Valerie McBee, LCSW
Counseling is a highly personal and individual process, and it can be a challenge to find a counselor that you connect with. My style of therapy is very relational, and I will strive to help you grow comfortable with the process while still challenging you to think beyond your current framework or circumstances. As is the case with the other therapists here at North Star, I have an eclectic background and approach: while I focus on being relational, understanding and compassionate, I also approach change practically. Ultimately, you are the expert on your own life, and you will find the strength to make the changes you need in order to improve your life. I try to provide the support that will help you identify the challenges you want to address and goals you want to reach by offering a sounding board, feedback, challenging questions and practical skills that can help you move forward. Those practical skills might include anything from identifying your strengths and supports to learning new ways to cope with difficult memories and emotions, from improving your relational skills to learning mindfulness skills to be present in whatever moment you’re living through.
My professional experience has been a mixture of Individual therapy addressing depression, anxiety, mood disorders, grief, trauma, relational struggles and substance abuse, and Group therapy ranging from teaching life skills to adolescents, as well as groups with adults dealing with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, anger management and co-existing mental health/substance abuse issues. I also have experience in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and use many of the techniques and skills from DBT in both individual and group therapy. Additional areas of training include prolonged exposure for trauma, trauma sensitive yoga, and somatic approaches to treating trauma.
Another aspect that informs my work is my understanding that our spiritual well-being is key to our health in general. While this doesn’t mean a client has to address issues of spirituality or religion, I am uniquely suited to help work through some of the struggles that can arise when an individual’s current life and circumstances don’t easily fit with his or her religious or faith perspective or history of religious/spiritual values. Faith can be an incredible source of strength and healing, and it can also be a painful minefield. I would love to help you find the strength rather than the pain in it.
After earning my Bachelors in Social Work at Bethel University in St Paul, MN, I spent about 10 years working with adolescents and young adults in a variety of settings. Eventually I returned to earn my Masters in Social Work at UGA and then worked in outpatient community mental health for a number of years. I am happy to be here and working with the North Star Therapy Group.