Eugene Therapy

Dealing with Grief and Loss

Grief and loss happens over time and involves one going through a number of feelings from denial to overwhelming sadness. We may go through the various stages but they do not happen in order. This can leave us bewildered, confused, and feeling trapped.


Grief & Growing Through Difficult Times

It takes an enormous amount of energy to remain stuck in chronic grief, resentment or sadness. Often, we try to resist these genuine emotions by keeping a stiff upper lip or a cheerful demeanor when we’re really seething inside. It can be made worse by worries we have ‘pushed back’ in our mind, old traumas and unresolved past issues. However, the present journey of grief can offer us lessons we can grow from.

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What to do When a Parent Dies

When death happens in a family, it seems to change everything. Everyone must make adjustments, work through their grief and loss, and figure out how to continue on life’s journey in a new and different way. However, when a parent dies, regardless of their age, something very different happens.


Upside-Down House

Adults Who Grew Up in Dysfunctional Families

Therapists have long known that when we have grown up in unstable, disruptive, and dysfunctional families end up having similar characteristics. As a result, they end up having traits that can directly affect their potential for having full and enjoyable lives.


Caretaker Burnout, Compassion, and Fatigue

When a member of the family experiences problems, an illness, injury or disability, we tend to forget the impact that any of these problems have on other members of the family. Even short-term crises and problems can drain us as we try to be strong in our efforts to be caring and helpful.

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Feeling Discouraged, Lost, and Depressed

When we become discouraged, feel lost, are confused, and feel overwhelmed, it is easy to feel like we want all the pain and sadness to stop.  We want to run, to feel no more, and to have our upset, anger, and sadness removed quickly.  Understanding a few issues might be of help at these difficult times.

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Growing Up with Emotional Abuse

When children’s development of self-esteem, social skills or capacity for intimacy is jeopardized by their parents’ behavior or neglect, they may be the victim of emotional abuse. Whether it is alcohol or other drugs, mental illness, compulsive behavior (eating, working, religion, etc.), or any one of a thousand other things that deplete a family’s emotional life, the results are the same.

Anxiety and depression are a part of our life's journey

How Can I Live the Life I Want To Live While Managing My Anxiety/Depression?

Depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems are things that we wish would “just go away.” The frustration in dealing with such problems is that they tend to last longer than we think is appropriate or comfortable. We find that our life goals have had to change as a result of these things. It helps to understand a few key issues in order to live the life you want while managing these problems.

Living with depression

How Do I Know if I am Depressed?

One of the most common disorders in the world is depression. It is the “common cold” of emotional disorders and no one is exempt from it. We can deny and run depression, but at a cost. Whenever we try to deny feelings, hold things in, it will come out in some manner, whether through physical or emotional symptoms. Through counseling and therapy, we can “grow from these feelings” if we take the time to “look and examine” what this means for our life’s “journey.”


How NOT to Talk to Your Doctor

In order to understand how to best talk with your doctor (or psychiatrist, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or other medical provider), you need to know one very important concept: Your doctor wants to help you!

Thought Lightbulb

How to Choose a Good Psychiatrist

At some point, you may find yourself in need of a good psychiatrist. There are three critical rules in doing this. Understanding the terminology in distinguishing between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychiatric mental nurse practitioner is the most important step. Setting your expectations appropriately and not sabotaging your approach is second. Third is the rule of not forgetting your ultimate goal.

Football Players

Intensity, Anger, and Men

The psychology of men is hard for both men and women to understand. Some women think that men are chronically intense, angry and controlling. Men insist that they have no idea why women think that they are always intense angry or controlling in interactions. Men feel misunderstood in their efforts to be helpful.

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Learning to Endure Conflict, Tension & Emptiness

One of the most important things that human beings can learn to do in life is to endure the hard times. This is not always easy because we are always hoping that things will be comfortable, easy or enjoyable. Other times, we just want to have something to keep us busy. The reality of life is that these things do not always happen. As a result, it is important to think about a few issues as part of learning how to survive.


Supplements and Mental Health

Many people are interested in natural methods to help offset the symptoms of mental illness. And who wouldn’t be? As such, many people are interested in seeing what might work before (or even while) pursuing a non-natural solution. Below are some of the more common supplements used. The difficulty in deciding what is useful by means of anecdotal evidence is one of problems. Primarily, the two issues of correlation does not imply causation paired with the placebo effect. However, when the medical industry has money invested […]

Midlife Crisis

Midlife Crisis – What Are the Signs?

We all have heard about someone having a midlife crisis. Yet we rarely recognize it when it happens to us. Early in our life, we have many hopes and desires about how we want our lives to turn out. We sometimes plan, or just live, expecting that someday we will arrive and have it. Unfortunately, we often live our life as such a fast pace that we end up in crisis.


david biofeedback

How Can Biofeedback Help Manage my Stress?

Biofeedback is a fancy way of saying that we look for signals from our biology in order to tell us how relaxed or stressed we are. If we were as observant as Sherlock Holmes, we could possibly perform biofeedback by merely observing one’s body language and responses.

Eugene Therapy

How Do I Sleep when Worrying Keeps Me Awake?

Obsessions and worries can keep one tense, anxious, upset, and unable to stop one from thinking. Most anxious person are aware that their thoughts are irrational but feel unable to stop themselves. Here are a few ideas that might prove helpful in overcoming these difficult times and being able to sleep better.

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How Do I Survive Stress and Change?

Counselors, therapists and psychologists know that adjusting to change can be difficult for people. Change can offer us both positive and negative benefits. Understanding the issues of change can help us adapt better.

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Managing Stress and Anxiety

It’s not surprising that any type of stress can affect us. What we often overlook is that this tends to be a cumulative effect that can affect our tolerance for change, our likelihood of getting sick and even how much we might be able to adapt to new problems.

panic attack blur

What’s Wrong With Me? The Logic of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be overwhelming and exhausting, leaving us feeling out of control. You can feel your own heart beating in your chest, you start feeling numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, and you suddenly find yourself afraid of going crazy, dying or possibly losing control. This cycle can grow and become a vicious circle from which it seems as if there’s no escape. Understanding what is happening and the fears behind panic can help us to better control ourselves.

Marriage Counselor

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Am I Codependent?

Counselors, therapists and psychologists frequently talk about co-dependent relationships as something that is not healthy. Understanding dysfunctional relationships requires that we examine how we approach relating to other people who are important to us.

wedding rings

How Can I Trust After an Affair?

Affairs happen for many reasons The main wound is that trust and comfort in the security of the relationship has been shattered.  The fact that we all search for security makes any violation of the relationship, either mental, spiritual, or sexual, much more upsetting. The fact that one is not expecting it, or that it was not part of the assumption about how the relationship would progress and operate, causes traumatic responding. It violates the hopes and expectations that one can be really who they […]

Eugene Therapy

How Divorce Affects Children

Divorce is difficult for all concerned. The adults are hurt, defensive, confused, frightened, and respond by a desire to for revenge and defensiveness. Children are confused and uncertain about what to do or where they belong. Understanding a few factors is critical to everyone’s continuing healthy development.

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How Do I Come to Terms with my Divorce?

Divorce, or the loss of a relationship, is a very difficult time for all concerned.  It brings out many emotions, causes much confusion, and affects children, adults, parents, and the community.  Relationships are important to our lives and it is difficult for us to experience the loss of them.

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How Do I Deal with Relationship Conflict?

Healthy families, and couples, know that everyone, and every family, has problems. We want to live in a society that tries to force us to believe that only bad people have problems. The reality is that we all have issues that we have to deal with and solve if we are to be functional and healthy.

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How Do I Improve My Communication Skills With My Partner?

Learning to communicate together takes practice and time. You have to agree to work on it together and use several important steps. Understanding these important steps will help improve communication between you and your partner.

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How Do I Know If I am Ready to Date Again?

After a painful divorce or if a relationship falls apart, it is important that we take a honest look and understand why the relationship fell apart to ensure that we are whole and ready before we can be a good partner to someone else. Getting involved in a new relationship or getting re-married because you are bored or lonely will only ensure the same disaster and heartache that you have already experienced. We do this to avoid struggling, growing and learning to live as a […]

Eugene Therapy

How Do I Know if My Partner is Cheating on Me?

Relationships go through many stages, ups and downs, good times and bad. Most of the time we get through these difficult periods. At times, our intuition tells us that the relationship is in the midst of a crisis. Affairs can threaten your trust in the relationship. Understanding the critical clues to an affair can help keep things calm in difficult times.

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How Sex and Affairs Act Like an Antidepressant

What is it that causes people to become involved in extra-marital affairs? There are multiple reasons that affairs happen. What has rarely been explored is how depression is a strong motivating factor in the initiation and continuing nature of affairs. Understanding a number of factors might be of some help in thinking as one finds themselves trapped in temptation.

Trauma and Crisis in a Marriage

Is My Past Trauma Causing Issues in My Marriage?

We have a tendency to believe that our marriage will “always be there” and never be in crisis. We also realize that all relationships have their ups and downs, and this helps prepare us for difficulties down the road. However, when a significant crisis or traumatic event happens, the stability of any relationship can be put in jeopardy. Understanding a few key concepts can help us to “manage” these difficult times in healthier ways.

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Should I Stay Married or Get Divorced?

All marriages have difficult times that at times can seem overwhelming and confusing.  We all ask the question about whether or not it is worth the efforts to stay married. The question of, “Should I stay or should I go” weighs heavily on us. Sometimes, we end up stuck with the conflicting thought that our partner is too good to leave, but too bad to stay.

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The Different Stages of Marriage

Marriage is most open to crisis when it is rigid and inflexible. Whatever won’t bend will break, or push others away. Rigid people, who expect specific roles in relationships only create more crises at different relationship developmental points. When the relationship demands that there be isolation from outside supports, such as family, the focus becomes one of control and fear. Problems can also develop when the relationship is seen as needing to be on the high of a romance.

Gottman Method

What is Gottman Method Couples Therapy?

Some patients prefer to use a specific type of Relationship Counseling called the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy. Based on Dr. John Gottman’s research from the 1970’s, this type of therapy is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy in one’s relationship.

stadium alone

Why Do I Keep Choosing the Wrong Person?

We sometimes wonder why we get ourselves into difficult relationships that “turn out bad” when they seemed so “promising” at the beginning. Sometimes we notice ourselves continuing to “pick the wrong ones” over and over again and cannot figure out what is happening. Many times we attribute it to the other person and think that there are so many “wrong people out there” that we just better “stay away” or “put up with it.” Understanding a few issues will be of a great deal of […]

fight karate

Why Does it Hurt So Much When We Fight?

The process of “becoming a couple” is filled with many emotions, feelings, attitudes, risking and identification with another person. Relationship problems happen when these same emotions are injured in any way.  When one “sees and hears” much blaming and emotions between a couple, it is clear that there has been an “attachment bond injury” that has to be healed before the relationship can continue and be healed.

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Why Does My Marriage Feel Like a Trap?

The Freedom of Choice is the most valued factor in our lives. Human beings will do most anything to insure that they can have choice in all of their decisions. Much of what counselors, therapists and psychologists hear in therapy is related to a sense that the individual does not have a sense of choice in their lives. When we feel an obligation to do something, being forced to do what others want, we resist. This is made worse when there is a sense of […]


Shame and Guilt

Shame and Guilt – The Past, Future, and Present

People who suffer depression and anxiety frequently spend much of their time feeling shame about the past or worrying about the future. It comes as no surprise that this is a more common problem that we face every day than we’d like to admit to ourselves. How we understand feelings of guilt and shame helps us to focus and deal with these immobilizing emotions.

Chronic Pain

back pain

Fibromyalgia Back Pains

Patients faced with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia are many times left confused by this mysterious disease. This can result in feeling lost and confused, wondering “what is wrong with me?” This is complicated by the fact that many health care professionals know little about this problem or what might be of help for it. The information presented here is only a brief overview of this disorder.  Use this as the start of your quest to find out more about this important and prevalent disorder.

Fibromyalgia impact

Fibromyalgia Treatment in the Primary Care Setting

This article discusses some of the different approaches in the treatment of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) in the primary care setting. However, this approach can be adapted towards multiple clinical treatment settings, such as behavioral/mental health.

cope chronic pain

How to Talk with Friends and Family About Chronic Pain

Sometimes people with chronic pain give up trying to explain things because they feel misunderstood, saying things like, I don’t want to be a whiner, I’m afraid they’ll think I’m a hypochondriac, or No one can understand. So how do you tell someone what it feels like within your body?

pain sports

Pain Coping Skills

Life is full of stressors, from jobs or co-workers we don’t like, to cars that break down, from teenagers who act out to bills to pay. How anyone copes with stress is important but it is particularly important for people who also suffer from chronic pain. Here’s why.


Pre-Surgical Evaluations for Chronic Pain

The goal of a pre-surgical evaluation is to determine which patients will have the best chance of responding to surgery. Some patients will be poor responders to surgical intervention regardless of how successful the procedure may be. Here’s what you should know.


The Best Way to Take Pain Medication

Over the years there has been a great deal of research and practical experience around the issue of how best to take one’s pain medication. Understanding a few issues might assist you with having the best response to your medications.

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The Impact of Chronic Pain

Having chronic pain affects self-image, relationships and interrupts life plans. It constricts physical and emotional abilities. It’s frequently not understood or accepted by many people.

adult pain

The Key Factors That Stop Progress

No one likes to experience pain, injury, limitations, or any chronic problem that interferes with our ability to be fully functional. Many things can stop one from becoming healthy and healing from injury and pain problems. Recovering from any type of chronic health problem requires understanding a number of factors.


Treatment and Fibromyalgia

Effective treatment must involve both behavioral/psychological and physical approaches to managing pains. Improvement is a step-by-step process, with periods of relapses and flare-ups, which require the patient being active in their own care. The course of treatment can be slow and take time with a large focus on being able to manage one’s pain over time.


great white shark

How to Swim with the “Difficult Sharks” in our Lives

No one WANTS to swim with sharks. However, difficult people are, by their very nature, sharks: Aggressive, territorial, and tribal. When we unexpectedly find ourselves dealing with a difficult person, we assume that they will “play fair”. In our desire to “get along with others”, we often make the situation worse. In reality, we have no choice but to learn how to identify and respond assertively without being “eaten alive”.


Local Resources

  • Emergency: 911
  • White Bird Crisis Clinic, 541-687-4000. White Bird’s Crisis Center provides 24-hour emergency response for anyone dealing with a mental health crisis, including thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
  • Sexual Assault Support Services of Lane County (SASS), 541-343-7277. Crisis and support lines are available 24 hours a day to those who have recently experienced a sexual assault, survivors of past sexual violence, and for friends, families or partners of those victimized by sexual assault or abuse.
  • Womenspace, 541-485-6513. 24-hour Help Line for issues of domestic violence/relationship abuse.
  • PeaceHealth University District ER: 1255 Hilyard St., Eugene 541-686-7300
  • PeaceHealth RiverBend ER: 3333 RiverBend Dr., Springfield 541-222-6931

National Resources

  • Emergency: 911
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1- 800-799-7233
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
  • Lifeline Crisis Chat
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “START” TO 741-741
  • Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
  • Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
  • Planned Parenthood Hotline: 1-800-230-PLAN (7526)
  • American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
  • National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line: 1-800-622-2255
  • National Crisis Line – Anorexia and Bulimia: 1-800-233-4357
  • GLBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
  • TREVOR Crisis Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
  • AIDS Crisis Line: 1-800-221-7044