About Me

Hello and welcome to the site.

Virginia Terhaar Ph.D. Looking for a therapist can be a daunting task. It's one of the most personal relationships we ever have in our lives. We need to feel safe enough to share our vulnerabilities, and we need to trust that the therapist can actually help us. I hope this information will give you something to go on during your selection process. It would also be useful for us to meet a time or two, to have a sense of whether our working together would be appropriate for you.

Our work would be focused on identifying the roots to problems you are experiencing, and understanding how those roots contribute to current difficulties. The therapy process is one of developing a deeper connection to your self, while improving connections you have with others. This can foster increased creativity, professional success, and peace of mind. My skill in therapy is to assist you in learning to nurture yourself in ways that have not yet been possible. It's about how to enhance your experience and quality of life. Please read the page on Therapy for more details.

For some history, I have been practicing in the field of mental health over 37 years, and in private practice here in Portland since 1985. Additional information is available on the Professional Disclosure Statement, on the Fees/Forms page. I have a Master's Degree in Counseling (1978), and a Doctorate in Contemporary Psychoanalysis (2011). In addition to my practice, I have been an adjunct faculty at Portland State University's Graduate Counseling Department; and a teacher, faculty member, and training analyst at the Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis Portland, where I also served as the Chair of the Special Events Committee for many years. Currently, I am a training and supervising analyst with the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, and serve on their Long Distance Committee.

My practice is limited to working with individual adults and couples seeking intensive psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. Additionally, I provide clinical supervision for therapists, and I am approved as a supervisor with the Oregon Licensure Board.

In addition to my clinical background, I practice zen meditation (since 1998), and was a founding Board member of the Zen Center of Portland. Meditation influences my work in both a compassionate and mindful direction. I have also studied most of the major religions of the world, and honor all spiritual paths. Looking for a therapist can be a daunting task. It's one of the most personal relationships we ever have in our lives. We need to feel safe enough to share our vulnerabilities, and we need to trust that the therapist can actually help us. I hope this information will give you something to go on during your selection process. It would also be useful for us to meet a time or two, to have a sense of whether our working together would be appropriate for you.