"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding."
Kahlil Gibran

Individual Therapy

I believe that we are all seeking wholeness. Yet, internal conflicts can arise which cause crisis, sometimes immobilizing us in confusion, fear, anxiety or depression, and impairing our ability feel wholly well and to form and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. Viewed another way, these conflicts and challenges are our teachers. Drawing on my training and experience in a variety of modalities including psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral interventions, family systems theory, interpersonal neurobiology, sensorimotor/somatic therapies, and mindfulness interventions, I use a strengths-based approach, with a direct and nurturing style, to address each client's needs.

 

I offer individual therapy with a particular focus on interpersonal relationship issues. I specialize in the resolution of childhood physical, sexual and emotional abuse, childhood and family trauma, grief and loss, identity development (in particular, adolescent identity development, gender identity development, cultural identity development, and sexual orientation identity development), mood disorders including depression and anxiety, parent and adolescent struggles, and living with a mentally ill family member, I help individuals develop deeper awareness of their patterns of behavior, emotions and thought and how these may be supporting or impeding your growth and personal development. Together with you, I can then help you set goals and design a plan of action for the resolution of internal conflicts which will aid in the development of healthy relationships - with others as well as with yourself.

Couple's Therapy

We are hurt in relationship, and we can be healed in relationship. Whether you are seeking to improve your understanding of what is happening in your relationship, build communication and empathy skills, or have descended into a downward spiral of fighting or conflict avoidance and believe that there is little hope for the relationship to be saved, couple's therapy can help.

 

As a Certified Imago Therapist, and drawing on training and study in a variety of different techniques and schools of thought including family systems theory, The Gottman Institute 's research on marriage, Non-Violent Communication , clinical hypnosis/hypnotherapy and current thinking in neurobiology and human relationships, I assist couples in solving the mysteries of their difficulties. I help partners discover their individual areas of growth and tasks to complete, stop hurting each other and learn how to get their mutual needs met. In so doing, partners learn to see themselves and their relationship clearly, with greater compassion for their partner and for themselves, and can journey forward toward authentic connection and wholeness.

 

When we meet and partner with another person, we are often deeply in love and swept up in the early, romantic phase of relationship. Eventually, however, most relationships reach the stage of power struggle, in which we see the other person as hurting us in ways we have previously been hurt, or frustrating us in our desire to have our needs met. Some partners are able to pass through the power struggle stage and learn skills to help them resolve future conflicts. Many others, however, can benefit from the caring, sensitive assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced therapist.

 

Couples' therapy is not individual therapy with two people; it is a process in which the individual histories, motivations, wounds and strengths of each person are considered, with a focus on how those factors are playing out in the dynamic relationship of the partners, and interventions are suggested at the level of the relationship.

 

I provide respectful, accepting, and non-judgmental therapy to adult partners in intimate relationships, in whatever ways loving partners choose to form and define those relationships.  

Family Therapy & Family Reintegration Therapy

I offer two kinds of Family Therapy:

 

Family Therapy:  Many times one member of a family engages in behaviors that are overtly disruptive, which causes the family to seek treatment for individual member; however, often that behavior can be best addressed when considering how each family member is functioning and how their respective roles and behaviors interrelate. Using a family systems approach, with the full participation of all involved family members, therapy can shed light on the current difficulties and help transform family functioning. 

 

Family Reintegration Therapy: I offer a specialized kind of family therapy called Family Reintegration (more commonly known as Reunification, and sometimes Reconciliation Therapy.  This service is available for families with minor children or adult children, and the processes are somewhat different:

 

     In families with minor children, if a parent has been estranged from a minor child or children and/or if a child is resisting or refusing contact with a parent, and there has been or will be court involvement in the matter, I work pursuant to a court order appointing me to provide this service.  I have suggested language for the court order available to parties and their counsel to maximize the effectiveness of this intervention.  It is important to note that I work with the whole family in this intervention, rather than only with the resisted/estranged parent and the child/ren. Further, this service may or may not be billable to insurance.  This is because insurance requires that the patient be given a mental health diagnosis and then to support that the intervention is necessary for the treatment of that diagnosis. I will bill insurance if it is clinically appropriate in the case.

 

     If you are an adult and have been estranged from one or more of your family members for some time, and wish to explore reconnecting, family therapy can help. Often this form of therapy involves meeting with the individual family members one or more times in preparation for joint meetings. Sessions with two or more family members present will work toward establishing common agreements for interactions going forward, as well as exploring the causes of the rupture, offering an opportunity for healing, accounting, understanding, and re-established connection. 

Support Groups

Resisted Parents Support Group

 

This group is monthly a facilitated peer support group for parents who have experienced separation from or reduced time with their children due to the children resisting or refusing contact with them, usually post-parental separation.  Participation is limited to current or former clients (and their partners who are involved in treatment) only.

 

Having one's child or children resist or refuse contact with is one of the most painful experiences a parent can endure.  Many parents struggle significantly with this, and anxiety and depression are common.  Some parents lapse into unhealthy coping strategies, self-harm or even suicidality.  Others give up the fight and hope things will get better when their children are adults.

 

Children need their parents to take good care of themselves and to stay strong and emotionally stable, so that the children can have a hope of a healthy relationship with that parent and so that they will be able to mature into healthy adults. 

 

This group aims to offer parents an opportunity to connect with one another, to know that they are not alone, to reduce stigma and shame, to increase understanding of family dynamics, to develop new practices and strategies, to share what they have learned, and to support one another in the journey to repair and rebuild a healthy relationship with their children. 



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Lauren M. Mac Neill
JD, MSW, LCSW

3310 SE Division

Portland OR

97202

 

503-380-8528