Listening to others and understanding them has been a value of mine since I was a child. People fascinate me. In a funny way, I see a reflection of myself in others when I really listen–similar insecurities, disappointments, efforts, values, fears, etc. The value of knowing that “we are not alone” would lead me to a lifetime of listening both personally and professionally.
My undergraduate work in philosophy and art clearly impact my practice. I work to “bracket” my theoretical presuppositions about people and allow myself to bend toward the experience of the client. This technique is drawn from a philosophical concept called the Phenomenological Method. Diagnostic categories and treatment methods, while extremely helpful, come second only after taking the time to really listen first.
Who I Serve
Over years of counseling, I have developed competencies addressing many clinical issues and continue to meet with a broad range of clientele. I have found I am most “at home” working with families, children, teens, parents and college students. I also have a passion for working with artists.
- Behavior disorders
- Family conflict
- Parenting challenges
- Mood disorders
- Divorce support
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Social skills deficits
- Anger management
- Launching into a first career
- School refusal
My approach to therapy is down-to-earth and respectful. I even try to make it fun–especially when working with kids. I can also be very practical in terms of strategies, techniques and skills training.
My theoretical perspective is highly eclectic–I try to adjust my approach to best meet the needs of each client. I incorporate many theories into practice including: behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, family systems, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), art and expressive therapies, existential, faith-based, and certain dynamic theories. I also look to professional research and incorporate best practices to help decide what approach may be most effective for a particular client.
My professional experience began in 1998 working in a hospital for behaviorally disordered children and teens. This experience would overlap with my first counseling position in private practice at Cherry Hill Counseling in Lake Zurich in 2000. I have worked in Wheaton since 2002, and am currently the founder and owner of Upswing Counseling. Ltd. (formerly Brendan Bell & Associates). I also continue to work in Lake Zurich at Cherry Hill Counseling with my esteemed colleagues and now business partners Dr. Keith Bjorge and Dr. Clark Barshinger.
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wheaton College (1997), extensive course work in Psychology and Art
- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Trinity Graduate School (2000)
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois since 2002
Hello we have been coming to Brendan for a while now. He has a great way with my son. Brendan can influence him with out my son even knowing he is being taught. There is a lot of fun brought to the learning sessions. This keeps my son engaged and open to learning. I would recommend him to any one who needs help or keeping up with daily life. Brendan is a wealth of information. Brendan is also very patient with the kids.
To say that your impact on my two boys has been beneficial is an understatement. You’ve acted as a sounding board, mentor and friend to them. The impact that you’ve had on their psychological well being and development has been amazing. Seeing them apply the skills you’ve offered to overcome adversity and life’s daily challenges is allowing them to grow into the men I hope them to become. THANK YOU for your continued dedication to their individual success and know that you’ve been a blessing to our family.
I have referred family, friends, and my pediatric occupational therapy patients along with their families to Brendan for 6 years and have consistently received positive, even glowing, reactions. Brendan possesses a rare combination of approachability and winsomeness that doesn’t compromise his professional expertise.
-Elizabeth K. Fraser