Rachel Gordon (M.A., M.Ed.) is a registered psychotherapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC). She grew up in Colorado and then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Women’s Studies. Hoping to pursue a career in international development, Rachel moved to Tel Aviv, Israel after graduating from Penn. She worked at President Shimon Peres’ non-profit organization, the Peres Center for Peace, designing and managing Israeli-Palestinian coexistence projects.
After nearly 3 years in Israel, Rachel returned to the States to pursue graduate studies, receiving a Master’s of Education from Harvard in International Education Policy. Rachel was then awarded the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) and moved to Washington, D.C. She worked for USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, managing Secretary Clinton’s “Saving Lives at Birth” Initiative, which aimed to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates in rural Africa and Asia.
While working in Global Health, Rachel noticed that very little, if any, attention was being paid to mental health. She realized that her true passion was helping people directly, so after nearly a decade working in international development, Rachel moved back to Colorado and returned to graduate school, this time for a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from DU. As part of her graduate studies, Rachel worked with refugees, doing mental health counseling for people from all over Africa, the Middle East and Asia. She completed her internship at Porter Hospital, conducting individual and group therapy sessions on the geriatric inpatient unit. After graduating with her second Master’s in 2015, Rachel worked at Compass Health Systems, a private practice in Lonetree, CO where she saw clients ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old, and with a variety of presenting problems and diagnoses. At the same time, Rachel also began her Ph.D. in Health and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver. Her research interests and past experience include pregnancy-related mood disorders/post-partum depression, intergenerational transmission of trauma, masculinity/men’s mental health, chronic pain, mindfulness and Buddhist psychology.
Rachel’s interest in Buddhist psychology began at age 16, when she took her first yoga class. Ever since then – throughout various life changes and while living on 4 different continents – yoga has been Rachel’s haven. She is an avid practitioner and has also taught yoga informally. Through her practice, Rachel was introduced to Buddhist philosophy and meditation. She began to study Buddhism and the blending of Buddhist philosophy with Western psychology (also known as “Buddhist psychotherapy”) through teachers such as Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hahn. She is a strong believer in Buddhism as “the science of the mind”, and as an incredibly therapeutic force for clients with a wide range of issues.