Ben Spanner, M.A., LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Northfield and Lincolnshire, IL
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I have received extensive training in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Prior to pursuing my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University, I was employed as a Dean of Students at a Chicago college, where I worked with adolescents and young adults in an academic support capacity. This experience spurred my love for counseling and mentoring and prompted my decision to pursue a Masters Degree in counseling to enhance my own personal growth. I completed my clinical training in an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting, and most recently worked at a community mental health agency in the Pilsen community where I performed individual and family therapy with a diverse range of children, adolescents, and adults. I have a broad range of experience working with behavioral health issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, parent/child relationship problems, and family discord, and I also have a particular interest in helping adolescents and young adults navigate the stress of transitional environments (school, college, relationships, and emerging adulthood).
Throughout my work in higher education, clinical training, and psychotherapy, I have gained much appreciation for the value of supportive empathy in helping those who are experiencing difficulties. I strongly believe that each individual desires to be the best they can be, and I see my professional role as being to help that person or family obtain their goals with clear, empathic, and open understanding. I trust in a strength-based approach to psychotherapy, which incorporates elements of Solution-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Family Systems theories, delivered through a client-centered framework that emphasizes empathy and unconditional positive regard. I believe that children and adolescents are adaptable and full of potential, yet are at times lacking in their abilities to realize and achieve their fullest level of functioning. Additionally, I believe that the family system, with all its idiosyncrasies, imprints lasting values and beliefs among its members. I strive to provide a climate that is trusting, free of judgment, and oriented toward the achievement of goals, and also see my role as a therapist to reinforce the strengths of the family system, and to families navigate the ever-changing landscape of their emotional, behavior, and emotional needs.
I am happy to have joined the team at AFG Guidance Center, as the center has a strong multi-disciplinary dynamic, with specialties designed to help both the individual and the family unit. The work being done at AFG is as inspiring to me as it is intellectually curious, and I am honored to have become a part of this team.