Welcome to a Mindful Meal, dedicated to improving mind/body health through the application of empirically supported compassionate-awarenessinterventions.

My name is Dr. Dawnn McWatters, Psy.D., and I’m a licensed psychologist in independent practice in downtown Portland, Oregon. I offer individual psychotherapy to clients 18+ years of age as well as educational classes, workshops, and groups.

Fall 2018: My office will be closed on Monday, September 10th, and Wednesday, September 19th. I am currently prioritizing new clients who are seeking help for binge or “emotional” eating issues, although I am happy to consult with other individuals as well. Please note that I am no longer accepting new Cigna, Providence, or UnitedHealthcare insurance plan members.  

If you are interested in working with me, please take a look around and read this post to learn how to become established as a client. Once we’ve scheduled our initial intake appointment, you can download the new client packet.

Thanks for visiting, and do return soon!

A sneak peek

20180915_153044A few shots of my new office space, to help everyone find me in the coming weeks – this first view is of my waiting area, a third-floor landing that I share with several other psychologists and businesses. You’ll find a restroom on this floor, as well as on each floor of the building. Continue Reading »


4762000_l-Man-covered-by-lots-of-cardboard-boxes-moving-concept-810x540I’ve moved many times in my twelve years of private practice. And this weekend, barely after I’ve finished hanging art work and arranging (and re-arranging) furniture in my newest space, I will need to move once more.

A mentor once commented on how quickly we can move through life transitions. Sadly, this is true – sometimes out of necessity, other times out of avoidance of emotions that are triggered by particularly difficult transitions. I use writing to make sense of things, so permit me a brief, somewhat nostalgic review of offices – past and current:  Continue Reading »

20180828_105302.jpgFor those that follow me here or on my business Facebook page, you’ve seen my postings on the therapeutic benefits of gardening. When I’m not in the office, I’m usually either working on my hobby farm, writing, or parenting. This morning, I was struck yet again regarding the parallels that run beneath these varied experiences of being human.

Continue Reading »

Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness bookI was delighted to receive this book in the mail recently – not only is Dr. Treleaven’s book a long-awaited and valuable contribution to the field of scientific mindfulness-based programs, but it is also a timely exploration of the relationship between trauma, privilege, power, and oppression.

From an article he wrote recently:

“Trauma is not just an individual tragedy—it is rooted in larger social systems that shape our lives. When we peel back the layers of a traumatic experience, we find that they’re bound up within a larger social context.” Safety is an essential ingredient in the development of any self-awareness practice.

Sharing-meal-eating-habits_blogCheck out the NPR podcast, the Hidden Brain, interviewing a social scientist who has spent his career investigating our relationship with food.


Rainbow heart of fruits and vegetables


A must-read article, which explores the notion that “food, and the very rituals of eating, could also have the power to heal afflictions of the mind.” Check out the following statements by Jeffrey Zurofsky, the culinary director of a treatment center in California, who also sits on an advisory board at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts:

“It’s not just that food can affect and change emotions…but that the entire act of eating, the physical process—farm to table in the most literal sense—can be analogous to the trauma healing process.

We talk about understanding of, and comprehension around, what is the true healing power of this food,” he says. “The ideas around the transformative power of not just food, but the table, and the context in which we enjoy our food, and the memories we create, and the social connections that we make in that experience—how powerful that is to heal us.”

Zurofsky even has a name for the approach: the meal as medicine.


Words to live by, in 2018 as well!

a Mindful Meal

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