Colleen’s Take on Treatment
“Clients’ willingness to test their reality and make changes is what ignites their therapeutic journey. I consider it a privilege to be on that journey with clients and watch them realize that what appeared to be one of their most difficult moments, was one of their most defining moment. When clients realize their true strengths and capabilities, they open themselves up to a life that no longer has restrictions, are no longer consumed with fear and anxiety, to a life that is full of possibilities, opportunities, and fulfillment.”
Approach to therapy
Colleen takes a collaborative approach by working with clients to set goals that they are comfortable with and will enhance their quality of life. Colleen presents herself as authentic by being open, honest and direct with her clients. Colleen has extensive training and experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response and Prevention Therapy. She primarily uses techniques to help individuals find patterns of thought that cause anxiety, distress or negative behavior. She assists them in modifying those thoughts and making behavioral changes to create new experiences. She uses motivational interviewing techniques to help increase individuals’ motivation to change. Although individuals may want positive changes to take place in their life, she recognizes that fear can sometimes get in the way of allowing them to make those changes. Motivational Interviewing (MI) helps an individual become invested in the therapeutic process and continues to encourage them along the way.
Experience and training
Colleen earned her Bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst College and her Master’s in Clinical and Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, with a specialization in substance abuse. Following her Master’s program, Colleen went on to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Prior to working at The OCD & Anxiety Center, Colleen worked with adolescents and adults in partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient clinics. She specializes in working with adolescents and adults with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, impulse control disorders, and other mood disorders.
Colleen has extensive training in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) and specializes in treating anxiety, OCD and related disorders. Children and adults on the autism spectrum suffer from anxiety commonly, and she is trained and certified in the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) and adapts the program to teach social skills in various settings. In addition, Colleen specializes in treating post-traumatic stress disorder with Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy. She dedicates her career to continuing the learning process and attends many trainings and conferences related to OCD, anxiety, and related disorders. For example, she recently completed the Trichotillomania Learning Center virtual training on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors.
In addition to her clinical work, Colleen enjoys presenting locally at schools and to other professionals. She has worked collaboratively with local schools in developing and implementing educational programs focused on substance abuse prevention and anxiety treatment. Additionally, she has participated with township communities to help organize and host events focused on increasing the public’s knowledge and awareness of mental health. She has worked to connect people to resources within their community.
More about Colleen
Colleen was born and raised in a Western suburb of Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, yoga and spending time with family, friends and her very energetic dog. In the summer she spends time perfecting her golf game.