Gemma Baumer, MA, LPC-Intern

Therapist

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic Therapy is person-centered, meaning you are the expert on your experience. It holds the inherent growth potential in each of us, and is influenced by positive psychology, looking not at pathology and what's "wrong" with us, but instead our inherent need for meaning, expansion, and connection. Humanistic therapy emphasizes a strong and connected therapeutic alliance that feels genuine and flexible. Rather than a treatment, humanistic therapy is about a journey.

Existential Therapy

Existential Therapy is an orientation to the existential dimensions of life. There are certain givens with this--we all will die, we all will face suffering, and we live with certain limitations. Yet in spite of these limitations, existential therapy holds that we can move beyond despair and anxiety to access the most freedom when we attend to our deepest, core selves, and work to integrate the levels of our experience and find what is most authentic to us.

Attachment Theory

As infants and children, we are completely dependent on our caregivers for survival. This need for attachment is innate within us, and forms an intense drive for love and belonging. When these needs are not easily met by caregivers, we make adaptations and accommodations. These show up as different patterns of attachment, which can stick with us into adulthood. Attachment work includes working with these patterns and exploring how we show up in relationship with ourselves and others.

Mindfulness-Orientation

Mindfulness-based therapy interventions emphasize the here and now. This means acknowledging that we hold onto all of our experiences on a physical and energetic level--they show up in the form of thoughts, assumptions, and physical sensations. Utilizing mindfulness in therapy means taking into account the body, research into the nervous system, and pausing to examine what is showing up right now, and exploring how it connects to whatever we are bringing into the therapy space.
Approach

We carry so much from our lived experiences. At times, we may have felt overwhelmed, or had to adapt to meet the needs of situations outside of our control. In doing so, we may have learned not to attune to our deepest selves. Our nervous systems hold onto and are formed by our experiences. While some trauma may be more obvious, attachment wounding can be harder to pinpoint--showing up in our bodies, minds, relationships, expectations for the world, and as a sort of anxiety. Whether or not we identify our experiences as traumatic, we all carry wounding. Yet while we can all be impacted in ways that are harmful, we are constantly growing as a result of our lived experiences and capable of immeasurable change and adaptation.

As a therapist and person, I am inspired by this innate process in each of us that seeks to understand and transform ourselves--that seeks wholeness and vitality. I love to walk with people on each of their own unique journeys. Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all, and I am passionate about connecting with others to facilitate a supportive container and therapeutic connection. While I specialize in working with individuals and partners around relational trauma and attachment wounding, I love working with those seeking greater meaning, personal growth, and those who want support in defining their own path with relationship and sexuality.

Starting therapy with a new therapist can feel vulnerable, and may bring deeper wounds to the forefront. I will do my best to honor the courage it takes to engage in these ways. Before anything, I am oriented around relationship. I practice from an Existential-Humanistic orientation in which I view building a genuine, collaborative therapeutic relationship as the most essential groundwork of therapy. I am also trained in utilizing somatic (body-centered) practices to support my clients in deepening their relationship to their own process, helping to connect more fully to one’s body and emotions, which hold so much information about what we may want from our lives. I feel strongly about the power of looking inward and deepening our connection to ourselves as a means to more actively and intentionally engage with our lives.

Areas of Experience
  • Complex trauma
  • Attachment
  • Anxiety
  • Self relationship and voice
  • Altered states of consciousness
  • Sexuality
  • Somatic awareness
  • Relationship concerns
  • Open/polyamorous relationships
  • Kink affirming
  • LGBTQ+ affirming
Education and Experience

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Lewis & Clark College. I worked with Philip Zimbardo on curriculum for promoting a Growth Mindset and principles of Positive Psychology. I completed my internship at the Mindful Experiential Therapy Counseling Center (M.E.T.A.), where I received training in the Hakomi Method and Body-Centered awareness. I currently serve on the board of Existential Humanistic NW, where I curate the blog. I became a therapist because I am inspired by the way we humans make meaning of and transform our experiences. I too have benefited from the non-judgmental and embracing space of a good therapeutic relationship in which to explore my own being, and I feel passionate about holding this space for my clients. Because I believe therapy has so much to do with cultivating a genuine connection, I encourage you to trust your intuition. If you think we might be a good fit, feel free to reach out for a free consultation!

Fees

My fee structure works as follows:

  • 30 min initial consultation: Free of charge
  • 50 min adult individual session: $100
  • 50 min adolescent individual session: $135
  • 60 min couples/partners session: $120

I offer a limited number of spaces with a sliding scale based on financial need.

I currently accept cash, check, and debit/credit card. Payment is due at the end of each session. In the event you need to cancel your appointment, a 24- hour notice is required to avoid being charged for the session.

I do not accept insurance; however, we are set up to take FSA/HSA cards.

The most powerful tool in therapy is the relationship built by our therapists and their clients. That’s why we offer a free 30-minute consultation to determine if we’d be a good fit.

 

Portland Therapy Center Member

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