02 Jul Therapist Spotlight – Danielle Larsen, MSW, LCSW
What drew you to counseling/social work?
As I went through my own therapy, I was inspired to support others through difficult times and to construct meaningful lives. I was drawn to social work because I shared its core values: justice, self-determination, service, the dignity and worth of the individual, and the centrality of human relationships. I am guided by the aboriginal activist Lilla Watson’s words, “If you have come here to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together.” I believe that people can heal each other with genuine empathy, compassion, connection, and curiosity, and it is a joy to walk alongside my clients as they work towards their goals.
What is your favorite part about being a therapist?
My favorite part about being a therapist is when a client surprises me, with their perspective, insight, a change they made, or their humor. My clients and I laugh a lot in sessions, and I am constantly learning so much from them. Each one contributes to who I am as a therapist. It is special when we can build a trusting relationship, and I feel honored when a client says, “I don’t really talk about this, but…”
What is your favorite season and why?
My favorite season is late summer when everything slows down, and we can spend our time visiting family and friends, eating foods like Chicago-style hot dogs outside, playing at the beach, traveling, and just being together. I also get excited in the lead up to football season (Go Bills!).
Danielle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in health and human services since 2011. She earned her Masters degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and her Bachelors degree in Philosophy from Boston College. Prior to graduate school, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa, and also taught Hatha Yoga.
Danielle has offered clients experiencing anxiety and depression an open and nonjudgmental space to process feelings, learn effective strategies, and achieve their goals. She has worked in both outpatient and intensive outpatient settings with children, teens, and adult clients. Danielle has supported clients’ identity development and empowered them through life stressors and transitions. She has engaged with the LGBT community to understand their innate strengths and identify personal, academic, and professional goals. She employs trauma-informed care with a particular focus upon Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based interventions.
Danielle is also a Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counselor who has worked with adolescents and adults struggling with substance use since 2017. She uses a harm reduction and strengths-based philosophy. She is specially trained in Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness Based Sobriety.
In her free time, Danielle can be found playing guitar, traveling, practicing yoga, eating with friends, and spoiling her puppy, Ozzie.