Welcome to Month Three of our Monthly Q&A with our Counselors!
This Month get to know Maureen Callahan, MSW, LCSW!
Maureen joined Hope in January 2019. Her career of working with children and families began when she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Education with a focus on Special Education in 1992 from NIU.
Maureen has a broad range of clinical experience working with individuals across the life span in the following areas: Grief and loss, Suicide assessment and Safety planning, Depression and Anxiety/Mood disorders, Family and Relationship issues, Dual diagnosis-Mental health and Addictions, Coping Skills, Individuals with Special needs and LGBTQ Support.
Maureen uses a variety of modalities which incorporates best practice from Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Solution focused therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Person Centered therapy. She believes in a strengths based approach that is guided by the individual needs of the client. Maureen is in the process of becoming trained as a Registered Play Therapist.
- If you could live anywhere where would it be? Somewhere warm with all of my kids. Two of them currently live 900+ miles away (one for college and one for his job).
- How do you make sure to match the pace of the session to the client’s needs ⏳? For most of the child sessions, I use a non-directive child centered approach which means that the child chooses the activity and sets the tone. This fits with my approach of client-centered and supportive. I use the same approach with the adults i work with as well.
- What is your favorite thing about your career ? I love getting to spend time with kids and seeing them make progress through play which seems so simple yet play tells us so much about kids and helps them process so much in their world.
- What is your favorite book to read? I read the Harry Potter Series multiple times because I read it with all three of my children when they were interested in it and I have to admit, I read it on my own. I think it is important to read what your kids are reading.
- What did you want to be when you were small ? I wanted to be a teacher like my dad. I was a teacher for 5 1/2 years before having my own children.
- What is your process for developing a treatment plan and what do you consider the most important elements to include 🧠? I like to use the information taken at the intake both what the parent(s) provided in writing and in person and their goals for what they want for their child as well as what is clinically indicated by the symptoms.
- What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play? I absolutely love college football. I should clarify, I love watching college football. I don’t play any sports. I do love yoga, rollerskating, hiking and kayaking. I just started paddle boarding.
- What would you sing at Karaoke night? I am not sure that you can call it singing but anything from the 1980’s.
- Which would you rather do: wash dishes ,mow the lawn , clean the bathroom , or vacuum the house ? I love vacuuming.
- If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have ?I would love to be able to run super fast. Honestly because I can’t run at all right now so any running would be an improvement.
- What’s your favorite family recipe ? Ice box cake. It is a dessert my mom only makes at Christmas time and we all fight over the last piece.
- What’s your favorite movie ? Wizard of Oz hands down
- Tell us about your general theoretical approach to counseling. I believe in an Adlerian, Client-centered, Strength-based and Trauma-focused approach.
- What was your favorite subject in school ? English and Science
- Discuss any specialized training that you have received and how you have applied it in counseling sessions. I am a Certified Suicide Bereavement Clinician. I have been attending trainings at Dr Terry Kottman’s house, Dr Kottman is the inventor of Adlerian Play therapy and am in the process of becoming a Registered Play Therapist.
- What’s your favorite color ? Green
- What would be the most amazing adventure to go on? A tour in Thailand where I could see the elephants in their natural habitat, kayak in the ocean, see the natural beauty and experience the culture.
- What is your favorite afternoon snack ? Skinny Pop popcorn. YUM!
- Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to? Green Day or Counting Crows.
- If you had to change your name what would you change it to? Nothing. I have been Maureen, Mo, Mom…they are all good. 🙂
- What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a Mental Health Therapist? I think that the most important trait for a therapist to have is empathy. A therapist needs to have empathy for the clients to feel heard and understood.
- What’s your favorite ice cream topping? Hot fudge and nuts (pecans preferred.) And I prefer cashew ice cream- It is amazing and non dairy.