Professional Counselor Associate
Supervisor: Jon Frew, PhD, ABPP, Oregon License no. 576
I use a relational, client-led approach to attend to grief, anxiety, trauma, life transitions, and relationship concerns.
2370 SE 37th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
Provides free initial consultation
Practicing Since: 2022
Do you feel "blocked up" inside or stuck when trying to connect to your emotions? Is it difficult to connect to yourself or others at times? It can be so difficult to work toward embracing our full range of emotional expression or our true experience. I believe in your ability to gain trust in yourself as you learn to integrate your most authentic self into your present day experience.
I am naturally a curious person who likes to observe the world around me. Gestalt Therapy is a counseling approach that looks at the way people interact with their environment, which includes relationships with others. People creatively adjust to survive, and as we develop, not all strategies are effective for us. It promotes curiosity and gives clients room to experiment with ways they might shift their responses to the world around them to better represent themselves and get their needs met.
The way we were taught to relate to the primary people who provided us care when we were babies and children can shape how we act in relationships as adults. Establishing an understanding of how we connect with others in different contexts can help improve communication skills and expression of intention, which can improve the quality of relationships. I use individual family of origin history to help guide clients as they work on understanding their participation in relationships.
Loss of someone in our lives can have a ripple effect of change and bring up a variety of emotions. I believe that grief and loss can extend to changes that life transitions can bring. I have several years of experience facilitating bereavement support groups, as well as personal experiences with loss. I have learned that grief is complex, and the processing of it is not linear. Tears and laughter can coexist in the grief processing space. I am honored to hold both, and everything in between.
Anxiety can be viewed from an evolutionary lens as response that warns us of danger. In present day, sometimes anxiety is giving us accurate cues, and other times it is overstating the level of concern. Learning to assess the appropriate level of concern can be complex. I use an approach that highlights the awareness we experience when we have contact with our environment. Through curiosity, we can work together to establish a way of interacting with the world that feels more manageable.
We all have experiences we carry with us that shape the way we interact with the world around us. Sometimes, those experiences weigh heavier and impact us more deeply. Using trauma-informed care, I view all clients as people impacted by their individual history, as well as social-cultural and intergenerational histories. I incorporate that awareness into my work with clients as they examine how past strategies for staying safe and getting needs met either are or are not currently serving them.
Kendra Smith has not posted any group sessions.
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