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Get To Know Your Therapist: Alyssa Onan

Alyssa Onan,


What’s something you would say to a potential client who’s on the fence about beginning therapy?


  • There are so many things I would want to say! But first, I’d say “I get it” and that most people have some apprehension before starting therapy. I’d also say that there’s no commitment if you try it and don't like it. Your therapy is a space for you and only you so if you need to take it slow before opening up about bigger things or need to give it a test run first, that’s perfectly okay. Lastly, I would say that everyone deserves to have a dedicated time and space to take care of themselves!


What’s your hope for each client when they leave your office?


  • When clients leave my office, I hope that they got what they needed out of that session- even if they didn’t know they needed it when the session started! I hope that they felt welcomed, safe, and that their experience was valued and validated during the session. No matter how easy or difficult the session was, I hope all of my clients leave feeling like they’ve got someone in their corner. 


What is your favorite part of being a therapist?

  • It is so hard to choose one thing that’s my favorite! I love the moments when breakthroughs and progress happen. Sometimes they happen quickly and sometimes it’s months of work, but they always come from hard work. It is an honor to be a witness to that process. I also love the things I learn from my clients. Whether it is a new recipe or restaurant or a different way of thinking about anxiety, I love that learning is a two-way street!


Where did you go to school? What degree did you obtain from each?


  • I got my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. I took a 5 year break from school and worked as a nanny and held several roles at a therapeutic day school and residential treatment center in Chicago where I worked to figure out which professional route I wanted to take. I earned my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from National Louis University in June, 2020.


How long have you been practicing?


  • I have been working in the mental health field since 2014 and while I did not become a licensed professional counselor until 2021, I’ve been building experience and skills for 10 years.


What do you like to do for fun?


  • I am a huge sports fan so I can often be found attending sporting events or watching them on tv. March Madness, the World Cup, and the Olympics are my favorite major sporting events to follow. I grew up in Wisconsin so I also love watching the Brewers, Packers, Bucks, and Badgers! I’ve been an athlete my whole life so I try to get on the soccer field or shoot some hoops whenever I can. Other than playing or watching sports, I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. On quiet days at home, I’m usually curled up on the couch reading a good book or watching some reality tv. I also try to plan a few fun trips and getaways each year to places I haven’t been before.


Were you involved in any extra curricular activities either in high school or college?


  • Most of my time in high school and college was filled playing soccer. I played on a few very competitive travel soccer teams in high school which led me to playing D3 soccer in college. Having been the tallest in my class for most of my school years, I also played basketball… until I stopped growing and everyone passed me up! Throughout high school and college I also worked as a waitress, bus girl, and banquet server at a local country club.


How do you practice self-care?


  • My self-care routine varies depending on what I feel I need. Sometimes I know I need to get out of my own head and I lean into exercising or something physical. Sometimes spending time with friends and family is self-care. And other times I read, do a puzzle, or relax on the couch. Keeping to a routine is a big part of self-care for me so I prioritize getting good sleep, eating healthy foods, and structuring my days consistently.



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