Margaret Rissman

Ph: 608-255-9330 x 8109

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My goal as a therapist is to help you and your children maximize your contentment and joy in life by functioning successfully in the world, without excessive anxiety and depression. My approach to therapy is practical, down-to-earth, and solution-oriented. It is a joy to encourage children, college students, and parents to grow and evolve into competent, knowledgeable, emotionally healthy beings who are a pleasure to be with. I also work with older adults seeking to maximize life in later years.

Children and Adolescents
• Individual and family therapy
• Children as young as 3 years
• Anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem
• Divorce issues
• Healing from abuse including sexual abuse
• Family reconciliation following abuse or estrangement

• Family and individual therapy, both children and parents
• Parent coaching for divorce
• Parent mediation
• Family reconciliation during and after divorce
• Collaborative divorce, coach and child specialist
• High conflict divorce

Young Adults and College Students
Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship issues
• Learning to live and thrive with introversion

Older Adults

  • Maximizing the remaining years of life
  • Reconciliation with adult children
  • Finding happiness in the midst of loss

Sexual Abuse, all ages
My therapeutic approach is eclectic and most closely resembles Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In my 30 years as a developmental psychologist, I have evolved a combination individual-and-family therapy method that effectively teaches children to calm and self-soothe, working themselves through their fears and sadness. At the same time, the family learns to listen and talk to each other with respect and good will, while moving toward mutual understanding and mutually agreeable solutions to problems.

I recently relocated to Madison, Wisconsin to be near my children and grandchildren. My professional career was interrupted by being a stay-at-home mom for seven years; my time as a parent and grandparent is what I like to call my “field experience.”

My calming, low-key style works well with families in divorce also, including high conflict divorce. In St. Louis, I was long referred families by divorce attorneys and the courts for family therapy, focusing on the children’s emotional health. I have much experience coaching and mediating parents through their divorce. I have been trained as a coach and child specialist in collaborative divorce.

In addition, I have 11 years of college counseling, helping young adults with anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, and relationship issues. I feel particular sympathy for introverted young people who struggle to feel worthy in a culture that so values extroversion.

Education: My doctorate and master’s degrees in developmental psychology were from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Psychology. I did my undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University, where I graduated valedictorian, magna cum laude. 

Professional Organizations: