Gail Nicholson, MA, LPC, Personal and Career Counseling


Personal Counseling

Sometimes as we look at ourselves and sift through our deeper experiences, we realize that we’re struggling with feelings of overwhelm and confusion, distraction or loneliness. We might be discouraged, feel helpless or hopeless, even in despair about some aspect of our lives. Conflict and confusion about what we want can make it difficult to identify and realize our dreams. A sense of being undermined by the world’s events, or not being able to get it together, may make it difficult to take actions that we know are necessary for our well-being and for those around us.

These ongoing, unresolved internal struggles often feel worse when coupled with transitions common in work and family life: divorce, unemployment, burnout and illness, job and life role changes, reentering the workplace and facing questions about who we are. When these issues are properly addressed, we’re able to move forward with our lives, usually brilliantly. But they often go unattended, resulting in an experience of feeling stuck and unclear about what matters most and how to proceed.

Alongside the part of you that knows things about yourself and what you want, and remembers meaningful accomplishments, there may be a side of you that is mixed up about some aspect of your personal interests and deeper values. (Turn down the media hype!)

Depression running in the family can heighten challenges to learn more about your inner self and act on that new knowledge in a positive way. Individual isolation, social anxiety, and negative thinking, more common than you think, also serve to box us in, when we all want to feel good about ourselves and the lives we are living here in Portland, Oregon.

Help Getting Unstuck

I provide short-term as well as ongoing counseling and therapy. I can help you with personal issues, like a lack of clarity or confidence about what you want and who you want to be. We can address mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, burnout, grief and loss, and trauma. Other areas of clinical interest are spiritual direction, relationship and women’s issues, healing from abuse and regaining a positive sense of self.

If learning disabilities like ADD or ADHD have been hampering your progress, I can help you develop accommodations and strategies for better living, including time management, organization and adding structure to your life. If social isolation is a problem, we can talk about how you can build on your family and existing friendships and meet new people.

I enjoy working with people from all walks of life, people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and with the gay and lesbian community. I work with folks in various life stages: young adult, at mid-life and retiring.

The Process

We begin by identifying what brought you in to see a personal and career counselor at this stage of your life and career. We talk about your goals for our work together and a timeline and budget for reaching them. I encourage people to begin each session with a check-in to ensure we continue to meet your needs as they change and you progress.