Portland Psychotherapy Year in Review – 2022

It has been a year of change, both within Portland Psychotherapy and in our broader community. This year has been an opportunity for us to reflect on the larger impact of our actions, both as individuals and as an organization. We are aware that we do not act in isolation and that we could not do the work we are doing without the support of so many others, including you all. We are incredibly grateful for each of you and wanted to share a bit about what your support has helped us do this past year.

Expanding our in-person and telehealth services for adults, kids, and couples

This has been a time of rapid expansion of our staff and thus in our ability to serve our community’s needs. Our 2022-2023 training program cohort is the largest group we’ve had to date and includes four exceptional postdoctoral fellows and two advanced practicum students. This includes second-year postdoctoral fellow and licensed psychologist Meredith Tittler, Ph.D., psychologist residents Rachel Marsh, Ph.D., Natalia A. Velásquez, Psy.D., and Jason Feinberg, Ph.D., and advanced practicum trainees Akeesha Simmons, M.S., and Steven Mendoza, M.A.They are able to see adults, kids, adolescents, and couples as part of our general outpatient program and in our anxiety specialty clinic. They are able to see clients on a sliding scale ranging from as low as $20 per session.

We have also added several licensed psychologists to our staff, each of whose specialization will allow us to greatly expand the services we’re able to offer. We are thrilled that our former postdoctoral fellow, Han Tran, Ph.D. has decided to stay on to work with us as a licensed psychologist. Han’s focus is on working with individuals struggling with shame and self-criticism, PTSD and other trauma-related difficulties, depression and anxiety. She has a particular interest in working with ethnically diverse clients, including those who have immigrated to the U.S. Licensed psychologist Azur Jafari, Ph.D. specializes in working with adolescents ages 13+ and adults, especially those struggling with anxiety-related difficulties, body and gender concerns, and PTSD. In addition, Azur joins the team of providers here who can offer psychedelic harm reduction and integration services.

We are also excited to have two new licensed psychologists join our child and adolescent services program. Adabel Lee, Ph.D. works with children and adolescents of all ages around a wide range of difficulties including depression, parenting issues, anxiety, trauma, behavioral challenges, and adjustment. Adabel especially loves working with very young kiddos ages 0-5 and their parents. The newest psychologist to our child and adolescent program, Tabi Evans, Psy.D., works with children and adolescents, especially those with co-occurring medical conditions and transgender and gender diverse youth and their families.

Portland Psychotherapy is now able to take OHP!

For the past year, we have been working with a DEI consulting firm to examine our policies and practices so that our organization can do more to help dismantle systemic racism and other forms of oppression. Through that process we realized that probably the single most impactful step we could take would be to take Medicaid/OHP, so that we could serve clients from a wider range of backgrounds. We have now gone through the very long process of getting ready now can see clients with Open Card, Trillium and Care Oregon/Healthshare of Multnomah/Washington/Clackamas counties. This greatly expands our ability to bring high quality, evidence-based mental health services to all in our community, including those in frequently underserved communities. We have also hired Adabel Lee, Ph.D., who has extensive experience in California’s Medicaid system, to be ournew OHP Services Coordinator to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our OHP clients.

The First FDA-approved MDMA-assisted therapy clinical research trial in the Pacific Northwest is happening at Portland Psychotherapy

Portland Psychotherapy operates on a unique social enterprise model. All of the profits generated by the organization go to fund endeavors contributing to the greater social good. Scientific research is one of the main ways we can use our skills and resources toward that end.

In our most ambitious research endeavor to date, we are currently running an FDA-approved clinical trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder. Our research team, which includes Jason Luoma, Ph.D. (PI), Kyong Yi, LCSW, Brian Pilecki, Ph.D., & Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D. (study therapists) Kati Lear, Ph.D. (project director), and Sarah Smith, B.S. (clinical research coordinator) and numerous other collaborators have all been working very hard to get this multi-year clinical trial up and running. If you’d like to find out more information, you can visit our study website at https://portlandmdmatherapy.com/.

The following are our publications from the past year (bold are Portland Psychotherapy authors): 

Linde, J., Luoma, J. B., Rück, C., Ramnero, J., & Lundgren, T. (under review) Acceptance and Compassion-Based Therapy Targeting Shame in Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Multiple Baseline Study. Behavior Modification.

Luoma, J. B., Pilecki, B., Davis, A.K., Smith, S. M. (in press). Predictors of attitudes toward psychedelics among psychologists in the USA. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy.

Arch, J.J., Fishbein, J. N., Finkelstein, L.B., & Luoma, J. B. (in press). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Mediation and Processes: Problems and How to Address Them. Behavior Therapy.

Thompson, B. L. (in press). Is ACT-informed exposure a viable treatment for excoriation disorder? A multiple baseline study. Behavior Modification.

Kozina, R. M., Lear, M. K., Stacy, S. E., Kern, S. M., Ripley, A. J., & Clapp, J. D. (In press). Moderating effects of brooding on the link between functional impairment and interpersonal needs in survivors of serious trauma. Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Vetrova…Luoma, J. B., et al. (in press). HIV and substance use stigma, intersectional stigma and healthcare among HIV-positive PWID in Russia. AIDS and Behavior.

Agin-Liebes, G., Zeifman, R., Luoma, J. B., Garland, E. L., Campbell, W. K., & Weiss, B. (2022). Prospective examination of the therapeutic role of psychological flexibility and cognitive reappraisal in the ceremonial use of ayahuasca. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 36(3), 295–308.

Lear, M. K., Lee, E., Smith, S., & Luoma, J. B., et al. (2022). Systematic Review of Measures of Generalized Shame. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 78(7), 1288-1330.

Luoma, J. B. (2022). MDMA-Assisted Therapy as a Means to Treat Social Anxiety Disorder. MAPS Bulletin.

Yaden, D. B., Earp, D., Graziosi, M., Friedman-Wheeler, D., Luoma, J. B., Johnson, M. W. (in press). Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches as Default. Frontiers in Psychology.

Rossi, S.L., Sereda, Y., Luoma, J. B., et a. (2021). Addressing intersectional stigma as a care barrier for HIV-positive people who inject drugs: Design of an RCT in St. Petersburg, Russia. Contemporary Clinical Trial Communications, 24, 100861.

Looking to the Future

As we look back on this year it is with profound gratitude for the meaningful work we continue to be able to do and for the support of everyone in our community that has enabled us to continue to fulfill our mission. We also look to the future, for new possibilities it may hold for our community and our world.

Portland Psychotherapy is now taking OHP!

After months and months of work and paperwork, we are pleased to announce that Portland Psychotherapy is now taking OHP. We are in network with:

  • Trillium
  • Care Oregon/Healthshare of Multnomah/Washington/Clackamas counties
  • Open Card

For the past year, we have been working with a DEI consulting firm to examine our policies and practices so that our organization can do more to help dismantle systemic racism and other forms of oppression. Through that process we realized that probably the single most impactful step we could take would be to take Medicaid/OHP, so that we could serve clients from a wider range of backgrounds. We have now gone through the very long process of getting ready to make this shift. Whew it’s been a lot of work, but we’re glad we’ve done it.

This greatly expands our ability to bring high quality, evidence-based mental health services to all in our community, including those in frequently underserved communities. As part of this effort, we hired Adabel Lee, Ph.D., who has extensive experience in California’s Medicaid system, to be our new OHP Services Coordinator to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our OHP clients.  

If you are interested in looking into our OHP services as a provider or a client, you can contact us here.

Portland Psychotherapy’s Clinical Trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder: Recruitment Underway!

Many have been watching as the psychedelic renaissance has taken off and more clinical trials for psychedelic-assisted therapy have begun. Here at Portland Psychotherapy, our research team has been working tirelessly to prepare for our Clinical Trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), recently mentioned in the MAPS Investigator-Initiated Trial update here. Our trial aims to test the efficacy and safety of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for SAD, as well as identify and examine how MDMA-assisted therapy works.

Once screened into the study, participants will be randomized into two groups – one group will proceed  immediately into treatment and the other will receive treatment after a delay. Both groups will receive two MDMA-assisted therapy sessions, as well as preparation sessions before and integration sessions after the MDMA-assisted therapy sessions.

Recruitment has begun!

We recently started recruitment and are screening volunteers to see if they are eligible. If you are interested in looking into being a participate or want to let someone else know more about trial, we have an informational page on the website.

To stay in the loop about our trial milestones and updates, you can sign up for our mailing list here.

To learn more about our study, including our team, how to donate, information about the study procedure, or how to participate, please visit our website.

Showcasing Portland Psychotherapy’s Work at the ACBS Conference 

The Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) – a professional membership organization – has an annual conference, where researchers and clinicians from around the world gather to present research related to Contextual Behavioral Science and attend trainings and workshops. For the ACBS World Conference 2022, Portland Psychotherapy has 18 accepted presentations! Below is a list of the presentations we are doing so that people can have a sense of what we do and how our business model supports research. The presentations include, but are not limited to, topics on MDMA-Assisted Therapy and Social Anxiety Disorder, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Values-based Practice, Shame, and Open Science Practices. The accepted abstracts are listed below. 

  1. Let Values Be Your Guide: An Introduction to a Values-Guided Approach to Therapy – Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D. and Jason Luoma, Ph.D.  
  1. How to be Experiential in Acceptance and Commitment TherapyJason Luoma, Ph.D., Kati Lear, Ph.D., and Brian Pilecki, Ph.D
  1. Psychological Flexibility processes in a stigma coping intervention based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for people with HIV who inject drugs: An RCT in St. Petersburg, RussiaJason Luoma, Sarah Rossi, Yulia Sereda, Nikolai Pavlov, Olga Toussova, Marina Vetrova, Sally Bendiks, Tetiana Kiriazova, Evgeny Krupitsky, Dmitry Lioznov, Elena Blokhina, Sara Lodi, Karsten Lunze 
  1. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Mediation and Processes: Problems and How to Address ThemJason Luoma, Ph.D., Joanna Arch, Ph.D., Joel Fishbein, M.A., and Lauren Finkelstein 
  1. Study Protocol and Proposed Processes of Change in a Pilot Study of MDMA-Assisted Therapy and Social Anxiety Disorder – Jason Luoma, Ph.D., Kati Lear, Ph.D., Brian Pilecki, Ph.D., Sarah Smith 
  1. Inflexible self-criticism as shame-avoidance in social anxiety: Results from a daily diary study – Kati Lear, Ph.D., Sarah Smith, Ben Shahar, Ph.D., and Jason Luoma, Ph.D
  1. Experiential avoidance among high self-critics: the role of expressive suppression in response to positive-emotion eliciting stimuli – Meredith Tittler, Ph.D., Kati Lear, PhD. Christina Chwyl, M.S. Jason Luoma, Ph.D. 
  1. Panel: Values, Vulnerability, and Consensual Non-Monogamy – Mathias Funke, Dipl.-Psych. (Role: Presenting Author), Matthew D. Skinta, Ph.D., ABPP (Role: Presenting Author), Stephanie Dreis, M.S. (Role: Presenting Author), Sarah Levinson, LMSW (Role: Presenting Author), Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D. (Role: Discussant) 
  1. Panel: Variation with Vignettes: Responding to Clinical Presentations from Different Points on the Hexaflex – Lou Lasprugato, M.A. (Role: Chair), Richard Bennett, ClinPsyD (Role: Discussant), Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D. (Role: Presenting Author), Miranda Morris, PhD (Role: Presenting Author), Joe Oliver, PhD (Role: Presenting Author) 
  1. Wearing Your Hexaflex Goggles During ACT-informed Exposure – Brian Thompson, Ph.D., Joanne Chan, Psy.D., Brian Pilecki, Ph.D
  1. Processes of Change in Relation to the use of Psychedelics and MDMA for Therapeutic and Healing Purposes: Symposium chaired by Jason Luoma, Ph.D. 
  1. Psychedelics and ACT-Informed Harm Reduction and Integration Therapy (Workshop with Gregory Wells, Nathan Gates, and Brian Pilecki
  1. Getting ACT Out of the Office and Into Life: Novel Applications of ACT and CBS – Panel – Brian Pilecki, Ph.D
  1. Keynote Address: Psychedelics and Psychological Flexibility: ACBS as a Home for Psychedelic-Assisted TherapiesBrian Pilecki, Ph.D
  1. Invited Panel: Epiphany or Practice: Exploring the Processes of Change in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy – Brian Pilecki, Ph.D
  1. Auditing the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science for Open Science and Reproducibility PracticesKati Lear, Ph.D., Angelica Spata, Meredith Tittler, Ph.D., Joel Fishbein, M.A., Joanna Arch, Ph.D., and Jason Luoma, Ph.D. 
  1. Invited Panel: Processes Of Change and Mind-body RelationsJason Luoma, Ph.D. 
  1. More Than a Feeling: Contextual Approaches to Understanding and Intervening on Appetitive Control. Jenna LeJeune, Emily Sandoz, Kelly Wilson, and Pat Friman. 

How Well Does Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Work? Find Out from this New Comprehensive Review

A recent paper from Portland Psychotherapy researchers summarizes the results of the strongest research studies examining psychedelic-assisted therapy – placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials, the same kinds of studies that have been used to test COVID vaccines. Placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials are the “gold standard” for testing interventions – such as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy – where participants … Read more

What Makes Us Unique

Portland Psychotherapy is a clinic, research & training center with a unique business model that funds scientific research. This results in a team of therapists who are exceptionally well-trained and knowledgeable about their areas of specialty.