Mentor Research Institute

Informing the Public & Psychotherapy Practice

503 227-2027


Mentor Research Institute (MRI) is a 501c3 consumer protection information and research organization formed in 1995. 

The purpose of the corporation is to identify problems relevant to the individual as well as the larger social network and to disseminate information by promoting and conducting research that will contribute to the attainment and maintenance of a quality of life marked by greater psychological stability, satisfaction and independence.


Mentor Research Institute (MRI) is a 501c3 consumer protection information and research organization formed in 1995. 

The purpose of the corporation is to identify problems relevant to the individual as well as the larger social network and to disseminate information by promoting and conducting research that will contribute to the attainment and maintenance of a quality of life marked by greater psychological stability, satisfaction and independence.

Mentor Research Institute (MRI) is a 501c3 consumer protection information and research organization formed in 1995.  The Board is a “working board.”  Directors initiate, pursue and support MRI projects.

MRI’s community and consumer protection activities have included many projects and programs such as these:

  • MRI’s first project was the design and publication of The Great Storm and Flood Recovery Children's Story & Activity Book. The books offer activity to guide children’s exploration of fears and other feelings caused by storms and flooding. Included is a supplement to educate parents and teachers about children’s trauma symptoms and responses. These books have been printed and distributed by local, State and Federal, agencies after many floods and hurricanes. They are available, free, as English and Spanish language .pdf files.

  • A guidance and training project for community members working with therapy animals.

  • A project to train volunteers who worked in a homeless shelter that housed indigent women and children.

  • An on-line project which offered access to a parent-completed screening questionnaire for at-risk adolescents.  The free screening tool generated extensive and useful reports for parents and professionals with whom they consulted.

  • A well-planned community awareness and support gathering held after a series of suicides had been triggered by severe economic downturn.

  • Development and expansion of the ConnectingCare model.  The ConnectingCare model includes psychological screening, follow-up, and outcome measures plus analytics. 

The ConnectingCare model is designed to enhance mental health professionals' capacity to provide treatment, improve clinical assessments, support and improve the psychological treatment process, facilitate collaborations among psychological and medical care-givers, and to demonstrate clinical outcomes achieved by groups of mental health professionals 

MRI Board members donate both time and resources to MRI activities.  The MRI Board consults with advisers from the professional and lay communities to inform its decisions and create and carry out project plans.

Goals of Mentor Research Institute (MRI) Continuing Education Programs:

MRI has provided psychologists and other mental health professionals with opportunities to participate in a wide variety of formal learning activities.  These activities, while primarily focused on issues of clinical practice in psychology, have also offered education in ethical, legal and other topics.  MRI’s intent is to support professionals’ adaptation to changes in technology, requirements for medical-mental health collaboration, adherence to state laws, requirements of third party payers, and federal regulation. 

The clinical and current issues programs sponsored by MRI have enabled doctoral level psychologists and other mental health professionals to maintain and increase their competencies, to improve their services to the public and their abilities to contribute to their profession.


Michaele Dunlap, PsyD

Michaele Dunlap began private practice as a Masters’ level mental health professional in 1984.  She was licensed as a psychologist in 1990.  She is in practice at Mentor Professional Corporation, which formed in 1992 to support supervision for new psychologists and facilitate professional collaboration. Her clinical focus is on adults, couples, families, parenting and relationship difficulties in closely held businesses. She works with addictions, trauma recovery, life and health challenges and personal and relationship growth. She provides consultation to mental health professionals, and human services organizations.

Dunlap has been an organizer of continuing education events for psychologists since 1989.  She has been a presenter at numerous continuing education events for psychologists and other mental health professionals.  Her presentation topics have included: Clinical records keeping; Jane Loevinger’s Theory of Ego Development; the MRI ConnectingCare model; Aspects of psychologists self-care; Dealing with managed care; Oregon’s Duty to Report law; Risks of disclosure in mental health services; Ethical practice in mental health; Identifying and dealing with nightmare clinical situations; The pragmatics of dealing with HIPAA regulations;  Women’s chemical dependence and recovery;  Internet marketing for mental health professionals; and Professional practice development.  She has written and published articles on several of these topics.

Michael Conner, PsyD

An engineer and psychologist, Dr. Conner practices in clinical, family and medical psychology. Dr. Conner is an expert in crisis intervention, emergency psychiatric services, dangerous behavior, residential treatment and outdoor behavioral health. He provides professional training in ethics, crisis intervention, dangerousness, parenting and a variety of mental health topics.

Dr. Conner has worked in hospital, residential, primary medical care and health education settings. At one point in his career, he worked simultaneously in law enforcement, community crisis intervention and emergency room psychiatry. These unique experiences allow Dr. Conner to understand the needs of adults, parents, families, adolescents, professionals and organizations facing the most challenging problems. He currently maintains a private practice working primarily with adults and families and provides consultation and training for law enforcement and major airlines in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Conner also consults with parents and mental health professionals nationally.

In 1989, Dr. Conner began pioneering research in the use of computers in personality assessment and training. This included the development and operation of computer-based test interpretation and the associated ethical issues. He later developed a computer-based mental health screening tool for primary medical care. This system accurately evaluated and recommended medications based on the thought processes of psychiatrists. Other projects included Internet-based screening questionnaires for adolescents who were at risk.

In 1999, Dr. Conner began to research boarding schools, wilderness and adventure programs for youth and young adults developing an extensive database on such programs. He has promoted public and professional awareness about emotional growth boarding schools and wilderness therapy treatment and is actively involved in helping the public to understand the difference between emotional growth, therapeutic, residential, adventure and wilderness therapy programs and boot camps. This research has allowed Dr. Conner to appreciate professional and consumer needs for intervention, program safety and the importance of follow-up programs as well as the importance of recognizing market trends in mental health and family intervention services

Patsy J. Cobb

Patsy J. Cobb is retired Director of Audit & Risk for Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) which has its main office in Portland, OR and a regional office in New York, NY.  At NWEA she was responsible for internal audit function and risk management oversight, with emphasis on information security, infrastructure development and staff self-sufficiency through education and training. From 2000 to 2006 Ms. Cobb was Director of Finance for NWEA serving on the management team which grew that 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (specializing in educational assessment, psychometric research, proprietary software development and application service provider) from $4.5 million to nearly $50 million in annual revenues, with a proportionate growth in the number of clients served.

Since 1991 Ms. Cobb has maintained her own company, CFO Solutions in Lake Oswego, OR. CFO Solutions provides consulting and bookkeeping services to clients, with an emphasis on professional services and small business needs.

Tracy Heart, MA, LPC

Tracy Heart has worked for more than 25 years in variety of settings as a clinician, in human resources and marketing communications.  She has worked in sub-acute, crisis and private practice settings.  Her practice focused on individuals with interpersonal and/or relationship challenges, self or body-image issues,  troubling life or behavior patterns, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and/or past neglect or other childhood trauma.  Tracy's practice focus is on relieving the impacts of childhood neglect and abuse, and on treating eating disorders.

Dave Johnson, MSW, ACSW

Dave Johnson has over 35 years’ experience as a senior administrator, clinician, and health services evaluator with more than 20 years'  of focus on design, development, implementation and evaluation of bi-directional integrated care and service models. He served on the front lines of care as a child welfare worker and administrator for Adolescent Group Homes.  His program and clinical development activities have included engagements with Primary Care Clinics, FQHCs, Community Mental Health Agencies and specialty services—HIV/AIDS, OB/GYN, ID/DD.  Dave directed Anthem’s Medicaid Health Home initiatives in multiple states as well as designed, implemented, and evaluated an integrated care program in primary care/FQHC settings in eight states recognized as a best practice by the Institute for Medicaid Innovation 2016-2017.  Dave’s successful grant writing experiences include having achieved awards of more than $7 million from Federal Agencies, State Agencies and Private Foundations.


John Ballantine

With more than 20 years of management experience in the Internet and computer industries, John Ballantine is an industry expert renowned in eCommerce, software, and online direct marketing.

In 1994, John co-founded Online Interactive, Inc. (OLI) and served as its Executive Vice President and later as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ballantine led OLI into becoming the largest reseller in the electronic software distribution market. Under his direction, the company signed licensing agreements with over 250 software publishers, including over 3,000 electronic products in less than 3 years. In 1997 while CEO, Mr. Ballantine executed the successful sale of Online Interactive to MicroWarehouse, Inc. After the sale, Mr. Ballantine remained President of the Seattle operation, and was a Vice President at MicroWarehouse.

Shantz Medley 

Shantz (“Shantz-man”) is a “young” senior software engineer and developer who has a passion for designing and implementing large scale software throughout the entire software development life cycle. He has taken existing projects and have made them faster, more accurate, and easier to use and understand. He has also designed from scratch large scale, Cross Platform, software that is efficient and scalable while guaranteeing data integrity. 

“Along with design, I also implement, test, deploy solutions to production environments, support and debug issues that may arise on customers’ machines and systems. Issues that arise include trouble shooting system and physical network failure inside a client's Intranet, incorrect system setup, third party hardware failure, and hot fix verification on clients’ machines. By doing this I am exposed to roughly every part of the software development life cycle and even some of the system/network administration side of Information Systems as well.”

Specialties: VB, C#, .NET, Java, JS, MVC, Entity, RESTful design and implementation, Cross Platform Integration, Network Programming, Distributed and High Performance Computing, SQL Server Development and Database Administration, Software Design and Implementation, Network Design and Administration.