Ken Gilbert, MC, LPC-I
Therapist at Cascades
Ken works with adolescents and young adults struggling with substance abuse disorders, trauma, attachment issues, and a variety of co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and depression. His primary emphasis is on the healing that occurs in the therapeutic relationship. He uses a relational and relatable style that young people find both refreshing and nourishing.
Ken emphasizes the importance of safety and containment for clients to find or re-discover their authentic selves. He sees the importance of walking into the dark places together to find and be with our wounds in order to move through them. He embodies the excitement of a life in recovery and helps clients experience a newfound efficacy, enjoyment, and purpose in life.
Ken appreciates working with clients who have had multiple treatment experiences with limited long-term success. He views addiction as a “universal experience” that relates to one’s inability to be present in life, connect with self and others, and experience true intimacy.
Education & Prior Work Experience
Ken was born in New Jersey and was raised in the Bay Area in California. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications from Emerson College. Since adolescence, he struggled with substance addiction and went to treatment numerous times with limited effect, until he attended Evoke Therapy Programs as a young adult—and has been in recovery ever since. As a survivor of childhood trauma, he sees the undeniable connection between trauma, addiction, and the ways young people adapt to gain a sense of control and safety in a world that can feel unsafe.
Ken earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Oregon State University and is a registered LPC-intern in the state of Oregon. He completed a clinical internship at an acute psychiatric unit working with complex clients struggling with a range of issues such as chronic suicidality, trauma, psychosis, and personality disorders. He is trained in Somatic and Attachment-Focused EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and sees this as a powerful therapeutic modality to treat complex trauma, single-incident trauma, and a variety of other mental health conditions. In addition, he draws from RCT (Relational-Cultural Theory), Existential theory, Attachment theory, Jungian psychoanalysis, and other forms of more experiential therapy when working with clients in the field.
Ken has a curious spirit that shows up in his work with clients. He often states that if he truly understood his clients, the problematic surface-level behaviors would make complete sense. His ability to connect with young people helps to create lasting change in the clients he works with. His relatability and personal story show through the care and compassion he provides those he works with. He has a knack for making recovery “cool” and promoting fun and meaning in it. He often uses mindfulness practices, ceremony, and spiritual exploration in his group to facilitate connection and a sense of well-being.
When he’s not working, Ken can be found river surfing on the Deschutes in Bend, OR. He has always enjoyed being on boards whether it’s skateboarding, surfing, or snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor. He has an appreciation for all kinds of art and often has a camera hanging from his neck. He has been known to travel far across the US to try some of the country’s greatest pizza (from San Francisco to Chicago, to Brooklyn and beyond). As of now, his favorite place is Di Fara in Brooklyn, NY. He is also an avid sports fan cheering on teams from the Bay Area and Buffalo, NY.