Alison Hess is a life-long learner who takes the time to listen to every client to create a personalized and integrated plan for the future. For some clients, linking the past with present habits and relationships can reveal patterns that are preventing you from moving toward a balanced and fulfilling future. For others, Alison’s focus on the here-and-now can help bring clarity and peace during times of hardship and stress. Her goal is to provide the type of service you need based on your individual situation and to provide psychoeducation and tools that will be useful in your daily life. A masters degree intern, Alison is applying the newest evidence-based treatments to each client session.
When you work with Alison, you receive highly personalized care based on your concerns and situation. All clients are given respect and attention, as you are the expert on your own life and experiences. As a team, you will work together to determine the most effective way to reach your goals, whether they are to heal, grow, change, or a combination of all three. Alison has worked with clients with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and trauma.
Education & Experience
A native of Pittsburgh, Alison has lived in the South Hills with her family for the past 18 years. She is currently completing her coursework at Northwestern University to obtain her Masters of Mental Health Counseling with a focus on children and adolescents. She works with clients of all ages and has received training centered on working with LGBTQ+ clients and families. An active member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Alison lobbied for LGBTQ+ rights and for essential legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in February of 2020. She is also a member of PFLAG, Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE), American Counseling Association, and Pennsylvania Association of Child and Adolescent Counselors (PACAC).
Because Alison transitioned to the counseling field later in life, she has a wide range of experiences that inform her treatment style and temperament. A mother of two (one in college and one about to be), she has experienced the stages of child growth and development firsthand. She spent over ten years volunteering as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind where she taught teams of children how to think outside the box and use creative problem-solving skills. While the goal was to create solid working teams, Alison found that these skills and techniques applied to her own life and allowed her to challenge herself personally and professionally. She also developed a caring, patient style of interacting with children and encouraged them to try and fail, then try again. Success through failure became a theme that stayed with her after the teams moved on to new challenges.
Hobbies & Interests
Alison often spends her free time reading and relaxing with her family and two rescue dogs, Sprinkles and Chewie. She volunteers for community organizations and leads a community book club four times a year. When she’s not reading, she works on knitting projects that help her feel calm and centered.
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