Sophie Toolanen, LPC 
       I am a Portland, OR based psychotherapist specializing in deepening insight into the self, understanding personality dynamics, healing from trauma (big or small), and effectively managing emotions.  I counsel  individuals who are looking to deepen their understanding of themselves, mental illness, life struggles, and emotional distress.  I focus on helping people identify how their past influences their present, finding solutions for overcoming problems and barriers, more effectively managing stress, and healing from trauma, disappointment, hardship, addiction, and grief.   Ultimately I hope to help you achieve greater sustained happiness and life satisfaction.

What therapy is like with me
          My clients often experience me as kind, patient, curious, open-minded, relaxed but focused, and humorous. I strive to be as insightful and non-judgmental as I can be in each and every session.  A few things I love about providing therapy...
- Helping others gain new insight or a new perspective 
- Being able to provide a safe environment where people can share things they may never have talked about before
- Being a guide and witness to those on the journey of self-reflecting, reprocessing, discovering, healing, and re-building 
- Helping others find and refine the skills they NEED in  order to cope, or the  skills they WANT in order to thrive  

My Therapeutic Approach
     Some may describe my modality as psychodynamic (identifying unconscious drives) or insight oriented overall, but I can be solution focused and direct (CBT/DBT) in my interventions if that is preferred. I use eclectic interventions to suit your needs and preferences. I often work from a schema driven framework that looks to uncover the subconscious fears and needs that motivate our actions. It involves identifying how we view ourselves and others and what beliefs and feelings have been driving us, then looking at how we can put a healthier, happier, and more aware version of ourselves in the driver’s seat.            
        I think of myself as the curious, stable, and knowledgeable assistant to the lead detective on a case, with you as the lead and your life as the case.

Background & Education

      I started my career in human services over a decade ago working with the intellectually (developmentally) disabled, then continued my work with those affected by HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. As I transitioned into the world of psychotherapy, my focus turned to trauma, attachment, mood and personality disorders.
     I am a licensed professional counselor and received my Masters in Counseling from Eastern University in Pennsylvania in 2010. My Masters training focused on blending a Psychodynamic insight oriented approach with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). My work in Philadelphia extensively trained and immersed me in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which deepened my understanding of attachment and abuse trauma and how to effectively implement coping strategies. I am fully trained in EMDR therapy (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). I like to use EMDR and IFS based interventions as a tool for alleviating emotional distress, and loosening rigidly held core beliefs about ourselves and the world, stemming from traumatic experiences

Clinical/Disorder Specializations
- Trauma / PTSD
- Anxiety/Panic
- Self-acceptance & Self-esteem building
- Mild to moderate addictions (dependence, abuse, or dissatisfaction with use)
- Adults (particularly 25-65)
- Personality Disorders (particularly Borderline & Histrionic)

Modalities & Specializations:
-EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
     *To learn more about EMDR please visit 
-Psychodynamic / Schema
-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
-Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Contact Me

Portland, OR 97217

New client openings are infrequent and unpredictable, but if you think I would be a good fit for you please reach out to me via e-mail.