About Lori O’Mara, MSS, LCSW
Therapist / Licensed Clinical Social Worker
My Approach to Therapy
My name is Lori O’Mara (formerly Lori Kovell). I work with you to identify areas of distress and create goals to work through those stress points. I’m with you on the journey and feel honored to be present amidst your bravery. I’m here to provide support during difficult times and celebrate your successes. My goal is to meet you where you are at, in any given moment.
Education / Background
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elmira College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Human Services. Prior to graduating I spent two years volunteering through Compeer, a mentorship program aimed to provide social support to individuals affected by a mental health diagnosis. Additionally, during my undergraduate studies, I choose to study abroad for five semesters; I wanted to better understand the influence of culture, religion and ideologies different than my own.
While abroad I worked in a Mexican orphanage, volunteered to clean Hawaii’s national parks, served as a mentor to Qatari college students and worked at a national organization known as Clubhouse in Australia. At Clubhouse I worked alongside members, job coaching and skill-building. I gained an appreciation for the Clubhouse program because it removed the stigma intertwined with mental illness, focusing on the strengths of each member, not their illness.
After graduating from Elmira College, I moved to Philadelphia, PA, continuing employment with the Clubhouse organization. In 2006 I enrolled in graduate studies at Bryn Mawr College, graduating with a Master of Social Services (MSS) in 2008. Shortly after completing my graduate coursework at Bryn Mawr College, I started to work for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) where I stayed for 9 years.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), I was a valuable member of the Mind-Body Medicine Department, providing counseling to individuals and couples. My area of expertise quickly became stress management, intimacy concerns/sexual dysfunction, couples counseling, sleep hygiene, chronic disease management and end-of-life concerns, in addition navigating the ins and outs of cancer treatment.
As a Mind-Body Medicine Therapist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), I started journaling groups where people could explore and share their emotional and psychological experience of being diagnosed with cancer. I provided weekly Stress Management classes to patients and caregivers, as I recognized the benefits of deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness to be endlessly valuable for stressed out families and chronic pain sufferers. Recognizing the value in providing stress management techniques to patients and caregivers, I frequently offered workshops to employees at CTCA on the benefits of stress reduction and self-care.
My most memorable experiences were my therapy sessions. Each day I looked forward to the one on one time I had with a particular patient, spouse or caregiver. Over the years I helped people cope better with their feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, fear, sense of hopelessness, sexual health concerns and guilt in addition to balancing the everyday stressors that continue as part of life while navigating cancer treatment. Energized by these experiences, I started a Sexual Health and Wellness Program to give patients and caregivers a safe place to discuss the changes, concerns and challenges in their sex life, as a result of cancer. I also closely collaborated with our Palliative Care Team to address the significant symptom burden that commonly develops as a result of managing a chronic illness, while helping patients discuss goals of care.
In my free time, I enrolled in several local classes and post graduate certificate programs to develop professionally. I received a Level I Certificate from the Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Depression, Anxiety and Suicidality. I then earned a second certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from Bryn Mawr College. I also hold a Level I trauma certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.
After nine years in oncology and 12 years in managed care, I launched my private practice, Cope Better Therapy. With a specialization in oncology and a passion for providing conscientious and compassionate counseling, I want my services to be available in the Philadelphia community.
If you are having a difficult time managing sadness, guilt, sense of hopelessness, fears, concerns and anxieties or are struggling to make sense of a recent change in your life, I’m available to provide support. I welcome you to complete the FREE consultation form. We can start the journey together and see where it leads.
I’m looking forward to meeting you.