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  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, 1977
  • Master of Biblical Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1986
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Western Seminary, 1987
  • Doctor of Psychology, Western Seminary, 1989
  • Licensed as Psychologist, Oregon, #944 (since 1991)
My Story

Thank you for stopping by. You are welcome here.

My name is Steven Spotts and I am an Oregon Psychologist, licensed in the state of Oregon since 1991. 

(OR Lic # 944) 


I came to Oregon in 1985 to pursue a second career in psychology. My early years were spent in the Midwest, first in the Chicago area and later in Northern Indiana. I attended Michigan State University on an athletic scholarship hoping to pitch my way to a professional baseball career. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), knee and arm injuries cut short that boyhood dream and redirected my focus. I graduated from Michigan State University in 1977 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice.


After graduating and marrying a southern bride, my new wife and I worked with college students at both the University of Texas and Baylor as staff members with a Christian, campus ministry (CRU). In 1983, I earned my Masters in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and while doing so completed a chaplaincy internship on an inpatient unit at a hospital in the Dallas area. I was immediately drawn to both the patients and the staff, hearing their stories and struggles, treatment successes and failures, and learning to listen in ways I had never listened before. It was there among those compelling individuals that I became convinced I wanted to pursue psychology as a career.


We moved our family Dallas to Portland in 1985 and I attended Western Seminary (located on Mt Tabor). I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1989 and my postdoctoral residency in 1991. My training included stints in family therapy, community counseling centers, and hospital inpatient units working with adults, adolescents, eating disorder patients, and finally individuals and couples in a private practice setting. 


My influences are many and, like everyone, I have been shaped by people, places, and events unique to me. However, from living in both the Midwest and the South, on the West coast and in great Northwest; from international and cross cultural travel; from my professional studies in criminology, theology, and psychology; from my work with a vast array of people and cultures through Christian ministries on the University campus, as well as in the professional business communities of Austin and Dallas; and in urban communities as diverse as Chicago, Newport Beach, and Portland: from parenting three children and being a grandparent to seven grandkiddos; all my experiences taken together have provided me a broad perspective from which to offer help. Some of my specific areas of focus are listed below.

Areas of Focus
Marriage or Couples Therapy

Most clients enter treatment with the hope of growing or maturing in some area of their life. The word therapy implies "health" and that is what most people seek.


Generally, individuals want to reduce their suffering, avoid any destructive or dysfunctional behaviors, and find relief 

from the stresses placed upon them by the unhealthy relationships, circumstances or environments in which they find themselves.


People are also looking to find meaning in their suffering and want to be understood, hoping to find comfort in someone competently holding on to the most fragile parts of themselves while attempting to make sense of the world.

While most of us want to leave the past in the past, it is our understanding of the past and its real influence on us that helps us actually move forward in areas where our growth has stalled or where we feel stuck. Our work will sometimes involve a deep dive into understanding the sources of your pain so that together we can help you find relief.  


These are the kind of things that routinely happen in all 

psychotherapy but particularly so when individuals seek the depth work of what is called psychodynamic or psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapies.


There is no doubt that families are in crisis. There are many reasons for this and they run the gamut from financial stresses, individual and relational trauma, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual dysfunction and unfaithfulness, to a chronic lack of support from the extended family, friends or community. Our world is certainly imperfect but it is still our world. One that we have helped create and one in which we must now find a way to live effectively.


The family is one of the most natural and greatest forces for good in our world and also one of its most destructive. Something we all have in common is that we are the union of two others who form a family unit. However, the ongoing nature and security of our attachment to that family may vary greatly in both quality and in impact. A secure attachment is knowing someone has your back, and when that is true, a whole world of possibilities opens to us.

Family problems are complex and so are the solutions. Sometimes psychological help is needed to correctly assess the problems and provide both the roadmap and the support to help recreate a family that works and plays well together. The recreation of a family that has your back, opening your future to new possibilities.

Sue Johnson, in Love Sense, writes: "Distressed partners no longer see each other as their emotional safe haven...unhappy partners feel emotionally deprived, rejected, even abandoned. In that light, couples' conflicts assume their true meaning: they are frightened protests against eroding connection and a demand for emotional reengagement." 


is an open channel for reciprocal emotional signaling. Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding Secure love"In contrast, at the core of happy relationships is a deep trust that partners matter to each other and will reliably respond when needed. Johnson continues, deeper connection. It is a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again, minute by minute and day by day."


I help couples regain trust in one another by fostering opportunities to face the difficult subjects that have derailed them in the past with skills that help them attach safely without sacrificing their sense of autonomy. Loving one another can be accomplished without the loss of personal identity. In fact, if people want to truly love and be loved, then a secure sense of self is a necessary precondition.

Supervision & Consultation

Finding a good supervisor is like finding a good therapist. It can be a fairly complex process of finding the right fit. One joy that comes from aging is the opportunity to help shape the next generation of therapists and people helpers. It truly is more blessed to give than receive. However, along with giving, I find myself gaining from these types of supervisory relationships as well.


Thinking together about the problems people face and ways that we can better help them, reviewing and thinking broadly about subjects like psychology, sociology, theology, philosophy, and anthropology; as well as the legal and ethical issues in our profession make my own learning a predictable and ongoing process. 


Sometimes we all need the motivation a coach can bring. Not everything is a dysfunction.  We may need a sounding board, a different perspective, or the sage advice of someone who has walked our road and is familiar with the obstacles in the road ahead.


It takes a great deal of maturity to ask for help, but the strongest leaders are usually those that seek out mentors who know the way.

Need more details?

Contact me by phone or email

503-526-9304 or

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