GET TO KNOW YOUR THERAPIST
Melissa Queen O’Connor
WHY I BECAME A THERAPIST
With the right support, validation, and encouragement, we all have the capacity to change and create a life filled with happiness and fulfillment. Part of being human means experiencing both joy and pain. I encourage the exploration of both the positive and the painful parts of our lives while working together to actively problem-solve and find solutions to life’s challenges.
I BECAME A THERAPIST TO HELP GUIDE INDIVIDUALS TO LIVE THEIR BEST LIFE POSSIBLE, WITH ALL THAT LIFE THROWS AT YOU.
the therapeutic relationship Is an important component in our work together. I view You as the expert in your Life journey and will partner with you to provide support, THerapeutic tools and perspective.
I believe we all have the capacity for change and growth. I use a strength-based approach combined with empathy, warmth, and lightness to help clients gain the insight and skills to change.
When I work with clients, I focus on:
acceptance | empathy | unconditional positive regard
I enter every therapeutic relationship with a genuine curiosity to understand the lives, struggles, and strengths of my clients. I believe in starting wherever you are comfortable. My office is a safe place to make sense of what is going on in your life. Together we will clarify your goals, identify obstacles, and find ways to overcome them. My approach relies on encouraging honesty, trust, acceptance and safety.
WHO I WORK WITH
I work with individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD/trauma, and relationship loss. My other areas of interest include working with individuals who are dealing with work-related stress, interpersonal issues, Quarter Life Crises and life transitions. I also offer a safe and affirming therapeutic space for people in the LGBTQ+ community who are seeking support.
WHAT IF I'M NOT READY TO CHANGE?
That’s ok, therapy can still be beneficial and helpful! A common misconception is that individuals come to therapy when they are ready to make some serious change. Most of the time people are feeling stuck and while they may have some idea what needs to change, are not yet ready. I utilize therapeutic techniques to meet you where you are while cultivating insight into behaviors and identifying values of living.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME & MY PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
- I received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University, and my BA in Psychology with a minor in Substance Abuse from Ramapo College.
- I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
- I utilize a strengths-based approach, combining aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
- I am trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy – an evidenced based treatment for trauma and PTSD.
- I completed a 27.5 hour Living Brave course from Brené Brown focusing on Vulnerability, Courage, Shame, and Empathy based on Daring Greatly and Rising Strong programs.
“I believe that a different therapy must be constructed for each patient because each has a unique story.” ― Irvin D. Yalom
Loves long-distance running
Practices mindfulness and gratitude
DO YOU WISH YOU WERE BETTER EQUIPPED TO HANDLE CHALLENGING SITUATIONS? DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR ABILITY TO NAVIGATE LIFE’S UPS AND DOWNS?
I would be honored to partner with you and help you discover the tools that can help make life more manageable. Together, we will find ways for you to meet your goals and increase your happiness and life satisfaction.