Agent of Change

Sheila Walty Create Change

Create Change, a growing therapy practice, helps clients travel the path to healing.

“I like building things, whether it’s a team of people or a business,” says Sheila Walty, owner of Create Change (1455 NW Irving St, Suite 200, 503-842-7855,, a counseling practice situated in multiple cozy rooms on the second floor of the swanky Pearl West Building.

“The heart of our mission is to dive into the root of the issue and come out healed on the other side”

In 2009, Walty struck out on her own to start a private counseling practice—leaving behind a career of building outpatient therapeutic programs and resuscitating struggling healthcare-related businesses. As a therapist, she specializes in couples counseling, mediation, and trauma-related issues.

Given Walty’s education, which includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business, and a master’s in social work administration—it’s no wonder her one-woman practice quickly expanded. She also employs two other therapists, as well as a nurse practitioner who specializes in medication management.

The other therapists complement the practice with their own specialties: counseling related to drug and alcohol dependency, eating disorders, smoking, anxiety issues, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The nurse practitioner works closely with the therapists to synthesize medication plans and optimize care.

“The heart of our mission is to dive into the root of the issue and come out healed on the other side,” says Walty.

Beyond counseling and mediation, Create Change also facilitates daylong communication workshops for couples and professional development training for therapists. And you can check out Walty’s new web-based coaching business at—it helps small businesses improve team dynamics and develop better strategies for maximizing revenue and growth. –Ellee Thalheimer | Photo by Ashley Anderson

Five steps to better resolving conflicts

  1. Actively listen to the person with whom you’re in conflict; ask for clarification and restate the essence of what you have heard.
  2. Be assertive. Without aggression, state your feelings and ask for what you want.
  3. Communicate the ABCs: Affect (how you feel). Behavior in question (what is bothering you). Choice (the behavior you desire from someone).
  4. Brainstorm ideas for a possible solution.
  5. Compromise to find an agreement. Commit to collaboration, listen more and talk less, entertain creative solutions and be flexible.