Am I the right counselor for you?

  • Work with me from anywhere in the world over Skype or Zoom video
  • See me in person in Corvallis, Oregon.

Not every counselor, not even every good counselor, is the right counselor for you.  It takes resonance, it takes connection. It takes feeling understood and gotten. The people I describe below very often feel “gotten” here from the get-go:

Do any of these sound like you?

  • You are highly sensitive.
  • You are smart, possibly so smart that you can talk yourself out of your feelings and instincts. You may find yourself getting trapped by trying to think your way out of feelings.
  • You feel a lot of shame.
  • You have talked your way through therapy before, but without deep change happening. You have more insight, but the change just doesn’t seem to take root inside. You want something deeper, more interactive, more lasting.
  • You have a lot of compassion for other people, but you have impossibly high expectations of yourself.
  • You have been abandoned or betrayed.
  • You have sometimes doubted your own worth or reality.
  • You dream of doing really cool things, but perfectionism, fear, or shame make it harder to take on new projects, or to finish them.
  • Your close relationships are difficult, and you find yourself struggling to reach out, say no, or to know what you want.
  • Parts of your childhood left you feeling frightened, alone, or unwanted.
  • Did you answer yes to more than three of these questions? (Or answer a very strong yes to even one or two?)

If so, I’d love to meet you. I love working with people like you!  Would you like to meet me? Read these testimonials, all from actual clients in their actual words. Then click here to schedule your consultation.

If you’re needing to get past challenges, get unstuck, honor your sensitivity and smarts, and pursue the life and relationships you really want, I’d like to meet you!

What you can expect from counseling with me

I’ve written about my commitments to you if you do come see me. To find our more of what you can expect from me in our sessions, click here.

Feeling safe in counseling

If it feels scary to come to counseling, you’re not alone! There are strategies that can help you to feel safe enough to take that first step. To find out ways you can both feel and be safe in therapy, check out this article.

What my counseling clients say:

“I can’t believe how much easier it is for me now. I can get through the day without crying. I can go to work. I can talk to people. I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time!”


“I was beyond burnt out on therapy before I met you, and never would have come to see you if we hadn’t met by chance. But I’m so glad I did meet with you, because you changed my idea of therapy, and showed me that I’m not just a ‘set of symptoms,’ and that there are things that can help me. I finally know how to keep my peace instead of going into a rage. I never would have thought this was possible before we met!”


“It’s like there was this sense of being blocked — like concrete in my heart somehow. I can feel the concrete melting now. I’m crying, but with relief this time.”


“I used to feel like I needed other people to take care of me, and I felt so desperate. It was a need that never felt like it eased up, and I had parts inside that wouldn’t work together. Now, it’s like the parts are along with me, and we’re working together. I feel like I can take care of myself now, like I have support from inside.”


“At the end of our work together, I know I’ve come a long way. And I enjoyed our work, too! And I love how many approaches you use, and how you’re always learning new things and bringing them to our work. It kept the work so fluid and dynamic. We did hypnosis, and I had big breakthroughs.  When we used EMDR techniques, that hugely helped me. The therapy that worked with my body helped me to feel a sense of boundaries and  solidity in myself. And your empathy helped me to feel what I was feeling, to stop suppressing my emotions.
My relationships are better. I know what I want, and I can say it. I’m taking care of myself, and all the parts of me are working together.


I know I’m ready to move forward. I was stuck, and you helped me to get unstuck!”


“When I first came to see you, I had an injury that wouldn’t heal and was going to need surgery. After what we did together, it started healing. I just went to the doctor, and not only do I no longer need surgery, I no longer need to wear a cast!”


I feel like you ‘get me’, and you know ways to help me to move through and past things that have been holding me back for a long time. I finally know how to keep my peace instead of going into a rage. I never would have thought this was possible before we met!”


“I know it’s safe in here because your words, your posture, your laugh — they all tell me it’s really okay to bring all of me here. It’s a sense of safety I’ve needed for a long time.”


“I suddenly had this epiphany — this realization — that most people are safe. Most people mean well. I hadn’t felt that before. I’d always been on guard without even knowing it.

I used to be so hard on myself. Now, I can catch myself starting to do that, and I imagine your compassion. Your compassion for me is helping me to be compassionate toward myself, and that changes things for me.”


“My energy is coming back, and I can focus now. With the things I’ve learned, I can settle myself and focus. I’m so much calmer at work, and that’s making my time there much more productive!”

“My boss gave me a piece of feedback, and before, I would have just shut down and felt angry at her — and like a failure inside. This time, I saw her feedback as a true gift, and I was able to take it in and make real improvements. She noticed the difference!”

“My partner and I got into an argument again, but I was able to calm down so much more quickly and speak so that he could hear me. He said this is the first time he’s seen me so at ease, and it’s so much easier for us to talk!”

All these words above are from clients of mine, folks who started out feeling unsure of themselves. Some of them had to work hard to get themselves to therapy! But they did schedule to see me, and they followed through. For some clients, coming to counseling is a leap of faith, or an act of honoring themselves even when they’re not sure yet that they can get better.

See Me in Face-to-Face or Over Skype Video

My counseling office is in downtown Corvallis, Oregon, so I am also within easy reach of Philomath, Albany, Lebanon, Monroe, Monmouth, and the surrounding areas.

And I see clients from around the world via Skype video. See my online counseling page.

I'm ready for practical, interactive counseling!


Get more tips and information

To learn more, keep looking around! If what you’ve read and seen has connected with  you,  follow me on social media and/or subscribe to my newsletter! I put videos regularly on YouTube, and you can also find my latest stuff on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus — just use the social media icons you see on the screen to pick how you’d like to get your information!

Michaela Lonning
260 SW Madison Ave, Suite 104-5
Corvallis Oregon 97333


Replacing “old scripts” in relationships

Do you ever feel like you keep playing out the same old script and having the same old relationships, or the same relationship patterns?

Have you married some variant on the same person over and over again, and do you consistently shrink yourself or fight in the same old ways?

In therapy, you may also notice some of that “old stuff” seeping in. You may feel yourself withdrawing from me the way you withdraw from others, or find yourself talking lots and connecting little — or find yourself suppressing your own needs, or feeling overwhelmed by them.

The beauty of a therapy that works well is that you get to bring those patterns with you, and we get to both have a real curiosity about your experience in the relationship here.

We may make new discoveries together. And we may get to find options beyond that script you’ve played out in relationships a million times.

Pat Ogden, author of “Trauma and the Body”, calls these scripts “procedural memory.” Your body and your mind are used to going through a sequence of steps in relationships — much like how your body and mind just “know” how to drive a car without thinking through each move, your body and your mind also instinctively respond in old ways in relationships.

In counseling, we can actually be curious about these “memories” you relive together — and we can find gentle and compassionate ways for you to interrupt those “old scripts.”

Here are some examples:

-Every time a particular client feels misunderstood, she starts to withdraw, to “go into her own world” and to think about leaving the relationship. She feels misunderstood in my office, starts to “zone out.”

Something new happens when I ask her to take me with her, to help me to understand where the misunderstanding happened. I work with her with feeling her feet on the ground, being aware of her own experience, and with telling me where I “missed the boat.” We talk the misunderstanding over — and she feels herself come back to life. We both feel closer than we did before the misunderstanding — and her body and mind have also replaced an old script, as for a moment, she feels like her voice and her feelings matter, like she can share them instead of running away.

-Another client is used to talking…and talking…and talking. He often gets lost in his own words, talking faster and faster.

I ask him if it would be okay to notice the speed of his thoughts, to notice his breathing, and to take a moment to just sit with what’s happening within him. As he and I make eye contact and breathe together, he feels a release of some emotion, and is able to feel more connected than he did when he was “just talking.” He’s replaced, just for a moment, that old script of hiding himself behind a wall of words.

-A woman shares an important piece of her history with me, and then starts to talk about something else. I ask her to let the words she just spoke sit with both of us, and I ask her to take in my response to the depth of what she’s just said. I may even ask her to repeat her words and let herself feel them.

She realizes that she hasn’t felt safe to let herself share deeply with someone for some time, and that by letting herself register my response to her sharing, new possibilities emerge within her — for feeling the importance of her own words, for feeling that she can be heard. She’s let go, for a moment, of that old script of feeling like no one can understand her.

When clients can try, even for a moment, to play with a new way of being, of hearing, of speaking, of moving, they can start to identify their old scripts — and to learn ways to go outside their same old lines.

This builds the foundation for new types of relationsihps, new ways of sharing, new ways of being in the world.

No one should be confined by a script or two that they learned a long time ago. We all have the potential to learn new lines, to discard scripts that no longer work for us, and to try out new ways of being. Sometimes, it just takes the right support in being mindful of your old scripts and trying out new ways of being.

The old script will always be there if you need it. But you can develop more options. And that’s the point — to have a choice about how we respond. To get to see what maybe wasn’t there before: Safety. Caring, kind people who want to hear us. The ability to make room for ourselves and room for others.

I love helping people to discover their old scripts and to find their authentic voice outside all those old feelings and those “old lines.” If you’d like to talk about working together and you’d like some help to identify how your old scripts could be getting in the way of your current relationships, click here. I’ll be delighted to support you in having a new experience.