News

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  • 31 Jan 2019 11:03 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    I’m a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), and at any given time I have at least two clients who are experiencing grief. Loss can come in many forms: loss of a relationship, a family, a job, a home, a way of life, and, of course, loss through death. I support people on their journey through processing the losses in their lives. What happens, though, when the grief counselor is grieving? 

    To read more, click here.

  • 31 Jan 2019 11:02 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    To be perfectly honest, the last few weeks have been difficult.  I’ve been edgy, agitated, grumpy, and just not myself.  I’ve mostly felt like a deflated balloon.  As the darkness has intensified so has my need to hibernate.  More accurately, isolate.  I’ve tried to use all of my coping tools, but nothing really worked.  There’s just been this underlying anxiety that has been vibrating at the core of my body.  I know a lot of you can relate to that feeling of anxiety that doesn’t really have a name or words, and yet it just doesn’t go away.  It’s real.  I kind of dropped off of social media, and I stopped spending time with my friends.

    To read more, click here.


  • 31 Jan 2019 11:01 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    A lot of the time, this field is akin to detective work. We worry that our helpees are not being honest with us, or we wonder about which parts they’re hiding. “I’m smelling underlying trauma,” we say to one another, or, “Maybe a talk with the department head?” or, “I have to wonder if he’s using more often than he’s telling me.” This search for what’s real makes so much sense. We know how much of ourselves we’re concealing. We hide most of our unpleasant, nutso thoughts and our weird, compulsive behaviors because we know that if the world saw us as we really are, the world would reject us. We conceal ourselves in shawls of mindful, positive gratitude because the world is largely not a safe place. We strive to create a safe place in which our clients can actually access their experience and move toward ever-increasing congruence. We watch our clients for signs of dishonesty because we want to do all that we can to help them move into their authentic selves.

    To read more, click here.


  • 31 Jan 2019 10:59 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    Recently I was asked to join a listserv debate about whether it is legal for anyone other than a licensed psychologist to use the title “psychotherapist.” There were some psychologists, LCSWs, LPCs and LMFTs on the listserv who were honestly confused because the psychology statute in Oregon explicitly states that only psychologists can use the term “psychotherapist.” This kind of thing pops up on the Oregon Psychological Association listserv every few years and typically a great deal of confusion and hurt feelings arise.

    To read more, click here.

  • 31 Jan 2019 10:58 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    Given the developments we saw in the world of social media in 2018, it’s a wonder we’re still using the big networks like Facebook and Instagram. Not only are people all over the world just as active as ever in posting dinner pics and political memes, however, but more and more therapists are using social networks to enhance and assist their practices.

    To read more, click here.


  • 31 Jan 2019 10:56 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    My father and stepmother sat at one end of the table, my grandma beside them and my siblings, our significant others and I had claimed the benches and nooks and crannies around the remaining edges of the dining room table. We had a pretty amazing feast laid out for Christmas dinner, everyone having done their part to ensure that all, including the gluten-intolerant, vegans and vegetarians among us, would not go unsatisfied over the holiday. We opened Christmas crackers and wore the paper crowns as we ate, shared stories, took jabs, and laughed at times gone by and exciting things for the future...

    To read more, click here.


  • 31 Jan 2019 10:48 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    It’s the New Year.  It’s a perfect time to reflect on events in the old year; what to let go of and what to bring forward into 2019...

    To read more, click here.


  • 31 Jan 2019 10:45 PM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    On Friday, January 18th, ORCA hosted the first ever Counselors of Color Reception. More than 50 counselors, social workers, psychologists, counseling students and counselor educators who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) gathered for an evening of community, celebration, and support...

    To read more about this event, click here.

  • 01 Nov 2018 12:23 AM | Moira Ryan (Administrator)

    Hello ORCA members,

    As you know, it’s an election year and November is quickly approaching. As a non-profit organization, it is the Oregon Counseling Association’s choice (and duty) to fight for the well-being of all Oregonians, whether they be counselors, clients, both, or neither.

    The three measures on the ballot this November that we, as a Board, voted to take a stance on through COPACT. COPACT (The Coalition of Professional Associations for Counseling and Therapy) is the organization that works with our lobbyist to ensure that we are protected as counselors and therapists, as well as making sure that our clients and their mental health is protected, and allowing ethical policies to progress. This November, you will see COPACT’s name in the Voter’s Pamphlet.

    Ballot Measure 102

    COPACT publicly supports a YES vote. This is something that affects many folks in Oregon, especially low income folks and families. This measure would allow local governments to fund and construct more affordable housing, which is desperately needed across Oregon. It passed the legislature with bipartisan support and requires voter approval.

    Ballot Measure 105
    COPACT publicly supports a NO vote. Measure 105 would throw out Oregon’s existing “sanctuary” law. This law passed with broad support from Republicans and Democrats and has been protecting Oregonians from unfair racial profiling for more than 30 years. If Measure 105 passes, it could open the door to racial profiling and families being separated, simply because someone is perceived to be an undocumented immigrant. As counselors, we know how deeply harmful and traumatic such family separations are to children. A “no” vote on Measure 105 will keep the existing law in place, ensuring that local police resources are not used to pursue and detain people based solely on suspicion about their immigration status, while also ensuring that local police can continue to hold anyone--regardless of their immigration status--accountable who commits a crime.

    Ballot Measure 106
    COPACT publicly supports a NO vote. This measure targets and disproportionately harms low-income women and public employees, by prohibiting any public funds for abortion, with narrow exceptions. This means that those Oregonians who access health care through OHP, and those who are public sector workers— such as teachers, nurses, and firefighters— would have their reproductive health care options limited. In cherry-picking and prohibiting certain aspects of health care based on ideology, Measure 106 sets a dangerous precedent that could open the door to limiting other types of care, such as coverage for gender affirming care, for example. It is our ethical obligation to stand up for all Oregonians, and this measure disproportionately targets women and low income folks, contradicting who we are as healers.

    If you would like to know more about ORCA and our Advocacy efforts, please visit our website. If you would like to donate to COPACT, please visit their website.

    Get out there in November and VOTE! Vote like your life depends on it, because it does. And if your life doesn’t depend on it, please use that privilege and power to help other folks!

    Let’s continue to empower not only this profession, but the folks we stand up for everyday. Thank you.

    Gianna Russo-Mitma, M.S.,LMFT

    President, Oregon Counseling Association

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