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About Andrea

A black women therapist in Portland, Oregon describing what makes her a unique therapist.

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A little about me

I love to laugh. A deep belly laugh is my favorite, the kind where your sides feel like they’re going to split open and you can’t catch your breath. That's my kind of laughter. Laughter is my medicine. I have a dry and irreverent sense of humor, which usually follows me into the therapy room. Sometimes we must laugh at our own pain, demystifying it for a moment. I know life is hard, I get it, no one is immune to the tragedies of life. But sometimes, all you can do is watch hilarious cat videos and act like it’s not happening for a few minutes.

I am sure you are wondering, “How can this cat lady help me”? Well, let’s get one thing clear, I am not a cat lady. I am a dog lady. A Pug lady to be precise. 

The truth is, therapy is a two-part relationship, meaning that I support you and you take a few risks in creating a new way of living. Therapy is about me walking alongside you, helping you create insight, see blind spots and finding you a cat video of your own.

We all have blind spots, shortcoming, and behaviors we don't understand.  We all do things that make no sense, act in ways that are not congruent with our values and say things that hurt others and ourselves. However, through therapy, I help you understand why you keep ending up in the same relationship, act out in ways you can't control and why you aren't living your values. I help you demystify your own mind, finding the solutions you had all along. As your therapist, I help you understand the "why" and you begin to live life differently. 

Are you ready to understand why? SCHEDULE NOW!

Why am I a therapist? What is a better profession for an only girl, the youngest child in a southern black family that has no less than 50 people for the holidays? Coming from a family of exceptional athletes, there was one thing I could always do better than the rest, TALK. My dad used to say, “girl, you gonna talk my ear off”. From a young age, I always wanted to know more about people, asking questions, recognizing patterns and creating solutions. As I move into college, I realized that I rather spend time listening to friends, talking out issues and coming up with solutions than anything else. Finally, I realized that there was a profession where I could do everything I loved. I could talk to people, help them solve issues and feel connected, all while making a difference.

Graduate school offered me the language to do what I have been doing my whole life, helping others heal and connect. Now, my family looks back and we realize there was no better path for the overzealous, talkative young girl I was then.

What makes me legit? I earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Oregon in Sociology & Women Gender Studies. GO DUCKS! I graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2014 with a Masters in Counseling Psychology, emphasizing in Addiction Studies. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor through the Oregon board of counselors and therapist, as well as a clinical supervisor for licensed professional counselor interns. I am a presenter, giving education and motivational speeches at varying communities within the state of Oregon, most recently presenting at the DUII- Oregon Interdisciplinary conference in 2018. I have worked in the field of mental health for 8 years, providing social services in a variety of roles.

What is therapy like with me? Sitting and talking about your problems to a stranger isn't as scary as it seems. It can be relieving, enlightening and even fun at times, with me. With directness, compassion and a little humor, I focus on helping you find true connection and happiness. Through real, honest, and open communication in session, we can begin to reconnect you to yourself and your loves ones once again. As an empathetic and direct therapist, I provide unique type of care for my clients. My approach is challenging, yet compassion, driving you towards making real change. During session, I ask questions, provide skills and challenge you when I see that you can take the risk. Focused in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, I help you begin to accept the behaviors that aren’t true to you and committee to moving towards a healthy lifestyle.

More than just therapy -Life is hard. Growing up in Portland was hard. Growing up in Portland as a black girl was even harder. I created UY counseling to give a voice to those who feel silenced, just as I have. I know what it’s like to feel unseen, overlooked, and silenced in a place you call home. I also know what it’s like to be gawked at, to be made to feel like an outsider in your own space. In my office, you are seen, heard, and valued all for being uniquely you.

I started UY Counseling to provide a type of therapy that supports individuality, personalities, and the unique lifestyles of every person who seeks support. The foundation of UY Counseling continues to focus on providing therapy to clients impacted or willing to explore how race, oppression and privilege intertwine within daily life. I created UY Counseling because everyone is unique in their care and healing.