Phyllis M. Richardson, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Approach & Orientation

My general approach to psychotherapy is to begin with what each individual brings to the work. I believe we are multi-faceted beings with strengths and weaknesses, and it makes sense to identify and build on strengths. As humans, we have physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Also, we live in a social world and in a culture that has strengths and weaknesses as well. As we try to get along with others and meet our cultural expectations, sometimes we can get into trouble. When we are not as healthy or as happy as we would like to be, it is important to assess the problem on all levels and to begin to make changes in a planful way.

The role of the therapeutic relationship cannot be underestimated. The work known as psychotherapy requires the therapist to be positive, supportive, and trustworthy. It is my intention to be emotionally present for each client in each meeting.

Theoretical Orientation

My work is grounded in a basic knowledge of psychodynamics, as it is evolving to incorporate trauma and attachment research. I understand that we all learn to interact with other people and to see ourselves through our relationships with our parents (and other significant caregivers). Sometimes, these patterns are so unique to a particular family that they do not translate well into an individual's adulthood. Psychodynamic psychotherapy can help people understand and modify old beliefs about self and others and old behaviors that are no longer serving them. While working with this model as a base, I do so in a way that is influenced by Eastern thought, mind/body research, brain research, and ideas stemming from new physics. (I personally have experience with martial arts, yoga, and meditation.)

I utilize well-documented and effective techniques from other approaches as the need arises, such as:

  • Behavioral Interventions are useful to help people move toward a healthy lifestyle and change specific behaviors.
  • Cognitive Techniques can help people change behavior and perception by retraining thinking patterns.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is helpful in resolving trauma and adjusting core beliefs.
  • Ego-State Therapy is helpful in identifying differing motivations and perceptions within an individual, with the goal of feeling more "at one" with oneself.
  • Lifespan Integration is also helpful in identifying differing states of mind, understanding problem behaviors, and resolving trauma.

1112 NE 21st Ave., Suite. #5
Portland, OR 97232
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