Mark Davis

Staff Counselor
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Office: 541-737-2131

Snell Hall

Snell Hall

2150 SW Jefferson Way

2150 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Credentials: 
MSW, LCSW
Education: 

MSW, Smith College School for Social Work, 2016

BA, Harvard University, 2009

Employment: 

Benton County Health Department, Corvallis, OR, 2016-2018

VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, American Lake Division, Tacoma, WA, 2015-2016

Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Seattle, WA, 2014-2015

Professional Affiliations: 

American Group Psychotherapy Association

Additional Information: 

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." –Desmond Tutu

Theoretical Orientation: 

Narrative therapy, dialogic practice, social justice and anti-oppression, critical whiteness studies, mad studies and mad pride, liberation psychology, cultural humility, Buddhism, ACT, systems, psychodynamic, intersubjective.

Philosophy and Approach:
I approach therapy as a process of creative reading and writing. I will collaborate with you to read (bear witness to, understand, interpret) the stories you have been given (by parents, caregivers, siblings, friends, partners, institutions, society, etc.) as we craft new stories for you to live by—stories grounded in the values that infuse your life with meaning. In contrast to the medical model that locates the person as the problem and pathologizes “negative” human emotions (sadness, distress, anxiety, anger, fear) as things to be managed, controlled, or eliminated, I consider the full spectrum of emotions a natural response to the often traumatic and oppressive nature of life, relationships, and our world situation. My aim is not to help clients strive to fit into the emotionally narrow “happy” life often depicted in American advertising, but rather to grow into a meaningful life that embraces the rich continuum of human emotions and experiences.

Presenting Concerns:
Anxiety, depression, PTSD, veteran issues (combat trauma, MST, moral injury), internalized dominance, toxic whiteness and toxic masculinity, perfectionism, religious & spiritual concerns, SPMI including psychotic disorders.

Identity Intersects:
Born 1985, he/him/his, white, straight, cisgender, allo, male, high-SES family of origin, Zen Buddhist, mostly able-bodied (chronic pain and orthopedic issues due to rock climbing accident), leftist, antifascist, democratic socialist.

Cultural Humility:
Given the privileged identities I hold, I consider it imperative to pay close attention to dynamics of power, privilege, oppression, and social justice in counseling sessions. I try to learn as much as I can about the multicultural backgrounds of my clients, and strive to maintain a stance of cultural humility so as not to impose my own values and culture-bound perspectives on our conversations. I actively welcome feedback and challenges from clients when my approach does not feel culturally respectful or appropriate. Frequent direct eye contact during session is not something that I expect or emphasize since, like psychotherapy itself, it is not a universal cultural practice.

Profile Field Tabs

At OSU
Affiliated with: 
Counseling Center
Proceedings and Conference Presentations: 

Invisible Knapsacks: How White People Can Unpack Whiteness and Work Toward Racial Justice. Co-presenters: Rachel Redd and AJ Metthe. American Group Psychotherapy Association Annual Meeting. March 2, 2018. New York, NY.

Understanding Privilege, Dismantling Racism. Co-presenter: Silvana Espinoza Lau. Community Outreach, Inc. First session: April 30, 2017. Second session: Sept. 18, 2017. Corvallis, OR.

Responding to Racist Remarks and Actions, Part 2. Co-presenters: Silvana Espinoza Lau and Shelley Moon. Corvallis Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. March 19, 2017. Corvallis, OR.

Invisible Knapsacks: How White People Can Unpack Whiteness and Work Toward Racial Justice. Co-presenter: Rachel Redd. American Group Psychotherapy Association Annual Meeting. March 9, 2017. New York, NY.

Responding to Racist Remarks and Actions, Part 1. Corvallis Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). First Alternative Co-op. November 19, 2016. Corvallis, OR.

Decolonizing the Group: Fanon and Group Psychodynamics. Co-presenter: Kim DuBose. International Association of Social Work with Groups Symposium. June 18, 2016. New York, NY.

Microaggressions: Death by a Thousand Papercuts. Co-presenters: Krystal Aguilar, Caylo McNeal, Zoe Rudow. VA Puget Sound. Given in American Lake Division, simulcast to Seattle Division. April 19, 2016. Tacoma, WA.

“What do you mean you don’t see color?”: Racism and Group Psychodynamics. Copresenters: Kim DuBose, Allegra Comas. American Group Psychotherapy Association Annual Meeting. February 26, 2016. New York, NY.

Headquarters: 
OSU Main Campus
Research/Career Interests: 
  • Addressing racial microaggressions in group psychotherapy
  • Developing a psychodynamic understanding of white fragility
  • Decolonizing Western group psychotherapy
  • Diagnosing the toxic impact of capitalism, the Protestant work ethic, and Puritan cultural/spiritual values on American mental health (specifically with regard to perfectionism)
Beyond OSU
Personal Interests: 

Korean Zen Buddhism, social practice art, labor organizing, DIY home remodeling, Madhyamika Buddhist philosophy, Baptiste yoga, reading, movies, chess, biking, sculpture, anti-racist activism, swimming.

Biography

I was born in Dallas, TX, but I've lived all over the country—Colorado Springs, Keene (NH), Boston, Iowa City, Seattle, Tacoma—and have now finally settled happily in Corvallis. My first career was in the field of sculpture design and fabrication. I worked as a project manager for an installation artist and then at a bronze sculpture foundry in rural Iowa. Eventually, my interest in social practice art as well as my passion for social justice led me to clinical social work. I live with my partner, our toddler, and our two cats.