MEET THE COLLECTIVE
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).
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
Keely Helmick (she/they)
LPC, CST (Oregon)
I am a licensed professional counselor, LPC and LMFT Supervisor, CADCI and Lewis and Clark Alumni. I am a relationship, gender and sexuality counselor in Private Practice in Portland Oregon. I have been working with folks individually and in relationships 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+ community to provide inclusive mental health care for all folks. Last year Keely had the opportunity to be part of a forum in Salem to address the inequity of mental health and substance abuse treatment for LGBTQIA2S+ Oregonians. She also co-wrote an article on the same topic for the Statesmen Journal In my years of counseling, I have seen the effects of lack of education, misinformation, and suppression of healthy sexual discussion and expression. 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 specialize in treating marginalized identities including LGBTQIA2S+ all sex and gender diverse clients, kinky or non-monogamous folks, sex workers and sexual trauma survivors. My goal is to create a space where individuals, groups, and communities can learn and grow, overcoming systemic barriers to accurate sexual health information, trauma healing, and shame-free pleasure-based support.
Angie Gunn (she/her)
LCSW, CST (Oregon, Idaho)
I'm an AASECT certified sex therapist and licensed clinical social worker, licensed in Oregon, Idaho and previously in Wisconsin. I work from an intersectional, anti-oppression lens, with an emphasis on naming and deconstructing systems which further subjugate or limit our capacities to heal, grow and connect. I'm curious about all the parts of you, the ways in which your family, community, work, and identities impact your well-being and relationships. While I am a cis white female, I am keenly aware of the way in which my gender and race has given me power and privilege, and work to acknowledge that while creating equity whenever possible. In the realm of sex therapy, I'm often seen on the more radical end of the spectrum. I value sexual rights and human rights, and believe all humans should have access to safe, healthy, and mutually beneficial and pleasurable relationships. I value all sexual expression, identities, and lifestyles as valid, and worthy of understanding and insight. I'm engaged in kink, non-monogamy, sex work and queer communities and spaces, both as a participant and ally. Modalities I use include IFS (internal family systems), general systems theory, EFT, Gottman couples work, EMDR, Somatic based interventions, sensory integration and regulation work, narrative, TF-CBT, meditation and grounding, attachment oriented approaches and couples interventions. I value sharing information about myself when appropriate and work hard to be present in the room with you, experiencing and feeling as well. Therapy is an intuitive and collaborative process. I really enjoy hiking, yoga, dancing, water sports (the non sexy kind), a good beat, and tasty treats.
Elizabeth Knutsen (she/her)
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.
Melisa Moran (she/her)
LMFT (Oregon, California)
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the states of 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 towards 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 privileges as a white and cisgender female, and welcome open conversation about any ways in which these factors may impact my clients. I take an integrative approach in therapy, often pulling from various methods and theoretical frameworks including mindfulness, somatic therapy, narrative therapy, existential therapy, expressive arts, CBT, systems theory, solution-focused therapy, and Gottman couples work. 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.
Alex Emmert (they/them)
LPC Intern (Oregon)
I am a Student Intern pursuing a Professional Mental Health degree from the Lewis and Clark School of Counseling. I operate from a Social Justice lens; allowing the client to have the complexity of their identity be honored. While I am a Queer Non-binary Transgender person, my white privilege is something I am aware of and continue to acknowledge. Safety is not a guarantee as much as a felt moment-by-moment experience. It is with this in mind that I work towards cultural humility in my professional practice. My goal is to work collaboratively with clients in exploring their values, narratives, and parts of their lives that may be challenging to face alone. Existentialism, Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Narrative therapies are where I draw tools from to utilize in sessions. The subjective truths of each person is valid and unique in how they experience their world.
Ajay Dheer(uh-jay) (they/them)
I’m a queer 1st generation American with roots in North India & Pakistan pursuing full licensure as a marriage & family therapist. I work with people ages 15 and older on mindfulness, BDSM, gender, ethical non-monogamy, social justice, anxiety, depression, sex therapy, and trauma. I provide therapy that is grounded in social justice, queer and feminist theories, and cultural humility. My approach to therapy uses a blend of narrative, attachment-based, and body-focused techniques. In working with intimate relationships, I additionally draw from Emotion Focused and Gottman Method therapies. I place you at the center of your own story- I incorporate mind-body connection, emotional experiences, and relationships of all kinds into the therapy space. I truly believe that you deserve to live your best life, and I am here to offer whatever help I may toward that end. As a child of immigrant parents, I have lived my life in multiple cultures, giving me a unique perspective to the ways in which race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class may impact someone’s experiences. I don’t presume to know exactly what my clients have been through, but I do know what it is like to navigate the world in a body that has judgments thrust upon it. I want to use that knowledge to validate my clients’ identities and offer support or, possibly, new understandings of the ways these experiences influence the rest of their lives. Though social justice and anti-racism work inform much of my practice, my values rest on centering and working with all forms of marginalization (race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, etc.). As a person that cares a lot about my health and wellness, I enjoy cycling and various forms of body movement (but I am also known to spend hours on Netflix and/or Youtube). I am a vegan who is VERY enthusiastic about fruit, and I tend to geek out on astrology, herbalism, meditation, stones, and chakra frequencies.
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.
Cody Young (she/her)
CSWA Intern (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.
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.
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!
Melissa Trujillo (she/they)
Marketing & Administrative Assistant
I am a first generation Mexican-American woman raised on Wichita, Kansa, Sioux, Osage Land (SE Kansas). Currently, I reside on Peoria, Odawa, Anishinabewaki land (SE Michigan) and am a recent graduate of Michigan State University's Advertising Management program. My 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 I have experienced the world in a distinct way and have seen the constant violence toward migrant communities firsthand. I was able to receive a private Catholic education until college. I was surrounded by rich white families ready and eager to wield institutional power. The level of hypocrisy I saw and religious trauma I experienced in this time made me someone who avidly fights against the oppressive structures [they] uphold. I actively use the access and resources I have been afforded by my parents’ ability to maneuver through these systems. My internal fire fuels my desire to create and be of service to liberation. I fully acknowledge my proximity to whiteness and the responsibility that comes along with that- so I am actively involved in decolonization and anti-racism work. I believe a certain amount of creativity is required to imagine a world free of oppressive systems. I am a painter, writer, and avid reader that enjoys yoga and music.
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.
Abbie Nederhoed (she/they)
CSWA Intern (Oregon)
I have a Masters Degree in Social Work and am completing certification as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Originally a Midwesterner, I moved from Michigan to Oregon in 2015. My experience includes crisis counseling with youth and adults, working in syringe exchange/naloxone training programs, and mental health care within emergency departments and primary care settings. As a genderfluid, and queer individual who identifies within the kink and ethically non-monogamous communities, lived experience within these identities helps me to understand that we do not exist on a binary. I am white, often present as cis-femme, and in relationships that can appear hetero, it is my ongoing responsibility to be aware of my privilege and how I show up. Harm reduction is my unifying foundational perspective. I utilize narrative and humanistic frameworks and strive to be authentic and compassion driven, approaching each situation from an anti-oppressive, sex-positive, and intersectional perspective. Shame and judgment are often inherent in the ways we cope, and change can be a difficult process. Mitigating any potential harm in how we cope, while continuing to build on existing skills is often an entry point into the work we can do together. One of my roles is to hold space for you to explore your most authentic self, whoever that may be. I will also hold space for the ways you wish to navigate relationships and communities, while honoring that you may have to mask your identities to keep yourself safe within these systems. Each of us deserves a space that affirms all of our identities and emotions simultaneously, while also recognizing the systems that prevent us from showing up authentically.
Kat Catanach (she/her)
MFT Intern (Oregon)
I am a Graduate Student Intern pursuing a Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy degree at Lewis and Clark College. I strive to provide therapy from the use of an intersectional lens- while utilizing Narrative Therapy, Attachment Theory, Solution Focused Therapy, as well as other modalities- to collaborate with clients to achieve their goals, assess their needs and find ways to live their most authentic lives. As an Indigenous Pueblo woman, I am devoted to providing therapy to those who have a wide range of identities, especially those who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC. I am both body and sex positive and believe that healthy, satisfying relationships come in many configurations and styles. I am also BDSM/kink aware. It is my goal to cultivate a space where you can be comfortable in exploring the stories you have within you and those you have yet to author. I believe everyone has a story to tell and I would be honored to hear yours.