Psychotherapist Maureen O’Connell, LCMHC

About Maureen


I have always been an empathetic people person, passionate about understanding others’ stories. Dreaming of becoming a therapist since seventh grade, I thrive on connecting with people, uncovering what makes them unique, and addressing the challenges they face. I have been a therapist since 2004, licensed in North Carolina since 2008 (LCMHC #7187) and have had my own practice since 2012. As the founder of Best Self Virtual Therapy (2023), I am living my dream. As an attentive, caring, compassionate listener and problem solver, I specialize in helping individuals navigate the complexities of anxiety, stress, depression, adjustment and trauma disorders, alongside everyday and toxic relationship and family concerns.

My Expertise

Anxiety and Stress Expertise

My expertise in Anxiety Disorders – including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, and Panic – comes from 20 years of experience. This extensive background has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of these disorders, despite their varied manifestations, and revealed a common mindset among sufferers. Many individuals with Anxiety mistakenly believe their anxious thoughts and patterns are unique, yet they share common tendencies such as a high need for control, perfectionism, and an over-responsibility for others, leading to what I term “Head Living.” I also address serious issues like perfectionism and over-caretaking, helping clients find a balance between caring for others and themselves.

The “Bad Anxiety Club”

The “Bad Anxiety Club” represents a concept born from my own experiences and professional observations, highlighting a community of individuals who share common fears and experiences, including a perpetual “what if?” voice, a need for control, high standards of perfectionism, and a tendency to prioritize others’ happiness over their own. As a former member and now a recovering “Imperfectionist,” I offer a pathway out of the club, helping clients transition from survival mode to thriving. By increasing self-awareness around anxiety patterns and teaching how to manage anxious thoughts and confront fears, therapy facilitates a journey from stressed and anxious living to a peaceful, confident state, where one can truly enjoy the present moment.

Relationship Expertise

Navigating relationship struggles requires understanding and adjusting the dynamics from both one’s family of origin and current family relationships. My experience has shown that all clients have at least one relationship that needs attention and care. Through therapy, I assist clients in healing these dynamics and “pivoting” towards healthier relationships, enhancing their ability to manage and improve their interpersonal connections effectively.

Expertise with Other Mental Health Disorders

Individuals suffering from mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, or personality disorders—including narcissism and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder—often struggle to seek assistance. This can be due to a lack of energy or awareness about their condition. For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) might acknowledge their issues by saying, “I know I’m crazy,” or “My family believes I have a problem, and I agree.” In contrast, someone with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may be in denial, believing their need for control is justified and expecting others to adapt to their methods.

My Story of Freedom From Anxiety and Becoming Perfectly Imperfect

As a high achiever from a successful family and a busy mom of four, I relate 100% to anxiety, feeling frantic, head living, and not being able to enjoy the moment. I also know what it’s like to frequently feel like a failure due to unachievable sky-high standards with everything from parenting to what to wear. In 2010, after the birth of my third child, I had to confront the truth that I had perfection syndrome that was causing inordinate stress and was in the way of my happiness.

After a lot of self-awareness and efforts to change, I now consider myself to be a recovering perfectionist and have happily dropped my anxious ways. I share with my clients my journey of becoming an “imperfectionist”: Someone who is a pro at being imperfect. I have kept the good parts, including my high ambition, and I’m still successful, but without the pressure and stress of the bad parts of the syndrome.

I truly know what it’s like to have freedom from anxiety, to go from surviving to thriving, and to feel content with my efforts amidst inevitable mistakes. I live my life peacefully, enjoying the moments, even the difficult, not-so-perfect ones. Of course, I still have “moments of frantic stress” but I’m able to quickly recover my peace.

My goal each day is present living, to be my healthiest best self, and to live my best life.

My Mission

I’m passionate about helping people with their mental health so they can become their Best Self and live their best life.


I studied Psychology at Arizona State University and went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Counseling at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. I have been working as a Psychotherapist since 2004, primarily in private practice, and have extensive experience treating all mental health concerns and psychological disorders. I have been licensed in North Carolina since 2008 (LCMHC, #7187) and have extensive training in Exposure Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness-based coping skills

Areas of Expertise:

  • Anxiety: General, OCD, Panic Attacks, Social, Perfectionism
  • Stress and burnout
  • Toxic Relationships / Emotional Abuse
  • Trauma / PTSD

Additional Specialty Areas:

  • Addictions: Work, Sex
  • Depression: General, Post-Partum
  • ADHD