Shannon Forbes is completing her graduate internship at Fowler and Tidwell Counseling while studying in the Clinical Mental Health Program at the Family Institute at Northwestern University, after seventeen years spent working in academia as an English prof and university administrator. Shannon’s counseling approach tends to combine Narrative Therapy with psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. All her life, Shannon has been deeply moved by the way narratives shape us, and by the way we can shape narratives to improve our health, especially in times of crisis, darkness, dysfunction, and trauma.
Shannon first began seeing the connections between narrative and counseling when at the onset of Covid, she began volunteering in patient-bedside on the leukemia and the post-surgical head and neck floors at MD Anderson. This time spent with patients felt a natural shift, as Shannon’s husband, as essential personnel during Covid, works on faculty at MDA treating brain and spinal cancer. These poignant months at MDA were the catalyst for Shannon’s decision to make the vocational shift to counseling.
Throughout her training, Shannon feels more and more each day that her place is sharing sacred space and walking hand-in-hand with clients experiencing complex trauma, grief, loss, marital or partner challenges, workplace dysfunction, transition, and abuse, severe depression, and difficult diagnoses, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, including that with psychotic features, suicidal ideation, personality disorders, and cancer and other medically-debilitating diagnoses. Shannon also tremendously enjoys working with college and graduate students, post-docs, and residents, and is happy to assist with college, career, and post-graduate planning.
Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame and her Ph.D. in English from Marquette University. She worked in academia at the University of St. Thomas for seventeen years as a tenured professor, chair of the department of English, and finally as the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Shannon now will graduate in June 2023 from Northwestern University with a Master in Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.