Licensed Clinical Social Worker

"It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found."

— D.W. Winnicott


Introduction & Services


I’m sorry, but I’m unable to accept new clients at this time. My name is Brett Stithem, and I am a clinical social worker who's been in private practice in Chicago since 2012, and now in Portland since 2018. I work with individual adults, ages 18 and up. My clinical practice relies primarily on psychodynamic training, particularly relational theories of development and intervention. I am in-network with a number of insurance companies and have a sliding scale for clients who need to pay out of pocket. I can also bill as an out-of-network provider if I do not accept your insurance.

My Approach

My fundamental belief about therapy is that we primarily wish to be seen, heard, and understood. This requires the development of mutual trust in order to create a "safe enough" context in which to explore sometimes difficult dynamics and material. While we may come to therapy hoping for immediate relief or resolution, we ultimately grow through the opportunity to listen to ourselves in a new way, and to begin to trust our own wisdom, resilience, and authority. I believe that psychotherapy offers a unique opportunity to integrate uncomfortable or unwanted parts of our lives or ourselves. The process of collaboratively making meaning of our experience allows us to feel more acceptable, lovable, and whole. I do not subscribe to a technical or scripted approach to therapy. My only goals are to arrive at each session with an open, authentic presence, and to allow for each relationship to develop its own organic pace, language, and approach.

My Background

I have almost 20 years of experience working with a wide range of client populations. I earned my master's degree in clinical social work from the University of Chicago in 2010 and moved to Portland in 2017, after living in Chicago for 15 years. I have worked with vulnerable populations in various roles and settings, including inpatient and residential care, a therapeutic school, outpatient counseling and community mental health, hospital emergency departments, and private practice. I also worked for 3 years in the country's top-rated inpatient medical rehabilitation hospital, where I provided counseling to patients recovering from and adjusting to life-changing injuries and illnesses. I have extensive training in psychodynamic, relational psychotherapy but draw from a range of clinical and spiritual/philosophical perspectives.

Let's Chat.

Use the form below if you have a question or would like to contact me regarding an appointment. You may also email or call me to make an appointment.

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1829 NE Alberta Street, Suite 3 / Portland, OR 97211

1100 SE Alder Street, Suite 301 / Portland, OR 97214


(773) 575-8152

insurance accepted

  • Regence BCBS

  • Cigna

  • MHN (Managed HealthCare Northwest)

  • Pacific Source / Reliant

  • Optum

  • Providence Health Plan

  • United Behavioral Health

  • Billing arrangements as an out-of-network provider or out-of-pocket on a sliding scale basis are available