2018

Languages: English


  • Individual
  • Family
  • Relationship

Insurances Accepted

  • Out of Pocket
  • Out of Network
  • Aetna
  • OHP CareOregon/HealthShare
  • PacificSource

My Ideal Client

My clients are deeply empathetic and sensitive people. They can be prone to overextending themselves or creating impossible standards as they seek to show up in a meaningful way for themselves and those around them. They are real, raw, resilient, and often survivors of abusive, dysfunctional, or turbulent childhoods. They are ready to create meaningful change and let go of tendencies that are no longer serving them. They are the most inspiring people I know.

My Approach to Helping

As a therapist, I am warm, real, relatable, and come with a sense of humor. I am committed to being honest and while I will hold you accountable in our work, I will always honor your discernment and expect you to be the expert on yourself. I specialize in work with complex trauma; anxiety; grief; codependency; radical self-love and self-acceptance; recovering from perfectionism and people pleasing; and recovery from burnout during late-stage capitalism and global pandemic. I work from a psychodynamic and somatic lens that combines traditional talk therapy with mind-body inquiry and education about the brain, body, and nervous system. “Feelings” are literally physical manifestations of the brain and nervous system’s response to emotional stimuli. Through developing a cognitive understanding of the mind-body connection, we find manageable ways to face challenges and cultivate deeper compassion for ourselves and others in times of distress.

My Approach to Helping

I work from a trauma-informed lens. As the body can be a source of pain and oppression, I hold somatic work with care. I also understand that the medical industrial complex can be harmful and am committed to normalizing and advocating for mental health care. Coming from a blended family that is White, Black, Latinx, and Jewish, I am committed to questioning identity dynamics, power, privilege, and positionality. I welcome the opportunity to work with clients from different backgrounds and seek to maintain humility and sensitivity in work with clients who hold different identities. I am dedicated to social justice and will support you in using your personal healing journey to work towards collective liberation and social change. I am EMDR trained. I am a yoga practitioner and instructor (E-RYT 500, YACEP) and upon interest will support you in bringing yoga philosophy and asana into your healing journey. Working alongside you is an honor and privilege I will treat with deep respect.

Techniques I Use


  • Somatic Therapy (Body Centered) External link

    Somatic psychotherapy integrates body-based inquiry and mindfulness into traditional talk therapy. Much of our subconscious emotional experience manifests as physical tension and holding patterns. “Feelings” are literally physical manifestations of the brain and nervous system’s response to emotional stimuli. Through developing a cognitive understanding of the mind-body connection, we find manageable ways to face challenges and cultivate deeper compassion for ourselves and others.

  • Psychodynamic  External link

    Psychodynamic therapy explores ways in which past patterns can manifest in one's present behaviors, actions, and responses to emotional material. It encourages clients to develop deep personal insight and understanding of the ways in which their personality and patterns have been shaped by life experience. This type of therapy works to bring unconscious material into conscious awareness so clients can understand ways in which their behaviors are beneficial and/or self-sabotaging.

  • Holistic External link

    Holistic therapy honors each client's unique, complex, and multifaceted experience while also looking at the universal aspects of being human. This work combines mind-body integration and depth-oriented psychotherapy. Clients are encouraged to reflect on ways in which their presenting challenges show deep emotional, spiritual, and existential needs, longings, and desires. Clients are also encouraged to use their own inquiry to gain greater empathy and understanding of the human experience.

  • Feminist External link

    Feminist therapy takes into account dynamics of marginalization and systematic oppression. In therapy, I ask clients to consider ways in which race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, age, socioeconomic status, and ability status impact their lived experience. As a therapist, I am committed to questioning power, privilege, and positionality. I encourage clients to look at how white supremacy, toxic masculinity, and late-stage capitalism can severely challenge mental health.

  • EMDR External link

    EMDR is a body-based technique that uses bilateral stimulation to mimic the brain's state in REM. This process encourages the brain's innate ability to heal from trauma and distress and has been proven to hold the potential to change the way in which we emotionally respond to triggering material. As a therapist, I practice EMDR through tapping and bilateral eye movement. EMDR can be useful in treating post-traumatic stress, anxiety, phobias, low self-esteem, and self-limiting beliefs.

Issues I Treat


  • PTSD External link

    Trauma is anything that causes an intrusion upon our minds and bodies that physically and mentally overwhelms our nervous system and overrides our conscious ability to cope and process. Post-traumatic stress is a normal response to an intrusion upon one’s sense of peace and ability to cope. When working with trauma, I recognize the ways in which trauma impacts folks not as disorder, but as a survival response and mark of human resilience. I prioritize client safety and agency.

  • Anxiety External link

    Anxiety is a mental and physical response to stress that can become overwhelming and all consuming. Anxiety often shows up physically as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest and throat tension, or challenges feeling grounded or steady in one’s body. Mentally it can show up as spiraling and worst case scenario thought patterns, intrusive worries, or dread. Chronic anxiety can lead to stress, fear, avoidance, and limit one's quality of life and enjoyment.

  • Codependency External link

    Codependency is very misunderstood in pop culture. Codependents are generally folks who grew up around challenging or dysfunctional relational dynamics and needed to prioritize others above themselves or walk on eggshells to avoid abuse or turbulence. This dynamic can lead to self-sacrifice, challenges around control and being controlled, people pleasing, and lack of boundaries. Codependency is common for folks who grew up around addiction or any form of abuse (especially narcissistic abuse).

  • Loss or Grief External link

    Our experiences around loss are some of the most significant and universal yet many of us find we do not have ways to memorize, share, and honor the endings in our life. When we process endings and share experiences of grief and loss, we give voice to what once felt unspeakable. In doing this, we open up a courageous and compassionate aspect of our humanity that will help us ultimately find greater peace, deeper wisdom, and tremendous empathy.

  • Compassion Fatigue External link

    Compassion fatigue mirrors the symptoms of post-traumatic stress. It is common in teachers, social workers, health care workers, therapists, counselors, first responders, and other folks who support others dealing with traumatic circumstances. It is often linked with stress and burnout.

Contact Emma

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