Gemma Baumer

Gemma Baumer (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

MA

Supervisor: Deah Baird, LPC, ND

I am a confidante and fellow traveler--I am passionate about journeying with my clients through trauma, attachment wounding & meaning.

Client Status

accepting clients

Contact

503-272-9380

511 SW 10th Ave, Suite 905

Portland, 97205

At a Glance

Me

Rate: $85-$120

Provides free initial consultation

Practicing Since: 2019

Languages: English

Services

  • Individual
  • Relationship
  • Teen

Insurances Accepted

  • Out of Network

My Ideal Client

While some trauma may be more obvious, relational trauma/wounding can show up differently--in our bodies, emotions, expectations for the world and others, and relationship to ourselves. This wounding can be hard to pinpoint, or may show up as anxiety. While I specialize in attachment trauma/emotional wounding, I love working with anyone desirous of more freedom, vitality, meaning, and those wanting support in defining their own path around sexuality and relationship.

My Approach to Helping

Being human can be as daunting as it is also rewarding. Our earliest experiences formed our nervous systems. We adapted to situations outside of ourselves to meet our inherent need for connection, often before we were even conscious. There is good reason for why we do what we do. Most importantly, we get to continuously reorganize and redefine our experience, and find more connection to ourselves and others. I practice from an Existential-Humanistic framework in which I view building a genuine therapeutic relationship as essential. From this place, I walk beside my clients in their journey of integrating and exploring all aspects of experience--psychological, interpersonal, and emotional. In attuning to our inner experience--needs, boundaries and desires, we are able to connect more to life itself, creating more freedom around how we want to live. Starting therapy with a new therapist can feel vulnerable. I will do my best to honor the inherent bravery it takes to engage in these ways.

Why I Became a Therapist

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Lewis & Clark College. I worked with Philip Zimbardo on curriculum for promoting a Growth Mindset. I completed my internship at the Mindful Experiential Therapy Counseling Center (M.E.T.A.), where I received training in the Hakomi Method and Body-Centered awareness. I currently serve on the board of Existential Humanist NW, where I curate the blog. I became a therapist because I am inspired by the way we humans make meaning of and transform our experiences. I too have benefited from the non-judgmental and embracing space of a good therapeutic relationship in which to explore my own being, and I feel passionate about holding this space for my clients. Because I believe therapy has so much to do with cultivating a genuine connection, and feeling free to show up as oneself, I encourage you to trust your intuition. If you think we might be a good fit, feel free to reach out for a free consultation!

Techniques I Use

Specialties

  • Existential External link

    Existential Therapy is an orientation to the existential dimensions of life. There are certain givens with this--we all will die, we all will face suffering, and we live with certain limitations. Yet in spite of these limitations, existential therapy holds that we can move beyond despair and anxiety to access the most freedom when we attend to our deepest, core selves, and work to integrate the levels of our experience and find what is most authentic to us.

  • Humanistic  External link

    Humanistic Therapy is person-centered, meaning you are the expert on your experience. It holds the inherent growth potential in each of us, and is influenced by positive psychology, looking not at pathology and what's "wrong" with us, but instead our inherent need for meaning, expansion, and connection. Humanistic therapy emphasizes a strong and connected therapeutic alliance that feels genuine and flexible. Rather than a treatment, humanistic therapy is about a journey.

  • Attachment Theory External link

    As infants and children, we are completely dependent on our caregivers for survival. This need for attachment is innate within us, and forms an intense drive for love and belonging. When these needs are not easily met by caregivers, we make adaptations and accommodations. These show up as different patterns of attachment, which can stick with us into adulthood. Attachment work includes working with these patterns and exploring how we show up in relationship with ourselves and others.

  • Mindfulness-based External link

    Mindfulness-based therapy interventions emphasize the here and now. This means acknowledging that we hold onto all of our experiences on a physical and energetic level--they show up in the form of thoughts, assumptions, and physical sensations. Utilizing mindfulness in therapy means taking into account the body, research into the nervous system, and pausing to examine what is showing up right now, and exploring how it connects to whatever we are bringing into the therapy space.

  • Couples Counseling External link

    My approach to couples/relationship counseling is interactive, relational, strength-based and informed by attachment. I work with relationships of all configurations to support a space that is safe for exploration of self and another, historical and current attachment processes. I love working with relationships in need of immediate support, or just desirous of exploration around subjects like trauma, attachment, polyamory/consensual non-monogamy and boundaries.

Issues I Treat

Specialties

  • PTSD External link

    PTSD refers to a cluster of symptoms that occur on all levels of experience, and reflect an activated nervous system and a sense of uneasiness and discomfort in our bodies and worlds. We may or may not why this is, but over time, we can begin to access more safety and embodiment. Sometimes this means processing and working through traumatic experiences, and in other cases, it is in learning to care for ourselves in service to releasing patterns of chronic dissociation and alertness.

  • Anxiety External link

    Anxiety is our body's way of alerting us that something needs our attention--perhaps we are not living in accordance with our deepest selves, we cannot reconcile our life with what we truly want, or that we hold onto the impact of living with hypervigilence and disconnection. We can address the underlying concerns of anxiety in a therapeutic space that feels warm, safe, and exploratory, and seek to resolve what our anxiety can tell us about our experience of being alive.

  • Relationship / Marriage Issues External link

    There is no guidebook for being in relationship. We are often confused by the culture we live in which promotes the romanticization of beginnings, and the notion that another could meet our every need. This can be a recipe for disappointment, because relationships take continuous work and tending. Relationships are deeply activating for us as humans because our most formative experiences occurred in our attachment relationships, where we were intrinsically motivated to meet our needs to survive.

  • Historical Trauma External link

    We may have a sense that the challenges we face are either not our own or were accumulated early on. Many traumas and experiences exist in the fiber of our family structures, culture and early experiences. These lodge in our bodies, and exist in our expectations and experiences of the world. Traumatic responses and attachment patterns are, at their core, adaptive, because we have learned to meet the needs of situations beyond our control. Over time, though, we may find they no longer serve us.

  • Polyamorous and Open Relationships External link

    There is no right way to be in relationship. We may be balancing the tension between a desire for freedom, with a craving for novelty. I believe we can feel most empowered and connected to our deepest selves and can define relationship for ourselves, whatever those configurations and boundaries may look like. There is no solution but the one that is best for you. I love working with intimate partners in defining and exploring what relationship means to them and supporting their choices.

Contact Gemma

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