“It is what it is.”
Heather Colligan is a Marriage and Family Therapist and the Program Director of the Residential Mental Health program at Visions. She specializes in working with the entire family system. She likes to use a variety of interventions ranging from cognitive-behavioral to Jungian practices using imagery. She is also trained in Brainspotting, a body-brain based treatment to address trauma and healing. Her experience at Visions is extensive in treating LGBTQ+ adolescents, depression, anxiety, trauma, adolescents on the autism spectrum, substance abuse, and a variety of issues facing adolescents. Parent coaching is a huge part of the work she does here. She also teaches the monthly Family Intensive Program at Visions, helping parents to explore their own family-of-origin issues and needs for healing as a means of helping to make the whole family healthier.
Heather began working at Visions in 2003, helping to launch outpatient services as the first Clinical Director at the Intensive Outpatient Program and school, before joining the residential program beginning at the Dual Diagnosis house. Before joining Visions, Heather worked in psychiatric hospitals, treating both adolescents and adults. Teaching high school in San Diego for years prior was a good segue to her calling as a therapist working with adolescents.
Heather remains passionate about teaching others how to live a more joyful and authentic life. Her joy in learning new things is part of what makes her an effective therapist. Heather brings hope, combined with humor and honesty, to the therapeutic journey and laughs at herself often as a way of embracing our humanness and reminding us that we can always learn new ways of being. A great success for Heather is seeing the number of alumni who end up working at Visions as frontline staff or even counselors. Heather says that hearing from families from far in the past also is a reminder of the powerful work here at Visions and the honor she feels she is given to walk the path with them on their journey.
In her life outside work, you can find Heather sitting in a lawn chair or in the bleachers watching her young son play sports; hanging with friends, family, and pets; or sneaking off for a quick weekend ski trip.