top of page
Welcome to Our Team note _edited_edited.jpg





Connections First
Practice Site Description

Connections First, LLC is a psychotherapy group practice & a Training Institute for psychotherapists serving the state of Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority has granted us the ability to host graduate level interns, specifically students of counseling and social work. We are thrilled and honored to have this opportunity and capacity to offer a conducive learning environment to advanced clinical practicum students.


Below is a brief introduction to Connections First as your potential Practice Site and an overview of the learning opportunities available at Connections First:


We provide outpatient mental health and behavioral health services to adults, children, adolescents, couples, families, and group therapy. These services aim to address a variety of mental health concerns, such as trauma based disorders, mood and anxiety disorder, ADHD, and relationship issues.

We do not offer after hours crisis support as this is a higher level of care than we are able to support.


Our clinicians often offer case management and coordination of care services to help clients navigate the healthcare system, connect them with community resources, and coordinate care between different providers, such as therapists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and social services agencies.


Currently we provide and are actively expanding our range of psychoeducational workshops and support groups tailored to our clients. These sessions address various themes including parenting, adult process groups, coping strategies, stress reduction techniques, mindfulness practices, and self-care.


For all our clinical staff we offer in-house clinical training that typically include a variety of structured learning experiences designed to enhance their clinical skills, knowledge, and professional development. One of our in-house training, called Being a Relational Therapist, offers role-playing and experiential exercises, simulated client interactions, and other experiential learning activities to help therapists and trainees to develop their therapeutic techniques, practice and refine their clinical skills, enhance their attunement skills, empathy and communication skills, and increase their confidence in working with clients. 


Pre-licensed therapists receive individual and group supervision from experienced licensed clinicians. Supervision sessions focus on case conceptualization, treatment planning, therapeutic interventions, ethical considerations, and professional development. Supervisors provide guidance, feedback, and support to help trainees improve their clinical skills and grow as therapists.


Additionally, all our clinicians are invited to participate in monthly clinical topic discussions, case conferences and peer consultations. These collaborative discussions allow participants to present and discuss challenging cases with their colleagues, gain new perspectives, brainstorm creative solutions, and receive peer support. 

Last but not the least, we offer diversity and inclusion training ensuring that our staff receive training and support in cultural humility, diversity awareness, and inclusion can help them work effectively with clients from diverse backgrounds and address issues related to cultural competence and social justice in their practice.


Internship Experience with Connections First:

We aim to extend these opportunities and offer such support to our interns to help them navigate their training and professional development effectively. 


Interns will have valuable hands-on opportunities to work directly with individuals, families, and small groups, focusing on assessment, intervention, and support. This involves conducting mental health assessment, treatment planning, individual therapy sessions, facilitating support groups, and providing case management services to address clients' immediate needs.


Interns are encouraged to participate in activities that involve working with larger groups and communities, focusing on issues such as organizational dynamics, community development, and advocacy. This may include developing community resources, and collaborating with community organizations to address systemic issues.


Interns are encouraged to engage in activities that address broader systemic issues and policy development, focusing on social change and advocacy efforts. This may involve researching policy issues, participating in legislative advocacy campaigns, and collaborating with policymakers to promote social justice and equity.

Clinical experience, knowledge, support available and offered to Student Interns

Clinical Supervision:

Interns will be offered outstanding weekly individual and/or group supervision, ongoing in-house clinical training, and practical experience in the field.

We take pride in the expertise and skill of our clinical supervisors as they: 

  • are dedicated to being Supervisee-centered as each supervisory relationship is a unique

  • aim to create an environment that facilitates self-reflection and reflection on clinical practice

  • put effort into compassionately understanding Supervisee's experience and encourage them to embrace discomfort, take bold steps, be open to making mistakes, and learn to recover from them in authentic ways that include accountability and humility

  • strive to provide supervision using a consistent supervision model that enhances the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of interns and pre-licensed clinicians in working with diverse clients

  • are mindful to meet novice clinicians where they are at in their professional experience 

  • aim to provide high level services to all we serve. High quality supervision is a cornerstone of this goal

Our Clinical Team is experienced in the following theories/treatment modalities:

  • Trauma Informed Care

  • Attachment Theory and Family Systems 

  • Internal Family Systems Theory

  • Compassionate Inquiry  

  • EMDR and Brainspotting

  • Cognitive Behavioral Theory

  • Dialectic Behavioral Theory

  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

  • Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy 

  • Mindfulness Practices & Somatic Awareness

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Parent-Child Interactive Therapy  

  • Incredible Years Parenting Program

  • Emotion Focused Therapy 

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Gestalt Therapy

  • Jungian Approach

  • Polyvagal theory 

  • ... and many others.

Financial Support:

Internship stipend is offered for the hours worked. 

If we have available positions and if both your internship experience and satisfaction align with our standards, we may extend a job offer to you upon your graduation.

Culture of our agency:

We are committed to excellence in service delivery, a supportive and inclusive work environment, and a dedication to promoting mental health and well-being for both clients and staff members.


There is a strong emphasis on prioritizing the needs and preferences of clients, with a focus on providing personalized, culturally competent, and holistic care.


We  foster an environment where mental health issues are destigmatized, and individuals feel comfortable seeking help without fear of judgment or discrimination.


We promote collaboration among staff members to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care for clients.


There is a strong commitment to ongoing learning, training, and skill development among staff members to stay updated on best practices and deliver high-quality care.


We adhere to ethical guidelines and principles in all aspects of service delivery, and interventions are based on the best available evidence from research and clinical practice.


We all are Trauma-informed clinicians recognizing the prevalence and impact of trauma on mental health and adopting a trauma-informed approach to service delivery, emphasizing safety, trustworthiness, empowerment, and collaboration.


We value and put a strong emphasis on transparent communication and feedback. There are open communication channels within the agency, where feedback is encouraged, and concerns are addressed promptly. This fosters a sense of trust, accountability, and mutual respect among staff members.


We  value diversity and inclusivity, respect the unique backgrounds, identities, and experiences of both clients and staff members. Cultural competence is prioritized in interactions with clients from diverse cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.


We aim to engage with the community, collaborate with other organizations, and advocate for policies and initiatives that promote mental health awareness, access to care, and social justice.


The agency promotes staff wellness and self-care practices, recognizing the importance of maintaining their own mental and emotional well-being to effectively support clients.

Equity and Social Justice practices in our agency

Training and Education:

We provide ongoing training and education to our staff on topics such as cultural humility, competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion. This ensures that our team members are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to address issues of inequality and injustice in their work.

Recruitment and Hiring:

We prioritize diversity and inclusion in our recruitment and hiring processes. We actively seek out candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and ensure that our hiring practices are fair and unbiased.

Client Services:

We strive to provide culturally responsive and inclusive services to all of our clients. This includes offering services in multiple languages, incorporating diverse perspectives into our treatment approaches, and actively addressing barriers to access for marginalized communities.

Community Engagement:

We actively engage with the communities we serve to better understand their needs and experiences. This may include partnering with local organizations and community leaders to address systemic issues of inequity and injustice.

Continuous Improvement:

We regularly review and assess our policies, practices, and outcomes to identify areas for improvement. We are committed to continuously evolving and adapting our approach to ensure that we are effectively promoting equity and social justice within our agency and beyond.

diverse hands Join Us jpg_edited.jpg
bottom of page