Catherine Chinnock, ATR-BC, LCPC
The process of therapy begins with understanding ourselves and how we came to be who we are. When we understand our strengths and vulnerabilities as necessary and valuable parts of ourselves, we strengthen our capacity to change and grow. Creative expression is a uniquely powerful and instinctive tool that promotes self-awareness, integration, connection and lasting change.
Training and Experience
I started my career as an art therapist working in a residential facility for youth with sexual behavior problems. There I learned to balance multiple and sometimes conflicting feelings, boundaries and approaches. The challenge of working with such a difficult population required that I suspend judgment and express empathy while still holding these young people accountable for understanding themselves and others.
After spending time in supervisory positions and work focused on adolescents, I decided to expand the breadth and depth of my experience. I began working with children, adolescents, adults and families involved in the child welfare system. In this work, I gained a systemic perspective of the impact of trauma on those who have survived, those who have hurt others, families, and service delivery systems.
My range of experience has taught me to approach each person as a unique individual and to tailor my approach to one’s needs. Because therapy is rooted in communication --- whether through our bodies, our words, our actions or through the things we create --- I work to find the communication style that is most effective for each individual.
In addition to my experience in the non-profit sector, I have seen children, adolescents, adults, couples and families through private practice settings. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Board Certified, Registered Art Therapist with over ten years of experience in clinical practice.
Range of Focus
• Sexual Assault/Childhood Sexual Abuse
• Trauma and PTSD
• Affirmative practice with LGBTQ individuals and families
• Relationship Issues
• Adolescents and Young Adults
• Self Esteem, Self Confidence, Authentic Voice
• Parents of Adolescents
• Life Transitions
• Anxiety or Fears
• Loss or Grief
• Couples and Families
Psychotherapy is a collaborative process rooted in a trusting, supportive relationship with the therapist. We will work together to create a sense of safety that allows for exploration of vulnerabilities, understanding of patterns, and recognition of strengths. Change can be frightening and difficult even when we know it’s needed. My role therefore, is to find the right balance between supporting and challenging you through this process.
In families and couples work, we will look at how the vulnerabilities, patterns and strengths of each partner impact the other and how the relationship or family unit functions as a result. The collaborative component is essential as we work towards finding new balance and new patterns.
In working with children and adolescents, I tailor my approach to the unique developmental level of each child. In early childhood, this involves collaboration and participation of the parent(s) and often takes the form of family therapy, as sustained change in behavior and mood regulation will require parental support in integrating techniques learned in therapy into the home environment. For adolescents, who are negotiating developmental challenge of separating and individuating from the family unit, therapy provides a personal space for reflection and feedback. Parental involvement is approached in a collaborative way with the adolescent. For both children and adolescents, the use of art and other creative approaches to change are often integrated into sessions.
As I value the creative process, I may suggest using art as an alternative means to assist in developing insight, processing feelings that are difficult to verbalize, increasing self-esteem, and finding ways to manage difficult emotions. When art making is integrated into the therapeutic process, the goal is not to create “fine art.” Rather, the process of creating art, reflecting on it, and reviewing the process by which it was made can be particularly healing. If art-making is not comfortable, I explore other means for mobilizing creativity to promote awareness and change.
At Live Oak, we believe that the roots of a healthy life are integrity,authenticity, wholeness and connection. In an increasingly complex and de-humanizing world, Live Oak helps individuals more fully connect to the deeper parts of themselves and to others. We emphasize fully integrating identity, roles and life experiences in order to maintain psychological health.
"...For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there...
solitary in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend or lover near
I know very well I could not."
-- Walt Whitman
Board Certified Art Therapist
• MA in Art Therapy from University of Illinois at Chicago
State of Illinois
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Number of Staff
Credit Cards Accepted