living authentically ~ authentically living

Existential Humanistic NorthWest Blog

Somatic Psychotherapy Training Institute – PNW

Trainings beginning Fall 2022 The Somatic Psychotherapy Training Institute – Pacific NW, located in Portland, Oregon, was formed in 2020 to provide training in the field of somatic psychotherapy for practitioners and students in the fields of counseling and psychology, clinical social work, mental health, and other health professions. Courses offered by the institute strive to provide in depth education into the theories, processes and techniques which underlay what is increasingly current in psychotherapeutic and counseling practice – an understanding that therapy cannot just take place in the realm of verbal language but must include a focus upon the language of the body – the somatic –as a means of addressing each person from a truly bio-psychosocial perspective. The institute’s approach builds upon the character-analytic,

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Lunch and Learn Facilitated by Beth Swain—“Being Silenced, Finding Voice”

On February 12th, Beth Swain (LPC), board member and therapist in private practice, facilitated a deeply moving and vulnerable talk on “Being Silenced, Finding Voice”. Beth started the talk by speaking to the feeling of being silenced. She acknowledged having always been fascinated by this topic once she realized she had kept silent about things. Many of us carry things for decades. Beth noted that she has often wondered why she stayed silent for certain things. Many of us as therapists have often had someone in our office tell us, “I’ve never told anyone this before”. Beth noted having always felt mystified by this question of “Why now?”. A few years ago, Beth talked about seeing a woman in her practice who was weeks away

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On The Theme of Vulnerability in Counseling

I am a year and a half into practicing as a therapist, and just month’s into a Master’s degree,  but I’m no stranger to therapy from the other side of the room. My father died when I was  six, and I’ve spent my life leaning into the supportive space of therapists, each one offering  something unique. One played chess with me as we talked about death at eight years old.  Another gave me the gift of letting me spill the contents of my over-crowded mind at  sixteen. Another, at nineteen, at the end of each session, would gently and sweetly ask what  I’d like to leave behind for her to hold. Now, I feel such regard for my therapist, she is like an  auntie–a person

Read More »

Lunch and Learn on Tenets of Existential Therapy, Presented by Founder, Bob Edelstein

On December 11th, Bob Edelstein, founder of Existential Humanist NW, presented about his passion for the EH perspective. Starting with an introduction to how he came to encounter Existential Humanism and therapy itself, Bob told us how he studied economics as an undergraduate student. His assumptions about therapy came from a culture centered on Freud and analysis. His feelings changed when he read Carl Rogers for the first time, and was moved by the idea that we are each the author of our own lives. Deeply resonant with this message as a younger man, his life’s journey has been about deepening and promoting this notion. 40 years into his practice as a therapist, he named he is still so passionate about it. He and his

Read More »

Student Salon on Self Care and Boundaries

On November 7th, EHNW held its annual student salon, exploring the topic of self care and boundaries, hosted by Dave Fischer. As therapists, we engage closely with others in psychological distress, and this can take its toll and risk burnout. Acknowledging boundaries and self care is important to mitigate burnout and possible ethical concerns that may come from that. As a group consisting of students and professionals, we explored these considerations, discussing topics like therapeutic alliance, empathy, countertransference, limitations, boundaries, and saying yes or no. Being human with someone is, in its simplest sense, our EH orientation. With this in mind, how do we be with suffering when it sometimes feels like a burden? Participants responded that there is value to being exposed to different

Read More »

Aging or Eldering? A Powerful Shift to Understanding Human Life, presented by Nader Shabahangi, PhD

On Friday, September 25, 2020, Existential Humanistic Northwest (EHNW) sponsored a workshop entitled, Aging or Eldering? A Powerful Shift to Understanding Human Life, presented by Nader Shabahangi, PhD., a licensed psychotherapist in California. Nader has been on the leading edge of working with elders through developing and maintaining elder care communities in the Bay area since 1995. As Dr. Nader Shabahangi introduced the subject of eldering, he reminded us that there is no living without aging and no aging without living. In spite of our culture’s emphasis on youth, living and aging are inseparable. Life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years and with this change we need to develop new ideals, which Nader referred to as “elder values.” Elder values include slowing down,

Read More »

Somatic Psychotherapy Training Institute – PNW

Trainings beginning Fall 2022 The Somatic Psychotherapy Training Institute – Pacific NW, located in Portland, Oregon, was formed in 2020 to provide training in the field of somatic psychotherapy for practitioners and students in the fields of counseling and psychology, clinical social work, mental health, and other health professions. Courses offered by the institute strive to provide in depth education into the theories, processes and techniques which underlay what is increasingly current in psychotherapeutic and counseling practice – an understanding that therapy cannot just take place in the realm of verbal language but must include a focus upon the language of the body – the somatic –as a means of addressing each person from a truly bio-psychosocial perspective. The institute’s approach builds upon the character-analytic,

Read More »

Lunch and Learn Facilitated by Beth Swain—“Being Silenced, Finding Voice”

On February 12th, Beth Swain (LPC), board member and therapist in private practice, facilitated a deeply moving and vulnerable talk on “Being Silenced, Finding Voice”. Beth started the talk by speaking to the feeling of being silenced. She acknowledged having always been fascinated by this topic once she realized she had kept silent about things. Many of us carry things for decades. Beth noted that she has often wondered why she stayed silent for certain things. Many of us as therapists have often had someone in our office tell us, “I’ve never told anyone this before”. Beth noted having always felt mystified by this question of “Why now?”. A few years ago, Beth talked about seeing a woman in her practice who was weeks away

Read More »

On The Theme of Vulnerability in Counseling

I am a year and a half into practicing as a therapist, and just month’s into a Master’s degree,  but I’m no stranger to therapy from the other side of the room. My father died when I was  six, and I’ve spent my life leaning into the supportive space of therapists, each one offering  something unique. One played chess with me as we talked about death at eight years old.  Another gave me the gift of letting me spill the contents of my over-crowded mind at  sixteen. Another, at nineteen, at the end of each session, would gently and sweetly ask what  I’d like to leave behind for her to hold. Now, I feel such regard for my therapist, she is like an  auntie–a person

Read More »

Lunch and Learn on Tenets of Existential Therapy, Presented by Founder, Bob Edelstein

On December 11th, Bob Edelstein, founder of Existential Humanist NW, presented about his passion for the EH perspective. Starting with an introduction to how he came to encounter Existential Humanism and therapy itself, Bob told us how he studied economics as an undergraduate student. His assumptions about therapy came from a culture centered on Freud and analysis. His feelings changed when he read Carl Rogers for the first time, and was moved by the idea that we are each the author of our own lives. Deeply resonant with this message as a younger man, his life’s journey has been about deepening and promoting this notion. 40 years into his practice as a therapist, he named he is still so passionate about it. He and his

Read More »

Student Salon on Self Care and Boundaries

On November 7th, EHNW held its annual student salon, exploring the topic of self care and boundaries, hosted by Dave Fischer. As therapists, we engage closely with others in psychological distress, and this can take its toll and risk burnout. Acknowledging boundaries and self care is important to mitigate burnout and possible ethical concerns that may come from that. As a group consisting of students and professionals, we explored these considerations, discussing topics like therapeutic alliance, empathy, countertransference, limitations, boundaries, and saying yes or no. Being human with someone is, in its simplest sense, our EH orientation. With this in mind, how do we be with suffering when it sometimes feels like a burden? Participants responded that there is value to being exposed to different

Read More »

Aging or Eldering? A Powerful Shift to Understanding Human Life, presented by Nader Shabahangi, PhD

On Friday, September 25, 2020, Existential Humanistic Northwest (EHNW) sponsored a workshop entitled, Aging or Eldering? A Powerful Shift to Understanding Human Life, presented by Nader Shabahangi, PhD., a licensed psychotherapist in California. Nader has been on the leading edge of working with elders through developing and maintaining elder care communities in the Bay area since 1995. As Dr. Nader Shabahangi introduced the subject of eldering, he reminded us that there is no living without aging and no aging without living. In spite of our culture’s emphasis on youth, living and aging are inseparable. Life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years and with this change we need to develop new ideals, which Nader referred to as “elder values.” Elder values include slowing down,

Read More »