Individual Psychotherapy with Adults
My name is Drew Summerer, and I will be a resident psychologist at Portland Mental Health & Wellness under the supervision of Dr. Adrian Larsen-Sanchez, PsyD – pending board approval in August 2019.
I will receive my doctorate in clinical psychology from George Fox University in August 2019 and have experience in providing psychological care across multiple settings including universities, community mental health, and primary care.
My approach to therapy draws primarily upon contemporary and relational psychoanalytic theories. With less jargon, I seek to foster a safe and secure relationship where we can cultivate an empathic space of non-judgmental curiosity about yourself—the specific ways you particularly feel and experience your emotional distress. The past provides a backdrop to who you are in the present. For this reason, I take seriously your background and the ways in which past significant relationships and experiences impact how you holistically experience yourself and the world, particularly emotional and relational patterns that spill into the present and lead to psychological suffering. Insight is an important part of the psychotherapy process. However, in my experience, deeper healing comes when insight becomes embodied through emotional and relational contact within the therapeutic relationship—when together we are able to feel and recognize the weight of your suffering, and further engage a liberating grief and meaning making process to cultivate new and more expansive ways of being.
Because I believe in the importance of bringing your full self into the therapeutic process , I strive to acknowledge aspects of identity (e.g. race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, spirituality, ability) as not a separate part of your psychological experience, but as deeply integrated into your sense of self and experience within the world. I seek to engage aspects of identity with humility and honesty—seeking to know and own my own limitations, privilege, and gaps, while also remaining committed to ongoingly be impacted by the lives and experience of others.
During our initial session, I likely will ask about what brings you into therapy and what you would like to get out of our work. I likely will also ask a range of questions related to your history, family, and social relationship—I often think of initial sessions like an artist sketching the base outline of their piece. As therapy progresses, we will together add different shades, colors, and complexity to the artwork. Depending on the projected length of therapy, I often do not hold rigid agendas or have specific discussion topics for my patients believing that what is most pressing to process will emerge organically within the therapeutic relationship. I often start sessions with a more open-ended question—often inquiring about what has been occupying your mind. I believe deep within, each of us has an innate penchant towards growth, wholeness, integration, desire for authenticity, and a yearning for rich, fulfilling, and secure relationships. For this reason, I believe you know what is most important about your story, and you are an integral part in leading the direction of therapy. My hope is to foster a space of warmth, authenticity, and safety where you are able to experience the truest parts of yourself and further integrate them into your daily life in congruent and meaningful ways.