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The Pursuit of Wellness, LLC

 Jen Shelton, MA, MS, LPC, NCC

 Telehealth therapy and supervision in Oregon

 Resources

Please present to your nearest emergency room or call 911, non-emergency, or your local crisis line if immediate assistance is needed. Call 911 to report abuse/neglect of a child, vulnerable adult, or animal.

 

New: Call or text 988 for immediate mental health assistance.

 

Oregon Only

 

 

National Resources

 

Special Groups

 

LGBTQIA Resources

For more info about the following, email: help@lgbthotline.org

  • Trans teen online talk group (ages 12-19)

  • Trans youth online chat group (ages 13 and under)

  • LGBT national youth hotline (up to age 25): 1-800-246-7743.    
  • LGBT national hotline: 1-888-843-4564   

 

Description of Terms

  • "Dissociation" is a general term that is often described as zoning or spacing out, seeming far away or not there, or losing time. It happens when the brain and body disconnect from each other, allowing your mind to go somewhere else while your body goes through the motions. It's a very adaptive way of coping when you're in a situation that you can't get out of. Dissociation exists on a spectrum, from mild to severe. Mild dissociation is normal and something we all experience to some level on a regular basis. For example: Forgetting where you put your keys, having no memory of your drive to work, or thinking about something else during a conversation, or reading a book and then realizing you don't know what it was about. Dissociation beyond these typical occurences can feel like losing track of longer periods of time, having gaps in your memory from the day, last week, or for years of your childhood, getting lost in an activity for an unknown length of time, being unsure whether or not you did something (like ate a meal), or not recognizing people who seem to know you. 
  • "Dissociative disorders" is a group of five types of dissociative experiences that can become a diagnosed mental health condition. Usually, a person with high levels of dissociation or who meets the criteria for a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder has survived prolonged traumatic events and/or lived in a significantly stressful environment as a child. It can extend to levels of dissociation that are sometimes described as having a dissociative identity, amnesia, fugue, living with internal parts, depersonalization, or derealization. 
  • "Parts" is a term that refers to different aspects of your identity that are separate from each other and live together as a system. Also known as "headmates," "plurals," or "alters," parts may have their own names, their own trauma triggers, and hold specific memories from your past - possibly some memories that you are not presently aware of. Some parts might be self-destructive or seem to direct their anger toward you. Parts can be all ages and genders. Sometimes a part may be an animal or non-human character, such as a robot. When you first become aware of your parts, or become "system aware," it can be overwhelming to gain a sense of stability when they all want different things. They often have different goals and very strong emotions.  Communication among internal parts is not the same thing as hearing and seeing things, as in visual or auditory hallucinations. All parts are motivated by the instinct to help and protect. "People who live with parts" or "systems" are two ways of referring to this or to people in the DID community. In clinical terms, a person with parts is likely diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder, or other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD). Most of the time, the therapeutic goal for this is functional multiplicity, or creating internal wellness, healing of trauma, and good communication in order to live together in harmony going forward.
  • "Trauma" is a general term that can include any past painful, distressing, psychological harmful, or terrifying event that continues to have a negative impact on your life. This can lead to different levels of emotional stress, trouble trusting others, and interruptions in everyday tasks, often involving nightmares, flashbacks, being easily startled, negative beliefs about yourself or the world, fear, difficulty feeling positive emotions, and avoiding reminders of the painful events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medications

I am not a medical provider and do not have prescriptive authority to prescribe or manage medications. I am familiar with many different psychiatric medications and may be able to answer basic questions about them, but I cannot give specific advice or recommendations about which medications may or not be right for you. Please let me know if you start, increase, or stop a psychiatric medication so we can keep tabs on its effects together. Over time, we can watch how medications affect your mental health and daily functioning. My perspective on medication is that is can be effective for numerous individuals and is often helpful in gaining some footing when your mental health is impairing your functioning, or to use as needed when things feel worse. At the same time, many people choose not to take medications due to side effects, beliefs or values related to medical care, expense, or other reasons. If a med turns out to be helpful for you, take it! If it doesn't, don't! Please don't start or stop a medication without your prescriber's knowledge and professional guidance. 

 

How Does Therapy Work?

Therapy is an opportunity to invite a clinician into your world as a source of personal support. The clinician brings the professional experience that comes from knowledge and skills learned in their education, supervision, and ongoing training required for a mental health professional. They can support you from a neutral place with the kind of care, trustworthiness, and personal warmth that you would want from someone you can count on. You bring the knowledge, strengths, and wisdom that come from your personal experience. You are most familiar with yourself and you get to decide on a clinician that you feel comfortable with who can adequately address your needs and establish a plan of care that works for both of you. Therapy works best when you want to be there, have some ideas of things you want to talk or ask about, and bring up the topics that are most important to you. Bonus points if you bring a notebook to your visits to keep track of the information and write down the things that stood out to you. Bonus bonus points if you also use that notebook to write in during the week when you think of ideas or topics for the next visit. After all, the therapy hour is fully yours. Get what you came for! Feel free to interview different therapists during their free, brief consultation meetings to see if you would like to work with them. You can say no. The quality of the relationship you build with your clinician is essential to your growth. It is okay to ask them what they specialize in, how they usually do therapy, and what their favorite color is. (Mine is teal. What's yours?) 

 

Waitling Lists

A therapist may be able to provide you with suggestions for other providers who could be viable options for therapy if they are unable to work with you (such as in the case of having no openings, not being the best fit, or being out of network with your insurance). Being placed on a waitlist does not mean you are now a client/patient under the therapist's care, or guarantee that you and the therapist will be a good fit or begin meeting within a particular timeframe. Your professional relationship with a therapist begins once a schedule, fee agreement, and plan are established and all documents relevant to informed consent and policies have been signed. After that, you get to work together to create a clear picture of your personal story and mental health, identify goals to work on, and get going on a path of pursuing wellness. If at any time you feel you have been wronged or treated unethically by a therapist, you have the right to file a grievance with relevant entities and discontinue services. Except in situations of mandated treatment, your participation in therapy is voluntary and can be discontinued by you or the therapist at any time. 

 

What's Next?

Feel free to peruse the rest of the website, keep giving some thought to therapy and what it might mean for you, or contact a therapist to get started. If you're interested in working with me, please send me an email. If you want to keep your options open or check out some other therapists, my suggestion is to start by looking at therapists' profiles by using the following websites: www.psychologytoday.com or www.portlandtherapycenter.com. It may be helpful to google terms such as: telehealth therapists near me, licensed therapists in Oregon, therapists that specialize in dissociative disorders, therapists that use IFS, therapists who take Pacific Source insurance near me, therapists who work with trauma, or other words and phrases that are specific to what you are looking for. 

 

I recommend the following therapists: 

  • Emily Hinman Benedict (virtual in Washington): Spirituality, body image, relational issues, existential questions.
  • Cante Nakanishi: Couples and families. Prepare-Enrich and Gottman Method certified.
  • Lisa Sacker (in person): Anxiety, depression, substance use, trauma. Offering EMDR.
  • Jeremiah Peck (in person and virtual in Washington): Couples, spirituality, marriage and family counseling, men's issues. 

 

 

 

Feel free to let me know if there are additional resources you would like to see here, or if you find that any of the links don't work!

 

    

Additional Information