My journey to becoming a psychotherapist began during my undergraduate days, as I became intrigued by the ways modern psychology intersects with traditional forms of healing found in religion and spirituality. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2007 with a BA in religious studies and a minor in philosophy. Following this, I went on to receive an MA in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Feeling called to enter in the lives of people to foster positive change, I moved further toward my goal of becoming a psychotherapist by entering into a doctoral program in clinical psychology at George Fox University. I graduated with my doctorate in 2017. The experience of working with clients and witnessing the healing process that can unfold in people’s lives continues to encourage me in this work.
My approach to psychotherapy is from a psychoanalytic perspective with a strong awareness of existential and spiritual issues. We all develop emotional and behavioral patterns that help us cope in the unique circumstances we grow up in. We carry these patterns into our experiences and relationships far beyond childhood, where they can sometimes get in the way of intimacy, creativity, responsibility, and joy in life. Psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy aims to explore these patterns in your life, uncovering feelings and dynamics that, up to this point, have been out of your awareness. This new insight can lead to living a more authentic and satisfying life, one born out of your own awareness of self. Developing a trusting, safe, and confidential relationship between client and therapist is vital to this process.
I specialize in working with people experiencing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, relational problems, and those who have experienced trauma. Additionally, I welcome those seeking to explore existential and identity issues or looking to enhance their overall quality of life and well-being. Other areas of interest for me include the integration of psychology, religion, and spirituality, as well as depth psychology and a psychology of wisdom. I have experience working with those struggling with issues at the crossroads of faith and psychological difficulties. I believe exploring these issues within an environment of openness and curiosity allows understanding, growth, and healing to take place.
Dr. Paul McLaughlin is a psychological assistant (PSB94023775) under the supervision of Dr. Quincee Gideon (PSY29352).