hello. nice to meet you.
After spending a decade specializing in consumer psychology & brand strategy at advertising agencies, I returned to graduate school to take the next step into clinical psychology. Knowing anxiety was the area I wanted to specialize in, I tailored my education to that pursuit. My internship took place at Alexian Brothers Center For Anxiety & Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, one of the few of hospital-based Anxiety/OCD intensive outpatient treatment programs, with a leading expert in the field - Dr. Patrick McGrath. I continued on as a staff therapist leading group, family & individual sessions for several years. Following that, I continued the same work as part of the founding team that opened a regional Anxiety/OCD intensive program for Rogers Behavioral Health in Chicago. At RBH, I had the pleasure of training alongside another leading expert - Dr. Karen Cassiday, former president of the Anxiety & Depression Association Of America. At the same time, I provide some traditional outpatient services via the private practice of Willis Counseling & Consulting. Training never ends though. I continually learn via conferences & books. This is my passion.
And it is my passion because it is also personal. Anxiety has been a part of my life. A few phobias, many panic attacks & the kind of excessive worry that many of you probably share. I was lucky in finding therapists who understood how to apply cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques to help me manage my anxiety. Now I can do the same for others.
Another passion area for me is working with adults & adolescents on the Autism Spectrum. Not to "fix" anyone to become neurotypical, but to find supportive solutions that respect those unique neurological differences. In addition to my work at the hospital, I’ve been part of several Autism/Asperger's support groups & was an instructor at Minnesota Life College, a private program fostering independent living skills. As with anxiety, I'm actively learning more about life on the spectrum on a regular basis, preferably from those who are actually on it.
I look forward to getting to know you & helping you find better ways of thinking & living so you can start feeling better.