Interview with Laura Rains, LCSW
Laura Rains is a new provider with the Yachats Health Care clinic on Beach Street.
TYG: So, how did you learn about Yachats Health Care?
Laura: Good question! You know... There's always a story within a story, and so I've walked by here. I remember when this used to be the store where Max the Dog was, back when the store used to be Raindogs. But then, when I moved here almost three years ago, I started thinking about wanting to start practice here [in Yachats]. It was just sort of one of those things that just happens. I won't say a light shone down from the sky [laughs] but it was almost like that. I'm walking by, and it's like, "Ohhh, Yachats Health Care! Hmm. What's that about?" And so then I contacted Jai [Tomlin], the chiropractor here [and owner]. Then we went out for dinner, and talked about what it would be like to practice here. It worked out—I almost couldn't believe it, because it's right here in town, across from the Post Office.
TYG: We've had a couple of those moments as well, just various things... So, what services do you intend to bring to the program?
Laura: I'm a psychotherapist. What I get to do, is that I get to be with people at a time when they're changing, or they have questions. You know how in life people will be going down a path, and you get stuck in a pattern. It's not so much that the pattern is bad, but that it limits your ability to see other ways of going down that path. So I provide therapy for elders—I love working with older people. I love finding out about how they got to these different transitions in their life. Whether it's in later life, or toward the end of their life... that transition isn't the sum of everything that's happened with them: it's just something that's happening right now. So I like working with elderly people, and couples. In my job—I work a couple of days a week in Eugene—and at home, I work with parents and families. So what I'm going to do is work here one day a week and see what happens—I'm just going to be available to work with people.
TYG: So you just found out about this program by walking by, right?
Laura: Yes, absolutely. Yachats Health Care has several different workers here: Jai does chiropractic work, then there are two other practitioners that do bodywork. There's a naturopath, and it just seemed like a great place to bring something else! I'm in private practice here, as are all the other practitioners. At the open house it was kind of fun, because someone said, "All you need is someone who does podiatry, because then you would have head-to-foot!" [laughs]
TYG: We certainly need psychotherapists around here—everyone seems to be swamped. The whole system is swamped!
Laura: That's a perfect way of saying it, yes.
TYG: How did you come to Yachats?
Laura: Probably other people have this same experience, but I've been pointing in this direction for 25 years. I'm 56, and 25 years ago I started coming out to Yachats. Some years I would come every single weekend. I always had a dog with me, and I'd stay somewhere. And maybe 10 years ago I thought, "Wow, I'd love to live here!" Then three years ago I was working at home, and I thought, "Boy, if home could be anywhere, where would I want it to be?" And I just knew it would be Yachats. I was here for a Yoga retreat and was talking to somebody on the beach who said they'd just had a great experience with a certain realtor. So I met Paul Cohen, and the very first place he showed me, I went in and I said, "Well, I like this and I like that..." The very first place just took my breath away. I kind of laughed out loud, like "Ha ha ha, I can't really live here." And then I came back the next weekend, and spent the weekend in the place, and thought, "Why not?" And then it was a super-easy process to move here from Eugene. It's almost three years, and I still have the "pinch me" moments—there's something that feels so special and comfortable. It's sort of like "Hawai'i time" in a way.
TYG: "Hawai'i time," but more intellectual and a lot cooler.
Laura: A lot cooler, for sure! [laughter]
TYG-Graphic Design: So do you still have your home in Eugene since you are still working there, or do you now commute from Yachats to Eugene?
Laura: That's exactly right, I switched directions. I used to have a small house in Eugene, but a couple of months after moving here I sold it, and so I live here now, although I don't really feel like I've left Eugene because I go back every week for a day or two, and I spend the night. But [while in Eugene] I'm thinking about coming back while I am driving away from here [Yachats]. And when I drive home, I can feel myself driving a little bit faster, leaning towards getting back here.
TYG: It's an amazing community. We've lived here for ten years and we still have those pinch-me moments.
Laura: Do you?
TYG-GD: Actually it's been eleven years now.
TYG: So what brought you into psychotherapy?
Laura: Again, there is always a story within a story. So [at the time] I was working as a reporter, which is why I was so excited when I reached out to put an ad in the paper. I was like, "You are such a good reporter! I love your stories!" So I was a newspaper reporter and then an editor, which is why I moved up to Eugene to go to U of O. So I was in the graduate program for journalism, health education and sociology.
TYG-GD: That was one program?
Laura: Yes, I did an interdisciplinary Master's program. As a reporter I always loved stories that had a human interest angle, but especially those that involved health and change, where people are helping others. So I was working on my degree, and I got a job at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC), and I was also volunteering at what is now called HIV Alliance, but at the time it was known as Shanti [a Sanskrit word for peace]. Since this was the late 90s, Shanti was really more of a hospice organization, and so I was an emotional support volunteer; and it was life changing. I learned so much about how in normal society, compliments are just brushed off; oh no, it wasn't me, I didn't really do it...
TYG: Well I certainly fit into that category. [laughter]
Laura: If someone's dying, sometimes the only thing they have to give you is their gratitude; and so you don't want to brush that away. And so we had this exercise with another person, where all we would do, for about five minutes, the other person would give you a compliment [rotating after each exchange], and the only thing the other person could say was: "Thank you, that is very true of me." And so this created a process that went on and on; and it just touched me so deeply. Here I am, I have been a journalist, I want to be a better journalist, but I started thinking, "You know I think I want to do something else." But I still completed the program, and then started doing some work at OSLC, which was learning how to do group therapy. Then the whole thing just sort of fell in my lap, and I started learning, and then I said "Okay, this is what I want to do. That was really great, I got that degree, but I want to do something different." So then I went and got a Master's in social work. Then I started working with families, and then elderly, and people who have long-term disability. Then I started working where my job is in Eugene and at home, where we train therapists. So therapists have already been trained, but we train them in our model. We'll train cities, or states, or countries. Right now we're training across the five boroughs in New York City. We've done the state of Kansas, State of Michigan, and then Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
TYG-GD: And what kind of training is this?
Laura: It's training therapists. The model is called GenerationPMTO and it's an evidence-based parenting program designed to support parents, strengthen families, and promote healthy child development. It's based on 50 years of research in Oregon, the U.S., and abroad, and it promotes social skills and prevents, reduces and reverses the development of moderate to severe conduct problems in children and youth. Our workshops train and certify therapists to deliver the GenerationPMTO model to parents and families; we then train in roles such as coaching, training and fidelity monitoring so that systems of care in cities, states and countries have stand-alone implementation sites. The interesting thing is that it started happening mostly in European countries. It's hard to get in the US, because it's hard to get everybody on the same page and say that prevention for families makes sense. In the model it says that parents are their children's best teachers. They're the ones who are with them the most. I could sit with a kiddo only for an hour each week, but it's the family—that's the environment that really needs support and really believe in parents. So the European countries bought into this model. Norway did 20 years ago, and said, "We have this problem where kids are sort of languishing in foster care and we want to do something about it." So we went over there and trained some 30 therapists. 20 years later, they have now trained over 1,000 therapists and are serving over 20,000 families.
TYG: That's fantastic.
Laura: Yes! And it's really amazing to have it happen in mostly European countries: the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark. They have governments who said they wanted to put their money where there was going to be positive change. So that's what I do. I work from home because I'll coach therapists or do trainings—that's where these postcards are from [about a dozen postcards are being addressed on an adjacent table], because I was just in Brooklyn. We had this activity during this week-long workshop where each of the therapists had a card. They wrote their name and address on them, and then at different times during the workshop we passed the card around, and their colleagues would say something that they noticed about them. The cards have stamps on them that are Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Angie [Bagby, at the Post Office] helped me with that, because [the class] was in Brooklyn, and they're like, "Where's Oregon?" [laughter] So I told them, "Well, you know, like in the 60s, there were a lot of VW vans that were on their way north to Canada, and they kinda got stuck..." [laughter] So I went to Angie and I said, "What do we have that represents Oregon, like hippy..." and she said, "Oh! These would be great stamps." So, that was a long way around to your question. But can I also say this: Along the way, I started doing animal-assisted therapy. I had this big Newfie-Lab, whose name was Clifford. So we had to go through a training program where he got trained up as a therapy dog. The test was that people would brush him backwards, drop objects nearby, they'd walk with loud walkers. After they said, "Clifford did great, he's certified—but you, you need to slow down!" [She shows us a picture of a happy dog.] He was such a leaner, and he was so good! I have a small dog now—Clifford passed away, sadly—that my bonus daughter saw at the shelter. She said, "Oh, can we play with this little dog?" And I said, "Sure! Let's fluff him up, get him ready for his forever family." We were there for two hours, and then we left—the shelter said he was getting adopted. And I called the next day, and asked whether I could come by and say good-bye to him, because we'd spent so much time with him, and they said, "Oh, his adoption fell through." And I said, "Hold that dog!!!" [laughter] So now I have this little, small... he's called a party poodle, which cracks me up, because I've only had Clifford, the Newfie-Lab, and a German Shepherd, all big dogs. And still, five years later, I look down and say to him, "What are you doing all the way down there?" [laughter] But I'm thinking about getting a big dog so he'll have a big buddy.
TYG-GD: You mentioned a "bonus daughter." May I ask what a bonus daughter is? I presume she's a gift, but...
Laura: She is. That's a term that we came up with. I was doing respite foster care, and she was one of the first kiddos I met. She was five. Then I started doing respite care for just her. And at about thirteen or fourteen, I said, "You know, I don't like to tell your story about being in foster care every time. What can we come up with?" I had some friends in Denmark that I'd been working with, and they mentioned they had a bonus grand-daughter. So I said to her, "What do you think about "bonus daughter" and "bonus mom"?" And she said, "Yeah, that sounds good." Since then she was returned to her Mom, and her Mom loves her dearly, but she was really good about letting us [visit]. I became part of their family a little bit and I see her regularly. She just got a job in a fast food restaurant—I'm so proud of her!
TYG-GD: So, what are your plans for integration into the clinic? Are you just going to stay at one day?
Laura: I still work full-time for my other job, so Monday afternoons are my time [here.] I'm just going to start there. There's so much that goes into private practice: there's getting on panels, and right now I'm going through the process with Medicare. Some of the people can't use their insurance to pay for coming in. I've always worked as part of a clinic, so they took care of everything [insurance-related]. There's a lot to do to get set up. So I'm going to start seeing people on Mondays, but if it needs to be another time, I'll work it out so it's most convenient. And we'll just see what happens! I'm just really excited to do it! I just think it's such a gift when people say, "Yeah, let's do some therapy together." I love seeing people make change and work things out. I learn so much from other people. And I love groups, too—I'd like to see what kind of interest there is in some kind of process group.
TYG-GD: How does group therapy work?
Laura: There is something about when you have a group together, especially if it's a psycho-educational group—there's a focus.
TYG-GD: What does that mean?
Laura: Thanks, I appreciate those clarifying questions. You can have a support group: people are there, and maybe there's a general theme, so it could be a grief support group, or a new mom support group, or a cancer support group. What I really like is the psycho-educational component: people come together, and let's say... well, the groups that I do in my other job are parenting groups. Parents come together, and we have a curriculum. But it's not like we say, "Hey, here is this big curriculum, go learn it." It's like, "Hey, everybody gets together, we've got some tools, let's try these out." We do a lot of role play. So we'll get up and practice things, and do a "wrong way" example with an off the wall wrong way. People are laughing and saying "Oh my gosh, I've done that at home!" and then say, "What can we do to make that better?" And then we do a "right way" example and people practice it. They interact with each other. I feel like there's wisdom in the room, and my job as a facilitator is just to connect wisdom, and to help shore up people who need support and tools. The idea is then to go home and try it out, and come back and debrief, and say, "What happened? What worked? What didn't work?" with the group. It feels like magic can happen when people learn from each other. My job is really to facilitate—it's not like, "Hey, I'm an expert!" I'm not! [They] are all the experts.
TYG-GD: So it's kind of like a parenting class, but not quite.
Laura: Yes. It's definitely a parenting class, but it doesn't feel like one.
TYG-GD: I'm involved with the Yachats Youth organization in town, and we do offer parenting classes. The dynamic of the group is very much about incorporating our own stories and let's figure out [a solution]. But it's amazing how so many of the materials are dated, which is a shame.
Laura: Our parenting group model is based on 50 years of research. I know that right now to say that you're scientifically-based is sort of out of favor, but we are evidence-based. That's where the psycho-educational piece comes in. There are tools that we know work with families like ours, so we say, "Here are tools that we know work; now, let's tailor it so that it works for your family."
TYG: So was there anything else you wanted to talk about?
Laura: I think that's all—but you know, as a former reporter it was fun to say, "Okay, I'm going to be on the other side of this, and see what this is like!" [laughs]
TYG: I've done that a couple of times; it is really good fun.
Laura: I'll tell you what I like about it, but first, tell me what you like. How's that been for you?
TYG: It opens me up to see the other side. And I feel like my interviews are always better afterwards.
Laura: Yes, absolutely! You know what's similar for me? So when I coach a therapist, and even if it's in another language, so if I'm watching a Dutch therapy session and I have a transcript so I know what they're actually saying, afterwards, when I go into a therapy session, I feel like I'm better because of that. That makes perfect sense. Before I was going to meet you, I was thinking "What are the things that led me here?" So I pulled out my Master's thesis. This was in the early 90s, and I did a content analysis of four major newspapers, like the Washington Post, the New York Times, the LA Times, and a fourth paper. And I was looking at right when Magic Johnson, who was a basketball player with the Lakers, said he had HIV. So I looked at news coverage a week before he announced, and news coverage a week after he announced. What I was really curious about was, does news coverage change because it's event-based, or because it's an issue? And I looked at seven other celebrities and how they were treated by the media before and after. So thank you for asking me to do this interview, because I hadn't looked at that thesis for a lot of years. [laughter]
TYG: What did you discover?
Laura: Well, that coverage did change after he announced. One of the things that changed was, that rather than only getting information from the "official sources" about HIV, people who had HIV now had a voice. Part of it was also that he was a heterosexual man who came out and said he got HIV. That was very different from, say, Freddie Mercury, who was the lead singer of Queen. Everything was attributed to his flamboyant nature. Also, I was a big Queen fan, so this was a way to do some private research on him. [laughter] One of the other things I was interested in was, "Do news outlets provide mobilizing information?" Other than just saying, "Hey, here's what happened, this is a health crisis folks!" So I was looking at whether they included any type of resource so people could learn more. And that sort of varied. [To the Publisher] So, can you just tell me? I'm just curious—how did you start doing this?
TYG: So for me—I used to be a real idea factory. [Brief protest from the TYG-GD about the use of the past tense.] Well, I still have them—I just don't say them as much anymore. I used to just spew out stuff, constantly. And I was with Dad, coming home after a walk, and I said, "When I grow up, I'm going to start a newspaper in the town. It's going to be called The Yachats Gazette." And Dad goes, "Wait a minute." And within a few days, maybe a week, we had the first issue out.
Laura: Wow. That's awesome.
TYG: We just went into the supermarket plaza, and we just talked to business owners there. They were our first advertisers, along with Toad Hall, and it just grew from there. So we're up to eleven years, and Issue 83.
Laura: That's amazing. I love that you said you were an idea factory.
TYG: That's just how I roll.
Laura: But then you also became an action figure, because you made it happen.
TYG: My parents were, honestly, the bigger part of that. It's amusing, because that brings us back to the compliment thing.
Laura: [laughter] That's funny! Look what just happened! I give you a compliment, and you're like, deflect! [laughter]
TYG: Yep! That's me! [more laughter]
Laura: Let's try it again. Let's try it with me. So I'm going to say, "Wow, that's so cool! You're an idea factory, but you're also an action figure!"
TYG: Mm. Well, I am an idea factory. That much is very much true. I'm not sure about the action figure.
Laura: You did make things happen.
TYG: Sort of. [laughs]
Laura: Yeah. You just say, "That's true of me."
TYG: I guess. [laughter] That's true of me, fine! [more laughter]
Laura: That's really cool. I love that.
TYG: Well, it was great fun meeting you!
Laura: It was a great way to spend the early part of the afternoon. Thank you!
STORIES OF WEST AFRICA
Art Quilt Show, Yachats Commons, August 25-26
Photo "Mother and Child"
Art Quilt by Hollis Chatelain
“Stories of West Africa” is a collection of art quilts created by internationally renowned award-winning artist Hollis Chatelain. This show will be on display in the Yachats Commons, August 25, & 26, 10 AM – 4 PM. Admission is a suggested $7.00 donation.
Hollis Chatelain employs a dynamic and characteristic style, marked by dreamlike imagery, elaborate use of color, and intricate thread detail. Hollis creates unique compositions that address challenging social, environmental, and political themes. Her work is found in public and private collections around the world. Her website is hollisart.com. Check it out and discover the process she uses to create her fabric.
The Yachats Commons is located at 441 N. Hwy 101. For more information please visit
DRIVE ELECTRIC YACHATS
September 9, 2018
Drive Electric Yachats is a one-day free event, Sunday Sept. 9, starting 10 AM at the Yachats Commons Picnic Shelter. This year’s event includes a free showing of the movie “Revenge of the Electric Car."
Drive Electric Yachats is part of National Drive Electric Week, September 8–16, 2018, a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. "National Drive Electric Week is presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club, and Electric Auto Association". Drive Electric Yachats is produced by Polly Plumb Productions, and sponsored by the Drift Inn Hotel and Restaurant, the Yachats Chamber of Commerce, and Central Lincoln PUD.
From 10 AM to 3 PM you can visit and speak with local electric vehicle owners. Look under the hood. You will be surprised. Try a test drive and learn more about this new rapidly changing technology. Electric vehicles are fun to drive, are less expensive and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles,. EV’s are better for the environment, promote jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Are you considering going electric? Come talk to owners who have successfully done so.
FREE MOVIE and POPCORN at the Commons
2:30 PM “REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR”
As part of their 75th anniversary celebrations, Central Lincoln PUD is sponsoring a free showing of the highly praised, 88 minute film “Revenge of the Electric Car”. Revenge follows four entrepreneurs from 2007 through the end of 2010 as they fight to bring the electric car back to the world market in the midst of the 2008 global recession. The documentary premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day, April 22, 2011.
ABC news wrote "As much as you expect it to be a story about technology, it's really a tale about people. ... [The four entrepreneurs'] stories are skillfully woven together, each presented in their own voice." USA Today wrote, "Revenge is a must-see movie for anyone interested in cars." The Guardian noted that the film "is more than just a snapshot of the gamesmanship behind the creation of mass-market vehicles. Revenge offers a look inside the minds of business leaders struggling through one of the most troubled periods of recent economic history. ... [It] captures rich natural tension as it unfolds." Free admission, popcorn and surprises are planned.
We are still looking for EV owners who are willing to let a novice explore their car. It is your decision what you allow guests do with your electric vehicle: look at it, sit in it, ride in it, or drive it.
If you are an EV owner and wish to sign up and show off and share your EV, please sign up at:
For more information call 541-968-6089, or contact email@example.com
Find us on Facebook: Drive Electric Yachats