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Shannon L. Garthwait, MCJ, MS, LPC

Shannon L. Garthwait

Shannon L. Garthwait, MCJ, MS, LPC

State of Connecticut Licensed Psychotherapist

Shannon obtained her first Masters degree from Boston University in Criminal Justice and then graduated with a second Masters degree in Psychology; she is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Connecticut. Shannon is a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors and is also an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA). Over the past 13 years, she has worked in a variety of community mental health settings with adults, young adults, adolescents, and pediatrics. Shannon has assisted individuals struggling with a myriad of psychological difficulties that affect daily functioning. She has worked with clients from many different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, and believes her cultural competencies have grown in this experience. Shannon’s plethora of experience stemming from being employed in multiple treatment facilities and various levels of psychiatric care has afforded her rich opportunities for training, professional development and overall experience.

Shannon is an EMDR trained therapist through the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). She has extensive training in Trauma-focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Crisis Intervention, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Circle of Security Parenting Education, Multicultural Counseling and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR). Shannon’s therapeutic approach is Integrative Psychotherapy as this allows her to utilize different therapeutic approaches to best fit the individual’s needs in order to promote overall psychological well being. The word ‘integrative’ in Integrative Psychotherapy also refers to integrating the personality and making it cohesive, and to the bringing together of the affective, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological systems within a person. Shannon really enjoys working with people who want to pursue counseling as a means of personal growth, and as an exploration of their psychological and spiritual well-being. Together, you and Shannon will create overall goals and treatment objectives to ensure a goal-oriented therapeutic environment that is client focused and effective. Shannon is really looking forward to working with you to achieve all of your goals, psychological strength and wellness! Call for your first appointment to start your path towards wellness today!

Now accepting clients for:

-Individual Therapy
-Couples Therapy
-Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorders, PTSD, Crisis Intervention, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Adjustment Disorders, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Interpersonal Relationship Conflict
-EMDR Sessions
-Addiction Services/ Comorbidity
-Specializing in Adolescents, Young Adults & Adults

Explanation of Therapeutic Modalities:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a practical approach that seeks to define concrete goals and uses active techniques to reach them.  The cognitive-behavioral therapist looks at patterns of thinking and behavior and how these patterns are reinforced and maintained by the person within his or her environment.  A functional analysis of thinking and behavior is performed, often using log sheets and graphs to better understand thought and behavior patterns in the context of daily routines.  Once an understanding of symptoms and behavior is achieved, the therapist and client together devise changes in the patterns and continue tracking.  This process is repeated until the original goals are met.  Attention to irrational thinking patterns (e.g., automatic thoughts, catastrophic thinking) is central to the approach as well. ( )

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT has been found especially effective for those with suicidal and other multiply occurring severely dysfunctional behaviors. Research has shown DBT to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance abuse, anger, and interpersonal difficulties. (

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies. EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health. (