Andrea Watkins, MSW, LCSW – Libertyville office
Q. Did you have a career before you became a therapist?
A. I’ve always been in the “field” but have held different jobs within DCFS, crisis management, community mental health and schools. It’s wonderful that I’ve had the opportunity to work in different areas of social work before I came to UB! I also work as a Therapist at Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health.
Q. Why did/what made you become a therapist?
A. It sounds cliche and over-used, but I just wanted to help others and make a difference. I am a natural-born listener and have a big heart and just really want to see people happy. Going into social work was introduced to me by my high school social worker, and I knew that it was the profession for me!
Q. What are your specialties/areas of interest?
A. My specialities include working with children, teens and young adults in individual, couples and family settings with stress management issues, family discord, self-esteem issues and what I like to call “teenage angst.” I use a lot of humor and creative outlets in therapy to help my clients feel open and comfortable.
What self-care activities do you do/find helpful? I am a big fan of yoga and pilates, sudoku puzzles, doing crafts (my latest project is teaching myself, with the help of youtube, how to crochet!) and trying out new restaurants and foods. I am a believer in meditation and relaxation techniques, which I frequently talk about and teach in sessions.
Q. Why do you feel it’s important to seek counseling?
A. I often say to my kid/teen clients that I wish I had someone to talk to when I was their age! Sometimes we feel so lost/alone and that no one would understand, and this is one thing that therapists offer- support and to help normalize that these feelings are only temporary. Counseling can be such a great benefit, even for a short period of time, to give yourself a chance to feel happy again, not worry so much about life and feel that someone is there to listen and help you through these dark thoughts. Sometimes all you need is a little push forward from someone in an unbiased and supportive setting to get you on the path to recovery!
Q. Who can benefit from therapy?
A. Anyone can benefit from therapy! Whether it is going through a rough part of your lifetime, being super stressed out from school/work/home, or if there was trauma in the past that you are ready to work through, counseling can be a step in the right direction to improving your life.