Polly Harrison

Polly Harrison (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor


I begin with empathy for the challenge of being alive- to face struggles that are our human birthright and those specific to our time.

Client Status

accepting clients



Portland, OR 97206

At a Glance


Rate: $100

Provides free initial consultation

Provides telehealth services

Practicing Since: 2012

Languages: English


  • Individual

Insurances Accepted

  • Out of Pocket
  • Out of Network

My Approach to Helping

I believe that even the most troubling or confusing thoughts and behaviors were at one time a reasonable solution. In our work together, I will help you examine choices you may be making just outside of your awareness. We'll explore the usefulness of those behaviors you want to change, to understand what purpose they serve for you. We'll invite those uncomfortable thoughts closer even as you may want to push them away, then offer acceptance and care to all the parts of you that you’ve been beating up in the privacy of your own mind. From there I'll help you build a new relationship with these thoughts and behaviors. I have extensive training in the relational approach, and will use our own relationship as it develops to explore ways in which you may be impacted by or be impacting others in your life.

My Personal Beliefs and Interests

Before becoming a therapist I spent 12 years as a nanny. It was here that I first became aware of the impact the family web has on each individual member, how uniquely each fit together. The first child I cared for died after a lengthy battle with pediatric cancer. Since 2015 I have volunteered my time in support of child grievers through Our House Grief Support Center and have completed Our House’s clinical grief specialist training to work with children and adults who are walking the difficult road of profound mourning.

Techniques I Use


  • Relational  External link

    As social animals, relationships are the core of our well being. We learn them first in our caregivers' arms, and then through siblings, friends, & others. I have extensive training in relational therapy, using radical transparency in our therapeutic relationship to highlight & strengthen your relational capacities, assisting you to build healthier, stronger, mutually respectful bonds of your own.

  • Family Systems External link

    None of us exists in a vacuum. We're embedded in systems large and small, and each of us in a family system. Often within these are our most precious and painful relationships- people who know how to push our buttons, patterns we can't seem to break. Family systems examines the push and pull of all members, acknowledging that every action is a reaction and that with awareness choice is possible.

  • Existential External link

    Living is not for the faint of heart. To seek meaning and actively engage with an exploration of individual and collective humanity is a shifting lifelong journey. Existential therapy wrestles with matters of life and death, and what it means to you to be a human being with all the attendant pain, sorrow, joy, and questioning.

Issues I Treat


  • Self-Esteem External link

    Perhaps there is a story that you tell yourself about the person that you are, how others view you. You've been practicing and refining this story for years. Perhaps there is a part of you that rebels, suspects the 'truth' at the core of the narrative, insists you are worthy of love and competent in many areas of your life. Our sense of self forms early but is capable of continual evolution.

  • Loss or Grief External link

    Grief is a normal part of a loving life, but it can be a time of confusion, isolation, and terrible emotional pain. Mourning the death of a loved one, or even an acquaintance or a change of life, can bring to the surface thoughts of one's own mortality and vulnerability to further pain. It can be complicated. Often there are collateral losses- changes in finances, community, and identity.

  • Anxiety External link

    Anxiety comes in many forms- keeping you up at night, stomach turning, emotions at the surface, needing to control your environment, feeling overwhelmed in the face of seemingly small challenges. I welcome your anxious energy into the room. I'm curious about the way it seeks to protect you and move you. I offer a contained space to let your anxiety finally be fully heard and calmed.

Contact Polly

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