I'm a sexuality educator, relationship coach and retired couples counselor and sex therapist in Portland, Oregon.
I love love, in all its forms
I've helped thousands of couples explore sexuality with connection and courage, and build sustainable trusting partnerships. My clients learn communication skills to open their relationships, practice ethical non-monogamy, and handle conflict with compassion.
Currently, I'm working mainly with couples new to non-monogamy or open relationships. I love helping people create trust and negotiate mutually-agreeable visions of a less traditional relationship structure.
Let's talk about sex
As a trained sex-educator I love helping people overcome shame and communication blocks around sexuality. I've helped hundreds of couples through sexual disconnection and mismatch. I also provide newly kinky couples and long-time BDSM practitioners with sex-positive support.
All relationships are welcome
Not all my clients are queer, kinky, or nonmonogamous, but even more traditional couples appreciate my breadth of knowledge, open-mindedness, and warm demeanor.
If you’re interested in taking this work further contact me for a free consultation.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPORT
Finding the right provider is especially important for LGBTQ couples, non-monogamous couples, and sex-positive community members. All too often I work with clients after they have had negative experiences with well-intentioned professionals who just didn't understand their unique needs.
Check out these recommended resources to help you find the right professional provider in Portland, Oregon.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE COACH
Not only do I have professional training in coaching, but I earned a masters degree in education and in counseling. This means I studied couples counseling for three years and completed 2500 hours of professionally supervised couples counseling sessions. I wrote my dissertation on the application of couples counseling techniques to consensually non-monogamous relationships.
During that time I had the honor of studying under one of the most respected experts in couples therapy, John Gottman, and I interned at the Seattle Counseling Center for Sexual Minorities, where I worked exclusively with queer and kinky relationships. When I moved to Oregon I completed over 2000 more client hours toward my Sex Therapist credential and state licensure as a marriage and family therapist.
What I'm saying is, I've invested a lot of time learning to support marriage therapy clients, teach communication skills, and apply couples counseling theories to a wide range of unique relationships.
Though I no longer treat mental health disorders as a psychotherapist, I draw upon my background in therapy as a foundation for our work together. This foundation creates a solid base for your learning and growth in coaching unlike any other.
CREDENTIALED COACHING MAKES A DIFFERENCE
In addition to my counseling training, I'm a credentialed coach and a member of the International Coach Federation. This means there's a code of ethics guarding the work we do- and protecting your privacy.
If you’ve tried therapy and stuck to it… but you're ready to apply the skills learned coaching might be right for you.
Counseling is important reflective healing work, but my clients come to me hoping to take action for change. That's where coaching comes in.
Counseling (the "assessment and treatment of mental health disorders") is about asking why something is happening. Coaching doesn't assess or treat these disorders- my clients are healthy. Instead we ask what you want to do differently. How do you want to change?
Many of my clients still see individual therapists for support on their own. I am happy to have you sign a release to allow me to talk with your therapist so we can collaboratively support your wellness if you wish.
I'm also a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. As a member I agree to continuing my education in psychology and human relations and to uphold their ethics code in my work.
In 2018 alone I completed over 50 hours of AASECT-approved sexuality counseling professional training.
All these memberships are in place to protect, reassure, and support you as my client knowing I follow ethical boundaries and maintain my professional education.
Long before I became a therapist I trained as a relationship coach (at Invite Change Academy) and a Compassionate Communication facilitator with Holly Eckert. I learned tools there to help couples change unhealthy communication patterns and create inspiring visions for their futures and I use them as a foundation for my work to this day.
I trained as a sex educator at the Kinsey Institute where I taught thousands of college students about human sexuality. I received my first masters degree in education in 2004 from Indiana University.
In 2010 I received my masters in counseling after training with an eclectic multi-disciplinary approach at the Leadership Institute of Seattle. Most of my masters research and clinical practice focused on non-monogamy, polyamory and LGBTQ relationships. (Just to be clear, I am no longer providing mental health counseling services. I no longer treat mental illness because I believe my clients are healthy. If you'd like to talk more about what that means for our work together let's talk!)
Soon after graduate school I interned at the Relationship Research Institute and studied the Gottman Method of couples work. This helped me learn essential tools to help couples repair from conflict and build trust long-term.
In 2012 I trained with Brene Brown to better understand shame, vulnerability, and authenticity in human relationships. I love talking about this training- please do ask me for more information!
I've also trained professionally in herbalism, astrology, tarot, Trauma Release Exercise, Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), mediation, the Work, and Compassionate Listening. Ask me about any of these in a consultation- I love using my eclectic professional training to support you.
Most of my clients are attracted to my approach, style, and unique expertise in nontraditional relationships as well as the warm and friendly nature of our working relationship.
WHAT I STUDIED IN SCHOOL:
PhD in Religious Studies, 2019 (anticipated - because I wanted those three letters attached to my name)
MS in Higher Education, 2004 (because I used to teach college students to be leaders)
MA in Counseling Psychology, 2010 (because I wanted to teach people to love themselves and others better)
BSE in Social Studies Education, 2002 (because I was going to be a History teacher)
BA in Women's Studies, 2002 (because when everyone questions feminism it helps to have fancy books to point at)
BS in Geography, 2002 (because I really, really like maps)
CERTIFICATIONS & TRAININGS:
Seven Principles of Making Relationships Work Facilitator, 2019 (because research on relationships is valuable)
Imago Relationship Therapist, Level 1, 2019 (where I helped couples deepen connection in new ways)
Gottman Certified Therapist Level 2, 2019 (because understanding couples communication is critical to my work)
Daring Way Facilitator Certification, 2014 (where I learned all about resiliency, courage, shame, and belonging)
Desire Map Licensing Program, 2014 (where I got clear about desire and goals)
Positive Psychology Certification, 2013 (where I learned the science of happiness and tools to build happy lives)
LGBTQ Therapist Certification, 2010 (where I got real official about serving a fabulous community)
Relationship Research Institute Intern, 2010 (where I learned all about fighting and making up and building trust)
Gottman Certified Therapist Level 1, 2010 (because understanding couples communication is critical to my work)
Compassionate Listening Project, 2008 (where I really focused on the importance of being heard in order to heal)
Invite Change - Transformative Coach Certification, 2006-2008 (where I learned about transformative life coaching)
People's Institute Northwest, 2007, 2008, 2009 (where I really practiced listening and reflecting on privilege)
Trauma Stewardship Institute, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (where I learned to prioritize of self care and balance)
National Coalition Building Institute, 2007 (where I learned what to do with internalized oppression)
Myers Briggs Facilitator Certification, 2007 (I got to learn about career counseling and personality testing- great stuff!)
Nonviolent Communication Intern, 2005-2008 (where I learned about ask for what you want and listen to other people)
Family and Neighborhood Mediation Intern, 2005-2009 (where I learned about repairing relationships after fighting)
Kinsey Institute Sex Educator Certification, 2004 (where I started talking to people about passion, shame, and resilience)