I am Chera Sabankaya... a certified, listed provider with WPATH (World Professional Assoc. for Transgender Health), LPC (Licenced Professional Counselor), NCC (National Certified Counselor), Adjunct Professor and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Southern Oregon University's Masters in Mental Health Counseling Program. I am a member of ACA (American Counseling Association), AMHCA (American Mental Health Counselors Assoc), CALPCC (California Assoc. for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors), and I am a horse behaviorist of 35 years.
SS A Lot Of Bask (Calypso OS x SS A Lot Of Spark)
bay 2014 colt at two days old
My goal is not to treat you as an ill patient, but to work with you as a partner, providing a safe space in which to explore the deep, underlying feelings and beliefs that have blocked you from reaching your full potential and developing fulfilling connections with others. I consider it a privilege to walk with you on your life's journey.
Because I live in a border town between California and Oregon, I see clients in both states. I am an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) in Oregon, meaning I can bill insurance, including OHP, and I can see clients in California as a registered LPCCI (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Intern), expecting to become licensed in CA by early spring 2017. I can also see clients as a life coach in both states. I am trained in medical hypnotherapy, which can be very helpful in compassionately accessing your deep, underlying feelings and tapping into your own inner strengths and wisdom. My goal is to help you identify your life's dreams and then collaborate with you in formulating a plan to narrow the gap between your dreams and your reality.
Spirit and Logic...
I call my approach to counseling "Spirit and Logic," with Spirit representing my compassionate belief that no living being is innately bad, and Logic referring to my duty as a caregiver to continually educate myself and my clients on the developing science of the body/behavior-mind/thought connection.
Although I work with clients experiencing various psychological conditions, I also see clients facing ordinary life challenges, such as divorce, the creation of blended/atypical families, domestic violence, grief, and chronic pain. I have a minor in criminology and one year's experience counseling felony probationers/parolees with relapse prevention and community reintegration. I also have over one year's experience as a full-time primary therapist at Siskiyou County Behavioral Health's Children's System of Care, where I treated clients aged 6-18 years old for various DSM conditions. I worked with the clients individually and with their families at home, school, and juvenile hall visits. Because I believe in working with the client's entire support network, I collaborated with teachers, principals, foster parents, probation officers, prescribing MDs, case managers, CPS workers, and social workers as needed, but I always protected my clients' rights to confidentiality by getting a signed release of information beforehand.
I customize the treatment for each client and like to think outside of the box. So, sometimes we hold our sessions at the park where we can sit by the duck pond or out at our ranch, where we can visit the horses and go for a easy stroll through the mountains. Our sessions can take place in my beautiful office in the touristic mountain town of Ashland, Oregon or on our horse ranch beneath the majestically snow-capped Mt. Shasta--they can also be held over the telephone or online via email or Skype when transportation becomes an issue.
And the therapy, itself, is never stuffy or pretentious, if I can help it; for example, we might sit and talk about your favorite cartoon characters(career therapy) or listen to your favorite music (audio therapy) as a way of exploring ways you can soothe yourself when under pressure. We might also use the Gestalt Model to help you experiment with ways to communicate with loved ones, friends, family members, colleagues, or employers by using the empty chair role-play technique. And, although together we will create an overall treatment plan for the duration of our therapeutic relationship, I prefer to take a Person-Centered "no plan is the plan" approach to each session. This way, we can explore the issues that matter most to you from moment to moment. Although my approach to counseling is considered ecclectic, meaning it does not limit itself to the use of one specific theoretical model, please note that all interventions used in our sessions are, in fact, evidence-based, so you do not have to worry that I am making up my work as I go along. Please also note that this spontaneity may be somewhat curtailed in cases of court-involved or court-mandated treatment, in which case the treatment plan would be fully discussed at the time of intake.
My job as your counselor is to listen to you and support you. The time you spend at our sessions is your special time--a safe space for you to relax and get in touch with what's going on inside of you. We will work together as a team to help you explore and face the barriers that prevent you from finding happiness. The great thing about counseling, which separates it from talking to friends or family members, is that I will not judge you no matter what you have done or what you tell me. Think of me as a set of supportive fresh eyes, a friend or life coach who listens to what you have to say (and don't say) without getting emotional or telling you what you should do about it. In fact, it has been the case that simply providing my clients a safe, supportive place to vent their frustrations has been tremendously healing for them. Often, it helps for them just to say their thoughts out loud so they can hear themselves think without self-sensoring--getting back in touch with their own inner intelligence, their gut feelings, allowing them to discover their own solutions in this way. In this sense, I fully believe the client is the true expert and the client has within him or her the wisdom and strength needed to solve any problem.
Even if you've never tried counseling before, I suggest you give it try with me. It does not mean you are crazy, weak, or mentally ill and even one session has the potential to open up new horizons for you.