Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How do I get started?

Thanks for your interest! If you are interested in meeting with me, please take the following steps:

  1. Take a look around my website to get a sense of my approach. I’ve provided psychological services for over 17 years, and have recently made a shift to shorter-term, structured services that emphasize skill-building and psycho-education. I’m a good fit for many clients but also not shy about suggesting a colleague who might be even more helpful. Please note that I will be leaving my role as an individual psychotherapist at the end of August 2019, although I will continue to deliver educational services in the future. 
  2. If you would like to talk further, give me a call at (503) 367-9488. I typically return calls during weekday office hours. Please leave me a message that includes your name, number, and best times to reach you. I find it helpful to know about any scheduling preferences, and if you’d like to use a particular insurance plan. I am an in-network provider with BlueCross BlueShield, PacificSource, Aetna, and First Choice Health.
  3. Schedule your intake appointment. This initial session will last about 55-60 minutes and will give us both a chance to meet & confirm that it feels like a good fit. I’ll ask questions about your current concerns, listen to your story, and offer treatment recommendations based upon my mindfulness- based approach.
  4. Complete this new client packet prior to coming in for your intake appointment. If you need me to email it to you, or set it out early in my waiting room to complete prior to our session, just let me know. In addition, please take the self-compassion test and the ACE (adverse childhood experience) quiz; I’ll be interested in your scores and will talk with you about how past experiences (as well as self-compassion and resiliency) can impact well-being. As a side note, please be advised that I do not provide letters for emotional support animals; I’ve been receiving this request increasingly over the past year, and here is why I stick to my therapeutic role and do not engage in such evaluations.
  5. Check out this post for information on how to find my building and therapy office located at 2188 SW Park Place Suite 303, on the edge of NW Portland.
  6. Prepare to engage, experiment, and learn – moving forward together, we’ll discuss (and practice) ways of building awareness, strengthening skills and strategies, and increasing behaviors that are more in line with your goals and values. It’s time to get your life (and health) back – and unhook from the struggle!

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Teaching girls bravery, not perfection

How willing are you to face discomfort and take risks? Or have you learned that “getting it perfect” is the most important?

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Healthy SnackRead this great article reviewing the Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) program and how it helps with “emotional” or binge eating struggles:

“Traditional techniques for tackling the obesity epidemic often don’t take into account the strong drivers of eating: negative emotions, cravings and impulsivity, particularly in the face of highly palatable food,” says University of California, San Francisco, psychology professor Elissa Epel, PhD, who has collaborated with Kristeller on several research studies using MB-EAT. “Mindfulness training gives us more control over these strong drives and makes us more aware of the triggers of overeating that come from outside of us.”

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Words to live by…

between stimulus and response.jpg

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MP900178793“Two-thirds of Americans say they are stressed about the future of our nation, including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) report Stress in America™: Coping with Change.”


“These additional stressors may be affecting Americans’ health. The percentage of people reporting at least one health symptom because of stress rose from 71 percent to 80 percent over five months. A third of Americans have reported specific symptoms such as headaches (34 percent), feeling overwhelmed (33 percent), feeling nervous or anxious (33 percent) or feeling depressed or sad (32 percent)….”

What are your stress management strategies? Is it time to get a tune-up? Check out these resources available courtesy of the APA, or give me a call to schedule a few sessions of stress management “strength-training.”

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The following statement was released by my local professional association, the Oregon Psychological Association. A Mindful Meal is proud to endorse this statement, and I welcome all community members who are seeking psychotherapy services to my practice.

In light of recent events, the Board of Directors of OPA would like to be clear that we welcome people of all faiths and religious backgrounds irrespective of race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status. Additionally, we remain committed to upholding the APA Ethical Guidelines which make clear we must advocate for and protect the civil rights of others. We are steadfast in our commitment to standing with and as people; people of all races, ethnicities, immigration statuses, religions, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, ages, education levels, abilities, and sizes. You are welcome here.

In solidarity,

Dawnn R. McWatters, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist


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