Cathy Ahern


My Bio

As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), I am honored to help individuals obtain their optimal mental health through collaboration, support and holistic care. I provide psychiatric medication management, health education and counseling to adults and adolescents. Human beings have an amazing capacity to heal, and effective healing and personal growth are achieved from an active partnership between clients and their healthcare providers.

I love being a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and I believe that we can all improve our mental health by building on our strengths, developing healthier coping skills and breaking self-defeating patterns. We are so much more than our diagnoses. Physical health, nutrition, sleep hygiene and social supports are all essential to mental wellness. For some clients, psychiatric medications are effective tools in the journey toward healing. Research has shown that for many people, psychiatric medications combined with counseling, education and lifestyle changes provide the surest path toward wellness.

I have 13 years of experience working with people across the life span from all walks of life, including healthcare professionals; college students; sex industry workers; veterans, active duty soldiers and their families; artists; LGBTQ clients and Native American clients. Along with my PMHNP practice, I enjoy teaching and have been a faculty member with the School of Nursing at OHSU, Linfield College and the University of Portland.

As a transplant from the East coast, I grew up in a military family and consider my hometown to be Portland, Maine. My husband and I made the move to “the other Portland” in 1994. I love beachcombing, hiking, traveling and spending time with my family. I look forward to meeting you and partnering with you on your journey to wellness.

My Focus

  • Mood Disorders: Depression; Dysthymia and Bipolar Affective Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders; Panic Attacks; Phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD); Sexual, Physical and Emotional Trauma
  • Clergy Abuse and Intergenerational Trauma
  • Medical Trauma; Chronic Medical Conditions; Chronic Pain; Diabetes, HIV and Cancer
  • Women’s Health Concerns: Infertility; Pregnancy Loss and Post-Partum Depression
  • Depression during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

My Training & Approaches

  • Master of Science, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 2001
  • Psychiatric Nurse Internship; McLean Hospital/Harvard, Boston, Massachusetts 1992
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Minors in Biology and Psychology; Salem State College, Salem, Massachusetts 1990
  • Oregon Professional Licensure: Nurse Practitioner 200150042NP; Registered Nurse 093007244RN
  • Psychopharmacology with an emphasis on Health Education and Holistic Care
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Expressive Art Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Mindfulness, Relaxation and Visualization Techniques
  • Dispute Resolution for Couples, Families and Groups
  • Test Anxiety Reduction and Academic Support
  • Supervision and Mentorship for Nursing Students, Nurses and PMHNPs
  • Professional Presentations and Mental Health Education for Providers and Community Members
  • Legal Consultation and Expert Witness Testimony