Psychotherapy and Counseling

Effective psychotherapy and counseling that empowers individuals or couples to make meaningful change for a better life.

Ann Veilleux

I am Ann Veilleux MSSW, LCSW a clinical psychotherapist located in Madison Wisconsin where I have been in private practice for over 40 years. I help both individuals and couples discover ways to make meaningful changes in themselves and their relationships to achieve a more fulfilling life. This website is about my experiences as a psychotherapist and about psychotherapy and counseling from my point of view.

As you search for a psychotherapist, I expect you will have a number of questions that I may be able to answer here.

My View of Psychotherapy

This site is about my view of psychotherapy and counseling and how I apply that perspective in my practice to help my clients. This perspective has evolved over the years as I learned from working with my wonderful clients who continue to challenge and inspire me. I hope this will be a resource for you, and a way to introduce myself to anyone looking to understand how to navigate their journey through life.

On Counseling and Psychotherapy

Although the terms are often used interchangeably these days, psychotherapy and counseling are really different. To quote someone who I think explains the difference well:

Psychotherapy and counseling are two different disciplines. Psychotherapy is an in-depth, sometimes long-term, project that addresses inner and often covert core issues. It’s meant to get at and affect the understructure of a person. Carl Jung called psychotherapy treatment of the soul, which for me implies depth. Counseling addresses important but external overt behaviors, usually for [a] brief duration, teaching and improving areas of outward functioning.

Psychotherapy is about personal growth, and the relationship between psychotherapist and patient is critical. Counseling is about life management and adjustment, and the relationship between counselor and client is quite secondary.

Psychotherapy and Counseling are Different by By David S. Doane, Ph.D.; The National Psychologist, March 9, 2018.[

I believe counseling has its place with its focus on helping people cope with immediate situational stress or acute behavioral issues and I have clients that I help in this way. When I do, though, I view it as an adjunct to psychotherapy.

In my experience, the best way to help my clients make a meaningful and persistent change is through a psychotherapeutic process that changes their “understructure”. This takes time and requires a perceptive and skilled therapist in a trusting and secure relationship with her client. This is always my aim.

About My Point of View

This site is about this point of view. It features my Blog which contains writings on a variety of therapeutic issues, from PTSD to your relationship with your therapist. I discuss common questions and issues that I feel are important. Many arise in my day to day practice.

There is further information here About Me and How to Make an Appointment. There is also information about My Policies, my areas of expertise, and about my approach to Helping People. I have written some Universal Stories, that I call Stories for the Unconscious Mind and a few popular Articles. You will also find a video where I talk about How to Choose the Right Therapist and a magazine article where I discuss my use of Traditional and Transpersonal methods of psychotherapy.

I encourage you to contact me with your questions or make an appointment for a free consultation.

Answers to Common Questions

As you search for a psychotherapist, I expect you will have a number of questions that I may be able to answer here. Some are likely among those I am frequently asked by new and prospective clients; so I’ll answer the more common of those here. For any others you may have, I would be happy to answer them directly. I encourage you to contact me or make an appointment for a free consultation.

How do you choose the right psychotherapist?

The most important element for success in therapy is your relationship with your therapist. You should know that the therapist is competent to help you and finds you interesting and likable. You should feel safe, cared about and respected.

No one therapist is right for everyone. That is why it is important to take the time to consider what you want from therapy before actually looking for a therapist that is right for you. For some tips on how to do this see my article: How to Choose the Right Therapist and the video clip “On Choosing the Right Therapist” below.

Shopping around for a psychotherapist is what I recommend, but it can become very expensive.  To help you, I offer a free half-hour initial session: I set up a 60-minute time slot, and at the 30-minute mark, we pause so you can decide whether you want to leave or stay. If you leave and you owe me nothing, and if you stay for a full 60 minutes, you do owe me for the whole session.

On Choosing the Right Therapist

How can you contact me?

There is information on my Contact Me page about how to contact me by e-mail or phone. You are also encouraged to post to discussions on this site which I will respond to. I look forward to your comments and questions!

Who are my clients?

My clients are adult men and women seeking psychotherapy or counseling for a wide variety of issues: I love working with couples and seeing them capture the gift of carrying each other in their hearts. I know the way through the process of healing from childhood trauma and PTSD and sing the song of celebration with my clients when they overcome its effects. I know that mood disorders, for example, depression, need not steal your life from you; there are ways to heal.

I have in-depth experience with childhood sexual and physical abuse, with couple’s issues, including but not limited to pre and post-marital counseling, loss of intimacy, problems with communication and polyamorous relationships. In addition, I have worked extensively with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma and dissociation, women’s topics and spiritual issues and growth. I also offer consultation to professionals including those acquiring their 3,000 hours for accreditation.

What are my qualifications ?

I have been in private practice since 1979, persistently learning and developing myself as a psychotherapist. At present, I am continuing my training as a couples-therapist in the Master Class of The Couples Institute, Menlo Park, California.

I am trained and licensed as a professional psychotherapist. I have earned a clinical social work degree and a number of certifications that underpin my skill as a psychotherapist. These are listed below:

MSSW: I was working full time as a therapist in private practice before I started my Masters of Science in Social Work which I earned from the University of Wisconsin School of Social Work in 1983.
NASW: I am a member in good standing of the National Association of Social Workers.
LCSW: As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker I am licensed by the state of Wisconsin to practice as an independent psychotherapist.
EMDR: My certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a valuable aid in helping clients overcome any and all psychological stresses including traumas and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Gestalt Therapist: I am a graduate of the three-year Gestalt Therapy Training Program of New England. This was my first training in psychotherapy and remains the basis of my approach to therapy.
Bioenergetics: A graduate of Bioenergetics and Self Acceptance Training Program. I now also work directly in the clinical energy field.
Transactional Analysis: I graduated from the Transactional Analysis Training Program early in my career.
Couples Therapy: A graduate of the Couples Institute of California which has become the basis of my work as a couples counselor and therapist.
Reiki Master: Trained and certified as a Reiki Master by the International Institute for Reiki Training

How can I help you?

My decades of experience as a psychotherapist and counselor helping clients has given me the experience to know where you are in your process. I understand what obstacles you are likely to encounter, the different roads you could travel to overcome those problems, and I can help you both choose and travel the right one.

I work collaboratively and creatively with you and I always check to be sure my directions and suggestions are meaningful to you. I make a decided effort to ensure that you are learning something significant about yourself or taking a step forward, in every session.

I have developed my own therapeutic approaches that I created to use with myself and have re-designed for many of my clients. See, for example, The Observing Ego.

I believe that you deserve respect and support on your therapeutic journey, which nearly always includes going into uncharted territory. I care about my clients and my clients know it; that is the inspiration that keeps my work exciting to me.