Nani Waddoups

Nani Waddoups (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Navigating toward existential meaning, and consideration of conditions at play are the roots of my counseling philosophy and style.

Client Status

accepting clients



202 SE 86th Avenue

Portland, OR 97216

At a Glance


Rate: $160

Provides free initial consultation

Provides telehealth services

Practicing Since: 2012

Languages: English


  • Individual
  • Group
  • Relationship

Insurances Accepted

  • Out of Pocket
  • Out of Network

My Ideal Client

I am committed to a life of self-study and to supporting others in their desire for self-understanding. I love the collaborative effort of unlocking the puzzle of why we do what we do, why we are impacted by specific words or experiences. I believe that it is this self-knowledge and awareness that supports us in our efforts to both be creative in our visions for our lives, and in the strategic navigation of the way there.

My Approach to Helping

I am a professional listener. My work is to attune with my clients, and to strive for understanding. I believe that we all want to be understood, and to understand ourselves. My natural curiosity, my training and my work with clients continue to hone my skills for asking the right questions, sharing my perspective, and checking in to confirm we are still on the right course.

My Personal Beliefs and Interests

I have a Masters in Counseling from Lewis & Clark Graduate School in Portland, and my private practice includes work with individuals, couples, families and groups. I have also worked as a group facilitator at the Dougy Center for Grieving Children and their Families, and for the Washington County Counseling Center working primarily with inmates in the county residential treatment dorm. Counseling is a second career for me. The messiness of life has been my best teacher. I am 60 years old, and have navigated these years in ways that have helped me appreciate the richness and complexity of what it is to be human, and to celebrate the potential for self-determination.

Techniques I Use


  • Attachment Theory External link

    Attachment Theory is an extraordinarily helpful tool to understand how we developed our baseline relational styles. By studying our earliest emotional attachments to our primary caregiver(s), we can understand how we developed our sense of trust, security, and self-assuredness in relationship to others. Knowing your attachment style can become a navigational compass in relationships.

  • Mindfulness-based External link

    My approach is influenced by the Buddhist concept of 'dependent arising,' which means that whatever arises in us is the result of multiple conditions. Part of therapy is exploring the conditions of the moment to see how they may be influencing what is currently arising in one's attention or through one's behavioral inclinations.

  • Existential External link

    My therapeutic philosophy is rooted in the existential belief that we want meaning and purpose for our lives, and that we have the strengths to make our lives how we want them to be. My job is to creatively engage in the process of clarifying that vision and supporting the efforts to navigate the way there.

Issues I Treat


  • Depression External link

    There are innumerable conditions affecting our moods at all times. Sometimes we are aware of them -- a loss, a joy, anticipation. Other times these conditions are outside of our consciousness -- the pain in the world touching our hearts, a lingering dream. Therapy helps to characterize the quality of an emotional state, and then explores our ability to affect the conditions at play.

  • Anxiety External link

    Part of the Existential philosophy that guides my practice is the acceptance that Anxiety is a part of being human. Awareness that our time is limited, and ultimately we alone are responsible with what we do with our lives, creates a natural anxiety. When this anxiety rises to a distressing level, therapy helps to recalibrate, and transform that energy into fuel for a self-directed life.

  • Relationship / Marriage Issues External link

    Though it may seem like therapy cliche, exploration of our attachment style in our family of origin is critical in the illumination of adult relational patterns. How secure we are in the world of relationships is influenced by our earliest attachments. Are we trusting? Or are we in anticipation of a betrayal? Can we be authentic and transparent? Or do we fear abandonment and rejection?

  • Loss or Grief External link

    Grief is a deeply personal experience, and everyone processes thier grief in their own unique way. There is no right way to grieve, no timeline on which we can mark when grieving 'should be over,' no roadmap of what to expect after a loss. My work with clients experiencing loss is to validate all of their responses as right for them, and as a necessary part of the transformational process.

  • Coronavirus/COVID-19 External link

    The global pandemic of COVID-19 has introduced a myriad of new conditions that impact both our logistical and internal worlds. The effort to navigate all that is arising in us can be exhausting, and the unpredictability of the future is mirrored by the fickleness of our emotional responses. My work is to support healthy coping and emergence from this time changed in ways of your own choosing.

Contact Nani

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