My name is Emily Pagone, and I am thrilled to introduce myself as the newest Licensed Professional Counselor at Naperville Counseling Center. I graduated from Benedictine University with my Master’s in Clinical Psychology and a concentration in child and adolescent psychology; I am also currently an adjunct psychology instructor there. For my undergraduate education, I attended the University of Kansas with a major in psychology. I am very humbled and excited to be able to bring my skills, perspective, and therapeutic approach to the practice.
Throughout my life, I have always had a curiosity about people’s thought processes, behaviors, and emotions. More specifically, how these behaviors and emotions relate to children, adolescents, and family systems/family origins – and as it all relates to the impact of trauma (including, but not limited to: sexual assault/ rape, domestic violence, grief and loss). My fascination and curiosity about child development, family systems, and the affect of trauma on the survivor and their loved ones has engendered my strong and unwavering passion to contribute to the field as a psychotherapist and educator.
My passion has enabled me to focus on counseling children, adolescents, teens, and young adults, in conjunction with their families, who are survivors of sexual assault and trauma. During my clinical rotation, I worked as a counselor at the YWCA, working with children, adolescents, adults, and families in individual and group counseling. During my time at the YWCA, I obtained significant crisis training from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. From these experiences, I gained a deep sensitivity and understanding of the multidimensional impact of trauma, which permeates every layer of an individual’s life.
I am truly inspired by the clients I have the honor of working with, as well as the great therapists and professionals in this field. I have been influenced by Carl Rogers, Viktor Frankl, John Gottman, Eliana Gil, to mention a few (the list goes on and on!). Particularly, I have been greatly influenced by humanistic psychologist and founder of client- centered therapy, Carl Rogers. Rogers asserted that the most critical aspects of being an effective therapist includes exhibiting empathy, unconditional positive regard/ acceptance, genuineness; I agree with these therapeutic aspects, and also believe them to be necessary traits for a therapist to exude. Therefore, these are the qualities I embody when engaging clients in therapy, while they reflect and explore into themselves in the safe space I provide.
Every individual has their own, unique story that deserves validation, acceptance, non-judgment, and understanding. I believe that through accepting and validating others’
experiences, self-esteem and positive growth for the client can ensue. As Carl Rogers said himself, “the curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change”. It is truly amazing to witness the courage it takes for someone to process painful experiences and examine themselves, while working toward their goals and building strengths. It is genuinely the client who does the hard work in therapy, and the therapist is there support, encourage, validate, challenge, and occasionally teach the client.
Every person holds his or her own key to change and improvement. As Rogers said, “the more I can keep a relationship free of judgment and evaluation, the more this will permit the other person to reach the point where he recognizes that the locus of evaluation, the center of responsibility, lies within himself” (Rogers, On Becoming a Person). Through therapy, we can collaborate and investigate together what will work for, empower, and help you. Whether the client is a child, teen, emerging adult, or adult, everyone has the courage deep down to address their concerns. My goal is to meet each person where they are at and utilize the most effective and appropriate interventions/ techniques.
Although I utilize client-centered therapy, I consider myself an eclectic therapist who simultaneously considers the individual’s psychological, biological, and social experiences. With teens and adults, I often implement cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical-behavior therapy, positive psychology principles, and strengths-based approaches, depending on their certain symptom(s), diagnosis(es), and life experiences. Specifically with children, though, my goal is to examine and include the family system in the process, if and when appropriate. When children are experiencing challenges, the support and understanding of the family system is critical to their improvement. I often engage children in child-centered play therapy and art therapy while learning about them, and meeting them where they are at as well. After getting to know the client, their difficulties, and experiences, I tailor and individualize my therapeutic approach, making it specific to them.
When I am not working, I am often spending time with family and friends, attempting to learn calligraphy, enjoying nature, and reading!
I am looking forward to collaborating with potential clients to help them achieve their goals, and work toward the ultimate goal of health and well-being.