Brian Thompson, Ph.D. — About Me

Finding a good match is very important in psychotherapy. I’ve included some information below to help you get a feel for who I am and what I do. Feel free to contact me with any questions. If after we meet you decide I’m not a good fit,I’m happy to refer you to another therapist who might be a better match.

How I work:

What I do in the therapy room varies from person to person, but I can offer some general constants. Because we’re more likely to learn and understand things when we’re able to absorb information on multiple levels, my work tends to be more experiential. What “experiential” looks like depends on the needs of the individual, but it may involve metaphors, exercises, or simply noticing things in the moment.

I tend to be more active and present-focused in my therapy work. I believe all of us are shaped by our pasts, but in my experience only talking about the past is less useful than looking at what keeps us stuck right now. For that reason, after I get a general feel for a person’s history, I am more likely to focus on how to help someone develop more of the life they want now than focusing on one’s past.

Values

As a psychotherapist, I value openness, flexibility, and kindness. Each time I begin working with someone new, it is the beginning of a process of discovery for both of us. I am interested in what’s getting in the way of the life the person wants to live, and what will help them move towards it.

It can be scary to move into difficult places. Consequently, I work very hard to create an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and safety. I may ask people to try things that are hard for them, and they are always welcome to say, “No,” because I also believe that therapy is about learning to make choices.

To continue increasing my own skills and knowledge, I remain committed to evidence-based practice. I conduct original research, read about new studies and treatments, and write about psychological research for the public through blogs and other forums. I also conduct trainings and consultations with other therapists interested in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, the main treatment from which I draw. All of this is in the service of continuing to expand my own abilities so that I have more to offer the people who come to see me.

Areas of Focus

I have a great deal of experience in dealing with histories of trauma, anxiety, depression, panic, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, problematic substance use, and relationship or interpersonal issues.

My practice is individual counseling for adults. I welcome GLBTQ clients.

Experience

Before earning my doctorate, I completed a Master’s degree in counseling at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, where I also studied mindfulness and meditation. Feeling I had more to learn, I began the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Montana. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete my predoctoral internship at the highly regarded Portland VA Medical Center, where I focused on treatment of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and neuropsychology across different rotations. My doctoral program and internship are both accredited by the American Psychological Association, which ensures through regular visits that programs meet their high standards.

Wanting specialty training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a flexible treatment with an expanding research literature, I embarked on year-long postdoctoral position at Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Training Center in order to study with Jason Luoma, PhD, a well-known figure within the ACT community and author of a key ACT training text. From there I was fortunate enough to stay on at Portland Psychotherapy as a licensed psychologist, a position that affords me the opportunity to continue my clinical work and keep abreast of the latest research.

I feel very fortunate to have encountered a wide range of clinical experience and excellent training. I bring this wealth of experience into the therapy room, while continuing to seek out new opportunities to expand my horizons and challenge myself.

Licensed Psychologist in Oregon #2095.

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