Meghan Kennedy, LCSW, AM
As a brilliantly complex species (bio-psycho-social-spiritual beasts) from the intra-psychic multi-verse to the intergenerational culture crucible, through the intra-cellular to the cosmic, I think we merit a broad spectrum of tools & time-tested theoretical foundations to provide a strong container for healing and change. Over the decades I’ve been influenced by many masters in diverse areas of the humanities, but I’ve grown a great appreciation for fundamental psychodynamics; C.G. Jung & depth psychology; Joseph Campbell & “The Hero’s Journey;” poet Mary Oliver & the saving graces of nature, presence, & awareness; music & its transcendental powers. Most of all, I’ve come to marvel at the resilience of the human spirit and what happens to our healing process when we subvert the cultural “weapons of mass distraction” to hear our own voice. I’m quite interactive in approach, but believe that when simply well-held and warmly witnessed, we can flexibly explore of our assumptive worlds. In doing so, we integrate the parts and set about letting them become whole and evolved. Finally, my ongoing personal exploration is an integral piece informing my work and keeping me humble and true to an unfolding process.
I am a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and transcultural treatment issues for over 20 years. Following graduate school at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, and 10 years as a clinician and teacher at the University of Chicago Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, I moved into full-time private practice psychotherapy and consultation. In addition to treating trauma individually, I’ve been consulting internationally on psychosocial and culturally sensitive treatment issues for communities under siege due to war, political unrest and natural disasters, since the early ’90s (see website.) I am also a volunteer clinician at Chicago’s Marjorie Kovler Center for the Survivors of Torture for the past 15 years. My cross-cultural trauma work ultimately brought me to the world of plant medicines and their use in indigenous settings to heal humans both individually and communally. I found it to be powerful in expediting awareness and healing and sought further understanding. I now hold a Certificate in Psychedelic-assisted Therapies & Research from the California Institute for Integral Studies. This certificate program covered the history of psychedelics and their use across multiple contexts from indigenous ceremonial and shamanistic healing to underground psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy through historical and current scientific research. It has been a timely intersection on my career path and a rich adjunct to my work. In addition to offering individual & group harm reduction, preparedness, and integration services to interested individuals, I am working with colleagues locally to bring public awareness and destigmatization to psychedelic healing with monthly public group meetings on education, safety & integration. I also work in research as a trained adherence rater for MAPS' phase 2/3 research trials on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. In addition to above, my interests include developing adjunct alternative treatment modalities that incorporate yoga, bodywork, re-attunement to the senses (mindfulness & somatics) and spirituality. I am also a Certified Life-cycle Celebrant, creating and conducting custom ceremonies for the major thresholds of the life cycle.