30 Jul Therapist Spotlight – Nicole LoChirco, MA, LPC, ALMFT
What drew you to counseling/social work?
Bullying drew me to counseling. Weird, I know, to start off my answer with the word “bullying,” but it is the truth. When I was in grade school I had a lot of anxiety, which led to my peers not understanding my emotions, which in turn led to me being bullied for who I was. I even remember my first therapist, a young woman who asked me questions and played games with me. The one thing I will never forget, though, is that she inspired me to look inside myself and accept myself for the person I was, and it didn’t hurt that it was also written on an American Girl Doll postcard she gave me.
By experiencing that empathy and compassion from another person who wanted to listen and understand what I was going through, I knew I wanted to help others just like she helped me. Sometimes all we need is someone to show compassion and true kindness that makes a world of a difference in a young child’s life.
What is your favorite part about being a therapist?
My favorite part about being a therapist is getting to help people every single day. I tell my clients that not every session will be sunshine and rainbows and they might not like me one day compared to the next, but I will always be honest and truthful, and I will help support them through the storm. Therapy is tough work — I would know, as I have been there — but I think that is what makes being a therapist so great.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a human?
My greatest accomplishment as a human happened when I was in New York City on 5th Avenue, very busy and hectic, and a little girl was looking for her family. I stopped to make sure that she was safe, as she was telling an older gentleman she was lost. He was asking her questions about where she lived and went to school. I did not feel comfortable leaving her with this older gentleman and introduced myself to this little girl and told her how much I liked her dress. I then asked if she felt safe coming with me to find a police officer to find her family. After 15 minutes of working with the officer, her family appeared, and I knew that was one of my purposes being placed on this earth.
Nicole is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Associate Licensed Marriage and Families Therapist who earned her Master’s in Clinical Professional Counseling at Roosevelt University and her Bachelor’s degree at Roosevelt University in Psychology. She has worked with children and families as a psychotherapist at a therapeutic day school since 2017.
Nicole is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and utilizes other evidenced-based treatments, such as Mindfulness-Based Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to help set and achieve positive goals for you and your family. Overall, Nicole works from an Adlerian based lens since she believes the family system is the most influential relationship for a child. Nicole has worked with individuals with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and Autism and she believes in emphasizing a safe, supportive, collaborative environment where children and families can feel heard and create positive changes.
Nicole’s years of experience as a psychotherapist in a therapeutic school has provided her with an understanding of daily stressors and mental health challenges children and teens face each day. She is able to integrate her knowledge of Special Education, Individualized Education Plans (IEP), and Section 504 Plans to collaborate with the client’s IEP team and parents to ensure success in every way possible.
When Nicole isn’t at work, she loves spending time running different races around the Chicagoland area. She is currently training for her second Chicago Marathon this October. She also enjoys weight-training, reading, and anything pertaining to Disney.