Newport’s Ocean Mist Counseling and Wellness secures new office space

…and an honor from the SBDC

With news sites full of stories about the ongoing pandemic driving increased demand for mental health services, including counseling and psychotherapy, it’s appropriate that the 2020 OCCC Small Business Management Program business of the year is a counseling business that’s currently expanding services in Lincoln County.

The team at Ocean Mist Counseling and Wellness in Newport believes that psychotherapy is a creative collaboration that promotes unification of mind, body, and spirit and improves one’s quality of life.Karlee and Cliff Davis

“We work with individuals, couples, and families who are dealing with life changes, traumatic life events, emotional difficulties, relationship challenges, addiction, grief and loss, and various psychological conditions,” said Karlee Davis who owns and operates Ocean Mist Counseling and Wellness along with her husband, Cliff.

Even as the COVID-19 crisis was ravaging the coastal economy, the business was expanding into new space in Newport. The Ocean Mist Counseling team also graduated from the OCCC Small Business Development Center’s Small Business Management Program in the spring, and secured the SBM’s “Business of the Year” honors for their creativity and dedication.

“Ocean Mist Counseling was doing amazing things in our SBM program throughout the past academic year, well before the onset of the pandemic,” said SBM Coordinator and SBDC business advisor Misty Lambrecht. “The fact that they’ve persevered and continued pursuing their plans for expansion throughout this difficult time – and the vital service they’re providing our friends and neighbors – underscores the reasons why Ocean Mist was the perfect choice for Business of the Year.”

The Ocean Mist therapeutic approach blends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness, Meditation, Breathwork, Yoga, Inner Child Work, Spirituality, Inner Alignment, Ayurveda, Reiki Energy Healing, Aromatherapy, and other holistic approaches. Additional specialties include Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP).

Karlee Davis was born and raised in Billings, Mont. She lived in Eugene for 17 years before moving to Newport in 2018. Karlee’s education includes a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Counseling from Bellevue University in 2012, completion of her graduate school practicum at The Relief Nursery of Lane County’s Therapeutic Early Childhood Program, coupled with a Clinical Internship at Serenity Lane, a residential dual diagnosis treatment center. Karlee has gained critically valuable and extensive behavioral health skills as a Residential Addiction Counselor at Klean Treatment Center in Long Beach, Wash., and as a Mental Health Therapist at Direction Service Counseling Center in Eugene.

Cliff Davis was born and raised in Eugene. He moved to the Coast in 2018. Cliff has completed a variety of college courses and educational programs that have earned him certificates that complement his well-rounded approach to business. Cliff will sometimes join Karlee for continuing education trainings in order to better help provide clients with trauma informed care and the resources they need when contacting their counseling office.

How did the Davis’ decide to settle in Newport?

“The Oregon Coast has always been a favorite destination for us, Newport especially,” Cliff said. “We were attracted to the smaller town and slower lifestyle than we had in Eugene. We had learned that Lincoln County was an underserved population when It comes to mental health services. As we began networking with local clinics and therapists, we learned that providers were working hard and passionately, yet the demand continued to exceed the supply of trained mental health professionals. With all the beauty of the Oregon Coast, we knew that our family could live a great life here while helping to meet the mental health needs of this wonderful community.”

“Driven by a deep commitment to helping others toward health and happiness, our therapists will help guide you through emotional healing, unresolved trauma, life transitions, mental blocks, and unfulfilling relationship patterns,” Cliff continued. “Our goal is to help you define what you truly want, and then help you manage the obstacles that get in your way.”

Strength in numbers

Ocean Mist provides individual and group counseling services. Group counseling offers a confidential, safe space for individuals to gain self-awareness and awareness of how they relate to others who are facing similar experiences. The group counseling experience can reduce loneliness, create a sense of belongingness, normalize one’s symptoms and/or experience, improve communication skills, promote change in quick and meaningful ways, enhance perspective on certain topics, and help build new skills for coping with life’s challenges. Group therapy has gained popularity in recent years due to its affordability – and numerous studies showing its effectiveness as an alternative to individual therapy. While individual therapy may be more appropriate for people who are healing from traumatic life events or are struggling with more severe mental health issues, group therapy can be more appropriate for individuals who are wanting to learn and develop coping skills, process grief and loss, cope with social anxiety, recover from addiction, or support family members who experience addiction or mental illness.

Cliff and Karlee have approached building their business strategically and deliberately.

“We started with a vision that included an established Oregon Coast-based agency with a reputation for offering high quality professional care to a diverse population,” Cliff said. “The SBDC was the first place we contacted to discuss how we could bring that vision to life.”

“Quality of care is our top priority,” he continued, “so we have to be intentional with our decisions so that our business growth is in alignment with our values. We have contracted with other therapists who offer therapeutic techniques that complement Karlee’s holistic approach. Such techniques include play therapy, treating compassion fatigue to caregivers and other helping professionals, and walking labyrinth. We needed space to offer these modalities in a comfortable, quiet, inviting location. As spaces around Newport became available, we would tour them, and determine whether or not they met our needs. It just so happened that a place became available during the pandemic and it met all of our criteria. We decided to go for it and we will spend time until we are seeing clients in the office again preparing it to be the therapeutic destination we originally set out to create.”

Now that they have a larger space with offices for multiple therapists, the Ocean Mist team is developing plans to offer a variety of mental health and wellness modalities including yoga, labyrinth, massage, art therapy, support groups, and reiki, mental health and holistic wellness workshops, short- term therapy intensives, therapeutic support groups, and online therapy programs.

“Because we are located in the historic Nye Beach neighborhood,” Cliff added, “we would like to offer walk-and-talk therapy on the beach. We are always looking to grow and expand so that we can continue offering cutting-edge therapeutic modalities and wellness services. We believe that the sky is the limit!”

When asked what advice he might give an aspiring entrepreneur considering launching their own business on the coast, Cliff had much to share.

“I would encourage them to get to know your community members and the needs of the community. Align yourself with businesses who have the support capabilities and resources to provide your business with what it needs to grow and become profitable. Don’t forget to schedule a free consultation with an advisor at the SBDC. And, finally, we would tell them that if they can see it and believe it, then they can achieve it.”

Ocean Mist Counseling, located at 605 SW Hurbert Street in Newport {Map}, offers telehealth (phone and video counseling) as well as in-person counseling. More information can be found on their website, at Call them at 541-270-4717.

To learn more about registering for the 2020-21 Small Business Management Program, fill out this brief application form