Pura Vida Healing
J Workman-Purvine, LCSW
Life never came with an instruction manual and there comes a time when we all need to find the courage to ask for help. As a clinical social worker licensed in the State of Oregon, I would love to help you on your journey toward healing and self-discovery. I focus on issues related to depression, grief, anxiety, alcohol abuse, aging and major life changes. I have chosen these issues because they have either been part of my own struggles in life or impacted those that are close to me, thereby giving me a more personal viewpoint instead of just viewing you as a diagnosis.
I have been in private practice for the past seven years and my social work career spans over two decades. My practice is currently based entirely online since having moved to Costa Rica in 2019 to pursue my own dreams of a more relaxing and musical life. This affords me a flexible schedule and a smaller caseload so I can be more easeful and joyful in supporting you in your quest for healing. I look forward to hearing from you.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
I often tell people that the primary reason most people seek therapy is because they fail to see how beautiful they really are. My goal is to help you to gain the skills and insight to get out of your own way to live a more fulfilling life. I don’t believe it is helpful if I am only a passive listener to your problems. Instead, I prefer to pose questions to help you look at situations and yourself in different ways, I will teach skills to help you cope more effectively and I often give individually tailored assignments to keep the therapy process active in between sessions. Yes, therapy can be work and it is also a wonderful collaborative process between you and I that brings personal growth and discovery.
In 1990, while going to college in Olympia WA, I met a homeless Vietnam Veteran named Michael who would have a profound impact on the direction of my life. Overtime, he and I became friends, listening to Janis Joplin records and talking about the joys and sorrows of life. He would support me by sometimes buying me food because I was “in college and should be eating better” and our friendship helped him to not drink. Two years later I began working as a community organizer in Seattle and later as an educator for homeless youth. I completed my master’s degree in 2001 at Portland State University and I went on to work as a therapist in Portland’s homeless shelters, supervised a street outreach team was a clinical supervisor at a transitional housing program. At one point I returned to Olympia, where I had the privilege of working at an HIV/AIDS service organization, first designing their case management program and later serving as the executive director. In 2013 I launched my private practice and only recently I moved to Costa Rica with my wife, my neurotic dog Fiona and my mean eyed cat Simone. In my free time I love being with friends, playing jazz piano and helping out at a local art school for underprivileged Costa Rican children. Michael and I lost touch many years ago, but I still think of him and thank him for the lessons I learned from him. Helping others is an integral part of who I am, it is part of what gives my life meaning and brings me great joy. If our paths cross, I hope that I can be a help to you.
What To Expect
The first few times we meet are generally a time for us to get to know each other, for me to gather your history and get a keen understanding of the issues that have brought us together. It’s likely I’ll give you a questionnaire that will assess for schemas, which are the patterned ways we think, perceive and behave. As human beings we are habitual creatures and we typically behave in repetitive and predictable ways that sometimes help us and sometimes hurt us. For example, when I was in college I was hopelessly addicted to cigarettes. I had a college roommate who told me she could tell the time of day by the times I went out to smoke. I had no idea that I could be so predictable! Schemas act in a similar way, they seem ingrained and they are generally out of our awareness. I aim to help you find your schemas that aren’t working for you, whether they be self-sacrificing patterns, social isolation, unrelenting standards or approval seeking. It is our behavior that inadvertently reinforces these unhelpful schemas and by uncovering them we can work together to help you change your thoughts and behaviors that lead to such problems as depression, anxiety or difficulties coping. Life is short, the world is a better place when you are happy with your life.
Insurance and Rates
I accept many health insurance plans including:
I am also able to keep my out-of-pocket rates a little lower than most licensed therapists, starting at a rate of $90 per hour. If you’re interested in starting therapy and are unsure if you can afford it, please contact me to discuss options.