Julia O'Donnell

Julia O'Donnell

Professions: Clinical Social Worker, Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.


399 Boylston St
Boston, Massachusetts 02116

My Approach to Helping

Beginning therapy is a brave step. Finding a therapist who is a good match for you is an important first step in creating the life changes that you want to see. I will offer you a warm and safe place to explore whatever concerns you may have.

My therapeutic approach is eclectic; I utilize the theory and tools of multiple different models to customize your treatment. I will individualize my work with you in order to meet your specific goals and honor your unique experience. I will rely on your feedback to guide our time together. My intention is for you to finish each session with confidence that the time was well spent.

In therapy, we will evaluate your life values and create goals, so that you can live life well, even in the presence of challenges. I will integrate psychodynamic (insight-oriented) and behavioral (skills-based) theories to offer you a comprehensive approach to health. As a yoga instructor, I also incorporate the body-mind-spirit connection to improve mental health concerns.

I look forward to talking with you more about how therapy can be helpful.

More Info About My Practice

I provide individual, couples and family therapy to adults and adolescents. Areas of specialty include relational concerns, college counseling, difficulty with transitions, women's issues (including postpartum depression, miscarriage, body image, familyparenting), trauma, anxiety, depression, sexual functioning and identity, and mood dysregulation. Other specific training includes Sex Therapy, Couples' Counseling, and Family Therapy.

On the Fence About Going to Therapy?

Feeling uncertain, or even anxious, about starting therapy makes sense. Therapy is a vulnerable process in which we will explore areas of your life that may creating discomfort, challenge and sometimes trauma. I believe that discussing these concerns honestly and empathetically is an important part of the therapeutic process.

Many clients, who are unsure about starting therapy, find it helpful to know what to expect prior and during a first appointment. Before scheduling a first session, I offer a free phone consultation to address any questions or concerns you may have about beginning therapy with me, including fees, insurance and coverage, my approach to helping, as well as my background and specialties. I will email you initial client paperwork, if you would like to complete this in advance. I want you to feel as comfortable as possible before making an appointment.

During a first session, we will have time to get to know one another and decide if we are a good match to meet your specific needs and goals. I will ask you questions about the concerns that are bringing you to therapy, and I will also ask some questions about your family and background. I like to understand my clients as whole people, involved in relationships, communities, careers, etc. You are also welcome to ask me questions as we talk. Toward the end of our session, I will offer you my initial impressions and some thoughts about how we might begin our work together. Then you will have the opportunity to give me some feedback about how the session was for you. If it is a good match, then we will discuss the next steps in your therapy.

Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed

Although the stigma associated with mental health care is beginning to decrease, many people mistakenly adhere to the notion that therapy is for the weak. I passionately believe that therapy is for the brave and courageous individuals, who dare to hope that change is possible, that love and belonging are worth pursuing, and that beauty exists in the strangest places and people. So, I personally invite you to take a journey into your own story. This journey involves the gritty work of confronting painful emotions, examining unhelpful patterns or relationships, and evaluating any dissonance between life values and recurrent behavior. More importantly this journey involves joy-seeking, awareness-building, and life-affirming steps toward wholehearted living.

Ages I Work With

  • Teens
  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    LGBTQ, College students, Survivors of abuse

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Sexuality / Sex Therapy
  • Women's Issues
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

See other therapists in Boston, MA.

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