Portland Psychotherapy 2018 Year in Review

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 community to explore ways Portland Psychotherapy can better support underserved and disenfranchised populations, including immigrant communities and gender minorities. We are excited for how these partnerships will allow us to have a broader positive impact on our community in the years to come.

We are also fortunate to have Debesh Mallik, M.S. join us as an advanced practicum student this year. Debesh earned his master’s degree in psychology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he studied under Emily Sandoz, Ph.D., one of the foremost experts in ACT and RFT and who also happens to be coming to do a two-day training for us in Portland in April (see below). Debesh is pursuing a Ph.D. at Pacific University with a focus on substance use, mood, and anxiety disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Bowen. We are excited to have such a skilled and well-trained clinician as Debesh offer low fee therapy services at Portland Psychotherapy.

Books and other creative endeavors coming out of Portland Psychotherapy

With our wonderful and expanded team of clinicians onboard, Portland Psychotherapy founders, Jenna LeJeune and Jason Luoma were able to take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the clinic to spend the first half of 2018 abroad on sabbatical. This sabbatical allowed them more focused time to work on various research and writing projects including a forthcoming book entitled Values in Practice: A Clinician’s Guide to Helping Clients Develop Psychological Flexibility and Live a More Meaningful Life (Jenna and Jason, due out later this year by New Harbinger Press) and an RO DBT skills workbook (Jason with Tom Lynch, Ph.D. and Nicole Little, Ph.D.). Jason also worked on his soon-to-be released podcast, Research Matters in which he interviews established psychology researchers from around the world. Through the podcast, listeners, especially students and aspiring researchers, will be able to learn from the wisdom of these amazing researchers as they deconstruct the strategies that have worked for them for conducting meaningful social science research.

Research at Portland Psychotherapy

Portland Psychotherapy is the only research institution of its kind. Rather than relying on grants that make us dependent on the whims and priorities of external government funding sources, we use a social enterprise model in which profits from the income-generating activities of our organization are used to fund independent social science research. We also collaborate with other researchers around the world to help fulfill our mission of contributing to the wider community through scientific research. Over the past year, the publications that have come out of those research endeavors include: (see tinyurl.com/ppcscience for a complete list, with some available to download):

Guinther, P. (2017). Contextual influence over deriving others’ true beliefs using a relational triangulation perspective-taking protocol. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 108(3), 433-456.

Luoma, J. B., Codd, T. R., & Lynch, T. R. (2018). Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT): Shared Features and Differences with ACT, DBT, and CFT. The Behavior Therapist.

Luoma, J.B., Guinther, P., Lawless DesJardins, N. M., & Vilardaga, R. (2018). Is Shame a Proximal Trigger for Drinking? A Daily Process Study with a Community Sample. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 26(3), 290-301.

Luoma, J.B. & LeJeune, J.T. (in press). Incorporating Affective Science into ACT to Treat Highly Self-Critical and Shame Prone Clients. In M. E. Levin, M. P. Twohig & J. Krafft (Eds.), Innovations in ACT. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Osborne, T., & Luoma, J.B. (2018). Overcoming a Primary Barrier to Practice-Based Research: Access to Independent Ethics Review. Psychotherapy, 55 (3), 255–262.

Appreciating where we have been and looking towards the future

During their sabbatical, Jason and Jenna were also able to pause to reflect on next steps for Portland Psychotherapy. It’s been more than 10 years since they launched this dream of developing a social enterprise in which the profits from providing exceptional, specialized therapy services could be used to increase the social good by funding important social science research and sliding scale services. There have been bumps along the road and at a lot of learning along the way, but we are proud of what our team has been able to accomplish thus far. If you’re interested in learning more about Portland Psychotherapy’s model of using social enterprise to make a positive difference you can read more at: tinyurl.com/ppcsocial.

Looking to the future, Portland Psychotherapy will focus on 1. Having a broader positive impact through partnerships with other like-minded colleagues and organizations, 2. Expanding our research program by hiring more clinician researchers and strengthening our research collaborations with colleagues around the world, and 3. Continuing to expand our clinical services by bringing on new therapists who are experts in their area of specialty and are interested in our mission. To help meet these goals, Portland Psychotherapy hopes to hire at least one new full-time therapist, a full-time postdoctoral fellow, and a full-time research psychologist (see: http://portlandpsychotherapytraining.com/employment-opportunities-at-portland-psychotherapy/).

Groups and classes

We continue to offer a variety of groups and classes for members of the public. Our current offerings are (see portlandpsychotherapyclinic.com/classes_and_groups/ for a complete list):

  • ACT for Depression Group
  • ACT on Life for Women
  • Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Classes

Upcoming training events

To support our training mission, we will continue to host workshops based on a variety of topics within Contextual Behavioral Science and related fields. Upcoming trainings include (see portlandpsychotherapytraining.com for a complete list):

  • Evoke, Reinforce, Repeat: Enhancing the Creativity and Sensitivity of your ACT work with a Plain Language Behavioral Perspective to Clinical Work – April 12-13, 2018 with Emily Sandoz, Ph.D.
  • Helping Patients Forgive: REACH Forgiveness as Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology – September 28, 2019 with Everett Worthington, Ph.D.

In looking back on this year, and the more than 10 years Portland Psychotherapy has been serving our Portland community, we are humbled by all the support we have received from friends and colleagues around the work. Your support, in all of its forms, is essential in the work that we do and our ability to fulfill our mission. Thank you and we look forward to what lies ahead.

Portland Psychotherapy Year in Review – 2017

Hello friends and colleagues. Below is an update about new events at Portland Psychotherapy in 2017.

New providers at Portland Psychotherapy help us expand our services:

Kyong Yi LCSW2017 was a year of change! We welcomed three new full time licensed clinicians to our team this year.  We were thrilled to have Kyong Yi, LCSW join our team this summer. Kyong came to us with years of experience working in the VA and community health organizations. Kyong has devoted much of her professional life to serving disenfranchised populations and has a wealth of experience working with individuals struggling with a variety of difficulties including trauma/PTSD, difficulties with anger, substance use/abuse, and depression.  She is also our new Director of Clinical Operations.

Angela Izmirian, Ph.D.We are also very excited to have Angela Izmirian, PhD join us as a licensed psychologist. Angela’s expertise in and passion for serving marginalized communities, including immigrants, ethnically-diverse populations, and gender and sexual minorities will enable us to expand the ways in which we can reach out to and serve diverse members of our community. Angela also conducts transgender assessments and provides the documentation required for hormone therapy and surgery. She also provides couples therapy based on Emotion-Focused Therapy principles. 

Bryce Doehne, PsyDBryce Doehne, PsyD is the newest licensed psychologist to join our team and we are so pleased to have him! Bryce spent much of his training and early career working in university counseling centers and also at Fremont Community Therapy Project, a feminist and trauma-informed training clinic in Seattle, WA. Being a military veteran himself, Bryce has developed expertise in working with individuals who have experienced trauma and substance abuse. Bryce also has an interest in working with some of the struggles that men often face, including the discomfort or stigma that is often faced when accessing mental health services.

We now offer medication management services

Meghan O'Neil, M.D., Ph.D.At Portland Psychotherapy, our focus has always been on providing quality, science-based psychotherapy. However, we have found it increasingly difficult to access qualified medication providers when needed. In response, we have contracted with Meghan O’Neil, MD, PhD to provide medication management services on a part-time basis at Portland Psychotherapy. Dr. O’Neil’s approach to medication and mental health care is a great match with our focus here at Portland Psychotherapy, with an emphasis on collaboration and letting science guide treatment decisions. We are happy to have her on our team and hope that she will also be able to be a resource for some of your clients for medication evaluation and management.

Upcoming training events

We are pleased to continue to host workshops based on topics that colleagues like you have suggested. If there are any speakers you would like us to bring out, please let us know! Upcoming workshops include:

Research at Portland Psychotherapy

This year we hired our first full time research coordinator, Christina Chwyl, to help with data collection and research tasks. Christina came to us after graduating from Stanford and has done a fantastic job in her new role. Publications from the past year include:

Publications from 2017

  • Luoma, J.B., Guinther, P., Potter, J., & Cheslock, M. (2017). Experienced-Based Versus Scenario-Based Assessments of Shame and Guilt and Their Relationship to Alcohol Consumption and Problems. Substance Use and Misuse.
  • Luoma, J. B., Hayes, S. C., & Walser, R. (2017). Learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (2nd Edition): A Skills Training Manual for Therapists.
  • LeJeune, J.T. & Luoma, J.B. (2017). Using social enterprise concepts to create a sustainable culture to fund research in a fee-for-service setting. In R.T. Codd (Ed.), Practice-Based Research: A guide for clinicians. Routledge Press.
  • Platt, M., Luoma, J.B., & Freyd, J.  (2017). Shame and dissociation in survivors of high and low betrayal trauma. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 1, 34-49.

Our First Clinical Director

After spending the last ten years or so building Portland Psychotherapy, we’re now at a place where we can pause to reflect on where we have been and where we want to go next as an organization. One outcome of this was our decision to hire our first Director of Clinical Operations (DCO), Kyong Yi, LCSW. Kyong has comes to us with a wealth of administrative and management skill, and splits her time between clinical and administrative roles. We couldn’t think of a better person for this role.

Your support, in all of its form, is essential in the work that we do and our ability to fulfill our mission. Thank you so much!

Portland Psychotherapy Annual Report – 2015

Hello friends and colleagues. Below is our annual report. The annual reports is part of our mission to be a responsible and transparent business that is an asset to our local and international community. We strive to be responsible stewards of the revenue provided by those clients and customers who purchase our services. We strive to use those limited resources efficiently and effectively to serve the greater good. Transparency comes through out providing updates about what we are doing with that revenue. This report summaries the most important events that occurred over the last year at Portland Psychotherapy.


Portland Psychotherapy strives to make quality, evidence-based mental health services

available to all members of our community. Supporting diversity and inclusivity is a core value at Portland Psychotherapy.


is to use science to develop and guide compassionate, effective treatment and contribute to the wider community through research and training.


is at the heart of our practice. We are dedicated to treating psychological problems with methods based on the best science available.


drives everything we do. Many of our therapists are also researchers, which means that we stay up-to-date on what the research says about what works. If we can’t provide what we think is the best treatment for what a client is struggling with, we will do our best to refer them to an appropriate treatment.


ensures that we are on the cutting edge of what’s happening in evidence-based practice. In 2013 and 2014, about 18% of total revenue went to fund the research our center is conducting. By seeing a therapist at Portland Psychotherapy, you are also helping to support scientific research so that others may benefit.  To read more about our business model, go here.

Highlights from 2015

Clinical services. We continued to expand our clinical services in 2015. The total number of individual therapy sessions provided increased 14% from 4,877 to 5,568 sessions and group therapy sessions increased 64% from 223 to 365 sessions. We continue to provide a substantial amount of low fee services through our postdoctoral fellowship program, about the same number as last year — 509 sessions (when defined as clients paying $60 or less per session). We also started a new skills class based on Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RODBT) and solidified our standard DBT program under the leadership of Shadee Hardy, LCSW.

Our building. Two-and-a-half years ago, we moved into our current building, but the renovation work has not stopped until this year. Finally, this year, we were finally able to install the landscaping, which heralded the ending of the renovation process! We are very appreciative that we have a beautiful and comfortable building to work in and hope that our clients feel the same way.  As part our mission to be environmentally sustainable, we also hired a solar contractor, Solterra Systems , this past fall who will be installing solar panels on our roof as soon as we get some more sunny days!

AlyssaStaffing. There were important staffing changes this year. We hired a new office assistant, Alyssa Wong (left), who has stepped into a busy role and is doing a great job. Alyssa joins our already incredible and hard-working administrative team of Debbie Addison (billing manager) and Amy Forrer (office manager) without whom this place would not run. Melissa Platt, Ph.D., transitioned from a postdoc role to a research psychologist role, specializing in research relating to shame and interpersonal trauma. We were also able to hire another postdoctoral fellow, Magda Permut, Ph.D., who is specializing in organizational issues and has been doing important work in helping Portland Psychotherapy to improve our services and maintain a values-based focus for our culture. We also had our first annual overnight employee retreat where we were able to clarify our group values and strengthen our organizational culture. Dr. Paul Guinther and his wife Lindsay Chandler added another baby to our Portland Psychotherapy family – James Martin Guinther. On a sad note, we experienced the death of our unofficial mascot, The Dalai Luoma (right), who in her determined (some might say stubborn) way, was able to come to work every day until the very end.

Research. On the research front, two new research studies were approved by our ethics review board to begin data collection and a third was submitted for approval. Portland Psychotherapy now has two research psychologists on staff with dedicated research time in addition to the two co-owners having time for research.  We have six studies in active data collection. In 2016, we are planning to hire our first full time research coordinator.

A big highlight of 2015 was the initiation of our internal grant program to support advances in contextual behavioral science and evidence-based psychotherapy. The first grant dispersed was for $10,000 and was named the Aaron S. Luoma Portland Psychotherapy Behavioral Science Research Grant, in honor of Dr. Jason Luoma’s brother. Awardees included Drs. Paul Guinther, Brian Thompson, and Scott Rower. The grant has supported their ongoing work on relational frame theory and perspective taking; acceptance and commitment therapy and obsessive-compulsive disorder; and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, respectively.

Portland Psychotherapy staff had seven new peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication or published in 2015:

Guinther, P. M. & Dougher, M. J. (2015). The clinical relevance of stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory in influencing the behavior of verbally competent adults. Current Opinion in Psychology, 2, 21-25.

LeJeune, J.T., & Luoma, J.B. (2015). The Integrated Scientist-Practitioner: A New Model for Combining Research and Clinical Practice in Fee-For-Service Settings. Professional Psychology Research & Practice 46(6), 421-428. Download here. 

Levin, M.E., Luoma, J.B. & Haeger, J. (2015). Decoupling as a mechanism of action in mindfulness and acceptance: A literature review. Behavior Modification, 39(6), 870-911.

Levin, M.E., Luoma, J.B., Vilardaga, R., Lillis, J., Nobles, R. & Hayes, S.C. (In Press). Examining the role of psychological inflexibility, perspective taking and empathic concern in generalized prejudice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Luoma, J.B., & Platt, M. (2015). Stigma, Shame, Self-Criticism, and Compassion in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Current Opinion in Psychology, 2, 97-101Download here. 

Platt, M. & Freyd, J. J. (2015). Betray my trust, shame on me: Shame, dissociation, fear, and betrayal trauma. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 7(4) 398-404.


Thompson, B. T., Luoma, J. B., Terry, C., LeJeune, J., Guinther, P., & Robb, H. (2015). Creating a Peer-Led Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Consultation Group: The Portland Model. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science 4(3), 144-150.

Training. In 2015 we hosted or co-hosted five training workshops for professionals. The income from these training events helps support for our research and sliding scale services. In addition to these income-generating training events, we have also hosted twelve meetings of the ACT peer consultation group. Largely due to the work of Dr. Melissa Platt, we’ve greatly increased the training material we’ve been producing on our blog, www.actwithcompassion.com. In addition, most of the clinical staff were able to travel to Berlin, Germany for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science Annual Conference. At that conference, they were able to see center director, Dr. Jason Luoma, give the presidential plenary signaling the end of his year as president of this association of over 8000 members.

Our business model. Among the publications coming out of our center this year, we are particularly excited about our article  “The Integrated Scientist-Practitioner: A New Model for Combining Research and Clinical Practice in Fee-For-Service Settings,” published this year in Professional Psychology Research & Practice. This article represents the first time that a detailed description of the business model we have created here at Portland Psychotherapy, which we have called the “clinical-research social business model,” has been broadly available for others to read about. In the article, we describe how Portland Psychotherapy is, to our knowledge, the only organization of its kind to utilize social enterprise concepts to support research in a for-profit psychotherapy setting. In our clinical-research social business model, the profits from the income-generating activities of our center do not go to increase shareholder profits. Rather, those profits are used to serve the social good by serving as an internal, stable funding source for in-house research where the products of the research are given away to the public. Our hope is that others might also consider how concepts such as social enterprises, B-corps, and the like might work in their own setting such that making a profit and contributing to the broader social good can be mutually achievable aims.

Summary: 2015 was a good year for Portland Psychotherapy. The organization continues to mature to more fully serve our mission to use science to develop and guide compassionate, effective treatment and contribute to the wider community through research and training. These positive trends look like they will continue in 2016 and we are very optimistic about and excited to see how Portland Psychotherapy can continue to have a positive influence on our community in years to come. Please, keep in touch.