Our Counselors

Threshold is an organization where you will find a compassionate group of counselors who are committed to their own paths of emotional, psychological, and spiritual development as well as those of our clients. We approach the counseling process with authenticity, transparency, and humility. Although each counselor has specific foci and specializations, we all strive to practice with a broad-based perspective to address the entire spectrum of human experience.

Adam Heifetz, PhD

INTRODUCTION

Dr. Heifetz earned masters and doctoral degrees in transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, covering both clinical training and a professional certificate in spiritual guidance. Prior to that he earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He has advanced training in dreamwork from the Marin Institute for Projective Dreamwork, and has conducted original research in ecopsychology. His early work ranged from wilderness therapy, to hospice chaplaincy. He has worked with people of all ages, from diverse racial, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, gender identity, and spiritual backgrounds. He has been practicing as a counselor and spiritual guide in Portland for five years. 

Adam grew up in the Pacific Northwest. From an early age he felt deeply connected to the natural world, which was a strong influence on him. Adam’s personal experiences over the years have been formative in his attraction to healing and growth work, and his professional orientation and specializations. Some significant experiences of his have been grief and loss, family members with mental illness, perfectionism, academic and educational challenges, Jewish-American experience, authentic male development, single parenting, blended families, borderlands experience, racial identity development, existential questioning, and spiritual awakening. Adam lives in Portland, Oregon with his beloved wife, 8-year-old son, and their little dog Marley. He finds joy in all forms of outdoor adventure and music making. 

THERAPEUTIC PHILOSOPHY

Adam believes that we are all in the midst of long personal arcs of development. A part of the learning process is pain and resistance. Everyone experiences suffering in their lives, but these experiences often mask opportunity. Everyone has inner wisdom too which they can tap in service of their own healing and growth. Adam’s goal in counseling is to help alleviate suffering by providing a safe, comfortable space to work through the challenges, get perspective, and learn new tools. However, as he sees it, the process of counseling is in service of this broader arc of self development. Each step along the way further defines us, and opens us to greater empowerment and possibility. Adam seeks to support his clients in becoming their own guides. His orientation as a counselor draws from transpersonal, integral, Jungian, psychosynthesis, humanistic, existential, meditation/mindfulness, cognitive, psychodynamic, and gestalt psychologies. Adam sees clients individually, and facilitates dream groups, and men’s groups.

 

Sonja Choi Heifetz, MS

THERAPEUTIC PHILOSOPHY

Sonja believes that everyone has the essential ingredients for personal transformation. Although, everyone must contend with the burdens of past negative experiences, she views her clients through the perspective of possibility and their greatest human potential. Sonja’s personal style with her clients is rooted in authenticity and immediacy, using interactions in the present moment as a looking glass into the true nature of the self. She also works to dismantle power dynamics that can be found in traditional therapist-client relationships. 

 

With a lifetime of meaningful personal experience and over 20 years of diverse professional experience, Sonja offers a unique, pluralistic viewpoint and meaningful strategies, giving clients the opportunity to explore anew aspects of themselves, their relationships, their careers, and the meaning of living. Her unique multicultural background taught her to negotiate the disparate needs and expectations of multiple cultural realms; a growing commonplace for many individuals. Her personal and professional experience with multicultural couples and blended families also serves as a resource for parents and adult children who seek to improve family dynamics, intimate relationships, or seek to resolve wounding from earlier experiences.

 

Sonja uses a holistic lens for understanding problems for individuals and couples. She believes that client problems are not problems with the self, but a result of the circumstances that surround them. Sonja educates her clients about systemic impacts (cultural, social, environmental, political) on relationships, human development and personal well-being. She also, supports them in grounding their essential selves in a world with overwhelming problems. Sonja applies these same principles in couples work as well. She sees the intimate nature of relationships as a stage for how we relate to the self and the rest of the world.  

 

Sonja is a person-centered, trauma-informed, somatic-focused practitioner whose approach to therapy is both practical and deepening. While adept at solution-oriented approaches, Sonja also integrates mind/body strategies, neurobiology, a psychodynamic lens, intersectionality, ecopsychology, and post-modern perspectives into her approach. In simple terms, every part of the arc in the human experience matters; understanding past experiences, bringing the conscious to the unconscious, understanding internal and external influences, anchoring to the present moment, and strategizing for short- and long-term future possibilities. Her flexibility, creativity, and grounded nature give ease to working with many different kinds of peoples.

 

Although Sonja has experience working with various populations, her passion is found in working with individuals and couples who struggle with negotiating the multiple intersections of their lives. This arguably includes any person because people are unique and complex (being biracial, both mom and dad, neither gender, meeting external expectations, internal conflict between competing forces, belonging and not belonging, etc.) Sonja believes that it is within the intersections of our lives where we discover who we are, what we are made of, and find the courage to become exactly who we want.

BACKGROUND

Sonja was raised in Amarillo, Texas by her mother who emigrated from South Korea and her father who lived through The Great Depression in the Deep South. Sonja grew up as a “minority among minorities” in a low-income Latinx neighborhood. During her youth, she was exposed to environmental pollution and violence within her community. Sonja had an innate love for people and nature, which prompted a move to the West Coast. Sonja’s early career consisted of outdoor adventure guiding, teaching environmental and social sustainability, and insomnia intervention coaching. As an instructor, she came to learn and believe that in order to have both environmental and social justice that we must begin by meeting the needs of people, psychologically and in practical everyday needs, thus, guiding them to higher order action in changing their lives and the systems they live in. During Sonja’s academic and professional career, she focused on mind-body strategies that went beyond traditional therapy practices. She was excited to find a therapeutic approach that could be applied to diverse populations and support clients in deeper healing beyond cognitive/cerebral talk therapy. 

 

Sonja has a B.A. in Sustainable Community Development and Environmental Studies and an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in somatic-focused approaches and couples work. Sonja is a self-proclaimed Jill-of-all-Trades and seeks to paint her life canvas with as many colors as possible. She continues to enjoy outdoor adventures and her deepest passions are singing, dance performance, social justice, and speaking Italian. Sonja has had the privilege of immersing herself in other cultures and living abroad. She currently lives in Portland, OR with her husband, son, and boo-boo bear. 

SOME EXAMPLES OF WORK WITH CLIENTS

Couples

-communication and general support

-attachment wounding

-polyamory and non-traditional relationships

-aging

-problems with intimacy and connection

-multicultural challenges

-wounding and repair

-caretaking and parenting

-blended families

-life decisions (family planning, moving, real estate, separation, divorce, pre-marital, etc.)

 

Individuals

-attachment wounding

-women's experiences especially those in their 20's, 30's and 40's

-career and life balance challenges

-caretaking and parenting

-anxiety and depression

-challenging relationships

-parenting and step-parenting

-caring for high needs children

-living with others who are difficult or mentally ill

-living with chronic illness

-insomnia, sleep disturbance, and dream analysis

-multicultural/intersectionality experiences and challenges

-racial wounding and trauma

-challenges with or tired of talk therapy (body-centered and movement therapy)

-difficult life transitions

-grief, loss, ambiguous loss

-loneliness, isolation, and meaning making

-first and second generation immigrants 

-first generation college students

 

2285 NW Johnson St, Portland OR 97210

© 2020 by Threshold Counseling