Brian MacWilliams is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who completed his master’s degree in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Brian has more than five years of experience working with adults and adolescents from diverse populations in the Chicagoland area. He has helped clients with a variety of psychological and emotional challenges including depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. He also has extensive knowledge working with clients who have experienced trauma, grief, and crises in their lives. Having lived abroad for nearly five years, Brian has a unique multi-cultural lens and understands the emotional challenges and transitions that come with living in another country. Brian utilizes an eclectic approach with clients that includes a range of modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and interventions found in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
Outside of therapy Brian enjoys traveling to new places, riding his bike, reading about history, and playing board games with his friends.
I have always been interested in why people feel the way they do and how they came to that state of being. The search for that answer led me to become a therapist and to discover that there are real evidence-based ways to help people feel better. I enjoy being a part of a person’s journey towards achieving their goals.
1. What attracted you to being a psychotherapist?
I approach every client with empathy, non-judgment and unconditional positive regard. I believe that once a strong relationship between the therapist and the client is established real change is truly possible. The therapeutic process is a collaboration that allows the client to challenge previously held thoughts, find acceptance in themselves and to develop a vision of the future that is full of possibility.
2. How would you describe your approach with your clients?
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” Carl Rogers
I think wherever you are in life it is important to remember that how you feel at a particular moment is never permanent and that we all have the capacity to change. Feeling good in life for the most people is not a natural state and we all struggle to become who we want to be. The path forward is one we build every day and is never set-in stone.
3. What's your favorite quote about mental health?
I am always surprised by clients who have been through a lot and who are dealing with really challenging circumstances. It is amazing to see their resilience as they overcome challenges and reach a place of fulfillment.
4. What has surprised you the most about being a psychotherapist?