Kristen Portney is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in The Bay Area. Many of Kristen’s clients work with her to address major life transitions, grief, self-doubt, relationship conflict, and creating meaning making in their lives amidst the social, political, and ecological crisis’ people are facing globally. Kristen is particularly passionate about serving people who have experienced one or multiple abortions and believes abortion is a normal, common, and respectable outcome of pregnancy.
Kristen is trained in Gestalt therapy, transpersonal psychology, psychodynamic therapy and integrates holistic approaches including visualization, mindfulness, and grounding practices. She has advanced training and experience in the area of mood disorders, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and co-occurring diagnoses.
Therapy sessions with Kristen integrate both insight-oriented and skill-based approaches in service of creating more ease, trust, and fulfilling relations in her client’s life. Kristen focuses on grounding practices that connect the mind, body, spirit to build one’s tolerance to be with the groundlessness of life. She uses breathing exercises, mindfulness, and visualization techniques that can be practiced before, during, and after stressful situations. Clients are able to regulate their nervous system, make decisions which are aligned with their values, and feel more present and resilient to the joys, sorrows, and surprises of life.
Kristen's style is warm, non-judgmental, and vibrant. At the start she establishes a comfortable environment where safety and trust are prioritized and the therapeutic relationship can grow. Kristen worked at Bonita House Inc. for five years at the residential treatment program for adults with co-occurring disorders. Kristen held various positions within Bonita House, completing her time as Program Director.
Outside of private practice Kristen feels sustained by various movement practices including dance and climbing. She enjoys exploring the intersections of community, nature, advocacy, and art.
Loss, grief, and bereavement - Emotionally preparing for the anticipated passing of a loved one; managing feelings and reactions to a death or loss of significance; support during the process of healing and acceptance
Existential crisis & challenges - Supportive exploration of meaning and purpose in one’s life; finding one’s path in the face of existential anxiety, dread, and feelings of meaninglessness
Self-doubt - Exploring how self-doubt shows up in one’s life and the origins of this self-doubt; training oneself in self-esteem and confidence
Childhood trauma - Learning how traumatic events in childhood can translate into adulthood; processing through difficult memories with the goal of moving past the experience and lingering symptoms
Post Abortion Care - Abortion is a normal, common, and respectable outcome of pregnancy. The emotions that accompany abortion can be complex, contradictory, weighted, and confusing.
Attachment issues - Development of effective relational and communication skills; insight into family attachment patterns;fostering healthy family relationships.
Kristen Portney is not in-network with any insurances.
Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.
Years of Experience: 7 years
Bonita House Inc, Program Director , 2019 - 2021
Bonita House Inc, Admissions Manager , 2018 - 2019
Bonita House Inc, Residential Counselor , 2017 - 2018
Seeds of Awareness , Counselor / Group Facilitation , 2016 - 2017
California Institute of Integral Studies , Counseling Psychology, M.A., 2015
Cornerstone, Birth Doula, 2013
Bay Area Doula Project , Abortion Doula, 2013
Coastal Carolina University , Communications and Health Promotion, B.A., 2010