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lMy name is Dr. Dawnn McWatters, Psy.D., and I’m a licensed psychologist in Portland, Oregon. For the past 15+ years, I’ve offered mindfulness-based individual psychotherapy, in addition to educational workshops, groups, and classes.

Update: Effective June 5th, 2019, I have retired as an individual psychotherapist. I’m deeply grateful to the many individuals I’ve had the opportunity to work with throughout my career.

Please check back soon for updates and offerings from The SAVOR Project, where we grow food literacy, resiliency, and mindfulness skills. Join the mindful eating movement and reclaim your relationship with food!

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Recently, my 9-year-old daughter came home from school and shared an event that had happened during recess while playing a game known as “deadly tick tock” on the tire swing. She’d flashed back to a memory of our family’s car accident the July before, and remembered some scary details surrounding her dad’s head injury. Needless to say, she became upset, and she didn’t know what to do.

This is an especially emotionally-laden example but the reality is that life crashes into each of us, in some shape or form. We’ve all had difficult days, at work or at home – and there are more to come, as long as we wake up breathing. Life is glorious…and challenging, and messy. When our bodies feel as if we are in the middle of a four-alarm stress fire and we’re not sure where to turn, we might benefit from a self-compassionate first aid kit. Continue Reading »

Women of Worth3In addition to food literacy and mindful eating training, I’ve always felt passionate about supporting mothers, especially as it relates to navigating our own emotions and balancing competing needs. Although much of my work has been 1:1 in the psychotherapy office, I’ve also facilitated workshops on self-care for parents and for caregivers, and taught basic mindfulness skills to parents who’ve attended my community presentations over the years.  As I’m prepare to retire from my role as a psychotherapist, I’m eager to lead such workshops again. Let’s make it happen! Continue Reading »

Yes! This still stands 🙂

The SAVOR Project

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As farm-to-school programs, community gardens, CSAs, and farmer’s markets grow in number, more individuals are participating in and gaining an appreciation for the entire food cycle, from growing their food to procuring, preparing, cooking, and savoring it. First Lady Michelle Obama’s famous White House Garden will continue under the stewardship of new First Lady Melania Trump, who said: “Gardening teaches us the fundamentals in care and the evolution of living things, all while inspiring us to nurture our minds and to relax and strengthen our bodies.”

Here at A Mindful Meal, I’m not just a psychologist and mindful eating educator, but I’m also a cook, hobby farmer, and food justice activist. I love food from just about every angle, and part of my mission is to help reconnect you to meaningful experiences with food, too.

In the book Mindful Eating,Dr. Jan Chosen Bays, MD

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As I wind down the final month of my practice as a psychotherapist, things are exploding (in a good way) at home on our little farm. But rest assured, I’m hard at work growing the SAVOR Project, as well, and updates will be coming soon!

In the meantime, here are a few farm shots. I love playing in the dirt so very much. Some of these herbs will show up as plant starts in a future SAVOR workshop – maybe my Back to Food Basics, exploring food literacy through a variety of fun mindful eating exercises, in the fall?

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Check out this article from Scientific American on the benefits of self-compassion (today and everyday!).

Hollywood winter farmers market 2019Did you know: Food literacy is one of the modules of The SAVOR Project (coming soon!), in addition to Mindful Eating (all about mindful and intuitive eating), Sow to Savor (basics of growing food, accessible to any lifestyle or living situation), and Cultivating Resiliency (which includes guidance on how to care for our amazing, precious bodies). Continue Reading »

Growing SAVOR

recommended books

Just a few of the texts I’m drawing from as I develop the online SAVOR for mind/body health program. Cultivate mindfulness, self-compassion, acceptance, and inner wisdom in the New Year.