Therapist in PDX specializing in treatment of child abuse victims?
August 10, 2011 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Where in Portland, Oregon can I find a female therapist specializing in treating victims of long-term abuse, starting from early childhood?

I recently escaped a long term abusive family situation and am now living with a wonderful partner of many years (who went with me), over a thousand miles away from my horrible "family". Initially things were very difficult and I suffered from very high anxiety and constant flashbacks to the abuse. Now, about a year later, the flashbacks have greatly lessened but have been replaced by crippling depression. I have suffered from depression since I was young, but always thought it to be situational and attributed it to my environment.

Despite having my own living space and a decently paying job I am somehow feeling worse than before, which might be due to the fact that anxiety and extreme stress were paradoxically the only things keeping me together. There was no time to think, because I've gotten used to living in a constant state of emergency. These days I am finding myself struggling more and more to function and perform day to day tasks. My partner has a job, but it is not enough to support both of us. A nightmare scenario is finding myself unable to work, causing both of us to end up in a very bad situation.

I did go to several therapists, both before and after my move, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, I stopped going. I know this was not the best choice, but the therapists I tried simply did not help me feel better (and in some cases made things worse). There were also money issues involved in this decision.

Since I have health insurance now, it may be a good idea to try therapy again. I'm not sure how to ask for what I need, or how to figure out whether someone is qualified or not other than an (exhausting and painful) process of trial and error. My only requirements are that the therapist is a woman (and hopefully accepts Health Net insurance).

Throwaway email for further discussions:
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Did you ever go through an actual diagnostic process? This might be more than depression - PTSD, for example, is a possibility, and that's not the same treatment protocol as depression. In order to get the right kind of help, you might need to start with someone who actually does diagnostic testing (which might be, in your health care system, a psychiatrist/MD rather than a psychologist/PhD or licensed counselor).

Your insurance may have a service for finding you the right person to do assessment and diagnosis, or you might try your Employee Assistance Program. Someone here may have a name for you to start with. Just keep in mind that the person doing the assessment isn't going to be your forever therapist, that's just the person who's going to get the ball rolling for you.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:03 AM on August 10, 2011

I will refer you to my previous therapist. She was amazing. She specializes in DBT specifically and really helped me completely change my life. I am not sure if she will be able to help with what you are specifically looking for assistance with but I attended weekly one on one sessions with her as well as group DBT therapy with great success in both my personal and professional life.

The only reason I don't see her anymore is because I feel so much better. If I ever feel that I need therapy again I would go back to her.

Me mail me if you want more details or further info. Not sure if she takes health net.
posted by Pork n Beans at 11:25 AM on August 10, 2011

I can recommend a psychoanalyst (so, different from CBT/DBT, though she does adapt to client needs) - she listens well and I've always heard good things about her, from people with severe childhood abuse. Martha Blake, NCPsyA (licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst) in Portland. All depends on what kind of approach you'd like, of course. She does accept insurance, though I can't say Health Net for certain.
posted by fraula at 11:39 AM on August 10, 2011

I was going to recommend Western Psych as well. I refer many of my clients there for a variety of treatment reasons, including long-term abuse. You can view each of the counselors specialties on the site, but message me if you would like more specific recommendations.

Also, Portland DBT is another option, though there is a waiting list at this time.
posted by miss meg at 12:33 AM on August 11, 2011

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