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Your Complexity is Your Power

Philosophy

Somatic approaches, Gestalt, IFS, Integrative Therapy,
and Flash Technique for Holistic Well-Being

  • Anxiety, low mood, T(t)rauma, emotional reactivity and overwhelm

  • Couples seeking relational effectiveness and meaningful connection

  • High achieving folx who could benefit from support, but not sure how anyone could help them

  • Multiracial or multicultural individuals and couples

  • White folx, whether full or mixed, who want to deconscruct their racial identity without worry of judgement

Therapeutic Philosophy

Sonja believes that everyone has the essential ingredients for personal transformation. Although, everyone must contend with the burdens of past negative experiences, she views her clients through the perspective of possibility and their greatest human potential. Sonja’s personal style with her clients is rooted in authenticity and immediacy, using interactions in the present moment as a looking glass into the nature of self. She also works to dismantle power dynamics that can be found in traditional therapist-client relationships. 

 

With a lifetime of meaningful personal experience and over 20 years of diverse professional experience, Sonja offers a unique, pluralistic viewpoint and meaningful strategies, giving clients the opportunity to explore anew aspects of themselves, their relationships, their careers, and the meaning of living. Her unique multicultural background taught her to negotiate the disparate needs and expectations of multiple cultural realms; a growing commonplace for many individuals. Her personal and professional experience with multicultural couples and blended families also serves as a resource for parents and adult children who seek to improve family dynamics, improve intimate relationships, or seek to resolve wounding from earlier experiences.

 

Sonja uses a holistic lens. She believes that client problems are not problems with the self, but a result of the circumstances that surround them. Sonja educates her clients about systemic impacts (cultural, social, environmental, political) on relationships, human development and personal well-being. She investigates how physical health impacts mental health and makes health recommendations for improving overall well-being. Her overall goal is to support clients in grounding into their essential selves in a world with overwhelming problems. Sonja applies these same principles in couples work as well. She sees relational experiences as a stage for how we relate to the self and the rest of the world.  

 

Sonja is a person-centered, trauma-informed, somatic-focused practitioner whose approach to therapy is both practical and deepening. While adept at solution-oriented approaches, she also integrates mind/body strategies, neurobiology, a psychodynamic lens, intersectionality, Gestalt, and post-modern perspectives into her work with clients. In simple terms, every part of the arc in the human experience matters; understanding past experiences, bringing the unconscious to the conscious, understanding internal and external influences on well-being and development, anchoring to the present moment, and strategizing for short- and long-term future possibilities. Her flexibility, creativity, and grounded nature give ease to working with many different kinds of peoples.

 

Although Sonja has experience working with various populations, her passion is found in working with individuals and couples who struggle with negotiating the multiple intersections of their lives. This arguably includes any person because people are unique and complex, occupying many roles and identities. Sonja believes that it is within the intersections of our lives where we discover who we are, what we are made of, and find the courage to become exactly who we want to be.

Backgound / Bio

Background / Biography

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Sonja Choi Heifetz, MS
Licensed Professional Counselor

Sonja grew up in Amarillo, Texas in a hospital located on Old Route 66. Her mother emigrated from South Korea and her father lived through The Great Depression in the Deep South. Sonja grew up as a “minority among minorities” in a Latinx low-income neighborhood. Sonja's childhood was filled with richness and diversity. Her life experiences were informed by navigating multiple realms related to class, race, religion, spirituality, violence, traditional gender norms, immigration status, and privilege. Sonja’s search for belonging and love for nature motivated her to move to the California where she began her career pursuits. Her early career experiences consisted of outdoor adventure guiding, teaching environmental and social sustainability, corporate life, entrepreneurship, environmental policy, and insomnia intervention coaching.

 

Sonja's motivation to pursue a career in counseling psychology began as a college instructor where she came to believe that in order to have both environmental and social justice we must begin by meeting the everyday needs of people, psychologically and in practical ways, thus, guiding them toward higher order action in changing their lives and the systems they live in. Her belief in human potential paired with her obsessive fascination with human behavior and admiration of the human spirit coalesced into a fulfilling private practice where Sonja has the honor of supporting and witnessing individuals transcend their limitations. 

 

Sonja has a B.A. in Sustainable Community Development and Environmental Studies and an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in somatic-focused approaches and couples work. Sonja is a self-proclaimed Jill-of-all-Trades and seeks to paint her life canvas with as many colors as possible. She continues to enjoy outdoor adventures. Her deepest passions are singing, dancing, and foreign languages. Sonja has had the privilege of immersing herself in other cultures and living abroad. She is currently learning to master the "middle-age grind", parenting her adopted son, and entrepreneurship. She currently lives in Portland, OR with her husband, son, and her fur-baby, Marley, who often attends in-person sessions. 

Contact

Contact

Sonja Choi Heifetz Counseling LLC
 

1020 SW Taylor Street, Suite 440  |  Portland, Oregon 97205

Tel: 503-382-8534

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