Counseling Services

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Our  professional counselors provide compassionate and culturally sensitive care for individuals, couples and families seeking improved emotional health.

Consider counseling for:

  • Personal exploration and growth
  • Treatment for depression, bipolar and anxiety
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Managing stress
  • Navigating life transitions
  • Relationship concerns
  • Grief and loss
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Meet the Providers

Catherine Caruso, LCSW

Catherine is a licensed clinical social worker and certified drug and alcohol counselor. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from University of Portland in 2010. She then went on to complete her Master of Social Work at Portland State University in 2015. She has worked extensively with survivors of domestic violence and individuals experiencing houselessness. After receiving her masters, she went on to work in community mental health.  She has furthered her education and currently works primarily with individuals struggling with trauma, substance abuse issues, and mood disorders.

Her work includes creating a safe and warm space to promote healing and wellness. She believes in finding the strengths and love within yourself to identify the work needed to become the best version of you. Being a Social Worker has empowered her strong social justice and feminist lens, allowing individuals to be their authentic selves in their work with her.  She endeavors to provide a safe space for people of all races/ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ability levels, and body sizes.

Catherine is currently accepting new adult clients. You can learn more at or email her at

Alexandra Leichter, MSW, LCSW

Falling in love is addictive. It is your brain on cocaine. It is full of warmth, light and energy. It is electric. Until, it isn’t. In the beginning, you couldn’t picture a day where you would be arguing and bickering. You definitely didn’t think that one of you would have an affair. That the trust would be broken. Will it ever return? You never imagined that one day you would be hiding in the bathroom, secretly texting a person you met at work because he just listens and doesn’t blow up at you when you tell him how you feel. In those early, warm glows of the relationship, you certainly didn’t think that there would be future moments of fantasy when you day dream that your life would just be easier if your significant other suddenly died. You think that thought. Your brain is awash with calm, but instantly, you have regret, “how could I think that?” No, that’s not what you want. What you really want is for the constant arguments, over and over the same thing, where it only stops when one person storms out of the room, to end. You want to be seen. To no longer hear, “no, not tonight honey.” Or alternatively, to not want to say “not tonight” because you feel validated and appreciated for all you do and this in turn actually makes you want to be touched. Perhaps the dry spell could end? Perhaps sex could actually be fun. It became boring long ago but you really hope that it can be different. That you can learn how to talk about sex, what you want, what you like, what you desire. You know you can’t go back to the beginning, but you are fairly certain that if you had someone who could teach you how to better communicate, that it would help. The rage you feel when your start bickering, that it would help to have someone teach you how to recognize the signs that you are going to start feeling that way and how to head it off before it starts. You know there are skills to be learned, truths to be told and that you need a safe place, with a safe person who can guide you through sharing these with your other half. Relationship therapy. The terms scares you and peaks your interest, all at the same time. An impartial person who is willing to call you out on the things that you are doing that are harming the relationship and support those things you are doing that are helping. Many things can divert a once happy relationship  – an affair, babies (yes babies!), financial stress, chronic illness, feeling unappreciated, feeling tired, family, a break in trust, job loss. When these things occur it can help to have a neutral third party to talk to. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and years ago I was in couples counseling myself. 17 years later I am still in that same, committed relationship, and going strong. This is why I am so passionate about my job and why I only work with couples: I know it works. I offer free phone consultations and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Learn more about counseling at Portland Family Health. To schedule an appointment call Alexandra at (503) 327-3945, or click the button below. Learn more about Alexandra by visiting Best Relationship Therapy or PDX Relationship Therapy

Rev Rose Matthews, NC

Rev. Rose Matthews, NC   Holistic Nutritionist and Spiritual Counselor   Rose champions the unusual but powerful combination of science and spirituality. Using evidence-based therapeutic nutrition and clairvoyant energy work, Rose creates a container for people to heal. Beginning this journey by healing herself from asthma, allergies, leaky gut and fatigue, Rose is familiar with how it feels to be ill and out of alignment. She also knows it is possible to transcend those illnesses. Rose studied holistic nutrition at Bauman College, certifying as a Nutrition Consultant. She concurrently studied with Berkeley Psychic Institute for five years in their seminary and Clairvoyant Training program. Her approach to healing is with deep reverence to the human and the divine, subscribing to no particular religion but drawing from them all.   Rose started her nutrition practice in 2015 and quickly learnt that the physical and spiritual aspects of a person’s health are so connected that to make sustainable progress, we must address both. Rose developed her own integrative approach to healing by addressing the root cause in the physical body and the energetic body. With her unique approach, Rose supports the healing of the following physical and spiritual conditions: leaky gut, IBS, candida, auto-immune conditions, addiction, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, mental illness, stress, allergies, disembodiment, feeling highly sensitive/empathic, ancestral trauma, energetic pain, possession, existential crisis, lack of autonomy/sovereignty and beyond.   Rose adores working with clients and finds it deeply rewarding to work in multiple dimensions. She continues on the path to sustainable healing for herself, her family, her community and the planet.   Contact Rose to discover what a session looks like and how she can be of service to you.

Jeffrey Peyton, LPC

Jeffrey C. Peyton LPC, NCC, CADC-II Licensed Professional Counselor National Certified Counselor Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor For over 15 years, Jeff has devoted himself to the care and emotional wellbeing of adolescents, young adults and their families. Known for his calm and compassionate style, Jeff is highly regarded for his ability to quickly build rapport with teens, while bringing deep understanding and clinical skills to the unique challenges young people face.   Why therapy for teens? When teens feel overwhelmed, it is challenging to feel confident and happy. Being overwhelmed and stressed can look like anxiety, depression, defiance, and acting like they don’t care. Drug and alcohol abuse, getting lost in their phone or video games, avoiding school, shutting down and isolating, or becoming angry and acting out are all ways young people try to manage their feelings, and they become distressed when it doesn’t really help. They stay stuck, and being stuck is painful. Counseling for teens and young adults is a specialized therapy approach, and you will have the most effective and positive experience in therapy with someone possessing extensive experience working with teens.   How I work with teens and young adults It is my central belief that teens are experts in their own lives. While often intelligent and capable, they sometimes engage in behaviors or ways of thinking that undermine their wellbeing. Rather than just focusing solely on the symptom (the outward behavior), we work together to address the underlying experiences, thoughts and beliefs that lead to emotional distress. By resolving and healing past hurts, developing resilience to face current stressful experiences, and reconnecting with what is most important to us, we can begin to thrive. While my practice addresses general adolescent mental health, my particular areas of specialization are anxiety and social anxiety, substance abuse and addiction, “smart but failing” students, school overwhelm and school avoidance, excessive use of technology/video games, ADHD and executive functioning issues, depression and low self-worth, divorce and blended families, and attachment issues (including adoption). My clients have experienced very positive outcomes through our use together of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT), mindfulness skills and art therapy. I am also trained in EMDR and trauma resolution in adolescents.   About Jeff Jeff began his counseling career as a wilderness therapist for Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs in Oregon in 2004. Jeff loves supporting teens doing the hard work of healing and growing emotionally, and was drawn to the honest experience of living and working as a "family" in the beauty of the natural world. In 2013, Jeff opened his private practice and quickly became in high demand for his expertise in adolescent mental health. Jeff holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College, a second Masters degree in Music Performance from the Juilliard School in New York City, and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Oregon. Jeff has received additional advanced training in the treatment of substance abuse and addiction, behavioral treatment of ADHD, EMDR and the treatment of trauma, family therapy, parent coaching, and the application of mindfulness practices in psychotherapy. In addition to his private counseling practice, Jeff is a parent coach and family therapist with Second Nature 360. Prior to his work in counseling, Jeff was an accomplished professional orchestra musician, conductor and educator. He continues to perform professionally as percussionist with the Oregon Ballet and Portland Opera and as assistant conductor of the Oregon Ballet Orchestra. He remains active in music education with young people as conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra. Jeff has two college-age sons, who have taught him a great deal about parenting, being a teen and navigating life as a young person! To learn more about Jeff and his approach, visit  

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