Annie Merel, LCPC


Treatment Philosophy

Most of us have the skills to solve our problems. However, during life's challenges, we may lose insight into our abilities especially when problems loom large enough to crowd out our strengths. I truly believe we all have the ability to change and we already have many of the skills we need to make the changes to live the life we desire. Through therapeutic support, we are able to regain and further our insight, to find and develop our skills, discover our strengths, build relationships, and create connections in our community.

My approach is systemic with a solution-focused perspective, where the focus of treatment is on the present and future. When working with adolescents and young adults, my goal is to create realistic solutions and build connections within yourself and your community. Overall, I want to empower you to create positive change in your life and embrace your personal strengths.

Areas of Expertise & Interest

I love working with at risk children, adolescents, and college students, adults, and families. My expertise includes my knowledge of school problems, learning disabilities, ADHD, executive functioning, and social skill development. Another area of specialty is adjustment to change and the next steps involved in life’s transitions including moving, divorce, women’s issues, and college adjustment and achievement. As a result of my background and systemic approach, I work collaboratively with schools, doctors, employment centers, and anywhere a client is involved. 

When working with children I strive to include the entire family in the therapy process for an integrative approach. No matter what issues we are addressing, I believe in creating small, reachable goals that enable you and your child to celebrate each step forward so that your child can feel successful and have increased motivation to change.

I am also trained and experienced in using Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and work with older children, adolescents and adults with OCD and other Anxiety Disorders.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our three children. I love to travel, be outside, and stay active playing softball, tennis, running, skating, and skiing.  

Experience & Training

In 2008 I received my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology while studying in the Clinical Psy.D. program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. After receiving my masters, I completed two more years in the doctoral program and plan complete my doctorate in clinical psychology at some point in the future. My commitment to treatment has included working in public schools, therapeutic day schools, hospitals, and state funded mental health agencies. During graduate school, I was a part of a diagnostic team at Illinois Masonic Pediatric Development Center where I worked with children with ASD, ADHD, social skills deficits, and executive functioning difficulties by completing test batteries, interpreting test results, and making appropriate recommendations.

After graduate school, I was in private practice in Northfield that focused on depression and substance abuse disorders in adolescence. For the past five years, I have been a clinician in the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at DePaul University. I truly enjoy this position and working with my students to overcome obstacles related to their academic and personal adjustment and success.

I have also completed postgraduate training from the International OCD Foundation.

Client Age Range

Age 4 & up