Sisters counselor helps others find their natural strengths
Last updated 6/21/2022 at Noon
Jennifer Sowers has always found herself to be “calm in the eye of other people’s storms.”
That makes her well-suited to her role as a mental health counselor. After years working for three counties in Oregon, Sowers launched a private practice — Jennifer Sowers, LPC, in Sisters in January.
She’s been living here for five years, working in the mental health field in Madras. She opened her practice in Sisters in part because she sought greater connection to a community she has come to love.
“I want to be more connected in my community and be a resource in this community,” she said.
Her services are needed. We live in a beautiful place and enjoy the benefits of living in a small community with lots of interpersonal connections, but none of us are immune from the stresses and wounds that life deals out.
We are all subject to bouts of anxiety and depression — for some, deep-seated — and that has only been exacerbated by the strains and uncertainties we have endured over the past several years.
Sowers helps her clients move from being reactive to being responsive in managing the struggles they may face. She takes a holistic approach, accounting for the wide variety of factors that may be contributing to a sense of isolation, anxiety, discord, or depression — from social factors to physical issues to a lack of a sense of meaning and purpose.
“It’s important to me to add in the spiritual aspect,” she said.
Negative feelings are not the source of a problem.
“Emotions aren’t your enemy,” Sowers notes.
Not all problems can be swept away — but they can be addressed.
“Sometimes, we can’t solve the problem, so we have to change our approach to this problem,” Sowers said. “What I really love doing is helping people find their natural strengths.”
Sowers describes her work as “talk therapy.” If medication is required, she can refer a client out for that.
Mental health counseling is more than a tool for navigating crisis. At its best, mental health counseling is part of an overall wellness program. Like other aspects of health, it is wise to get a “check-up,” Sowers says, “get some feedback; get another perspective. We all need somebody outside of ourselves” to talk through challenges.
Sowers says she always had a natural temperament for counseling.
“I feel like I’ve always been the listener, the observer, so all of those things came naturally to me,” she said.
She left college in her sophomore year, and didn’t go back for 20 years — but one thing that stuck with her was that she loved her psychology classes.
In 2005, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina triggered something in her.
She said she wanted to “be dropped into the middle of the chaos and help people. I was just ready to believe I could make a difference.”
That was the beginning of a journey that led her to help her neighbors here in Sisters.
Sowers always had an affinity for Sisters Country. She grew up in Salem, regularly heading over the Santiam Pass to camp in the shadow of Cache Mountain or at Suttle Lake.
“That ended up being my home away from home,” she said.
A desire to be “closer to the woods” led her here five years ago, and she loves to be out in those woods, hunting, fishing and camping. She is an adventurous spirit, and says she has a “bucket list” of places in Oregon she wants to explore. She is happy “learning new things, seeing new things.”
Sowers notes that it is the client who determines how their counseling will proceed. Some need just a little short-term help, others seek long-term work. She urges those with a need or an interest to get in touch for an initial conversation.
Sowers’ practice is located in downtown Sisters. Call 503-480-5275 to connect with her.