Building Stronger Families and a Healthier Community
Mailing address: P.O. Box 918
Location: 1163 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498
WYFS therapists believe in helping individuals and families connect to their innate wisdom and strength by providing a nurturing, compassionate and judgment-free zone to share their stories.
We work from a strength-based, systemic perspective which focuses on human connection as a source of healing and growth and on identifying the resources we each have within ourselves to overcome many of life's obstacles. Click here to find out more about our counseling services.
Macdara MacColl, MS, LMFT, supervises the WYFS clinic as well as working with individuals, couples and families. She received her MS, MFT from Central Connecticut State University and has completed advanced training in Internal Family Systems and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, as well as mindfulness and acceptance-based practices. Her research on the role of mutual validation in couple’s relationships was published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences,and she has been a guest lecturer on the topic of the neurobiology of therapy and interpersonal connection.
Using a variety of interventions and treatment modalities, Macdara helps her clients clarify life goals, find greater peace and self-acceptance, and feel more effective and hopeful. Many of her clients benefit from learning mindfulness skills to manage stress and increase happiness. Macdara likes to laugh, and brings a sense of playfulness to her therapeutic work.
Prior to her clinical career, Macdara was a pioneer of online community, developing one of the first internet parenting communities in the 1990s. Her industry-leading work in creating safe virtual spaces for people to connect and support each other was featured in many publications and books, such as the New York Times and Community Building on the Web. She was a frequent presenter on the topic of online community, and in 1997 was a featured speaker at the White House, where she shared the podium with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore as they presented the administration’s first e-commerce policy.
Shannon creates a judgment-free zone for her clients by compassionately listening to their stories and highlighting their strength, resources and resilience. Shannon brings hope and lightness into therapy room through play and humor. Clients leave feeling heard, validated, and strengthened to take on whatever challenges life may throw their way. Many even admit that therapy is kind of fun (even teens!). Utilizing strength-based, positive psychology models, she challenges her clients to try something new and helps alter their narrative into one of hope and power.
In her role as Program Coordinator, Shannon supervises WYFS's programming initiatives, including social and emotional skills groups for students in all Westbrook Public Schools. She facilitates teen groups designed to develop healthy relationship skills and foster responsible engagement in the community.
Carolyn’s integrative, strength-based approach to therapy offers clients an opportunity to work through challenging issues in a caring and supportive environment. By blending elements from different approaches such as structural family therapy, solution-focused and mindfulness-based therapies, Carolyn assists clients in resolving current issues, improving relationships and restoring life balance. Carolyn helps clients to recognize that discomfort and pain are often signals that change is needed, and that struggles present opportunities for growth. In this process, individuals reach their desired goals by building upon their inherent strengths and pursuing new paths. Carolyn works with individuals, couples and families. Her passion for helping individuals overcome obstacles initially began as a special education teacher. In addition to her background in education, she has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Carolyn also completed two years of study in mindfulness and meditation. Her commitment to strengthening families inspired the co-founding of The Center for Mindful Parenting, LLC which provides workshops and services to parents and caregivers.
Jill is pursuing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Central Connecticut State University. She works with children at Daisy Ingraham Elementary School, facilitating groups and providing individual and family therapy. Using her unique background as a figure skating coach for National level competitors, Jill brings a deeply compassionate, centered approach to assisting clients identify personal strengths while encouraging hope, and empowering them to find their own solutions. She believes helping is an honor; everything is possible; change is constant, and our options are limitless even though it may not feel like it at the moment. Jill works from a strength-based systemic approach with an emphasis on mindfulness and emotion regulation skills and specializes in working with children with behavioral issues.
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. -George Bernard Shaw
Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us. -David Richo
Location: 1163 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498