Professional Counselor Associate
Master's in Counseling
Supervisor: Justin Rock, LPC, MFT
I am a confidante and fellow traveler--I am passionate about journeying with my clients through trauma, attachment wounding & meaning.
503 894 7326
959 SE Division St Suite 315
Provides free initial consultation
Practicing Since: 2019
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. I specialize in attachment trauma/wounding and sexuality. I love working with poly folks, queer folks, and really anyone desirous of more freedom, vitality, meaning, empowerment, & those seeking support in defining their own path in relationships.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
I am passionate about working with people with queer identities. I, myself, hold a queer identity as well, and I value being there for others and aim to create a safe space in which to explore all facets of life.
Gemma Baumer has not posted any group sessions.
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