*  Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Behavioral Science.  The focus was an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the sources/components of optimal human development throughout the life cycle.  In other words, understanding human adaptation and the recipe/roadmap to a happy well-lived life.

This was a very empirical program with an emphasis on understanding and doing research about the life cycle and it’s various transitions and crisis points from a multidisciplinary approach.

Over 14 Years Working In Major Medical Centers.  Here the focus was on the relationships between various life stresses, the development of illnesses and symptoms, and the best approaches to cure or relief.

  1. Michael Reese Hospital 1974 to 1978, treatment and assessment of children’s various problems
  2. Michael’s Reese’s Women’s Health Center (1989 to 1992)
  3. Cook County Hospital 1977 to 1991
  4. University of Illinois, Faculty appointment to teach Psychiatry residents (1982-1991)

In-Depth Study Of Several Psychotherapy Approaches Including

  1. Psychodynamic (completing extensive seminar work at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis where she now serves as a mentor to young professionals.  She is also a past president of the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology. This approach focuses on the uniqueness of each person’s life history and how it is affecting them in the present.
  2. Systemic Family Therapy.  This included a post-doc practicum year with Bill Pinsoff of NW Family Institute and learning His Problem-centered model.  It also included studying with Harry Goolishian at the Houston-Galveston Family Institute.  This focused on very short-term but powerful interventions in family and other systems. Short-term systemic therapy was also the focus of study at the Milan, Italy family Institute.
  3. Mindfulness and Other Short-term Stress reduction techniques
  4. Elements of a Buddhist perspective are integrated into her therapy work.  

 In Addition, Dr. O’Connell began her career with:
A masters degree in Sociology from George Washington University where she held a Teaching Fellowship
A Degree from the Sorbonne in French language and culture.  

    American Psychological Association
    Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
    Founding Board member of the Illinois AFCC chapter
    Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (past president)
    Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, Fellow
    International Academy of Collaborative Professionals    

    Society for Personality Assessment

BackGround And Experience

Clinical Psychologist & Family Specialist