A Better Way Counseling Center logo
818 NW 17th Ave, Suite 3  (map)
Portland, Oregon 97209

(503) 226-9061

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-- Website by Peter Miller

About A Better Way Counseling Center

A Better Way Counseling Center is an Oregon State Certified Mental Health Center and was established in 1997. The State Certification means we must meet rigorous quality control standards determined by the State of Oregon. The Center was founded by David Leventer, LPC, LMFT, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. He has been counseling families, couples and individuals for over fifteen years and has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, family agencies, and counseling centers such as the Women's Counseling Center and the Men's Resource Center. He designed the eating disorder treatment and the family counseling program at the Center specifically to meet the needs of the Portland community.

Other providers at the Center include Valeria Lewandoski, LCSW, clinical supervisor, Naomi Baker, LMFT, and Serena Appel, MA.

Naomi Baker is an individual, couples and family therapist with experience treating adults and adolescents with a variety of issues. She completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate institute, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Past professional experiences include work with individuals and families at an Intensive Outpatient Program for adolescents, work with individuals and couples at a community-based out-patient clinic, and providing school-based therapy for adolescents and children. Naomi’s therapeutic orientation is psychodynamic, and she pulls from a variety of treatment approaches including mindfulness, cognitive behavioral and narrative techniques to facilitate a process of growth, change and transformation for people struggling with disordered eating and other issues.

Serena Appel graduated from Marylhurst University in 2007 with a Masters in Art Therapy/Counseling. She has worked with people from many backgrounds, including school aged children through elder adults. Her experience has included working with people with eating disorders, developmentally disabled clients, people who have experienced trauma and addictions, art activities with children in an alternative school setting, adults with chronic illness, group and individual art therapy with frail elders, and crisis counseling. Her approach to therapy is humanistic-existential, with training in Brief Solution-Focused and Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, Dialectial Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness based practices. Serena also has a background in fine art, craft and creative writing. She earned her BFA from Columbia College Chicago, and has led art and healing focused workshops in the Portland area since 2004.

Valeria Lewandoski is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been the Center's clinical supervisor since 1997. She was also the director of the Grotto Counseling Center, and has worked with adults, children and families for over 25 years.

They bring expertise to A Better Way Counseling Center in providing individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, family therapy, group counseling and counseling about career concerns.

A Better Way Counseling Center is also proud to be a leader in the field of continuing education of therapists. We are certified by the national organizations for both counselors and psychologists to offer continuing education for credit to both of these professions. We co-sponsor quarterly seminars for professionals to further their education in the treatment of eating disorders.

Our staff is also available to provide training and inservices to other professionals in the areas of eating disorders, family therapy, recovery from chemical dependency, anger management and violence intervention counseling.

If you would like more information about our inservices, our continuing education offerings, or our national certifications, please contact us by clicking the blue “Contact us” link below.

Contact us for further information about our programs. We would also be happy to send you one or both of our free pamphlets: one describing the steps to recovery from eating disorders, the other on the way to have a happier, healthy family.

A Better Way Counseling Center
818 NW 17th Avenue, Suite 3
Portland, Oregon 97209
(503) 226-9061