I am an Oregon native, born and raised on the Central Oregon Coast of Neskowin and then the Willamette Valley of McMinnville. I graduated from the University of Oregon in 2003 with my bachelors degree in Psychology with honors, and quickly began my career in the mental health field working with adolescents with severe mental, emotional and behavioral disturbances in a residential inpatient treatment setting. I started pursuing my masters degree in couseling psychology, marriage and family therapy in 2006 - a journey that gave me wonderful clinical experiences at the Dougy Center, The National Center for Grieving Children and Families, and eventually at the Portland VA Medical center for my internship where I currently still work part time. I graduated with my masters degree in Counseling Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy in 2009 and have been with the VA Hospital full time since then, until deciding to begin a part time private practice in 2012. I received my EAGALA certification in May 2012 for special training as an equine assisted psychotherapist and I also hold the special designation of "EAGALA Military Service Provider" for additional specialized training and cultural competence in working with military populations utilizing equine assisted mental health approaches. I have additional specialized somatic and trauma-focused training in the EPONA and Natural Lifemanship methods of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy which I utilize as well. Outside of my equine assisted mental health specialty, I have additional trauma focused training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness based psychotherapy as well as somatic and body-based experiential therapy and Hakomi through Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches (META). I am a registered and Licensed Professional Counselor with the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor with the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Halina Kowalski, MA, LPC, NCC
Eagala Military Service Provider
Eagala Military Services Director
In different forms of mythology there is the archtype of the "wounded healer" - this is a perspective from which I view our work together. I believe my life's work and mission is to be a healer in this world...however, I too, like every human being, have been vulnerable to my own wounds in life. I like to use the “two mountains metaphor” to describe the relationship I form with my clients – we are both climbing our own individual mountains of life. If there were only one mountain of life and if I were already at the top looking down to you, I would have no way to help you up as I can see very little from that vantage point. Instead, I am climbing my own mountain of what it means to be in the human experience of suffering, growth, and healing and therefore from across the valley, I have a much better and broader view of the obstacles and barriers in front of you and thus a clearer perspective from which to help guide you up and beyond. We are already unified in the “human condition”, and though I'm trained to help you through healing, I am also on my own journey of healing, as are all of us in life.
Outside of my work as a therapist, I enjoy the outdoors, horseback and trail riding, Western sporting (rodeos), yoga, meditation, hiking, fishing, star gazing, and anything "Earthy". I am also a singer/songwriter and enjoy performing at various different venues and events.