Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist at the Portland Psychotherapy Clinic that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder), trauma and PTSD, and matters related to the use of psychedelics. He completed his doctorate at Fordham University in Bronx, NY and completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Weill-Cornell Medical center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Dr. Pilecki also received a master’s degree from the California Institute of Integral Studies in East-West Psychology where he studied psychedelic medicine, non-Western ways of knowing, and contemplative traditions such as Buddhism. He also has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and meditation, and incorporates them into his therapy with clients. Brian has also held numerous leadership positions, including his current service as a committee chairperson for the Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science. He is an active researcher and has published on topics such as anxiety disorders, mindfulness, psychedelics, and the relationship between theory and practice in psychotherapy. At Portland Psychotherapy, Dr. Pilecki is involved in research on the positive benefits of psychedelics and provides clinical services in the preparation for or integration of psychedelic experiences.
How I work with clients
My therapy approach centers on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based psychotherapy that emphasizes behavior change and uses a client’s own values to guide treatment. I also incorporate tools from other forms of psychotherapy and Eastern contemplative traditions. As an active researcher, I value keeping up to date with the most recent developments in therapy technologies so that I can bring the best treatment that science has to offer. In working with clients, it is important to me to understand and work within each client’s unique belief system, something that I believe is important to using psychotherapy as an adjunct to psychedelic medicines.
At the start of therapy and throughout treatment, time is spent carefully understanding each client’s needs and goals, and then collaborating on ways to help address them. Clients are encouraged to think about what is most meaningful to them in life and are supported in pursuing whatever that is. I work with clients to identify and implement practices, exercises, and out-of-session activities to address their unique needs. Using a compassionate and nonjudgmental stance, I work with clients to help them break out of old habits and rigid thought patterns that are keeping them stuck.
I am also passionate about the potential for psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA, and ayahuasca to be used as tools for personal growth. As someone who is well-informed about and does scientific research on the positive potential of psychedelics, I want to help clients who have used psychedelics integrate any wisdom or insight gained from these experiences into their daily lives. Additionally, I am interested in helping clients cope and make sense of any difficult psychedelic experiences they may have had. While I cannot facilitate access to or provide psychedelic substances due to their illegal nature, I offer a harm reduction approach for individuals who are seeking psychedelic experiences by providing accurate information about risks and benefits and then supporting clients to make informed choices that are right for them.
Ultimately, I wish to draw upon all of my training and experience to help clients live a meaningful and vital life.