Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Using Awareness, Courage, Love, and Behaviorism to Improve your Relationships and your Life

Human beings thrive in connection. Research has repeatedly shown that we live healthier, happier, more vibrant lives when we are connected to others. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a research-based approach that uses the therapeutic relationship to help clients develop more satisfying and meaningful relationships.  Sometimes we have learned ineffective ways of relating to others because of our own fears, our past history in relationships, or simple habit.  FAP is designed to help you overcome these barriers and have more  deeply fulfilling relationships with yourself and others that might not have previously seemed possible. This type of therapy tends to be most transformative for people wanting to improve their relationships, or for people who notice a sense of dullness or a sense of something missing from their lives.

What can I expect in this type of therapy?

In FAP, you and your therapist will identify ways that you struggle with relationships.  You will then see if there are ways that those same struggles show up in the room with your therapist. And they often do because after all the common denominator between your relationships outside the therapy room and your relationship with your therapist is YOU!  Once you have identified the places where your relationship struggles overlap, your therapist will bring compassion and empathy but also directness and authenticity to these struggles while helping you identify and practice new behaviors in session. Then you will work together to take these new behaviors out into the relationships in your life that matter most.

What can I expect from my FAP therapist?

Clients often find therapy with a FAP therapist to be dynamic, connected, personal, and real.  FAP therapists practice the core principles of awareness, courage and love in their own lives and are willing to be authentic and vulnerable with their clients in order to help them grow.  We also practice noticing the ways that they are not effective in relationships because of fear, defensiveness, or old habits.  We  work to model openness and honesty about our own experience and remain committed to learning from each of their clients.  Many FAP therapists will tell you that courageously sharing ourselves and helping others to do the same helps us create deep, loving relationships in our lives.

Is FAP similar to any other types of therapy?

FAP is aligned with a set of research-based empirically therapies called Third Wave Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).  FAP is similar to ACT in many ways and is based on the same scientific theories, behaviorism and Relational Frame Theory. Like ACT and DBT, FAP therapy is a combination of working with acceptance and change, depending upon what is the most effective for you and your relationships.  FAP can be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies.

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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.