"Kindness is the change agent." ~Christopher Germer
Douglas Johns, LCSW
Portland, Oregon

Counseling & Therapy ~ Portland, Oregon
Douglas Johns, LCSW

Psychotherapy means engaging with the human mind, soul and heart to increase joy and decrease suffering. Psychotherapy attends to the vast experience and expression that is any human life. It addresses both the joy and suffering of human experience. Pyschotherapy is the art of human relating. It is the safe realtionship that is created in therapy that facilitates human change. For more detailed information on my practice of counseling and psychotherapy please continue reading below. Please click on the following link for information on what to expect in a counseling therapy session.

I have a working definition of psychotherapy: Giving people a different experience of themselves in relationship. Quality psychotherapy or counseling is a process by which people experience themselves in new ways and develop skills for living more creatively and adaptively. In this sense psychotherapy is about cultivating skillful living. Moreover, it is about learning to stay present with oneself to generate these skills internally. The process may be both exciting and uncomfortable but it is the safe and respectful experience of the counseling relationship that encourages the transformations you want in your life.

Over forty years of research into the benefits of counseling and psychotherapy has provided two important conclusions. First, psychotherapy works. Most people report success and satisfaction with their therapy experience. Second, it's clear why psychotherapy works: It's the relationship between client and therapist that's most important in determining quality outcomes. Furthermore, that's the evidence across all problem areas (
anger, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, etc.).

What cultivates good client-therapist rapport? Foundationally it is something called core conditions. These conditions include how the client experiences the therapist. For example, does the counseling relationship feel emotionally safe? Can the client truly be her/himself? Does the client experience respect and unconditional acceptance from the therapist? Research has repeatedly demonstrated that these relationship factors aren't just nice, they are crucial to quality care. And most importantly, these are always the client's experience of the counseling relationship. This requires therapists to actively cultivate feedback from clients to ensure the relationship is helpful.

Although I have training in several psychotherapy disciplines I primarily identify with two traditions that are particularly compatible. The first is the Existential-Humanistic perspective. The core counseling conditions outlined above originated with this perspective. The second is Zen Buddhism. I have been a formal student of Zen Buddhism since 2002 but I have been interested in Buddhist psychology since 1985. Both traditions emphasize the importance of human experience in the present moment.

In our daily life, with all its complexity, it's easy to become detached from our core experience and understanding of self. Perhaps a traumatic life experience has deepened this rift. My counseling method attends to the client-therapist relationship and to the client's internal relationship with her/himself. The cultivation of love and
compassion for self is structured and honed. Authenticity is emphasized as I continually refine that process within myself and facilitate the same for my client. Therapy is a shared experience founded on deepening trust between people.

Please feel free to call me with any questions you have about my counseling practice at 503-252-3739.


Accessing this web site in no way constitutes an implied or explicit contract for services between Compassionate Enterprises, LLC or Douglas Johns and any person. Documents are for informal information purposes only. Please speak directly with a qualified professional regarding any specific health concerns you have. Douglas Johns, MSW, LCSW ~ 811 NW 20th Ave., Suite 304, Portland, Oregon 97209 ~ (503) 252-3739