Meet Mary-Margaret Sweeney, MSW, LCSW, CST!
Mary-Margaret (she/her) is located in and licensed as a clinical social worker (LCSW) in the state of Indiana. She earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work and attended University of Michigan to earn her certificate in sex therapy and her certificate in sex education. After this post-graduate coursework, she completed 2 years of supervised sex therapy work, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Wood, and was then accepted for certification by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). A believer in lifelong education, she continues to attend case consultation monthly. Her training and clinical expertise include supporting LGBTQ+ / GSRD clients; transgender clients as they navigate sex and intimacy during transition; desire discrepancy in couples; assessment of sexual functioning concerns particularly in those assigned female at birth; helping sero-discordant couples navigate sexual intimacy; rebuilding sex and intimacy after sexual abuse and trauma, and supporting partners of trauma survivors. Her practice is informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Gottman couples work, and a lot of psycho- and sex education. She is a proud member of American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), and one of the few certified sex therapists in the state of Indiana. She currently serves the organization as the Indiana AASECT Member Section Head.
Mary-Margaret believes our sexuality to be an integral, foundational piece of ourselves that we all have a right to own, explore, share, and make meaning of. Doing this reclamation work is challenging, fighting against all of the cultural messages we receive from the time of our birth. In addition to the reverence for this intense work, almost 20 years of experience and education, Mary-Margaret also believes it is crucial to approach sexuality with a sense of pleasure, humor, and fun (see top photo from Museu d'Erotica in Barcelona!).
Mary-Margaret believes in the power of therapy to create life-sustaining practices that improve quality of life, in spite of the grief we face as marginalized community members, and anyone paying attention to the state of our world. She asks her clients to live with intention, working with them to create lives of meaning that are value-aligned and led. She believes in this approach due to her training and ongoing investment in research, and living her own life in this way. She does not believe in asking clients to do hard work she has not done or is not willing to do herself.
Before she opened her private practice, Mary-Margaret worked in various non-profits in Chicago and Indianapolis. She served victims of domestic violence, newly arrived refugees to the United States, and queer and homeless youth. Outside of running her therapy practice, Mary-Margaret is an obsessed reader, documentary watcher, referred to by her family as "Coffee Monster," and a lover of travel and living out of a 40 liter backpack for weeks at a time in foreign cities without an agenda. She often has her best treatment planning ideas while lifting weights at the gym or walking her dog, Goose. On an average weekend she is at home working on her old house, reading a book, cooking and canning food, hosting friends, going on adventures with the cellist/farmer with whom she shares her home, and being cozy.