Heidi Sommer McAlister, MSEd., LPCC
Heidi Sommer McAlister, MSEd., LPCC is a Professional Clinical Counselor and Consultant who holds a Masters of Science Degree in Counseling from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from The Ohio State University. She has been a member of the Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC), National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), C.G. Jung Association of Central Ohio (JACO) and has worked as an adjunct instructor for the UD's counseling program at Capital University. She also has served as a clinical advisor to the Central Ohio organization, Perinatal Outreach & Encouragement for Moms (POEM).
Heidi has presented to state, national, and international professional counseling and psychological associations on topics such as, Self-Care for Mothers, Postpartum Depression, Anxiety and Identity, Film & Mental Illness, The Rookie Years: Challenges, Surprises & Survival Skills for New Therapists, and Support Groups for Eating Disorders and is the author of noted thesis project, Reel Mental Health: The Diagnostic Film Companion ©.
Heidi began her professional career in the film and theater industry. She studied method acting for five years with Actor’s Studio members Julie Garfield and Katherine Cortez in Los Angeles, California. She also worked as a freelance casting director for several independent film projects. Method acting training involves developing ones senses, intuition and remaining emotionally present with another person. It also involves the ability to keenly observe and to ‘hear’ what is not being said out loud. Heidi became intrigued by the potential transferable nature of this type of performance training and pondered it’s applicability to the process of psychotherapy and began graduate work in counseling.
While pursuing her Master’s in counseling, Heidi worked as a senior administrator in the behavioral healthcare insurance industry and development director at the Center for Eating Disorders (Columbus, OH) where she was responsible for the fiscal viability of the Intensive Outpatient Program for Eating Disorders, clinical staff insurance contracting and rate negotiations. During this time, she also completed a specialized clinical internship in eating disorders supervised by Dr. Laura Hill and led a support group for Binge Eating.
Heidi has additional postgraduate training in the identification and treatment of Postpartum Depression and Mood Disorders. She completed private individual training at the Postpartum Stress Center (Philadelphia, PA) with executive director and author of ‘This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression’, Karen Kleiman, MSW. Heidi also completed clinical training in Perinatal Mood Disorders offered by Pec Indman, Ph.D., co-author of ‘Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression’.
Heidi provides client-centered, interpersonal counseling and consulting services to individuals and couples. Her areas of expertise include maternal well-being (Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, Identity)
emotional needs of gifted, talented and highly empathic people, disordered eating (Binge/Emotional Eating, Bulimia Nervosa)
, narcissism in the family system, fertility concerns, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, adjustment and life-transitions.
Heidi is experienced in working with a professional clientele and also those with intellectual interests in film, art, music, literature, education, philosophy and the like.
In her work with all clients, Heidi believes in the importance of finding, developing, and ultimately appreciating the unique, inherent, and valuable abilities in each of us. Her background in performing arts combined with business experience and clinical counseling education, offers clients a distinctive and convergent therapeutic experience.