Meet Shannon

Shannon McKenzie__headshot.jpg
Wexford
East
End

Shannon McKenzie
MSW, LSW

she / her / hers

Therapist

Specialties:

LGBTQIA+

Gender Identity & Sexuality

Infertility / Miscarriage / Loss

Relationship Identity (& Various Relationship Types)

Spirituality & Religion

Trauma & PTSD

Parenting & Relationships

Anxiety & Depression

LGBTQIA+ Affirming

   Services Offered:    

  • Individual Therapy

  • Relationship Therapy

  • Family Therapy

  • Telehealth Therapy

    Insurances Accepted:   

  • Private Pay ($115)

  • Aetna

  • Cigna

   Ages:   

  • Children (6-10)

  • Preteens/Tweens (11-13)

  • Adolescents/Teens (14-19)

  • Adults

Who I Help

 

You are so tired of merely existing. You want to find self-acceptance, but sometimes you struggle with knowing what that "self" even is. You feel like you don't belong anywhere and that everyone around you has abandoned you. You feel like you are doing all of this alone. You are in pain and no one around you even knows--because you refuse to let them see it. Or you don't want to be a burden. But you know deep down you can't keep going like this, because you're a pressure cooker and you just need some relief. Or some guidance. Or SOMETHING. You may feel like you face rejection everywhere--but not here. Not here.

 

I love working with those within my own LGBTQIA+ community, as well as various relationship types (i.e. open relationships, consensual non-monogamy). I specialize in working with LGBTQIA+ related struggles and concerns, gender identity, sexuality/sexual identity, infertility/prenatal/postpartum, parenting and relationships, spirituality and religion, and trauma and PTSD.

I have worked with clients who have struggled with church trauma, family rejection, self-doubt, questions about who they are, and wondering if they are truly "okay".  I can walk with you on this journey, which can be so painful and frightening to walk alone.

How My Lived Experience Impacts My Work

 

Church Trauma

I understand what it is like to deconstruct and try to reconstruct your religion--or to let go of your religion altogether.  I have worked with families who are struggling with acceptance issues, and I can help you walk through this time with success, love and safety.

I have personal experience with church trauma that includes a history of attending an evangelical church, attempts at conversation therapy, and experiencing the loss that comes with a church turning their back on you (including family members).  I have unique experience with deconstruction of faith along with reconstruction of faith.  I went on to begin working with evangelical churches in the area on ways to improve connections with LGBTQIA+ members, including working with families to help heal the divide that often comes from having a teen or adult who comes out in the midst of a non-affirming environment.  I can help you heal from church trauma, rebuild your foundation if it has been shaken and help you understand this unique type of trauma that is inflicted upon our community.  I can also help you understand and try to heal the wounds within your family if that is something that is of interest.

LGBTQIA+

I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself. I'm married to a wonderful woman, and I'm a Mom to two of my own awesome kids. And because of that, I have been able to gather a wealth of knowledge on how to make a relationship successful--from communication to raising children within an alternative family.

 

Infertility, Miscarriage & Loss

In trying to start our own family, I have unfortunately experienced the pain and heartbreak of infertility, miscarriage and loss. And I know too well how isolating this can be. And how misunderstood you may be feeling.

When my wife and I decided we wanted children we thought it would be easy.  What we soon discovered, however, was that getting pregnant wasn't as easy as one might think.  For those that have experienced (or are still experiencing) the world of infertility, you know that it is a very unique type of loneliness and loss.  Each passing cycle with a negative leaves you more and more hopeless.  When you finally get that positive only to lose the cycle to miscarriage, the weight is often more heavy than one can bare alone.  If you are experiencing the pain of infertility or miscarriage and are looking for support, I can walk this journey with you.  

Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic Abuse is a very specific cycle of abuse that requires specific therapeutic techniques.  I have spent significant time in my career studying Narcissistic abuse and the healing process, including spending a year interviewing various narcissists and their victims.  I can help you walk through understanding the abuse you suffered (or are suffering), helping you work to undo the damage and learn to find the healthy place that you deserve.

I am also a friend and daughter who has spent time supporting those struggling and living with depression, anxiety and past trauma.  

I will never even come close to "forcing" my own experience onto you--that's not my role here. But with your permission and appropriately placed, my lived experience may help you  open up and feel understood a little more quickly. Which means we can really dive in, together, and hopefully help you feel better faster.

What Can you Expect?

I'm a LGBTQIA+ and relationship minority affirming therapist. I never bring judgment to the table, and I am someone who is careful with (and understands) those who have faced rejection in life.

My main approach is to let you go at your own pace, while also helping you face that which has hurt you--in a safe, supportive place. For those struggling with relationship concerns, I help all partners learn successful communication skills to avoid the amny mishaps that come from poor communication and passive aggressive behavior, and instead, learn to respond in ways that make for a happy and healthy union.

 

You can expect me to be an understanding but serious listener, as well as someone you can laugh with--because there's a time and place for that, too! I want you to leave the room feeling better than when you walked in, even after a difficult discussion.  If you choose me to me your guide on this journey,  I will work right alongside you and you can count on me to work just as hard.

My primary goal as your therapist is to help you find your inner strength (it's in there!) and move forward into a place where you can start truly living your life instead of trying to "just get through it." That really is possible. And I can be a source of strength in the moments where you lose sight of that.

Clients have said that my own lived experience helped them open up and become comfortable more quickly. When we stuff them down, these struggles can leave us feeling stuck, isolated, and misunderstood, and opening that door can be terrifying. But I can help you dig in and walk through these painful moments with a strong guide next to you. Let's do it.

 When I'm not at Open Space CCW, you may also find me...

Hanging out with friends, trying out new and fun foods!

Call us for your free phone consultation, click the link above to schedule online, send us a message via our contact form below, or email us to get started.

724-777-1433

hello@openspaceccw.com