Therapist Spotlight: Lisa Puccinelli, M.Ed., LPC

Lisa is a psychotherapist at Wildflower. Lisa’s approach to therapy is grounded in cognitive-behavioral and somatic therapy traditions which emphasize active interventions that improve psychological flexibility, body awareness, and behavioral habits. Her areas of specialty include: complex trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, complicated grief, OCD, and elder care. Lisa earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania where she specialized in English Literature and Political Science. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Houston where she majored in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Read Lisa’s full bio here.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a psychotherapist?

Growing up in my family and our wider community, I noticed how stigmatized and misunderstood depression was. It was considered a personal weakness, something to be hidden from friends and family. But according to the CDC, some 9% of Americans suffer from depression at any given time. That translates to roughly 30 million people which is a big number – one that includes brothers, sisters, moms, dads, kids, friends and more. I wanted to play my part in destigmatizing depression and other common mental health struggles.

At the end of the day, I believe psychotherapy is about instilling hope and guiding people towards self-awareness, self-acceptance, and personal accountability. These are good things for people and good things for the world.

As a psychotherapist, what part of your job is most satisfying?

Without a doubt, the most satisfying part of my job is seeing clients make progress. When a person acquires a new perspective, breaks an old pattern, or achieves a goal they once thought impossible, it’s enormously gratifying. I never tire of watching clients apply themselves and over time, take flight.

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

My therapeutic approach is holistic, welcoming, and active. I strongly believe in the bi-directional nature of the mind-body relationship and strive to incorporate top-down (cognitive) and bottom-up (somatic) techniques into my sessions.

Why do you believe that psychotherapy can help?

I myself have benefited from psychotherapy, so I know it works on a personal level. On a professional level, I have seen its positive impact on many people. I think this is true because most human problems develop in the context of primary relationships. It makes sense that if problems start there, they can be explored and resolved there too. That’s what the therapeutic relationship is all about. As humans, we all need to be accepted, seen, and heard. Counseling sessions offer clients a safe space in which they can learn and experiment with new behaviors, thoughts, and outlooks on life. The lessons learned in sessions become templates of new experiences. These templates can then act as powerful touchstones to drive positive change in their outside relationships.

What are some of your specialties and what drew you to them?

My specialties are depression, anxiety, complex trauma, grief, and elder care issues. I was drawn to these by life experience.

What is one thing about psychotherapy you wish everyone knew?

I wish people knew that psychotherapy is for everyone! You don’t have to be struggling or “unwell” to come to therapy. Sometimes the support and problem solving ears that therapists’ offer are exactly what a person – any person – needs to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

What are your favorite self-care activities?

I like working with my hands, so I find jewelry making and pottery very therapeutic. I also love the outdoors, so I hike, bike and spend time with animals to ground and rejuvenate. I adore my friends and family, especially my nieces and nephews, and find playing with them magical. Last but not least, solo-travel to a new locale is one of my favorite ways to enjoy life and reset.