DR. MICHELLE WATSON
For anyone who knows me, whether personally or professionally, it doesn’t take long to see that:
I love to laugh while seeing the glass half full
I enjoy exploring my quirky city of Portland, Oregon where our motto is “Keep Portland Weird!”
I love being creative (whether playing the piano, singing, or painting)
I love to write (which is something I discovered about myself only when writing my first book!)
I love God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and I love seeing Their power transform lives (including my own redemption story!)
I enjoy getting to know people from all walks of life
I thrive on authentic interactions where masks come off and histories are shared
I love hearing real stories of everyday people who never give up and keep striving to grow and change, mature and thrive
I believe our character is carved out and shaped through pain and suffering. And when I hear stories of survival and the lessons learned there, I am honestly inspired by seeing resilience, courage, passion, love, and strength in the most unexpected places.
To sum up, I am in the right line of work for how God wired me because I never tire of hearing real stories from vulnerable, courageous people!
Here’s a little background about my experiences with teenage and 20-something girls:
I not only have lived through these years myself, but am the oldest of four girls…(I know, my poor dad! We even had female cats through the years….he couldn’t get a break!!)
I have spent the last four decades of my life working with girls and young women through counseling (for over 20 years), mentoring, speaking at camps and retreats, teaching graduate students, and a few other places sprinkled in.
I have had personal friendships with girls in this age range throughout my entire adult life and I love the ongoing relationships we continue to have, which simply translates to my enjoyment of women who are growing and maturing through the various stages of their lives and am honored to be trusted with their stories and process.
Here is a little background about my experiences with fathers of daughters:
In January 2010 I founded The Abba Project where I lead dads of daughters ages 13 to 30 to dial in with more intention and consistency to their heart space. I lead a local group in Portland, Oregon annually every year from September through May. (you can read more under The Abba Project)
I have coached offspring Abba Project groups in Virginia and Washington State, with more to come.
I have written a book for dads of daughters titled, Dad, Here’s What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart and it’s also available in audiobook form in my own voice on Audible. (available here)
I am currently in the process of completing a second book with scripts for dads to equip them to strategically lead their daughters into conversations that matter, with a focus on greater depth that will allow her to know herself better…because my goal is to stay in the background while putting the words into your mouths so that you as dads can lead the way!
Now on the professional side:
I have a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Education from Multnomah University (1985)
I earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College (1998)
I hold a Ph.D in Health Psychology from Walden University (2007)
I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the relationship between eating disorder symptomatology and unforgiveness of the self
I taught graduate students at Lewis and Clark College as an adjunct professor in their eating disorder program (2005-2009)
I have been a guest teacher, speaker, and lecturer in various forums in my city and around the country
I am honored to be described by Dr. Ken Canfield (founder and president of The National Center for Fathering and The National Association of Grandparenting) as “a fresh voice into the area of fathering” as I seek to live out my God-given assignment to fathers of daughters. Currently Ken and I co-lead the Fathers and Daughters division of the National Center for Fathering.
And the last thing I want to share with you is one of my all-time favorite quotes: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. What that says to me is that even when life doesn’t make sense and God’s ways are hard to understand, I rest in knowing that God is good and what He does is good (Psalm 119:68) because I am living proof that God somehow miraculously “restores the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). It is truly my greatest joy to partner with the Trinity while bringing the best that I have been given to fathers and daughters, and it is my joy to connect with you here.
You matter…to me and to your Abba Father God. Thanks for taking a few minutes to get to know me a little more.
If you want to get in touch with me, here’s where you can find me: