What is mindfulness-based and strengths-based psychotherapy?

Strength-based psychotherapy is an integrated approach a psychologist uses with clients that intentionally focuses on how a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships with others can be boosted by character strength interventions. Cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes how to change the content of thoughts; and mindfulness practices teaches how to change the relationship a person has to their thoughts, bodily sensations, and emotions. A mindful focus on strengths activates an individual’s cognitive processes that help them learn to accept negative feelings and life experiences while becoming more aware how to put their character strengths to good use and make adaptive changes. Often through life’s adversity a person can tap into their inner character strengths in service of their positive development despite hardships. Therapeutically, more of an emphasis is placed upon a client’s strengths rather than their weaknesses or shortcomings, especially when a person is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship- or behavioral problems. In psychotherapy clients learn about what their top “signature” character strengths are, in light of becoming more aware of their unhelpful thinking habits and what to do about them, and how to build upon their character strengths to use them in new ways to manage problems, build resilience, and flourish. 

Do you treat anxiety, depression, problems related to AD/HD, school learning differences, trauma and stress-related problems, adjustment difficulties, behavioral, social, or conduct problems?

Yes, every day in fact. An intentional strength-based psychotherapy approach builds on a youth’s awareness of their psychological strengths while the presenting problems of stress, anxiety, depressed mood, social and behavior problems etc. are addressed with evidenced based treatments (Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Positive Family therapy). Since it is often the case that youth narrowly focused on problems because they are distressed or unhappy (it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees), problems are framed in an expansive way so youth can see around obstacles in the way and gain greater perspectives for themselves. Through the psychotherapy counseling process the client (child, adolescent, parent, and family) learns about what their individual character strengths are, explores how to mobilize their strengths and resources to overcome problems, and applying their character strengths towards achieving their therapy goals and better their livelihood.

How long does psychotherapy take?

Psychotherapy is very personalized and unique to each individual youth and family, and it’s based upon their life circumstances and their unique goals. We believe and have witnessed people make gains after the first few sessions. For reference, the national average for the number of appointment sessions is between 8 to 16 sessions for cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Does psychotherapy work?

Yes, psychotherapy does work. The field of behavioral healthcare has decades of scientific research evidence to show that it stands up well alongside other medical treatments. Admittedly, as researcher Bruce Wampold says, telling someone that psychotherapy has an impressive statistical effect size of 0.8 doesn’t cause a lot of excitement. The effectiveness of psychotherapy has been compared to other healthcare interventions using another statistical research tool called the “Number Needed to Treat (NNT)”. Studies using NNT show psychotherapy treatment is superior to medical interventions like statins and flu shots (See Wampold et al., 2015, for further research information and scientific studies).

Do you provide telehealth video sessions for online therapy with people living out of state?

Oregon state law allows for telemental health services only for Oregon state residents. It is considered “best practice” for licensed healthcare and mental healthcare professionals in the State of Oregon to obtain proof of Oregon State residency to keep on file (Electronic Health Record of Client Portal) when providing mental telehealth psychotherapy services.

How do I get set up on the Client Portal and log-in to schedule an appointment?

To work with one of us please complete the Contact Form to request an appointment. Next, Dr. Bush or Dr. Vázquez will call you. It’s very important to make sure that we are a good match and would work well together. Next, we will send you an email with an access link to our Client Portal where you can set up an account, schedule appointments, and send a secure email message (that is HIPAA compliant).

Do you consult with my son or daughter’s Medical Providers, Naturopathic Providers, Other Healthcare Specialists, or Teachers?

Yes. We consult with pediatricians, psychiatrists, naturopathic physicians, and any other healthcare or educational professionals you would like us to speak with to better coordinate therapeutic care, healthcare services, and educational programming at primary- and secondary schools, and universities.


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