Maria E. Barelli, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Learn more about me

I didn’t intend on being a therapist. When I graduated from college the plan was to go to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in political science. Instead a very kind but very frank professor told me “You will not get into graduate school with your grades and GRE scores.” Needless to say I was devastated. I spent the next 5 years a little lost and unsure of who I was or what I wanted. This is why I can relate to many of my clients who feel lost and confused.

I found myself working in a bank as a personal banker. I wasn’t really interested in selling bank products like car loans, credit cards or checking accounts. It turned out I was really good at helping people understand how to manage their money. I talked to my customers about avoiding overdraft fees and the importance of having a savings account. I discovered I was providing counseling and doing social work.

I went to social work school and studied clinical social work which prepared me to be a therapist.

I tell my clients “It’s ok to feel a little lost.” I had to survive my disappointment in order to realize my true calling. I love being a therapist.

It’s an honor to witness my clients grow. I teach my clients tools so they can empower themselves to create change in their lives. And my clients teach me things all the time.

Coming to therapy for the first time may seem awkward and uncomfortable. You may ask yourself  “What do I talk about? What if I am judged? Is there something really wrong with me that I have to go to therapy? Maybe I don’t need help. Maybe I need to suck it up and get over it”.