Brian Thompson, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist (Oregon #2095)

I’m a licensed psychologist and specialize in treating trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to my clinical work, I have published research articles on trauma and PTSD in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and I write regular blog posts about PTSD for other professionals to keep up with the current research.

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My Approach:

I draw from two main therapies in treating trauma. I offer exposure therapy, which is considered the gold standard in trauma treatment. I also draw from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help people begin to reengage their lives and more effectively deal with their distress.
I take the effective components of evidence-based treatments and create a uniquely tailored approach with your input.

At the beginning of treatment and periodically throughout, I use a short self-report measure to assess how trauma gets in the way of daily living. This way, we can track improvement over time and make adjustments if we don’t see any progress. Additionally, I engage in an informal assessment throughout treatment in order to best adapt treatment to each individual.

Values

As a psychotherapist, I value openness, flexibility, and kindness. Each time I begin working with someone new, it is the beginning of a process of discovery for both of us. I am interested in what’s getting in the way of the life the person wants to live, and what will help them move towards it.

It can be scary to move into difficult places. Consequently, I work very hard to create an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and safety. I may ask people to try things that are hard for them, and they are always welcome to say, “No,” because I also believe that therapy is about learning to make choices.

To continue increasing my own skills and knowledge, I remain committed to evidence-based practice. I conduct original research, read about new studies and treatments, and write about psychological research for the public through blogs and other forums. All of this is in the service of continuing to expand my own abilities so that I have more to offer the people who come to see me.

Experience

Before earning my doctorate, I completed a Master’s degree in counseling at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, where I also studied mindfulness and meditation. Feeling I had more to learn, I began the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Montana. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete my predoctoral internship at the highly regarded Portland VA Medical Center, where I focused on treatment of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and neuropsychology across different rotations. My doctoral program and internship are both accredited by the American Psychological Association, which ensures through regular visits that programs meet their high standards. Currently, I work at Portland Psychotherapy as one of their many qualified Portland counselors.

I feel very fortunate to have encountered a wide range of clinical experience and excellent training. I bring this wealth of experience into the therapy room, while continuing to seek out new opportunities to expand my horizons and challenge myself.

Publications

Thompson, B. L., Luoma, J. B., & LeJeune, J. T. (2013). Using acceptance and commitment therapy to guide exposure-based interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 43(3), 133-140.

Thompson, B. L., & Waltz, J. (2010). Mindfulness and experiential avoidance as predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder avoidance symptom severity. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24,409-415.

Thompson, B. L., &Waltz, J. (2008). Self-compassion and PTSD symptom severity. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21(6),556-558.

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