John Merrick, MA, LPCCjohn@affinitypsych.com

John Merrick, MA, LPCC

john@affinitypsych.com

Hey, check you out, you already did the hard part! Looking into therapy takes courage and finding a therapist that you connect with can be intimidating. You’re halfway there, so, if you’ve got a minute, let’s see if you think we’d be a good match!

I’m John and I’m a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Minnesota and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. I moved here from Chicagoland and always value chances to work with my fellow transplants. I work with adolescents and adults who are tired of their current situation and are ready for change. I specialize in helping people with anxiety and OCD but have a long history of working with people struggling with depression, substance use issues, grief, and relationship struggles.




How I Work

My job is to help you feel better. Not just for a little while and not just while we’re in the office or talking online – my focus is to help you develop a skill set that you keep permanently. I want all my clients to feel empowered, confident, and ready to take on their challenges. Ultimately, I’m trying to work myself out of a job.

The way I work with my clients has two main parts: First, we get to know each other! You’ve been you for a while and I want to hear from the expert about what’s going on, what needs to change, and what it’s been like for you. I feel that for the best possible therapeutic results we’ve got to prioritize you feeling comfortable and safe while telling your story.

Second, we build a plan together. I want to help you use your strengths to fight your battles. I’ve had the privilege of helping a lot of people and no two journeys are the same. Sometimes this means learning new ways to think, sometimes it means building coping skills, and sometimes it means getting comfortable with uncomfortable things.

My job then becomes a hybrid of: listening attentively to your experiences, offering you new strategies, celebrating the wins, and supporting you during the lows. I also make it my mission to make therapy as fun as possible without ever sacrificing any of the valid, meaningful work.

For those who are curious I draw my techniques from CBT, ERP, DBT, and a few of my other favorite 3 letter acronyms.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I once had a former boss describe me to a new colleague as “not super therapist-y, just like a dude you can talk to.” I’ve always loved that description.

Rest assured, I did earn all those letters after my name and I only use strategies that are empirically backed by science. However, I think that clinical expertise is best served with enthusiasm, laughter, and warm authenticity. I believe that people are more likely to do the challenging work of therapy when they look forward to their sessions so I try to bring energy and compassion in equal measure. I think of myself as a fan of my clients and am here to support them as an ally. I LOVE my work and try to share that enthusiasm in each and every session.

I am a notorious user of food, video game, and car analogies. They even make sense sometimes! I am a long-suffering Bears fan far from home and am slowly coming to grips with what a fool that makes me. What truly sets me apart though is that no therapist in the world can beat me at fighting games. I welcome all challengers.



Issues I Treat:

  • OCD
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Substance use
  • Shame
  • Relationship distress
  • Low self-esteem / self-worth
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Grief & Loss
  • Family Conflict
  • ADHD
  • Coping Skills
  • Anger management
  • Life Stressors
  • Major Adjustments
  • School/Work/Life Balance
  • Identity issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Adolescents
  • Undergraduate / Graduate Students
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Families
  • Perfectionists
  • Students
  • Professionals
  • Telehealth

Professional background:



Education

  • Master of Arts – Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Bradley University
  • Bachelor of Arts – Psychology, Knox College

Trainings

  • Certified in Exposure and Response Prevention via the Behavioral Therapy Training Institute
  • Certificate in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Previous Employment

  • EDGE Counseling Solutions, Libertyville, Illinois
  • Chestnut Health Systems, Bloomington, Illinois
  • Internship/Practicum at: Advocate Behavioral Health’s Partner Abuse Intervention Program, Advocate Bromenn Medical Center Hospital

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LPCC # 3483
  • Illinois: LCPC #180.011069