Mindful Place Counseling & Stress Reduction Denise Gour, LCSW 503.860.1227
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Counseling for Individuals, Couples, and Families


     Acknowledging pain and its negative influence in our lives takes great courage.  Fortunately the rewards of therapy can be deeply transformative and last long past your final counseling session.   I am confident that working together we can curtail the culprits undermining your happiness. 

What to expect.  In our introductory session, I'll listen to the concerns you have and what has been helpful in the past.  As I learn more, I'll suggest ways we can work together.  My approach is direct, compassionate and supportive.  

     Along with conventional talk-therapy, it is sometimes helpful to incorporate gentle movement, mind-body awareness practices, and the use of art materials. These approaches can improve self-awareness by connecting thoughts and emotions to the body's response to distress. We'll work together at a pace appropriate to your comfort level.  My goal for those seeking help is to facilitate a safe exploration of strategies that foster greater satisfaction and contentment in life . 

Workbook Resources. 
 I may recommend that we use a workbook along with our weekly sessions. These are published by professionals in their field and can be very helpful for adding structure to our sessions and strengthening the use of new skills in your daily life.  Here and after each section below you can see the ones I find beneficial. All are readily available through amazon.com and local book stores.

NEW ~ Skype Sessions Are Now Available! 
Proven to be just as effective as face-to-face therapy sessions. 
   Do you live outside the Portland area?
     Travel frequently?
        Prefer to avoid the drive over?
Skype sessions may be the answer.
Easy to arrange, contact me for details.


Individual Counseling

     When life presents challenges it's natural to seek help from people we love and trust. At times, a professional counselor can also add significant value to your circle of support by providing the objective expertise and confidentiality needed to more fully address your concerns.

     As your therapist I can offer the benefits of what experience and research have shown to be effective in managing the kinds of difficulties you now face.  Our work together will help you tap into your strengths and bypass the pitfalls on your path to personal happiness.  You'll develop healthier, more satisfying ways to meet all that life presents you with -- the good, the bad and the in-between of day to day living. 


Counseling for Couples

     Sometimes partnering with someone we love is challenging. It also affords one of life's most valuable opportunities for learning more about ourselves.  Balancing partner needs and differences is not always easy.  When difficulties emerge, confusion can set in, making it unclear how to serve the best interests of  partners both as individuals and as a couple.  

     In couples sessions both participants find they have a safe, supportive place to voice their concerns.  Partners learn and practice ways of listening that help each other feel truly heard.  We'll also practice ways of speaking, so each can listen without feeling the urge to either withdraw and shut down or "arm, defend, and counter-attack."  

     Together we’ll map out what contributes to a mutually satisfying relationship for you both and identify the derailers, such as anger and pent-up emotions to watch out for.  As partners learn how to best support their individual needs while keeping their relationship strong, a door opens.  With commitment and practice couples can enjoy a more gratifying and sustainable relationship together.   

Rose, SmallNew Partners and Newly Weds

     Congratulations!  Whether you're just thinking about moving in together or recently tied the knot, you can benefit from this educational 4 week counseling series.  Based on John Gottman's 7 Priniciples for Making Marriage Work you'll learn the way to effectively communicate, solve problems, and manage the common challenges married couples face.  Learn to fine tune the skills you already have for keeping the love alive.

Mindful Parenting

Parenting is easily the toughest job you'll ever have.  In our sessions togther we'll review the issues concerning you and your role as parent.  I'll introduce several home practice strategies to try out and together we'll develop a comfortable, practical way to manage the challenges you face each day.  The mindful awareness practices will improve communication, deepen your parent-child relationship, and add more ease into everyday family life. 


Family Counseling

     With all the expectations and demands at school, work, and home it's easy to feel lost in the pressures and internal fears of losing family unity.  Add a crisis to the mix and family life becomes very tough.   My goal is to help families sort out the complex issues weighing them down and find caring, effective ways of addressing the often conflicting needs of children, parents, and extended family. 

     In family sessions each member's perspective is valued, allowing all issues of concern to be openly voiced.  Parents and children may need to use new ways of listening and speaking so that communication becomes more helpful and less hurtful.  Everyone may need to become more mindful about their thoughts and actions.  I'll offer practical skills that release family members from the "blame-game" shifting their energy into applying new approaches for tackling tough issues.  When everyone works together, families emerge from counseling feeling closer, stronger, and better equipped to handle the crises and the daily hassles of everyday living.