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Counselor Susan Doak focuses on helping people in transition, as well as teens, and wants to expand into wellness

Newberg has a new licensed professional counselor who opeSUBMITTED PHOTO - Susan Doak opened Newberg Counseling and Wellness recently at a locaion on Foothills Drive.
ned her own private practice in early February.

Newberg Counseling and Wellness, 710C Foothills Drive Suite 104, is Susan Doak's new venture and it couldn't have come at a better time as she is finding that local counselors are overbooked to the point that they are turning down clients. Before opening the doors Feb. 5, Doak already had six clients ready for counseling sessions.

"I'm ramping up and trying to get an idea of what the needs are in the community," she said. "I've always worked with adults with significant depression, PTSD and anxiety. I also work with people in transition. … They might be graduating from college, they might be starting a new job, they might be getting divorced or moving. I'll be helping people with those kinds of transitions."

Doak grew up overseas and therefore says she understands clients in times of transition and change. She began practicing in Boston in 2006 and has accumulated more than 10,000 hours of therapy experience, including working in a residential program with troubled teens.

"Teens with very severe mental health issues. It was a really amazing experience for me," Doak said.

She came to Newberg in 2011 and worked with a counseling group in Tigard and at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

"There is a need for competent and good counselors that can really connect with adolescents and really help with some mental health issues that are going on here," she said, adding that she also works with parents. "I've been doing that for a long time already (and thought), 'Why don't I do it here? (I want to) to make it closer and accessible to the people and help to have an impact in the community along with other professionals that are doing that."

Doak said it's important for clients to feel comfortable and safe. The first few sessions are spent gathering information, building trust and talking about personal goals. For example, she will ask questions, "What are you hoping to accomplish in counseling?" or "What are the problems or symptoms that you would like to address?" Doak said on her website.

She also offers free consultation to pastors in Newberg, protecting the confidentiality of that person if they have something that comes up and they don't know what to do.

"They just need to say, what resources can I offer that person? I say, hay, I'm here, call me anytime," Doak said.

"My hope is to fill a need in the community and also in the long term and grow a group practice here," she added. "Where I have more counselors of different specialties as well as more general wellness services like nutrition help or I would love to get a mindfulness expert who can do meditations and relaxation training. Even to offer free groups for the community. Long term that is my vision that I would like to do," Doak said.

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