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Mark Farrell O'Brien 

Mental Health & Addiction Expert


 Chicago's leading counselor specialized in helping young men ages 18-35 and their families 

I specialize in counseling young men in transition who struggle with a variety of mental health issues such as substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, bipolar disorder, and ADHD. 


My professional experiences have honed my skill at instilling hope in young men whose lives have veered of track because of mental health, alcohol or drug-related problems.  My approach is genuine, compassionate, nonjudgmental and solution-focused with a determination to get you the results you seek.


Typically, young men come into counseling because they feel stuck, unmotivated or overwhelmed. As a result, they may turn to unhealthy or addictive behaviors to cope with the problems and uncertainty in their life. Parents at this point may feel at the end of their rope and need the help of a neutral third party to help their child. 

My commitment is to align with young men to help them to discover a sense or purpose in their life. I place a high priority on family involvement in the therapeutic process as well. In a supportive relationship, I teach young men how to cope with stressors in new ways, to stop the negative consequences caused by drug use, to cultivate healthy relationships and to redefine a new lifestyle.  

I would be honored to talk with you about how we can work together to make lasting changes in your life.

My Approach to Counseling 

Together we will create a personal development plan that can transform a wish into a reality. It is your life. You know what is right for you. I am only here to guide you in the process. I will help you to clarify what is important to you as you gain more insight into where and why you are stuck.


My solution-focused approach will empower you to leave sessions with the next steps.  I will help you live more fully in the moment, worry less about the future and not feel so sad about the past. New strategies will assist you to tolerate uncomfortable feelings, to be more effective in relationships and to improve interactions with your family. Working together, you will learn new ways to regulate your emotions so you can feel more comfortable in your own skin.


We will find ways that encourage you to connect with support outside my office, and for those in recovery, we will customize your recovery program to help you to stay sober or to reduce the negative consequences caused by your alcohol or drug use. You can expect structure, support and accountability in our work together.

How do I know what I know about counseling and young men? 

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  • Mental Health & Substance Abuse Counselor, O'Brien Counseling Services, 2011-present

  • Opioid Support Group Facilitator, Kushner Medical Practice, 2013-present

  • Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate, Behavioral Health Service Center, 2013

  • Mental Health & Substance Abuse Counselor, Hinsdale Behavioral Health Clinic, 2013-2014

  • Primary Addiction Counselor, New Hope Recovery Center, 2012-2013

  • Case Manager and Crisis Counselor, Columbia College Chicago, 2007-2012

  • Dean of Students Crisis Intervention Team, Columbia College Chicago, 2007-2012

  • Campus Security Threat Assessment Team, Columbia College Chicago, 2007-2012

  • College Counseling Center Intern, Lewis University, 2006-2007

  • College Career Counseling Intern, Indiana-Purdue University (IUPUI), 2005-2006

  • Masters of Science in Counseling, Indiana University, 2005-2007

  • AmeriCorps College Recruitment Manager, City Year New York, 2004-2005

  • AmeriCorps Team Leader, City Year Chicago, 2003-2004

  • Parent Involvement in Education Intern, United States Department of Education, 2002

  • Summer Sports Camp Director, Town of DeWitt, 1999-2002

  • Teen Center Staff Member, Village of East Syracuse, 1997-1999

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