Many researchers and theorists discuss shame as an inherently negative emotion that is always problematic. In this view, shame involves negatively evaluating one’s self and is often contrasted with guilt, which involves negatively evaluating one’s behavior. According to this view, shame motivates people to avoid situations and withdraw from others so that they can protect the “fragile, bad” self. Cyclical models of substance misuse follow these ideas and hypothesize that substance use allows people to escape from and avoid painful feelings of shame, but also leads to behaviors that trigger shame. In contrast, functional evolutionary views of emotion hold that shame evolved to alert individuals to threats to social belonging. Accordingly, shame occurs in response to situations involving failures of Read more

So…Whatever Happened to Your New Year’s Resolutions?

March 20, 2019

Angela Izmirian, Ph.D.

Lose 20 pounds. Find a husband. Makeover every room the Marie Kondo way. How’s it going? At the beginning of your shiny new year, all of your New Year’s Resolutions probably seemed possible and hopes of accomplishing your goals were high. But now, just a few months in, well…not anymore. You don’t meal prep the way you want to. Your attempts at dating are demoralizing. And the pile of old books, dirty clothes, and unorganized kitchen Tupperware is sparking frustration rather than joy. The truth? You are not alone. Many people discover that it doesn’t take long before the plan to be more, do more, and fix more about ourselves or our lives quickly goes out the window as the Read more

Portland Psychotherapy 2018 Year in Review

January 28, 2019

Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D

Hello friends and colleagues. As we usher in a new year, we pause to take a look back at 2018, an exciting year of growth and new beginnings for us here at Portland Psychotherapy. Expansion of clinical staff means more specialized services and an increased ability to serve our community We just celebrated the one-year anniversary of the three newest members of our full-time clinical team: our Director of Clinical Operations, Kyong Yi, LCSW, and licensed psychologists Angela Izmirian, Ph.D. and Bryce Doehne, PsyD. Although they have only been with us for a year, Kyong, Angela, and Bryce have already made huge contributions to our organization. In addition to seeing clients, they have been meeting with members of our broader Read more

Research and Training at Portland Psychotherapy

November 1, 2018

Christina Chwyl, B.A.

Portland Psychotherapy is a clinic, research and training center. A central part of our mission is to use science to develop novel methods to help people live better lives and alleviate the suffering that is part of living as a human being, and then share those methods with other clinicians. Research Approximately 16 cents of every dollar we take in at Portland Psychotherapy goes to support scientific research. You can read about our projects and publications, as well as ways to get involved in research here. Our research is made possible by an independent ethics board which reviews our research to ensure it meets the highest ethical standards. We helped establish this board, hosted by the Behavioral Health Research Collaborative Read more

Often people want to make changes, but are overwhelmed by a very loud and convincing inner critic. An inner critic is: a powerful, internal voice that tells us we cannot do well in life and achieve our goals a form of self-criticism a common symptom of depression An inner critic is a voice that is built up from messages we’ve heard from others or tell ourselves and carry with us as absolute truths. These messages are painful and can get in the way of taking action to improve our lives. For example: You want to start a romantic relationship, but your inner critic says “I’m unlovable” and you avoid the pain of trying You want to begin exercising regularly, but Read more