Pamela Larkin | LCPC
Identity, purpose, connection and relationships. We all struggle with wondering who we are and what we are here for! This is part of being human for us all. Unfortunately, if you are struggling it can feel horrible and influence the lens you see the world through.
I don’t know what you’re looking for and what has brought you to a place of needing support. Maybe you’re looking for healing and restoration around a painful event or relationships. Are you searching for your voice and an opportunity to change the world? Your faith and spirituality are important to you, but do you experience disconnect in knowing how to live a transformed life? Do you just want to be a more authentic person and know counseling helps in some way with that?
Thankfully, whatever is bringing you here does not have to be examined on your own. The truth is, with counseling you don’t have to be alone. You and I will pull the resources, both from your experience and my expertise as a helper (including all the books, videos, and podcasts, music, etc.), to transform and empower you. If we find an opportunity for you to grow in, we’ll practice together. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll seek it out. Feeling hopeless, insecure, fatigued, or anxious isn’t the end. There is capacity for hope, healing, voice, confidence, and empowerment.
I’m grateful to have experienced growth and transformation in my own life. It came from the help and comfort of a counselor who offered validation, normalized my nerves, created a calm space, and led me to new ways of thinking. Counseling helped me be a more compassionate and empowered individual, and in his office I grew in confidence as a black, Christian woman. My personal experiences around identity development, makes me especially passionate about encouraging people of color to explore and establish personal identity. Growing in confidence and becoming your most authentic self is so important. It is difficult to be a minority, and I love partnering with people to fight against feeling small, marginalized, misunderstood, and underappreciated. A therapeutic relationship is the comfort I hope to extend towards you. Your identity is your strength.
Women have always inspired me. Married, single, pregnant, not pregnant, leader, supporter, young, mature, mother, daughter, friend, spouse. We could go on and on. The spectrum of issues women are facing and roles we engage in are unique and worth recognition. In all of these we will explore your unique attachment style and how that is currently playing out in your relationships. Attachment is your learned way of coping and connecting. Question is: is it really working for you? My guess is that it both is and is not, but we can work with that! All people and relationships can be made new and well.
Therapeutic Orientation & Techniques:
Emotion-Focused & Recovery-Focused Therapy
Mindfulness & Acceptance
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Pam’s Areas of Specialty & Background
Depression & Anxiety
African-American / Black Concerns
Ethnic Identity Development & Cultural Concerns
Young Adult Transitions
Dating & Relationships
Pre-Marital & Couples
M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL
B.S. in Science in Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
B.S. Concentration in Human Development and Psychological Service, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
“I felt at ease and an immediate connection with Pam. She has a way of making me feel very comfortable, and naturally creates a space to shed new light on things I used to think were just ‘issues.’ I look forward to seeing her each week, and I’m really happy to be in Pam’s care.”
“Anxiety and depression are valid on their own, but in my circumstance I maintain a close relationship with a family member who suffers from severe mental illness. I have really struggled with basic communication and support for my loved one before meeting Pam. I feel like she was able to hear and pinpoint what’s actually going on, and she’s given me tangible tools that help me cope with my circumstance. We love Pam and are very happy she’s part of our continuing journey.”
“Pam is very kind and patient. I’ve learned so much about myself through my therapeutic relationship with her, and she’s really helped me recognize healthy and unhealthy patterns in my life in a way that didn’t make me feel abnormal. Her guidance has left an impact on me for sure.”
Articles by Pam
I was listening to a podcast when I first heard about therapist, Aundi Kolbar. As she shared the title of her book, I was instantly comforted. Try Softer, A Fresh Approach To Move Us Out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode-and into a Life of Connection and Joy looks...
Pamela Larkin, a mental health therapist at Optimum Joy Clinical Counseling, joins Alexandra Hoerr to discuss navigating the racial tension which plagues our nation. Pam brings a wealth of experience, including her professional and personal experience of being a...
In preparing for a talk I gave, I was tasked with pulling together some resources to help out many who are vulnerable and impacted by COVID-19. Many who never had to access resources before, are now needing to do so. Here at Optimum Joy, it’s important for us to...