My Approach to Helping
We hide parts of who we are away because the world has told us we are "too much", which is weird because we may not even feel good enough. It’s easier to be who others need or want us to be, rather than risk showing them who we really are. We desperately want to connect - for them to see us, love the real us. But the fear, the messages that we have been carrying for too long about who we are, convinces us that if we share our true self, people will reject us, ridicule us, even leave us. Maybe our experience proves this fear true, or maybe we secretly agree that in some way, we don't deserve a fulfilling life or love. You feel stuck.
You want to live a full life, embracing your authentic self, and you want to give others permission to do the same.
Together, we can create an empathic, open-minded space, so you can be fully who you are: free to define your life as you see it. I support autonomy and growth in all areas for every individual and relationship. Let’s experiment with new ways to live fully and authentically! When you're ready, I'm ready. Schedule online anytime www.JenniferGrayCounseling.com.
More Info About My Practice
I obtained a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. This CACREP education included major coursework such as multicultural counseling, lifespan development, relational systems, and human sexuality, crisis and trauma response, grief and loss, career and life transitions, among other topics. I successfully passed the National Counseling Exam in May 2019, which helps to prove my competence and skill in the field. I have twelve years working and volunteering in different capacities to support the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities, as well as over seven years of guided meditative practice. Some of my experience includes Mental Health First Aid, CPR-AED and Medical First Aid, Crisis Counseling, and Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Team. I am an ally: an active member of the ACA, the ORCA, the Oregon-ALGBTIC, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and Existential-Humanistic Northwest.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
Does seeing a counselor mean there is something wrong with me?
No. That is the short answer.
The long answer is also No, but with some context of why you may feel this way.
Families, Culture, Media: there are numerous external outlets framing mental health support as only for those who are "disturbed" or "broken". In reality, seeing a mental health specialist is no different than regularly seeing a physician. Although there are mental health specialists that support those with severe emotional concerns, just like medical specialists, many counselors help others with more common challenges, including relational issues, self-esteem, codependency, family dynamics, and transitions, to name a few. Our emotional well-being is part of our overall health, and seeing a counselor is a way to approach this holistically.