NCRC is proud to periodically spotlight one of our staff therapists so as to give you a chance to get to know their unique qualities and interests. Today's spotlight is on Monique Brown, AMFT.
1. Do you have a specific focus or interest in your clinical work?
I deeply value working with survivors of trauma. The work is difficult yet extremely rewarding. I have been trained in Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) and have used various narrative and trauma focused therapy with my adult clients. I have led multiple 16 week trauma focused groups that give clients tools for managing psychosomatic and somatic symptoms of post traumatic stress.
2. Do you have a certain therapeutic style, method, or model of therapy that you generally use?
My goal is always to remain curious. The beauty of our work is for me to share in the truth telling of each individual narrative and explore the connections my clients have made about the chapters in their lives. Our work is always collaborative. As far as models of therapy are concerned, I have a very eclectic approach to therapy. I try to really remain culturally sensitive in session. Sometimes, sticking to a particular model doesn't address certain needs a client may face and I will use tools from another intervention that better suits the work we are doing. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I do often find myself using Family Systems theory as the foundation for our work because I find it important to understand a client's cultural and family narrative before I can understand the person that is sitting across from me.
3. What makes you unique as a therapist?
I am a Black, Queer, Woman raised on the south side of Chicago, the youngest of 6 children, educated at Northwestern twice. There is a story there and I bring all of who I am to the therapy room. I use my narrative to inform my culturally sensitive and affirming work with my clients. I love the work I do and I genuinely feel that I was meant to be a therapist.
4. How do you think change happens?
My favorite quote by Carl Jung sums up my feelings quite nicely: "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." I strongly believe that the work of therapy happens through the relationship between therapist and client. Who I am interacts with who they are and change is a benevolent byproduct of that interaction for both parties.
5. What are you most thankful for?
I am thankful for Love. I am thankful for the way it frees up space in cramped minds and crowded hearts and opens doors to new possibilities. I am thankful for how limitless and abounding Love is. It never seems to be in short supply. I am thankful for the ways it heals and never harms, comforts and never leaves anyone lonely. I am thankful for those who choose to dance to the rhythm of Love's melody and share it with every soul they encounter. I am thankful for the way Love liberates. I am certain that our test as humans is to show love without letting our humanity taint our expression. Be free!