Uncovering your gifts
Going deep; finding light
I provide creative, expressive, soulful counseling for individuals age 14 and up who are experiencing depression, anxiety, grief, the aftermath of trauma, relationship challenges, life transitions, personal growth spurts or difficulty processing the wide range and complexity of human experiences.
In response to current health, economic and social crises I am accepting new clients at a pay-what-you-can fee for both telehealth (zoom) or social distance in-person sessions in my private office studio. More information can be found on the Logistics page.
I welcome all colors and flavors of humanity. I am LGBTQIA+ friendly and sex positive. I say more about this on the Services page.
My practice is located in a warm, peaceful setting in inner northeast Portland, a few blocks from public transit. Street parking is available for your car. Your bike can be locked outside out of site or brought inside.
Through imagination, expression, and embodiment our work together offers healing, cultivates emotional intelligence, builds a foundation for authentic, fulfilling relationships, and supports your personal growth and transformation.
For more information about my practice, please browse the rest of this site. To schedule a free phone consultation (about 15 minutes or so) or pose additional questions, see my contact page or click on schedule an appointment on the right side of the page.
I graciously thank you for being here. If this seems like a good fit, I would be honored to guide and accompany you on this journey of healing and growth toward wholeness, freedom, and abundance.
I earned my master's degree in Counseling Psychology with emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Pacifica's mission of "Tending to the soul of the world" resonates with my belief in the inherent sacredness of our lives and our life journeys. It speaks to our common threads. It reflects my belief that the good that we do for one, including ourselves, benefits all. Depth psychologists often refer to the psyche as the soul. Your living soul is the most authentic and purposeful part of you. Depth psychology explores what lies deep inside us, beyond our typical conscious awareness, so we call it the unconscious. In essence we try to get to the root or heart of the matter.
As we work with conscious and unconscious material, we begin to see how old wounds and unresolved issues have been getting in our way. We see our own inner conflicts and the parts of ourselves that are difficult to accept. As humans, our best learning comes from life itself, from owning our mistakes, from navigating difficult transitions and the depths of loss and grief. It comes from confronting our fears and overcoming obstacles. Counseling does not prevent suffering or difficulty. Instead it increases our capacity for meeting these with compassion, curiosity, resilience and agency. It awakens our inherent wisdom, frees our soul, and opens our gifts.
My approach integrates mindfulness (thoughts), somatics (the physical body), emotional intelligence and resilience, creative expression and, finally, spirituality, which I think of as connection and meaning. In my perspective, the soul is at the core of all of these things. You might say I practice counseling soul-ology. Authenticity, acceptance, and trust are the foundation of a counselor-client relationship that co-creates a safe container for the soul to break through and emerge. In that sense, I am also a soul doula.
Open Presence Counseling is about opening. Opening to healing, opening the doors to parts of ourselves that have been hidden away, opening to new perspectives and new understandings. It is about opening our imagination, opening to healing, possibility and hope. Open Presence Counseling is about presence, being fully present in each moment, slowing down and tuning into what is happening now. Presence is also being there with another person, accompanying them through discomfort and witnessing change. Presence says, I hear you. I see you. Open Presence Counseling is a process that over time strengthens your ability to give and receive. In this way, Open Presence opens presents - your gifts!
Our process together may embrace:
The soul seeks to express itself freely.
Throughout our lives there are numerous times when we are not allowed or able to express a true feeling, an objection or an honest opinion, even in painful or traumatic circumstances. We become good at stifling, editing or numbing our true feelings. Unexpressed, they become deeply buried, but they do not disappear.
Expression therefore, is one of the key modalities in our work together, especially non-verbal expression. Words can be wonderful tools, and we will definitely have conversations,
but sometimes words can derail us into reasoning and problem solving, which are important, but can still avoid the actual expression of a feeling. Trying to find the right words can also confine us in the same way that describing swimming is nothing like actually being immersed in water. As you tell me what you're feeling, thinking or experiencing, I will invite you to show me what it looks like. You may work with clay, draw, paint, collage or you may use music, song lyrics, poetry, vocalizing, movement or dance. I have a large collection of print images that we may use. We will also incorporate somatic awareness - how feelings show up in your body, and mindfulness, breath work or meditation as tools for calming and observing how your brain and your body respond to current thoughts or emotions. All of these tools help to evoke, access, express and process thoughts or feelings in a safe container and give them a physical form that is now on the outside instead of stuck inside. In time, this process helps to free your soul. Less encumbered, things tend to become more clear, more purposeful and more meaningful.
Relationships are where it all comes together and where it all may fall apart. Much of our unconscious and unintentional stuff comes out in our relationships. Creating conscious, resilient and fulfilling relationships is possible when each partner is willing and able to do their own deep work. I work with individuals, so our work together focuses on you. We may begin by creating a visual guide to who you are and all that you bring to relationships; your history, your world view, your hopes, your gifts and more. We will address open and clear communication, boundaries, consent, accountability, attachment, individuation, love languages, unspoken narratives, projections, expectations, making repairs, pleasure, intimacy and sexuality. I generally do not work with couples or more than one person at a time, but our individual counseling offers tools, insight and clarity that you can bring into your relationships.
Open Presence Counseling is LGBTQIA+ affirming and sex positive. I support you, in who you are and in how you express yourself. Sex positive means that sexuality, consensual sexual interactions, and pleasure derived from sex are positive and healthy. A sex positive perspective affirms that sexual expression, activity or interaction may take many forms. I support your personal values, preferences, boundaries and questions.
Open Presence Counseling is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, ancestry, citizenship, marital status or relationship configuration.
Sometime in the middle of adult life, we may find ourselves questioning everything. Life as we've known it, and even we ourselves may seem to be falling apart. When processed consciously, this challenging and often painful rite of passage into our "second adulthood" (James Hollis) becomes a midlife metamorphosis, a rebirth or reawakening of our true soul. We find a renewed sense of belonging that in turn leads to a fulfilling and meaningful second half of life. Our counseling work together looks at the developmental and spiritual tasks inherent to this rite of passage. Dreams, mythology, fairy tales and other images direct our attention toward unconscious obstacles and act as guideposts leading us in and out of the labyrinth of metamorphosis.
Sage and Acknowledgements
Sarah is my legal and beloved given name. But friends and new acquaintances call me Sage, a name that was given to me during my own midlife metamorphosis. Sage is associated with healing and wisdom - both gifts I intend to share with the world. For legal or business purposes, I use the name Sarah Skutt. Since you are a new acquaintance, you can call me Sage.
Gratitude to Kristin Gilje for permitting me to use her butterfly and labyrinth artwork on this website and my business card. Talk about a perfect fit! www.kristingilje.com.
Gratitude to Jeff Amram for his photography of me and my office space. www.jeffamram.com
Gratitude to Natasha Pettit at Simple Growth for her help with this website and so much more! www.simplegrowth.me
To schedule a free phone or video (zoom) consultation (about 15 minutes), please click on "schedule an appointment" or scroll to my Contact page. If this seems like a good fit for both of us, we'll set up your first appointment at my space in NE Portland. I will provide the exact location and other details at that time.
My regular rate is $120 per 60-minute session.
In response to current health, economic and social crises, if you are not able to pay my regular fee, I am accepting new clients at a pay-what-you-can fee for both telehealth (zoom) or social distance in-person sessions in my private office studio.
I also offer 75 minute, 90 minute or longer sessions if that appeals to you. Art materials are included in this price. Payment is due at the time of service.
I do not contract with or bill health insurance.
Events & Workshops
- All workshops are on hold due to Covid19SabinAll workshops are on hold due to Covid19Sabin, Sabin, Portland, OR, USAIn this healing ritual, working with clay provides a tangible, kinetic way to express grief. Co-participants provide witness, affirmation, and support of one another’s grief process.
Get in touch to schedule an appointment
Thank you for getting in touch. I will respond as soon as I am able. Please let me know the best and most confidential way to reach you. Please leave your phone number in the message field if you'd like me to call you back. Note that sometimes my email reply to you from this website may end up in your spam or junk filter. You can remedy that by adding me to your contacts. I look forward to meeting you soon.
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Portland, OR 97212