About Andrea Barr, LCPC
I believe the one constant thing in life is change, which is ironic, to say the least! Insomuch, I have always been fascinated by why do we do the things we do, what makes people tick, how people use deductive reasoning or problems solving skills to make decisions and how we all navigate change. I have also been equally interested in helping people work through problems and reach their goals. I know that creating change, even positive change, can be challenging and oftentimes stressful. But, I also know that making thoughtful, meaningful changes in our lives can be profoundly rewarding, which is why I offer genuine support and sincerely enjoy encouraging my clients to connect with and live as their authentic selves.
Even as a teenager, I knew that I wanted to be involved in healthcare in some way. I was the one friend that everyone went to for advice. Because I enjoyed helping others, I decided to study psychology and sociology in college. As I advanced in education, I was attracted to working with children and adolescents and their families. When my practice matured, I broadened it to include adults. I realized that I truly love working with all kinds of people. I find working with different populations, ethnicities and ages is engaging and helps me get closer to being able to answer my life-long question of, “why do we do what we do?”
In a growing world of interracial and ethnic couples and families, people’s culture plays a significant role in their lives. This includes our family history and the structure of how we grew up. I have learned about the importance and impact of how family systems influence us as adults in our close relationships with others. We both consciously and subconsciously repeat behavioral patterns and find ourselves replaying cycles or acting in ways similar to one or both of our parents—whether those cycles are positive or negative. Identifying and working through unresolved past issues can create so much insight and relief in the present, allowing us to live with increased awareness, engagement and joy.
I feel fortunate to have the parents I do, who I watched overcome many struggles in their lives. They are both survivors, which may be why I feel compelled to help people work through the tough challenges that life inevitably throws our way. My parents are both entrepreneurs and demonstrated strong leadership qualities. They had several businesses throughout the years, and I watched how they re-invented themselves in a fast-paced, changing world. They went from being farmers to florists and ended their careers in real estate. They also undertook another challenging event in their lifetime by adopting me. Adoption was a taboo subject back then, for both the birth family and the adopted family. I am also an only child who grew up in a rural area. At times in my life, I felt lonely and isolated from others. I was shy and very self-conscious around others. I had to learn how to be comfortable being by myself without getting sad, depressed or anxious. Ironically, I also adopted my son, and he is an only child as well. I understand personally—from both sides—the issues that can arise with adoption, and I love helping families better understand and sort through attachment issues, as well as everything else that can come up while raising both biological and adopted families.
I believe in taking a collaborative approach to therapy, and I view the therapeutic relationship as a journey that we embark upon together. In sessions, I will share personal experiences when appropriate, which I think is an important way to build trust—trust being the cornerstone of any successful therapeutic experience. With me, what you see is what you get. I am down-to-earth, genuine, loyal and honest, and most of my clients tell me I am a lot like them or a “real” person. Just because I have an advanced education does not make me better or smarter than anyone else. At the end of the day, I deal with life stressors, just as you do. I try very hard to practice what I preach, but I am not perfect.
I also have a sense of humor, and I love to laugh! Even though therapy can be difficult at times, it can also be fun. I believe that all problems—both big and small—are valid. No matter what a person is dealing with, he/she deserves compassion and support. I have helped people work through everything from major trauma, depression and anxiety to losses and the challenges and stressors that arise in relationships and daily life. I once had a client tell me that I seemed much like Yoda from Star Wars, in that I seemed full of wisdom. While I am not sure how much wisdom I really offer, the compliment made me smile and reinforced my belief in the power of effective therapy.
While I love being a therapist, I also believe in maintaining a healthy life-work balance. Outside of the office, I love spending time with my family and friends. Those close relationships are important, and I believe we need to put them first. I enjoy playing golf, reading a good book and listening to all genres of music. I also enjoy dancing, anything that keeps exercising fun, and I love a great BBQ party! Taking time alone in silence or in my garden is also important to me. I treasure those simple, quiet moments, reflecting on my own.
If you or your child are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship or grief issues, or trying to navigate daily stress or a life transition, please know that you don’t have to do it alone. There is always help and hope for meaningful growth, healing and change. Regardless of what is going on in your life, our team of experts can help you feel supported, heard, well informed and relieved. We invite you to call 847-214-3651 to schedule an initial appointment and/or for a free phone consultation.
Andrea Barr, LCPC, LLC earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology and Stress Management from Roosevelt University and her B.A. in Psychology from Keuka College. Andrea is an accomplished licensed clinical counselor with a solid track- record in developing, implementing and facilitating client-centered therapy programs. She is trained and/or certified in: cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy; EAP (Employer Assistance Program); motivational interviewing; DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy); dual diagnosis and addictions training; career management and life coaching training; domestic violence training; adolescent suicide; teen violence and gang awareness; and dream analysis. She is also qualified in providing supervision for those entering the mental health field.