Connie North, PhD, MS LMFT
Because we often make sense of life by creating stories about it, my therapeutic approach involves becoming aware of the stories we tell—again and again. By studying those narratives, we can see when familiar storylines are no longer serving us well and learn to tell new, more generative stories.
I have met many people who bring a well-worn story of unworthiness into numerous moments of our daily lives. This painful story often is learned in childhood, and is reinforced by later experiences, both in relationships with those nearby, like partners, family members, and co-workers, and encounters with the larger world, such as via the media and educational settings. Because this story of not-good-enough does not contribute to our well‐being, I work with clients to rediscover our wholeness. By returning to that wholeheartedness, we can move through the world with more openness, joy, and peace.
However, changing our stories does not always help us to change the material conditions of our lives, especially for those who have faced discrimination because of our race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, social class, sexual identity, age, religious identity, disability, and/or additional social differences. I therefore believe that my role as a therapist includes connecting clients to additional resources, organizations, and support networks that can help to meet their immediate needs. I also am committed to continuously learning about experiences different from my own—and admitting when I do not know something!—so that I may better support clients in their own growth.
Education and Experience
Before becoming a therapist, I was a Peace Corps volunteer, educator, non-profit program director, academic advisor, and activist-scholar.
I received my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 and spent three years as a professor of education at the University of Maryland-College Park. There I was an affiliate faculty member in the LGBT Studies Program, Minority and Urban Education Program, and Women’s Studies Department. My teaching and research centered on social justice, intergroup dialogues, and partnership-building.
In 2013, I completed my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Edgewood College. There I learned a systems approach to individual, partners, and family therapy. Since then, I completed Sensorimotor Psychotherapy level-one trauma training as well as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) basic training. I also have worked as a therapist in university settings and employee assistance programs.
I proudly serve LGBTQ+ people and families and am passionate about helping people to heal from multiple forms of trauma. I also have facilitated workshops on creating and sustaining equitable and just communities and organizations. Although I am a fallible human being with biases, I greatly enjoy working with people different from myself and am committed to the ongoing learning and unlearning necessary for me not to discriminate according to race, nationality, class, gender identity, gender expression, sex, age, disability, sexual identity, religious identity, language, veteran status, and additional social differences.
I have experience working with adolescents, individual adults, couples/partners, and support groups. I am particularly interested in the interplay of perfectionism with anxiety, depression, trauma, and alcohol and drug abuse.
In my former life, I was a professor of education, LGBT studies, and women’s studies. In addition to publishing the book Teaching for Social Justice?: Voices from the Front Lines, I wrote some articles that may give you a better sense of my therapeutic approach:
I also published articles in Our Lives: