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Welcome! I’m Tierney Hodge

MEd, MA, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate

I am a Mental Health Therapist passionate about supporting you to discover your inner resilience and deep confidence, and helping you find ways to better know yourself, get unstuck and create a thriving life.

I specialize in meeting individuals, couples, and families where they are, and developing a safe relationship where healing and transformation occurs.

My work integrates Eastern wisdom on mindfulness and spirituality with Western science of the mind, brain, 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 supports your journey of continual growth along a path of personal discovery.

I believe each of us is intrinsically motivated to fulfill an innate desire of self-actualization. I trust that everyone has a core desire to do good, learn from their mistakes, and grow through life’s challenges to befriend a wiser and kinder version of themselves.

The Upward Spiral speaks to the patterns we often find ourselves in as we move through a lifelong process of growth and transformation. We all gravitate toward cyclical ways of being and relating that feel familiar, and therefore comfortable, which usually served an important function at some point in our history.

As we circle up our unique life spiral, our personal and relational needs, goals, and dreams grow and change, and our old patterns can begin to hinder our unfurling. Depending upon how deep our patterns run, we may struggle to understand what needs to change. The deeper the roots, the longer it can take to achieve healthier ways of being and relating.

The path to healing is not linear. Instead, it is a dynamic process that involves revisiting and building upon past lessons, particularly during times when we find ourselves feeling stuck or facing familiar challenges.

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

Sometimes we have to revisit a lesson many times before we can move on. 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 continue growing along your path.


What I Believe.

I believe that connection is a healing force, and that tending to our relationships with ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, and the earth helps us live happier and healthier lives.

I believe our most difficult struggles are our greatest opportunities for wisdom and growth. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, but I do believe we can find meaning in our experiences.

I believe each person, family, and relationship already possesses the necessary resources for change.

I believe in pursuing joy and happiness in everyday life, amidst stress, chaos, uncertainty, and the mundane. I believe that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that humor is a tool for healing.


“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. Teacher.

Lifelong Learner.

Optimist.

Naturophile.

Animal-Obsessed Dog Mama.

When I’m not working, I love to read, spend time in nature, dance, and make music.

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


My Credentials

Marriage & Family Therapist Associate


Master of Education (MEd)


EMDR 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 Trained 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, finally reaching out for help when things couldn’t have gotten much worse.

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 True Self from my parts, and beginning my journey of accepting myself and my shadow. In their own wonderful ways, each of these therapists 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, relational insecurity, anxiety and depression, and the assortment of unhelpful 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 me to face them with curiosity and compassion to create calm connection. 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, on the traditional land of the Cherokee Nation, 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 worldview, beliefs, identity, relations, and experiences.

I moved cross-country to the Pacific Northwest to explore the vast beauty of this mystical land, and to receive 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 and am working under experienced supervision toward full licensure.

I run a private therapy practice based in NE Portland, Oregon and offer in-person and virtual visits to help individuals heal low self-esteem, self-criticism, trauma, grief, depression, and anxiety, and guide couples and families to get unstuck from unhelpful patterns of communication, develop healthy boundaries, and find greater relational fulfillment. I provide a trauma-informed, evidence-based, social justice oriented, and collaborative approach to therapy.

I offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) in Newberg, Oregon, using the Eagala Model framework to create a unique space for an emotionally safe, hands-on experience. With real-time feedback, clients are able to reach issues where traditional talk-based therapies fall short. EAP incorporates horses to effectively address client goals, helping with issues such as addiction, domestic abuse, behavioral disorders, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and trauma.


“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 growth and healing, I will:

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

My Approach

I believe that healing happens in relationship. Whether your goal is to feel better emotionally, develop as a person, or address family and relationship challenges, we will take into account your bigger picture – how your experiences are impacted by the many systems you are connected to.

I honor your unique life experiences and identity and respect the expertise you bring to your story. I work toward aligning you with your authentic self by helping you connect to your existing strengths and inherent wisdom, develop insight about obstacles along your path, and identify solutions toward change. I focus on what’s working in your life and seek ways to help you expand possibilities.

I use an integrative style combining emotion-focused, attachment-based, and somatic (body-based) mindfulness approaches, parts work, and EMDR to help you get unstuck from unhelpful beliefs, patterns, and ways of being.

These evidence-based and collaborative methods facilitate healing and transformation in and out of sessions. My role is to support you in accessing the critical resources you already possess to discover your wisdom, knowing, and answers.


Service Offerings

I don’t just provide sessions, I provide solutions – all within the context of a caring and collaborative partnership.

My services are available in office, at a barn, on trail, or via telehealth.

Psychotherapy

I am honored to walk beside you to provide authentic support, presence, and new awareness as we address root causes of emotional issues. I begin our work together by listening to you and hearing your story, and then giving you concrete tools to help you better understand your needs and wants, and free yourself from unhelpful patterns.

In individual counseling, I offer help to facilitate productive, positive movement along your journey around topics including low self-esteem, self-criticism, trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and life transitions. Using somatic mindfulness approaches, we will bring awareness to patterns and beliefs that are preventing you from reaching your goals and feeling meaningfully connected to yourself and others.

In couple and family counseling, I use developmental and attachment-based models to support creating deeper connection and improving relationship satisfaction. By observing attachment styles 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

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?

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 with their 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.

Horses are the perfect partner.

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.


Fees & Billing

Please be aware of the following billing practices:

I do not accept insurance at this time, 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.

Individual Counseling

50 minutes / $145

Couple & Family Counseling

50 minutes / $165

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

50 minutes / $175

Contact

To book a free 20-minute consultation, please indicate preferred time and date in the message field. Please allow 48-72 hours for a response.

I do not respond to voicemails for new client inquiries.