“The counseling process can be challenging but also an enjoyable and creative experience. I provide a safe, comfortable, and accepting space for you to explore your experiences, identify your strengths, and address the challenges that come with life. I respect each person’s unique experience and believe you are the expert of yourself. I customize my approach to fit your needs, communication style, and meet you where you are at emotionally, physically, and spiritually with the focus on creating more balance in your life. Along with talking about their experiences, the people I work with often find expressing themselves through creating something, moving their body, or simply breathing can be transforming and healing for them.”
Website: theartofbalancepdx.com | Facebook: Rebecca Macy | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Practice Location: Good Life Medicine Center & Full Lotus PDX Yoga, 827 NE Alberta St, Portland 97211
About Rebecca Macy
I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark College and since 2010 have been working with youth and young adults, people struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, abuse and trauma, and people from various cultures and backgrounds, including those identifying as LGBTQI. I am also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), which allows me to combine my training and experience in counseling and yoga to provide trauma-informed, mindfulness-based support for the people I serve. I offer sessions in an office setting as well as providing the option to meet outdoors – some people feel more comfortable talking while walking and find being surrounded by nature is naturally therapeutic.
I have a Master’s Degree (MA) in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR) where along with general counseling courses, I also completed a course specifically related to trauma and working with survivors. My first post-graduate clinical position was working in a residential treatment center, Youth Villages, providing case management and therapeutic services to youth and their families, many of them survivors of sexual violence. I completed training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and worked with survivors of sexual violence using this modality to process their traumatic experiences while at Youth Villages. I completed Living Yoga’s yoga teacher training which is a trauma-focused yoga training and have volunteered with them since 2014, providing trauma-sensitive yoga classes to youth, many of them survivors of sexual violence. I also am certified to teach yoga (RYT) and I am continually increasing my knowledge through reading research related to yoga’s transformative and healing effects (emotionally, physiologically, spiritually, mentally) with survivors of trauma. Since 2014, I have worked in private practice, combining counseling and yoga, to provide body-based, trauma-informed, individual and group therapeutic support to the community of Portland, OR. Outside of my experience as a therapist working with survivors I have had multiple roles in which I’ve received additional training and experience with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor, and as a Case Manager for Independent Living Program (San Luis Obispo, CA) working with foster youth.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
As a therapist and yoga instructor who works with trauma survivors, I understand the great need and importance of getting holistic support. Surviving trauma can be very isolating and shaming. I see my role as a therapist to provide a safe, accepting, healing space for survivors to process their experiences and be empowered to heal and transform. I also feel compelled to be an advocate for social justice, which means advocating on an individual, community and societal level for people to be empowered, safe and healthy, and receive equitable access to health services. Sexual violence is so widespread and still so stigmatized in our country and my hope is that I can be part of the process of changing this.
I use an individualized approach to my work with people, depending on their unique experiences and needs. Modalities I draw from are traditional “talk therapy” (person-centered, strength-based), body-based therapy which incorporates yoga and mindfulness techniques, creative interventions (art, music), and nature-based interventions (ecotherapy). I see therapy/counseling as a creative process in which I am a collaborator with the person I am working with to create more balance in their life – emotionally, physically, spiritually, and contextually. I have also begun offering yoga classes specifically for survivors of trauma to help eliminate barriers for survivors receiving effective, research-based treatment.
How My Practice Holistically Address the Impacts of Sexual Violence
I believe we all have the capacity for healing and transforming from traumatic experiences. Since I have learned personally and professionally that our bodies, minds, and spirits are all impacted by trauma, I find it more effective to work with all of these aspects of the self when processing sexual violence and traumatic experiences. I use mindfulness, body awareness, and movement to help others connect with their bodies and create healthier physiological responses. I also encourage self-care and provide different breathing/meditation techniques to encourage people to connect with their spiritual and energetic parts of their experience. I encourage people to connect with the world around them (natural environment, animals, people in their communities) to build support systems, to heal shame and guilt, and to gently challenge their fears.
I find it very important to respect people’s limits, provide choices to encourage personal empowerment and self-determination, and focus on building trust in the therapeutic relationship. This means adapting my work to meet whatever the survivor needs, or if I am unable to meet those needs, providing appropriate referrals for other professionals who can better assist the survivor. For people who may not be physically able to do specific movements or who may feel emotionally unable to do so, I may focus more on simple movements with the hands/feet/head and/or breathing techniques to encourage healthier physiological responses and self-care. I offer to meet in various locations (my office, public spaces, natural parks around Portland) to allow people the choice of where they would like to work with me.
Additional Areas of Expertise
I have additional expertise working with Native American, youth and LGBTQI populations.
I am flexible with payment options for my services and can offer a sliding-scale to help eliminate economic barriers to healing.