Stephanie Winn, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
Most people find me genuine, disarming, warm, direct, attuned, and eloquent. But I like to surprise people, so, who knows?
All joking aside, each therapeutic relationship is unique. Your experience of working with me will be affected by a variety of influences: your hopes, fears, and expectations; our unique synergy together; your past experiences in therapy, and in significant relationships; and so on. I am present moment focused with relational-psychodynamic therapy forming part of my foundation, so your feelings toward me as we are working together might be relevant to explore in and of themselves.
Beyond that, there’s a lot we can do.
Do the ups and downs of ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, a highly nervous system, or hormonal mood swings make it hard to trust yourself? I can help you develop and implement strategies to balance your energy and reach goals more consistently.
Do you find yourself caught in shame spirals, beating yourself up over the past, or panicking about the future? I can help you recognize the relational experiences, unhelpful beliefs, and mental filters that have stood in the way of your ability to pursue freedom and happiness. I can help you tell a new story about yourself, how you got here, and what’s possible for your future.
Have you experienced narcissistic emotional abuse, childhood neglect, or harmful religious messages? I can help you work through the pain and come out the other side with a strong sense of self and healthy emotional boundaries.
Do you struggle to take care of yourself? We will work together on forming a practical plan that suits your lifestyle while making sure you are eating well, exercising, sleeping, and nurturing your spirit.
Are you in a relationship(s) that doesn’t fit the norms of society or the expectations of your family? It’s okay to talk to me about it.
Are you and your partner(s) stuck in repetitive dead-end arguments or a conflict-avoidant freeze? I will assess how you’ve polarized based on attachment styles, family patterns, trauma, archetypes, core emotions, basic fears, drives, and universal human needs. I can then intervene in subtle but profound ways to halt dysfunction and reframe your dilemmas in ways that are loving and kind. I model empathy, mind-body awareness and compassionate communication skills as you learn to heal and reconnect.
All work is online, including a free initial consultation; intake documents; and telehealth visits. Individuals, couples and families alike can all expect “homework” between sessions to help you reach your goals quickly.
Qualifications & background: long story long
After earning my BA in Environmental Studies summa cum laude at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I spontaneously changed direction and decided to focus my activist work instead on the transformation of the inner world. I began studying integral counseling psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies. During graduate school there, my coursework addressed:
therapeutic communication skills, such as reflective listening, validation, inquiry, attunement, and nonviolent communication;
the clinical relationship, including establishing an intuitive and healing rapport with clients, building trust, and understanding transference and countertransference;
child therapy, with an emphasis on non-directive play-therapy;
family therapy, informed by family systems theory, structural and strategic approaches;
couples therapy, influenced by attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, Gottman, and Emotion Focused;
substance use, with an emphasis on motivational interviewing;
Gestalt therapy, including teaching of present moment awareness, understanding polarities, and facilitating parts work;
integral theory, incorporating yoga and philosophy;
psychodynamic psychotherapy, a gateway to the unconscious;
developmental psychology, the ways in which our neural wiring and social capacities evolve and are influenced throughout the lifespan; and
psychopathology, the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders.
My graduate school practicum placement was at an elementary school. Children whose parents or teachers were concerned for them would come to me for non-directive play therapy, a developmentally appropriate tool for helping children process their emotions. As a play therapist I empathically attuned to and reflected the emotions and significant relationship dynamics (e.g., perceptions of how mom and dad get along) that the child was intuitively, symbolically representing through their play; sometimes viscerally, sometimes verbally.
In 2013, I graduated with my Master of Arts in Integral Counseling Psychology, and began working my first full time mental health position as counselor and admissions coordinator at a residential treatment facility for young adults with psychosis and complex trauma in Oakland, CA. I took referrals; screened and assessed potential residents; arranged transitions into and out of the facility; counseled residents one-on-one; taught life skills to groups; and resolved interpersonal conflicts.
I then moved to Portland, OR, and arranged to transfer my intern status and supervised hours between states. In 2015-16, I worked with Native American youth and families involved in the foster care system. I did non-directive play therapy with children; family therapy addressing complex intergenerational trauma; counseling for at-risk adolescents; and couples therapy. I completed my remaining supervised internship hours, then applied for and aced the AMFTRB National Examination, thus completing licensure requirements for my licensure.
In 2016, I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Oregon. I left agency work for a more secure position treating adolescents, adults and couples at a large group practice that managed some business aspects for clinicians. I also ran therapy groups there, most notably The Wounded Healer, a support group for compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout. I stayed there until 2020.
I planned my private practice in February 2020, and gave notice to my former employer just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic becoming influential in the US. Following through on the risky endeavor of starting my own business in the midst of a novel crisis turned out to bring success. Working from home doing telehealth with clients of my own choosing, on my own schedule, has been delightful. Now, I practice however I want, and that is ever evolving. Suffice to say, my relationships with my clients bring me meaning and delight.
I live a life of beauty, contemplation, and self-care. This means that I nourish my mind, as well as my body, remaining an active learner. Per the requirements of my field’s governing board, I am obliged to tell you in my Professional Disclosure Statement that I regularly participate in continuing education. But this statement on its own could be misleading, to whatever extent it implies that a therapist’s learning process is limited to the act of meeting requirements deemed necessary and appropriate by an elect panel of authorities. I am more interested in lifelong learning and curious engagement with the world. At the moment I write this, I am between videos in a series on Internal Family Systems that will qualify toward my Continuing Education Unit requirements. But I find equal value, intellectual stimulation, and professional growth in the process of integrating wisdom across a variety of disciplines and medias. My information sources include books, audiobooks, videos, podcasts, articles, scholarly journals, and mentorship. I reflect on ideas, synthesize, and integrate concepts through speaking and writing. Current fields of interest include social and behavioral psychology, ecology, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, astronomy, and cultural anthropology. All of these can be valuable parts of therapeutic dialogue.