My Life Experience and Training
Sometimes you steer your own life. Sometimes, if you're listening, life steers you. And sometimes, there's a curious, wondrous convergence of the
I had begun a challenging but fulfilling career as a bilingual elementary school teacher in inner city Phoenix. I piled a bit more on my plate by
conducting afterschool support groups for parents and teaching English as a second language to adults. Increasingly, students and their parents would
come to me for guidance with personal, family and social issues. And while I loved teaching, an inner voice was suddenly entertaining the idea of
earning a Masters degree in Social Work. The next morning at a faculty breakfast, the school social worker approached me and asked, "Have you considered getting
your Masters in Social Work?" That clinched my decision.
Two years later, I continued my work with children and their caregivers, but this time as a family therapist for Southwest Human Development where I
received intensive training in attachment and development and became a licensed clinical social worker. I also learned much about play and sand tray
therapy – wonderful ways of connecting to young clients.
A few years later, having earned my credentials as a licensed clinical social worker, another opportunity presented itself. Central American youth,
traveling into Arizona without parents, were picked up by immigration. Through Catholic Charities, I provided counseling to these young men and women
adrift. The experience deepened my compassion for suffering and taught me the power of spirituality as a resource.
I began a private practice, serving clients ages three to eighty! To add to my toolbox, I completed EMDR training (levels 1 and 2) and experienced
remarkable results with some clients.
My passion for helping others heal extends to community and society. In the seventies, Portland's rising social consciousness inspired me. I helped
develop the Women's Health Clinic and a Hillsboro day care center for migrant youth. As the world faces growing environmental and economic challenges,
Portland's leadership in sustainability called to me again. As a therapist first and foremost, I can foresee the emotional stressors that change will
inevitably bring, and I also see the natural healing properties of reconnecting with the earth and all its beings. Today, I offer a process called Work
That Reconnects, which evolved from the work of Joanna Macy (www. joannamacy.net); I am one of the facilitators listed on
If you feel I can help you, I hope to see you at my practice at Kathleen Clarke Therapy, located at 2700 SE 26th St. Suite C in Portland.
For those who prefer shorthand, here's a list of my credentials:
- B.A. Soviet Studies, Lake Forest College
- Helped found Women's Health Clinic and day care for migrant children
- Teacher's Certificate, Southern Oregon State College
- Bilingual elementary school teacher, Phoenix
- M.S.W. Arizona State University
- Family Therapist, Southwest Human Development
- Completed 2-yr. program through Harris Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
- Became Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Counseled Central American youth at Catholic Charities
- Private practice since 2005
- EMDR Training, Levels 1 & 2
- Facilitator, Ecopsychology Workshops (Work That Reconnects)
- Fluent in Spanish