Spencer P. Carrol, M.A.
After years of working as a preschool teacher and public educator, I received my Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I am originally from Irving, Texas and I received my Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Texas. I completed my year-long clinical internship at AFG Guidance Center and am very pleased to remain here providing therapeutic services to children, adolescents, and their families. I treat a variety of mental health issues including Anxiety, Depression, Grief, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the stress that comes as a part of everyday life. I have many years of experience working with neurodivergent children diagnosed with ADHD and autism spectrum disorder in a variety of settings, from classrooms to therapy rooms. In 2023, I had an article published in the Illinois Counseling Association newsletter about teachers’ perceptions of neurodivergent students and the way these perceptions can be harmful or insufficient for those students. I personally have learned to overcome many of the challenges that come with having ADHD, and I firmly believe that neurodivergence is a superpower—just a superpower that comes with unique struggles. I am also LGBTQ+-affirming in both my clinical work and in my personal life.
As a therapist, I take a relational approach to mental health counseling, and I view the therapeutic relationship as therapeutic itself. I firmly believe in modeling what healthy relationship skills look like to growing minds, understanding that individuals cannot thrive without healthy interpersonal relationships. In my studies, my work, and my life experience, I have come to learn that people of all ages have a natural tendency towards positive growth. However, our lives are complex and sometimes the complexities of life create blockages which may prevent us from reaching goals or finding fulfillment within our relationships and personal lives. I find that my role as a counselor is to provide my clients and their families with empathy, knowledge, and the self-awareness to identify where problems lie and how to overcome them. But above all else, my therapy room is a safe space to come talk about one’s problems free of judgment. I utilize techniques from a variety of different therapeutic approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, play therapy, and creative counseling techniques to teach coping skills, improve resilience, facilitate self-awareness, and treat mental health problems as they arise. I am flexible in my treatment planning so that I may meet my clients exactly wherever they are at.
I consider myself to be an eclectic person, and I bring my many passions to the therapy space. Some of my experiences include working as a zookeeper, a canvasser, a community advocate, a musician, a teacher, a musical theater performer, a professional Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master, and an e-sports player. I also enjoy making music, hiking, martial arts, scuba diving, camping, and playing video games, and I have even been known to bring instruments and video games to therapy to help teach skills such as frustration tolerance and self-expression. Additionally, I co-created and co-facilitate AFG’s Adventurer’s Guild group which utilizes role-playing games (similar to Dungeons and Dragons) to teach social skills and coping strategies to children and adolescents. Overall, I have found that every single one of my experiences has given me tools, strategies, and insight which have made me a better counselor. I have enjoyed learning from and working with AFG’s multidisciplinary team, and I am undeniably grateful to have the opportunity to continue working with the people that have taught me so much and watched me grow into the therapist I am today.