Penni Patterson, LCSW, MBA

psychotherapy, counseling and consulting

As a highly experienced therapist, I am committed to the journey of personal and interpersonal growth.  I have been practicing psychotherapy and counseling for over 25 years, working with diverse clients, from homeless people in the streets of Chicago to esteemed professionals in universities, governments and corporations.  My years of extensive training, intense compassion and personal practice have enriched my skills and passion for this work.

In private practice I create a comfortable accepting space for people to explore the issues troubling them, gain insights and effect real and personal change in their lives.  My philosophy is to be wholeheartedly present and engaged with clients.  No computers or clipboards!  I will call upon my knowledge of classical theories such as psychodynamic, object relations. attachment and family systems, as well as research-based approaches, including CBT, Exposure Therapy, Mindfulness and DBT skills.  I work collaboratively and interactively with clients.  In this dynamic process I am there to provide comfort, knowledge and skill to empower the client to heal and reach their goals.

When working with children, I help them to communicate and understand their feelings and take responsibility for their behavior.  I also work with the families, helping them to understand their child's feelings and struggles more fully and offer guidance with parenting.  In addition I will collaborate with schools, doctors and coaches.  This systemic approach not only helps the child to heal and manage their emotions but also heals the home and social relationships.

In the span of my career, I have worked in community mental health, psychiatric inpatient, substance abuse and school settings.  This has given me a broad knowledge of the entire continuum of mental health issues.  My earlier work experiences in city government, a research institute and as a business consultant broadened my understanding of the work environment in a way that not all therapists have experienced. 

My education has enhanced both the right and left sides of my brain.  I received a Masters Degree in Social Work from University of Chicago in 1990.  Prior, I attended Purdue University completing an MBA and a BA in Business, with a minor in Engineering.  This background gives me a balanced foundation and perspective.

On my personal path I have visited four corners of the country from the Midwest to San Francisco, from the mountains of the southwest to the wilds of Alaska and ultimately to the charming weirdness of my home, Austin.  Here I enjoy spending time with family and friends, hiking, practicing yoga and meditation and helping in the community.