MEET THE COLLECTIVE
Queer & Trans Affirming:
Gender expansive & affirming of all identities & expressions.
Community & Mutual Growth:
Creating opportunities for building community, professional connection & collaboration.
Centering Marginalized Folks:
anti-oppression & decolonizing work. Specifically creating clinical space for sex worker & POC communities.
Pleasure-centered, affirming of all identities (ace/demi/non-allo), kink/ fetish, & non-monogamous relationship structures.
At Connective Therapy Collective, we seek to treat the whole person, and train others to do the same. We emphasize healing trauma, eliminating shame, and ending stigma related to the full expansion and expression of sex and gender diversity. We are committed to trauma-informed, pleasure-centered, intersectional clinical work. We are here to support both individual healing and the building of intentional, well-suited, meaningful relationships of all kinds. Due to licensing requirements, we can treat clients in Oregon (with a few exceptions for clients in Idaho and California).
As a team, we center the experiences of folks who've traditionally been marginalized, many of the team members also share those identities and seek to be in community with those we care for while upholding ethical standards and clinical best practices.
Communities we belong to & seek to support
Queer, trans, gender non-conforming, and questioning folks
Kinky/ Fetish/ Pro-Dom(me)'s and lifestyle members
Sex Workers of all types
Individuals and couples who are non-monogamous
Sexual assault survivors, sex trafficking survivors
Folks dealing with the impact of oppression, racism, transphobia, heterosexism, mononormativity, and/or whorephobia
Therapists & Counselors
Keely Helmick (they/she)
LPC, CST (Oregon)
My name is Keely C. Helmick and I am the owner of Connective Therapy Collective in Portland, Oregon. I use they/them and she/her pronouns and I am a White, able-bodied, queer, gender fluid, non-binary femme.
These identities inform the passion and experience I bring to my professional practice as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and certified sex therapist. In my work I focus on supporting individuals or relationships/family structures processing topics of gender, sexuality, non-monogamy, and polyamory. People want to talk about sex and either don’t have the language to have the discussion, or are hindered by misinformation, trauma, embarrassment or lack of self-awareness and understanding. My practice lens is intersectional, anti-oppression and de-colonization oriented. I have been working with folks for over 12-years to address a myriad of personal, sexual concerns in a sex-positive, non-judgmental way. I specialize in work with the LGBTQIA2S+, gender diverse people, as well as the kinky community. My goal is to create a space where individuals, groups, and communities can learn and grow, overcome systemic barriers to accurate sexual health information, trauma healing, and shame-free pleasure-based support.
At Connective Therapy Collective I supervise Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. I received my graduate degree from Lewis & Clark College and maintain certification through the state of Oregon as well as nationally with The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).
Not currently seeing clients
Melisa De Seguirant (she/they)
LMFT (Oregon, California)
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist in Oregon and California, and an alumna of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University in the San Francisco Bay Area. I place a high value on honoring the unique nature of the client-therapist relationship dynamic. I see therapy as a collaborative process and view myself as an apt clinician, but most prominently a fellow human journeying down my own path towards integration, self acceptance and holistic wellbeing. I aim to show up authentically in session and empower my clients to take ownership over their healing process, acknowledging and actively dismantling the power differential inherent in the therapist-client relationship.
I am an openly bisexual and polyamorous person, and am passionate about working with others in the LGBTQ+, non-monogomous and other historically sexually stigmatized communities. I additionally have 5 years of clinical experience with adolescents and a background in suicide and crisis intervention. I acknowledge my privilege as an able-bodied white person and welcome open conversation about the ways in which these factors may impact my clients. I take an integrative approach in therapy weaving together elements of psychoeducation, mindfulness, narrative therapy, parts work, somatic experiencing and the expressive arts. I additionally use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in order to help my clients move through and integrate traumatic experiences.
I spent my first 25 years of life intensively honing my artistic skills towards a career in musical theater performance, and I take special interest in exploring the intersections of creativity, sexuality and spirituality when it resonates with my clients. I invite those who choose to work with me to actively invest outside of our sessions in ongoing self exploration, self care, body work, community building and creative/spiritual growth.
Elizabeth Knutsen (she/her)
QMHP, MSW, CSWA (Oregon)
I am a masters level social worker completing certification as a licensed clinical social worker in Oregon. I have spent my career working in both Illinois and Oregon. I have developed my skills of empathy working with domestic violence survivors and geriatric populations. My approach to therapy is creating a safe space for you to be your authentic self. I'm not interested in changing you but rather allowing you to sit with yourself and hone in on what truly makes you, you. My clinical focus is working with sex workers and those in sexual fringe populations. In our work together know that I will never shame you for the ways you navigate this capitalistic world. I seek to build a space with you that makes you feel seen and where you can feel your work is not only legitimized but celebrated when you want it to be. I acknowledge the privilege I receive from the color of my skin and cis female identity. I seek to actively dismantle my privilege and am always open to feedback from those whose life experiences are different from mine. I look forward to building a community of support, nurturing, and sharing together.
Jessica Broderick (she/her)
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Oregon and an alum of Lewis and Clark College. There I began the work of actively recognizing and dismantling white supremacy in myself and bringing anti-oppression into my therapeutic work. As a systemic therapist I approach the work of therapy as that of exploring how the unique constellation of relationships throughout your life has shaped how you think about yourself, how you relate to others, and how you view your struggles. In addition to family and social relationships, together we will discuss how race, class, gender, and other identities have impacted your sense of self. With my knowledge of the impact of trauma on the nervous system I can help you better understand what happens in your body when you experience stress and how you can use your body find a sense of safety. I specialize in working with gender and sexual identity exploration, healing from historical trauma, and unconventional relationship agreements such as polyamory and kink. When effective, therapy is hard and emotional work. I will bring fierce compassion and plenty of humor to support you through the often difficult journey of self and relationship exploration.
Not Currently Accepting Clients
Alex Emmert (they/them)
MA, LPC Associate (Oregon)
I am a Masters level Professional Counselor Associate working towards licensure in the state of Oregon and completed Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Mental Health Counseling program in June of 2021. I provide Individual counseling primarily for Queer and Trans folks around Oregon. I have experience navigating our culture as someone who is queer, nonbinary, transmasculine, and familiar with practices of non-monogamy. I came into this work as someone who has learned to befriend their own pain, within a culture that has a lack of willingness to recognize the need of emotional tools, in order to navigate the bellies of numerous beasts that we are bound to face. My work orients primarily towards the emotional aspect of human experiences with emphasis on grief, pain, and the complex feelings that accompany various types of change and loss people experience throughout life. Applying this work with a queer lens can include grieving for a past version of yourself prior to coming out, how a new identity could create a painful change or loss of community, how break ups can isolate marginalized relationships from community, and more. I utilize creative interventions to create dialogue between a person and their inner-world experience while respecting the pace the client feels comfortable with. My aim is to sit alongside you and offer you tools to aid you in healing your own heart.
Kiki Carlstrom (she/they)
LPC Intern (Oregon)
I am a graduate student intern currently pursuing a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree at George Fox University. I identify as a Queer, Black, woman of color who practices from a trauma-informed, intersectional, anti-racist, feminist, and person-centered lens, in order to best support my clients. As a sexual assault survivor, I am most passionate about working with folks from marginalized backgrounds who have experienced sexual trauma of all sorts and are on the path of not only healing that pain, but also reconnecting with our bodies and finding liberation and pleasure within our sexuality! I am also very interested in exploring the ways in which religion and the toxicity of purity culture manifests as trauma and impacts the ways in which we are able to experience ourselves as sexual beings. It is my belief that trauma has a way of energetically being stored in our bodies in numerous ways, causing disconnect from who we truly are. It is my desire to cultivate a space of safety, vulnerability, and authenticity, that facilitates healing and the erasure of shame. It is my honor to support you wherever you are in your journey!
Liz Ward (they/them)
MFT Intern (Oregon)
I am a student of Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis & Clark College. Originally from Colorado, I chose to pursue my training here due to the social justice lens L&C offers. My work centers around sex and sexuality, gender, romantic relationships, ethical non-monogamy, kink, and body positivity. As a non-binary, white, pansexual, polyamorous person who often passes as cis-hetero, I recognize the privilege I experience moving through the world and aim to understand you from an intersectional, trauma-informed, and queer framework to the best of my ability given my own identity and experience of the world. My work draws on therapeutic models of attachment, mindfulness, emotionally focused, and narrative therapies. The understanding of how our bodies and minds work at a biological level is another important factor. Emotions are an integral part of the human experience that we will explore in our work together. I aim to bring my authentic self to the room and therapeutic relationship. My goal is to offer a space where you can also be your authentic self and explore the possibilities of healing and growth that you are reaching for. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games, taking walks, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and talking with family and friends.
Liv Siulagi (she/her)
QMHA Intern Oregon
I am a third year student intern from Lewis & Clark’s Art Therapy program working to finish my degree. I ground my practice in Liberation Psychology, basing my work on the belief that humans naturally strive for health and connection, but that we live in an oppressive society that limits our ability to heal from trauma, build lasting communities, and forge full, meaningful lives. Through compassion, open-mindedness, humility, accountability, authenticity, and my critical background in intersectional feminist theory I work hard to treat my therapeutic participants as equals: helping them develop insight, heal, and tune into their natural creativity. As a mixed race (Samoan, filipina, and white), cis-woman raised in the primarily white city of Portland my lived experience of oppression and the privileged aspects of my identity have inspired me to examine my own role as an ally and advocate. In my final year at Lewis & Clark this interest has led to a year-long research project focused on improving white allyship and avoiding performative activism in my field. This work paired with my art advocacy, volunteer work with marginalized populations, and undergraduate research experience on sexuality has dedicate myself to a reflective practice. I spend my spare time lifting weights, painting, seeing my friends, and trying my best to organize my apartment using the Konmari Method.
Jamie Berkowitz (she/her)
LPC Associate (Oregon)
I earned my LPC through the Professional Mental Health Counseling program with a specialization in addiction. On top of this, I have a strong passion for couples/couples bringing baby home, trauma, gender identity, ethical non-monogamy, kink, sexuality and pleasure therapy as well. Originally from Pennsylvania, I trekked across our beautiful country and landed in Colorful Colorado where I lived for 6 years before making my way to Portland for school. As a white, queer, cis-female, I recognize the privilege I experience moving through the world and aim to understand you from an intersectional, trauma-informed, and queer framework to the best of my ability given my own identity and experience in the world. Our work in unlearning socially constructed binaries, binds, and biases is never over, and I am not exempt from this exploration. I come from an integrative approach that pulls from therapeutic models such as attachment, existentialism, emotionally focused, humanistic, and Gestalt therapies. I aim to bring my authentic self to the room and therapeutic relationship. My goal is to offer a space where you can also be your authentic self and explore the possibilities of healing and growth that you are reaching for. In my free time, I enjoy playing my banjo and guitar, learning the piano, playing video games, exploring the PNW, doing yoga, and spending time with my family and friends.
Cody Young (she/her)
MSW, CSWA (Oregon)
I'm a master's level social worker, who came to this work through punk, harm reduction, and grassroots organizing. My focus has always been to support and empower disenfranchised populations including: sex workers, LGBTQ+, houseless people, and those affected by the prison system. I am continuously humbled by the humor, resilience, and strength of people in the face of their most harrowing circumstances. As a mixed-race (white-passing), gender-non-conforming (cis-male-passing), and queer (arguably straight-passing) person from a multicultural family, I was introduced to systems of power, discrimination, and personal/passing privileges early in life. Because of my lived experiences, I remain committed to bringing liberatory praxis into my work. For the last eight years, I’ve held several jobs in community mental health: crisis intervention, substance use recovery, transitional housing, and street outreach. The most satisfying part of my work has been supporting people as they develop insight and new skills to achieve and maintain sustainable emotional wellness. This looks different from person to person. My aim is to develop trust and create a space with you, where you feel safe to be and explore who you are, as well as the challenges you face. My practice is eclectic, grounded in an anti-oppressive and trauma-informed framework. I’m always looking for ways to collaborate and incorporate the experiences and wisdom of those I have the privilege of working with. In my spare time, I draw comics, enjoy old records and 80’s horror movies.
MSW, LCSW Oregon
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Portland State alum. I hold degrees in Social Work, Public Health, and Human Biology. I am LGBTQ+ allied and trained. I recognize my privilege as a cis, hetero, able-bodied and white-passing clinician, and I work to leverage my position within systems to further equitable practices that honor the experience of those I serve. Genuine human connection, holding space for the development of self-awareness, space to safely show up authentically, and reverence for the complexity of individual experience are the cornerstones of my practice. I am a graduate of OHA’s DELTA program, focused on illuminating and addressing areas of inequitable health and social practices, and creating space for the voices of those being served. I draw on each field of study as I work to increase the congruence clients feel in their body, mind, and the systems (and relationships) they find themselves part of within society. I take a pragmatic approach to therapeutic interventions, assisting clients in the development of a coherent narrative of their personal and relational experiences, drawing on my training in cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, neuroscience, somatic experiencing, affect regulation, mindfulness practices, and clinical applications of polyvagal theory.
Jen Nisley (she/her)
MFT Intern Oregon
I am a counseling student intern completing my master's in marriage, couple, and family counseling from George Fox University. I work with individuals, partnerships (both monogamous and non-monogamous), and families from an emotion-focused and relational cultural theoretical perspective. I strive to promote and enact change towards equality in every space I inhabit. This includes recognizing my privilege as a white, cis-gender, able-bodied woman. I utilize this privilege with continued education, involvement, intention, and humility to support those who society attempts to outcast.I am passionate about journeying with people through the entire spectrum of the human experience. This may be in the darkest depths of grief, disconnected numbness, or the heights of exploring what brings you pleasure. In our relationship, we greet and explore these experiences as both new and old friends. Without judgment, I will strive to hold space for your process and emotions while maintaining curiosity for what is next. We spend the entirety of our lives learning from our environment and our relationships. For many, the environment has been tainted by injustice, oppression, and a lack of safety. In order to understand the lessons that have led us to the here and now, we explore and connect our past, present, and future selves. In my work with partnerships and systems, we do this work while being witnessed by those closest to you and connecting the thread into your current functioning. We explore the naturally formed and equally unique relationship cycles to identify the point of disconnection and find our way back to one another with compassion and understanding.
Maia Bellavia (she/her)
Social Work Graduate Intern (Oregon)
I am a graduate student intern currently pursuing a master’s in social work from The University Of South Florida. I identify as a lesbian, white and Choctaw Native American. I acknowledge my privileges as a cisgender, able-bodied, white-passing intern provider and welcome open conversations/feedback from those whose life experiences are different from mine to continue my education in allyship. I have 5 years of experience working with various communities in the mental health field such as homelessness, transitional housing, street outreach, and substance recovery. I am excited to broaden my practice to individuals and couples looking for tools and a safe space to explore sex and sexuality, romantic, family and social relationships. After ending a 20-year hetero-marriage and coming out as lesbian in my 40’s, I understand the challenges that can arise in finding your identity and how life changes can create feelings of isolation from family, community, and a loss of self. I work from a heart centered holistic mental health perspective to best support and serve my clients. I am passionate about holding space for people in their most vulnerable moments. I provide a caring, warm and welcoming space for people to be heard, seen, supported, and loved fully for who they are wherever they are on their journey. My aim is to develop trust and create a space with you, where you feel safe and supported to be who you are through navigating life’s challenges.
Mikki Davis (she/her)
I came to this work through my passion and desire to support people in their journey to mental health and holistic wellness individually, relationally, and systemically. While this process started for me by going to graduate school to become a Marriage and Family therapist, specializing in sex therapy, I soon realized in my time working in agencies and group practices that therapy providers do not get the support they need from their administrative staff. Before I completed my graduate degree I had decided to redirect my career path so I could help create a warm and supportive environment for our providers, and in turn for clients. My goals as a white, cis, and hetero (mostly) person in this collective is to use my access to privilege to help build up more access to resources for all of our underserved populations while understanding that it is a daily practice of humility and introspection to continue my personal anti-racist, anti-patriarchal, and anti-capitalist work. My approach to my work is informed by my own mental health and body wellness journey and I truly believe we each have our own unique path to healing and we all deserve access to the resources that facilitate and support our growth. I balance out my work life spending time with my partner, my chosen family, my dog and my ball python. I am thrilled to be a part of this collective and to be a small stepping-stone on your path to radical healing.
Jenna Piñon (she/her)
I am an undergrad student at Portland State University acquiring my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. My overall goal is to obtain my masters in Marriage & Family therapy (LMFT). I chose to go into this field because of my interest in supporting others. I am passionate about mental health and showing others the importance of it. I am excited to be part of the administrative staff because I can offer help and gain knowledge within therapy and communities. I am a bi-sexual, cis, first & second-generation Salvadoran/Mexican woman. I was born and raised in Southern California. I moved to Salt Lake City, UT when I was eighteen because of the cost of living. I moved to Oregon in the summer of ’21 for school and to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes. I spend the majority of my free time with my partner and turtles, cats, and dog. I am delighted to be part of the process of growth and recovery.
Mel Diane (she/they)
Mel is a first generation Mexican-American woman raised on Wichita, Kansa, Sioux, Osage Land (SE Kansas). Melissa’s passion for this work comes from lived experience as a bisexual non-black person of color, survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and a sexual assault survivor (SAS) maneuvering through this world. As a child of immigrant parents, she has seen the constant violence toward immigrant communities first hand. Their internal fire fuels their desire to create and be of service to liberation. Melissa believes creativity is required to imagine a world free of oppressive systems.
Cardinal Marking (he/they)
Graphic Designer & Website Manager
Cardinal was born on the tiny Chamorro island of Guam, presently occupied by the USA for use as a military base territory. They currently reside on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge. He was raised in the Baha'i faith, which firmly believes racism is the biggest issue facing our world today. A natural helper, he tries his best to support those who support the causes of racial equality, fat liberation, gay rights, and climate protection. Cardinal is a licensed massage therapist, digital marketer, and polymath artist. They manage the Connective Therapy Collective website, and they're the audio engineer/ graphic designer for the podcast Queer Relationships, Queer Joy.