Kristen Besler

Senior Staff Psychologist

Pronouns: She/Hers

Alma Mater: 
PsyD, Clinical Psychology, Pacific University (2017)
MS, Clinical Psychology, Pacific University (2014)
BA, Psychology and Sociology, State University of New York at New Paltz (2011)

Professional Interests: I love my job as a therapist and especially enjoy working with college students. College is such a transformative time for individuals that can be both exciting and challenging. I find it incredibly meaningful to work alongside students navigating their unique journeys as we explore challenges, celebrate successes, and create meaningful change in order to help students live the life they want to live. I have particular interests in working with students experiencing concerns related to ADHD, relationships and interpersonal concerns, adjustment, family concerns, anxiety, and grief.

Personal Interests: Outside of work, I love adventuring in nature and exploring all of the PNW beauty, enjoying a cup of good coffee on my porch, going to see live music, painting, spending time with my family and friends, and spoiling my sweet old canine, Kimbo.

UO Love: I love the relaxed and vibrant vibe of Eugene and the close proximity to all of the things I love – music, forests, the coast, the food, the art, the community.

Theoretical Orientation and Therapy Approach: I describe myself as an integrationist who frequently draws on ACT, humanism, interpersonal process, and dynamic theories to conceptualize clients. I incorporate interventions from a variety of theories to best serve the unique needs of the clients I work with. I find it important to frame therapy within the context of a client’s identities, cultural background and experiences, values, beliefs, and the systems in which the client exists. 

I conceptualize distress as coming from a disconnection between what a person values and what their current experiences are that can occur for a variety of personal, environmental, and systemic reasons. I believe that building connection (in all forms), flexibility, acceptance, meaningful living, awareness, and self-compassion are tools for change. 

When working with clients, I integrate both skills development and process-oriented interventions grounded in support, collaboration, curiosity, non-judgment, and flexibility; and I value humor, realness, and empowerment in my work as a therapist. I believe all humans are capable of creating a meaningful life and that my clients are experts in their own experiences. I view my role as providing guidance and support during the journey.

Supervision Approach and Model: I approach supervision in ways consistent with my theoretical orientation and values as a therapist and supervisor. I see us all as unique humans and truly value the importance of creating a supportive supervision space that allows for expression of authenticity, connection, learning, growth, celebrating successes, working through mistakes, and—of course—having a good laugh.