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About Me

Hello,

My name is Brian MacWilliams and I'm a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who has been practicing therapy since 2015.   I have experience working with adults and adolescents from diverse backgrounds throughout the Chicagoland area.  I have provided therapy for adults in both private practice and community mental health settings.  I have also counseled teenagers at schools throughout different parts of Chicago as well as youth in the foster care system. 

I have always been interested in why people feel the way they do and how they came to that state of being.  The search for that answer led me to become a therapist and to discover that there are real evidence-based ways to help people feel better.  I enjoy being a part of a person’s journey towards achieving their goals.

I utilize an integrative approach to therapy that includes different interventions and psychological approaches tailored to what you need.  Therapeutic modalities I draw from are Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Person Centered, Dialectical Behavioral (DBT), Solution Focused and Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  Having lived abroad for nearly five years, I also have a unique multi-cultural lens and understanding of the emotional challenges and transitions that come with living in another country.
 

I completed my Bachelors of Arts studying History and Political Science at Western Illinois University and a Masters in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.  I have undergone specialized training through the EMDR International Association to learn the skills to use EMDR.  


Outside of being a therapist I enjoy traveling to new places, exploring nature, reading about history, playing board games, walking my dog, and spending time with my daughter. 

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Image by Alexander Milo

My approach to therapy

I approach every client with empathy, non-judgment, and unconditional positive regard.  I believe that once a strong relationship between the therapist and client is established real change is truly possible.  The process of therapy is a collaborative one that allows you to challenge previously held thoughts, find acceptance in yourself, and develop a vision of the future that is full of possibility.

 

I believe success in therapy can be found by focusing on both the present and the past.  Sometimes we are going through difficulties that need to be talked about and addressed right now.  I can provide you with ways to navigate and cope with those present-day challenges.  But for much of the time, the challenges we face in the present are linked to experiences we have gone through in the past.  I can help you explore and understand those experiences so you can develop a greater perspective on who you are and why you may feel and think the way you do.

I will listen without interruption or judgement as you express and explore what you are thinking and feeling.  I will ask thoughtful questions to encourage you to think about things in an entirely new light or perspective.  Therapy is not about talking to a wall or receiving a lecture, it is a conversation between two people that is focused on helping you find the path towards a better you.

Commitment to accepting everyone

I take pride in being a therapist who values and practices culturally sensitive and LGBTQ+ affirming therapy.  I have experience working with many clients whose life experiences are drastically different from my own.  I can never be an expert on your experience, but I will always strive to create a space that is full of respect and non-judgement for who you are and what you believe.

Image by James A. Molnar
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