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Welcome.

I’m Tierney Hodge, MEd, MA, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate

Mental Health Counselor for adults of all stages and relationships of all kinds.

I am passionate about supporting your discovery of deep confidence and self-compassion, and helping you find ways to better know yourself, get unstuck, and create a thriving life.

I specialize in meeting you in the moment, and developing a safe relationship where healing and transformation can occur.

My work integrates Eastern wisdom of mindfulness and spirituality with Western science of the brain, body, and nervous system.

My approach is rooted in relationship to help you feel more aligned, connected, and at ease.


What is Upward Spiral Counseling?

Upward Spiral Counseling initiates your journey of continual growth along a path of personal discovery.

I believe we all possess an innate motivation toward self-actualization. I trust that each of us has a core desire to do good, learn from our mistakes, and grow through life’s challenges to befriend a wiser and kinder version of ourselves.

The Upward Spiral speaks to the cyclical patterns we encounter as we move through a lifelong process of growth and transformation. We all gravitate toward familiar ways of being and relating that served important protective functions in our past, and therefore feel safe in our present.

As we circle up our unique life spiral, our personal and relational needs, goals, and dreams evolve, and our old patterns often begin to hinder our unfurling. Depending on how deep our patterns run, we may struggle to understand what needs to change. The deeper the roots, the longer it can take to find our answer.

The path to healing is not linear. It is a dynamic process that calls us to revisit and revise our learnings, particularly when we find ourselves stuck facing familiar challenges.

The Upward Spiral ushers us through a continual process of remembering, forgetting, and remembering again.

Sometimes we must revisit a lesson many times before we can continue. Sometimes we meet obstacles along the way that slow us down. Sometimes we get stuck.

Upward Spiral Counseling supports you to access your knowing of the way to get unstuck and grow steadily along your path.


“I want you to get excited about who you are, what you are, what you have, and what can still be for you. I want to inspire you to see that you can go far beyond where you are right now.”

Virginia Satir

About Me

Therapist.

Initiator.

Imperfectionist

Seeker.

Animal-Obsessed Dog Mama.

When I’m not counseling, I love to read, connect with nature, dance, and make music.

I am based in Portland, Oregon and provide services to clients throughout the state.


My Credentials

Marriage & Family Therapist Associate

Lewis & Clark College Graduate School of Education & Counseling


Master of Education (MEd)

Lesley University Graduate School of Education


EMDR 1 + 2 Trained Clinician

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy approach that is primarily used to treat trauma-related disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

EMDR incorporates elements from various therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and somatic therapy. The goal of EMDR is to help individuals process their traumatic memories and reduce the negative impact of traumatic experiences on their daily functioning, emotions, and beliefs.


PACT 1 Couple Therapist

Developed by Dr. Stan Tatkin, PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy) is a fusion of attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation that supports couples to improve communication and interaction, get unstuck from unhelpful patterns, and find greater relational fulfillment. PACT has a reputation for effectively treating the most challenging couples. 

PACT was developed out of cutting-edge research in three areas:

Neuroscience

The study of the human brain. Understanding how the brain works provides a physiological basis for understanding how people act and react within relationships. In a nutshell, some areas of your brain are wired to reduce threat and danger and seek security, while others are geared to establish mutuality and loving connection.

Attachment Theory

The explanation for the biological need to bond with others. Experiences in early relationships create a blueprint that informs the sense of safety and security you bring to adult relationships. Insecurities that have been carried through life can wreak havoc for a couple if these issues are not resolved.

Biology of Human Arousal

The moment-to-moment ability to manage one’s energy, alertness, and readiness to engage.

The PACT model stands out from most other forms of couple therapy with these key features:

  • – Using the PACT approach, both the therapist and the couple focus on moment-to-moment shifts in the face, body, and voice. Therapists help partners learn to be more attuned and respond to these subtle shifts in each other.
  • – During a PACT session, the therapist creates experiences similar to those troubling a couple’s relationship, and they help partners work through issues in real time.
  • -PACT tends to require fewer sessions than do other forms of couple therapy.
  • -PACT sessions often exceed 50 minutes and may last as long as 3–6 hours. Longer sessions allow for PACT therapists to work more deeply with couples.
  • -PACT therapists may videotape sessions to provide immediate feedback to couples and to help couples pay close attention to their partner’s nuanced behaviors as well as their own. 

EAGALA Certified Equine Therapist

The EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) Model is an innovative therapeutic approach that combines horses, mental health professionals, and equine specialists to facilitate personal growth and emotional healing. This model utilizes experiential therapy techniques with horses as active participants in the therapeutic process.

Unlike traditional therapy sessions that take place in an office setting, the EAGALA Model incorporates the power of horses in a ground-based, interactive environment. This experiential approach allows individuals to engage in hands-on activities and interactions with horses, providing unique opportunities for self-reflection, exploration, and personal growth.

The EAGALA model is so effective because it embraces the science that humans learn best by doing. The model prescribes a hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer lasting.

When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.


“The Paths to Enlightenment are as innumerable as those who seek it. This, too, is The Path. This, too, is it.”

Buddhist Proverb

My Story

I began my journey as a healer after struggling through my own mental health challenges as a teen and young adult.

The therapists I worked with affirmed, supported, and guided me through the difficult process of recognizing and updating the relationship templates passed down to me, differentiating my parts from my Self, and beginning my journey of accepting myself and my shadow.

In their own wonderful ways, each of these healers helped me recognize the weight of sociocultural and intergenerational trauma I carried, and ushered me through healing a lifetime of perfectionism, self-criticism and self-rejection, anxiety and depression, and the assortment of hurtful coping methods I had collected along the way.

More than a decade later, I achieved my dream of becoming a therapist, partly in homage to the ones that walked beside me during my darkest times, wholly in honor of the lonely little girl, the insecure teen, and the conflicted young woman within me who needed to be met with curiosity and compassion. I became the adult I had always needed.

I began exploring ways to develop and share the lessons from my own experiences in therapy with others. I pursued an incredible adventure as a Wilderness Therapy Field Guide in the Nantahala National Forest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There I discovered my deep love for nature, confirmed my calling as a healer, and understood through lived experience that we are inextricably linked to a network of systems that impacts our beliefs, identity, ways of relating, and experiences.

Year later, I moved to the Pacific Northwest to explore this vast, mystical land, and to achieve my Master’s Degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis & Clark College.

Today I am a Marriage & Family Therapist Associate (R7822) registered with the Oregon Board, working under experienced supervision toward full licensure. I run a private therapy practice based in NE Portland, Oregon and offer in-person, online, and Walk + Talk nature sessions. I partner with horses to provide Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) sessions in Newberg, Oregon.


“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen

Visit My Practice

As a trusted advisor to your healing + growth, I will:

  • Listen to hear and seek to see you.
  • Trust and help cultivate your knowing of what’s best for you.
  • Offer trauma-informed, collaborative, and evidence-based treatment that reveals the root of the problem.
  • Initiate lasting change.

My Approach

We are hurt in relationship and we are healed in relationship.

Whether your goal is to feel better emotionally, develop as a person, or address relationship challenges, we will take into account your bigger picture – how your experiences are impacted by the relationships and systems you are a part of.

I honor your unique life experiences and identity, and respect the expertise you bring to your story. I use a collaborative style to support aligning you with your authentic self, help you connect to your existing strengths, develop insight about obstacles along your path, and identify solutions for change. I focus on what’s working in your life and seek ways to help you expand possibilities.

My trauma-informed therapeutic approach integrates Attachment Theory, Internal Family Systems, EMDR, somatic mindfulness practices, and neuro-somatic skills to help you uncover outdated beliefs and get unstuck from unhelpful ways of being.

These evidence-based methods facilitate healing and transformation in and out of sessions. My role is not to give you answers, but to support you to access the critical resources you already possess to find self-compassion, wisdom, and your own answers.


Service Offerings

My services are available in office, online, in barn, and on trail.

Individual Psychotherapy

75 min new client consultation / $300

50 min session / $200

I offer adults of all stages support to explore and heal issues of low self-esteem, self-criticism, trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and life transitions. We will bring awareness to patterns and beliefs that are preventing you from reaching your goals and feeling meaningfully connected to yourself and others.

Relational Psychotherapy

2 hour new client consultation / $500

90 min session / $375

I guide relational systems to get unstuck from unhelpful communication patterns, develop healthy boundaries, and find greater fulfillment by implementing principles of developmental neuroscience, attachment theory, and arousal regulation. In session, we explore the ways each person supports and co-regulates within the relationship, and use that information to practice making small shifts to create a stronger, closer connection.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

75 min new client consultation / $300

50 min session / $200

I am an Eagala Certified Equine Therapist trained to implement a distinctive experiential framework designed to provide you with the space to discover, learn, and grow from the horse-human relationship. Through this framework, you will learn about yourself and others by participating in hands-on activities involving horses, while discussing thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and patterns. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is ground-based work and does not involve mounting or riding horses. 

Why Horses?

Horses are the perfect partner.

To evade predators, horses have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment. They instinctively analyze and react to our body language and other nonverbal cues, providing us with valuable feedback and insights for other areas of our lives. It’s hard to ignore a horse’s size and presence. We can’t just control a powerful horse. Approaching horses helps us reflect on how we approach our human relationships, and how we can face other big or overwhelming parts of our lives.

Horses are social animals with defined roles within a herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They can be stubborn or they can be playful. In other words, horses are a lot like us.

Because horses are highly sensitive, clients can work through their life struggles by interacting with the horses without feeling judgment or interpretation by another person.


Billing Practices

Please be aware of the following billing practices:

I do not accept insurance, but I can provide an itemized receipt or Superbill that may allow you to receive some reimbursement from your insurance company if you have out-of-network benefits. I cannot guarantee that your insurance will reimburse any of the money you pay, and I advise you to check with your insurance company first (I can provide a list of questions) if you aim to submit for reimbursement.


“Naming, she understood, made things more visible.”

Lauren Groff, The Vaster Wilds

Get In Touch

Email: tierney@upwardspiralcounseling.com // Phone: 503-334-2533

I do not respond to voicemails or text messages for new client inquiries.


New Client Inquiries

The best way to determine if we’ll make a great team is to experience each other face-to-face. All consultations are virtual.

To book a free 20-minute consultation, complete the form below. Please allow 48-72 hours for a response.

I am unable to provide crisis services, if you are experiencing a mental health emergency or have recently been feeling suicidal, contact your local crisis line (see Community Resources tab).


    Returning Clients

    Returning clients, enter your email address for scheduling.