Heather Anderson, LPC

heather Anderson child therapy LGBTQ+

Heather Anderson, Therapist, Inner Courage Counseling

Child, adolescent, and adult counseling, LGBTQ+ support

 

 

I want to be honest with you, admitting that you or a loved one may need help can be scary! You have probably thought about reaching out for support many times before going to Google, looking up your options, and ending up right here, right now, reading my bio. I am proud of you for taking these first steps towards getting the help you need. However, you may still have some reservations about taking the next step and setting up an appointment with a therapist, and that’s okay! I believe that knowledge is power, and I hope I can ease some of your concerns by sharing who I am and what I do with you.

Hello! My name is Heather Anderson (pronouns: she/her/hers), and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois. I earned my Master of Science in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in children and adolescents from Benedictine University in 2018. The reason I chose this program in particular because it emphasized a humanistic approach called Person-Centered Therapy which has three basic principles:

(1) The therapist is genuine with the client.

(2) The therapist provides the client with unconditional positive regard.

(3) The therapist shows an empathetic understanding of the client.

At their core, a person-centered therapist believes that every person is unique, and therefore every therapeutic relationship must be unique as well. I always mention this at some point during my first session with any client I work with as a way of letting you know that your therapeutic experience is your therapeutic experience and no one else’s. In other words, what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. As such, I tailor the different therapeutic approaches I use to each client.

Speaking of clients, I work with a wide range of individuals! While I specialized in child and adolescent therapy during school, in practice, I have found that I am also passionate about working with adults and members of the LGBTQ+ community. These clients seek help for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to):

  • Experiencing life transitions such as starting a new job, moving, getting married, having a child, getting a divorce, or loss.
  • Stress caused by situations at work or school, relationships with family, friends, or your partner, and communication issues.
  • Learning coping skills for symptoms of DSM-5 diagnoses like ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, or PTSD.

If you would like more information about each of the populations I work with, please continue reading!

Child Counseling

“I am stronger than fear.”

– Malala Yousafzai

Most of the time, children are not deciding to see a therapist themselves. It is their parents or guardians who make this decision for them, and this lack of control can make a visit to a therapist’s office a fearful experience for a child. Is a therapist going to give me shots like my doctor? Will a therapist look at my teeth like my dentist? Children may ask questions such as these before their first appointment with a therapist. Even if a child has had prior experience with a therapist, it is still likely for them to feel nervous. Parents/guardians often bring their children to see me if they are having issues at school or having diagnoses such as ADHD or Autism.

No matter the reason a child is coming to see me, it still takesa lotof courage to overcome the fear of meeting a new person, especially one with whom they are supposed to share their thoughts and feelings! This is why my very first goal when working with children is to build rapport to help them feel comfortable enough to come into my office and open up about what is going on in their lives regularly. Once a strong rapport develops, I can then work with the child to meet any goals that their parents/guardians have set. To help, I often utilize techniques from the following therapies:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts by challenging negative or irrational beliefs.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics, as well as adaptive learning skills.
  • Play Therapy focuses on helping children ages 3 to 12 explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play.

Adolescent Counseling

“People have so much going on in their heads.”

-Billie Eilish

Adolescence is a critical developmental period in any young person’s life. So much so, that it’s broken down into three stages: early adolescence, middle adolescence, and late adolescence. In early adolescence, puberty strikes, and with it comes issues related to self-esteem, which will likely stick around through the rest of the adolescent stages. Next, middle adolescence brings with it a desire for independence which often causes rifts between adolescents and their parents or guardians as their relationships with friends becomes more and more important. Finally, late adolescence offers a firmer understanding of one’s own identity, but an adolescent must endure the many changes brought on by the previous stages to get to that point.

Adolescents often have a lot going on, both internally and externally. So, they come to see me, either at the behest of their parents/guardians or via their own free will, for help coping with issues involving self-esteem, family conflict, and peer relationships that arise during these stages. To help, I often utilize techniques from the following therapies:

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) focuses on providing skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.
  • Strengths-Based Therapy focuses more on your internal strengths and resourcefulness, and less on weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings.
  • Art Therapy focuses on the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, or coloring to help people express themselves artistically and examine emotions.

Adult Counseling

“Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.”

-Mr. Fred Rogers

Take a moment to think about all the things you do in a day. Although everyone’s daily routines differ, most include waking up, working, eating, sleeping, and repeating. In between these necessities, your days likely include countless other activities like cooking, running errands, cleaning, paying bills, and caring for your children. Now, think about the amount of time you make for yourself. Does this happen daily? Weekly? Monthly? Not at all? Adults often put their responsibilities ahead of themselves, and, as a result, there may be adverse effects on one’s overall wellness, which may impact social, emotional, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, and physical wellbeing.

Any adult can benefit from adding counseling to their routine, especially if you struggle to make time for yourself regularly. Making an appointment with me is a great way to begin forming new habits to process a variety of difficulties, including mood disorders, relationship issues, and PTSD. To help, I often utilize techniques from the following therapies:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on stopping the struggle with inner emotions and accepting these feelings as appropriate responses to certain situations.
  • Trauma-Focused Therapy focuses on addressing the specific emotional and mental health needs of individuals struggling to overcome the destructive effects of trauma.
  • The Gottman Method for healthy relationships focuses on the elements it takes for relationships to last, among all types of couples, and across all phases of life.

LGBTQ+ Support

“Own who you are and celebrate it.”

-RuPaul

As a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community in both my personal and professional life, I am passionate about helping all LGBTQ+ individuals who fall into the populations mentioned above: children, adolescents, and adults. If you identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual or if you are Questioning, I would like you to know that I offer a safe and supportive space where you are not only welcome but celebrated for being yourself.

Perhaps you are facing challenges that are unique to the LGBTQ+ community, such as sexual identity issues, gender identity issues, and coming out. Maybe you are encountering other problems that are impacting your mental health, such as bullying, depression, and anxiety. Or it could be a combination of both. In addition, I am open to working with family members and friends of LGBTQ+ individuals who may benefit from learning more about the LGBTQ+ community. To help, I often utilize techniques from the following therapies:

  • Affirmative Therapy focuses on validating and advocating for the needs of sexual and gender minorities and also addresses the negative influences on their lives.
  • Humanistic Therapy focuses on an individual’s nature, rather than categorizing groups of people with similar characteristics as having the same problems.
  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) focuses on teaching skills in empathy and self-compassion to those who struggle with shame and self-criticism.
Now that you’ve gotten to know more about me, I hope you will feel more comfortable reaching out and scheduling an appointment!

Online Therapy Services

Heather is currently ONLY offering online counseling services until further notice. Utilizing our HIPAA compliant platform, Heather brings therapy to you in the safety of your home. When working issues such as E-Learning anxiety, family disruption, depression and behavior issues, the comfort of your home may be the best place to meet with Heather to achieve the therapy goals you are looking to gain. This is where online virtual counseling becomes an additional asset for her to clinically work with you.

Insurance

Heather is in network with the following insurance plans:

Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO

Cigna



1754 N. Washington St Suite 104A
Naperville, IL 60563

info@innercouragecounselingllc.com
630.995.3193

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