“The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say “I was wrong.”
– Sydney J. Harris, Canadian judge and civil liberties advocate
Brendan C. Bell, MA, LCPC
Listening to others and understanding them has been a value of mine since I was a child. People fascinate me. In a funny way, I see a reflection of myself in others when I really listen–similar insecurities, disappointments, efforts, values, fears, etc. The value of knowing that “we are not alone” would lead me to a lifetime of listening both personally and professionally.
My undergraduate work in philosophy and art clearly impact my practice. I work to “bracket” my theoretical presuppositions about people and allow myself to bend toward the experience of the client. This technique is drawn from a philosophical concept called the Phenomenological Method. Diagnostic categories and treatment methods, while extremely helpful, come second only after taking the time to really listen first.
Who I Serve
Over years of counseling, I have developed competencies addressing many clinical issues and continue to meet with a broad range of clientele. I have found I am most “at home” working with families, pre-teens, teens, parents and college students. With my own background in sculpting, I also have a passion for working with artists and creative types.
Treatment Areas and Competencies
- Behavior disorders
- Family conflict
- Parenting challenges
- Mood disorders
- Divorce support
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Social skills deficits
- Anger management
- Launching into a first career
- School refusal
My approach to therapy is down-to-earth and respectful. I even try to make it fun–especially when working with kids. I can also be very practical in terms of strategies, techniques and skills training.
My theoretical perspective is highly eclectic–I try to adjust my approach to best meet the needs of each client. I incorporate many theories into practice including: behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, family systems, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), art and expressive therapies, existential, faith-based, and certain dynamic theories. I also look to professional research and incorporate best practices to help decide what approach may be most effective for a particular client.
My professional experience began in 1998 working in a hospital for behaviorally disordered children and teens. This experience would overlap with my first counseling position in private practice at Cherry Hill Counseling in Lake Zurich, IL in 2000. I expanded my practice to Wheaton, IL in 2002 working at DeMerchant and Associates, and eventually working independently.
I currently work in Deer Park, IL at Cherry Hill Counseling as the Executive Director and a therapist–www.cherryhillcounseling.com. I also continue to work in Wheaton, IL and founded Upswing Counseling–www.upswingcounseling.com.
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wheaton College (1997), extensive course work in Psychology and Art
- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Trinity Graduate School (2000)
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois since 2002
- Member of the American Counseling Association (ACA)
- Theraplay Association Member (www.theraplay.org)
- Member of the Illinois Association for Play Therapy (IL-APT)
Call today for a FREE consultation
Finding the right therapist for yourself or a loved one can be challenging. “Does the therapist have the expertise to address the problem? Will I feel comfortable with the therapist?” I invite any questions that may help you in your search. Let’s see if we’re a fit!