Lawrence VENASKA

Lawrence VENASKA (He/Him)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker


I use a personable approach that draws upon many modalities as I join you in your perspective and assist you in achieving your goals.

Client Status

accepting clients



1829 NE Alberta St.

Suite 8

Portland, OR 97211

At a Glance


Rate: $175-$275

Provides free initial consultation

Provides telehealth services

Practicing Since: 2000

Languages: English, Tagalog


  • Individual
  • Family
  • Group
  • Relationship
  • Teen

Insurances Accepted

  • Out of Pocket
  • Out of Network

My Ideal Client

I work well with a variety of issues including anyone struggling with "addictive" or "codependent" behaviors with substances or process addictions like gambling or food or sex. I work well with developmental trauma and attachment issues (wounds from early childhood) and with families or couples. I consider culture, community and social customs to help you decide what is best for you in the communities you are a member of. I provide safe treatment for licensed professionals or business owners.

My Approach to Helping

I help you break down your goals into achievable chunks that move you towards your desired outcomes. We review what got in the way and rework your goals when you get stuck to eventually build momentum in getting past your barriers to success. I help you clearly identify lessons you learned as a child that led to beliefs to adapt to things out of your control that may still be running today. We look at those beliefs still on auto pilot and check out if they are still true for you now and help you connect to your resourcefulness and power more than ever before. From this place new outcomes are available you couldn't achieve when on auto pilot from youthful strategies based on powerlessness.

My Personal Beliefs and Interests

I have an extensive background in working with individuals, couples, families and groups to find their personal power, heal trauma and to achieve their dreams. I have worked in human services field since 1993 and as a psychotherapist sine 1998. I have training in healing developmental traumas and childhood wounds, body centered psychotherapy, systems work, deep listening or attunement and draw on a multitude of perspectives in creating the treatment suitable for your needs. I especially like working with the drama triangle and how to exit it and get increasingly satisfying results in relationships.

Techniques I Use


  • Attachment Theory External link

    I have an overarching lens I view my work through which is attachment theory. Approximately 85% of the general US population has less than optimal development due to disruptions in the process of attunement we all need to be able to best regulate our own neurology and well being. Secure attachment can be achieved later in life as an adult even if not achieved in childhood.

  • EMDR External link

    I was trained in EMDR a couple years ago and was amazed at how fast one can clear disregulations in the nervous system that cause avoidance behaviors or unsatisfying behaviors. By identifying target incidents and floating back to an original trauma the stored frozen somatic memories can be cleared and a calm and relaxed manner achieved with material that was extremely distressing.

  • Addiction Therapy External link

    I have had a major focus on treating addictions and codependency issues in the 20 years I have been doing psychotherapy. I enjoy supporting clients to assess thei rown behaviors to determine what is a problem for them and what may not be to develop treatment particularly suited to them , their environment and facing the situations they are dealing with.

Issues I Treat


  • Early Recovery External link

    I have extensive training and experience in helping clients who don't feel they have a problem or are still weighing the scale on whether or not they want to give up behaviors that are causing conflict with others or other goals they have in their lives. I like helping clients get real about the costs and benefits of continuing a behavior or lifestyle they are unsure about.

  • Historical Trauma External link

    I keep on the lookout for repetitive patterns of behavior clients have dealt with in life that are providing short term benefits and long term or heavy consequences. I help clients float back and discover earlier memories where similar feelings or dilemmas were involved. When identified we can use mindfulness & insight to effect change or do EMDR to clear old stored emotions and limiting beliefs.

  • Sexual Addiction External link

    I have a strong background in human sexuality in my training and as a focus in treating people. Arousal and desire can get wired in so many different ways and often can be a source of intense shame. Shame keeps desires and needs in the dark and frustrates the needs associated with being fully alive, passionate and sharing closeness, touch sensuality and intimacy.

  • Gambling Addiction External link

    I worked for ten years treating problem gamblers and loved ones of problem gambling. I have developed a keen and versatile style in meeting clients where they are at and developing customized plans while hitting all the basis the primary areas affected by such a devastating money disorder.

  • Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Dependence External link

    I worked in an agency for ten years treating problem gamblers & loved ones of problem gamblers. We did holistic treatment on all areas clients struggled in including most addictions and mental health issues. I have extensive training and experience in providing customized treatment around addictions & mental health and enjoy helping people recover and create meaningful and satisfying lives.

Contact Lawrence

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