Seth Allison, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counselor who received his master’s degree in clinical psychology (2001) from Wheaton College. He began his career with the DuPage County Health Department as a Clinician/Consultant, providing office and home-based family therapy to children and adolescents. Two years later, Seth entered into full-time private practice with Arbor Clinical Associates in Wheaton where he continued working with families, and began deepening his understanding of effective therapy with adults and couples. Seth co-founded Alcorn & Allison Clinical Associates, LLC in October of 2006 with his good friend and colleague Dr. Chad Alcorn, Psy.D. Seth has developed expertise in several therapeutic modalities including Emotion Focused Therapy, Attachment-Based Psychotherapy, Group Psychotherapy, and Psychoanalytic/Self Psychology. He resides in Glen Ellyn with his wife, Kelly, and their children, Willa and Wyatt. After the kids go to bed, Seth enjoys writing, playing, and listening to music. Recently, he founded an original indie-folk band, swore he would never draft another Bears player in his fantasy league, and purchased yet another guitar.
Seth’s Approach to Therapy
To put it simply, therapy is about helping uneasy people feel less so. However, the process of feeling better can look very different depending on the nature of the problem, the person and the therapist they choose to work with.
On certain days, I attune deeply to another’s moment to moment experience… focusing intently on empathic engagement and stepping reverently into the sacred spaces that we keep hidden from the rest of the world. These are humbling days—powerful and impacting sorts of days—when therapy takes on a kind of existential significance. On these days, I get to wade with people into the deep water.
There are other days where I attempt to coach and direct in hopes of jump-starting a desperate situation. On these days, a therapist must be the expert who draws on training, study, and experience in an effort to impart a certain kind of wisdom. These are the mental health consultant days—the days where my job is to attend as much to a problem as to a person. This is a different kind of sacredness. The reward of course, is in helping people—getting to watch families make efficient and lasting changes that impact the quality of their lives. This too is a privilege.
At all times, therapy is a unique kind of relationship. It is a relationship whose structure allows one person to walk with another, a guide if you will, toward a place of deeper self- understanding and integrated decision making. In the end, we are empowered to make more informed choices in matters both profound and practical. I have come to believe that human beings need these kind of relationships… growing and healing most efficiently in the presence of an empathically attuned and reflective “other”. As a therapist, I get to use different tools and wear different hats on different days. Indeed, this flexibility is crucial. But, authenticity, empathy and a spirit of curiosity are the building blocks of every hour.
I do not believe that a single clinician can be all things to all people. So with that in mind, I want to take a shot at articulating what I do well as a therapist and the things that I feel passionate about, read here >
In addition, I would like to provide some external links to the theories and techniques that have been most influential in my personal and professional development:
Emotion Focused Couples Therapy: I first saw Sue Johnson speak in 2008. Since then, I have been immersed in the theory and practice of EFT, attending numerous advanced trainings.
Self-Psychology/Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: My most formative professional experience was participating in a 2 year certificate program at the center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago.
Internal Family Systems Therapy: IFS is an intensely practical approach to doing very deep emotional work.
Attachment Based Psychotherapy: Working forward from John Bowlby, Attachment Theory has become an invaluable tool in conceptualizing human relationships and their role in regulating our experience.