TIPS016: Opening Doors Without Keys with Jill McMahon

TIPS015: The Good Adoptee with Suzanne Bachner
August 23, 2017
TIPS017: The Scars that Leave a Roadmap with Rachel Brummert
August 29, 2017

TIPS016: Opening Doors Without Keys with Jill McMahon

Jill McMahon, a licensed professional counselor, works as a suicide grief specialist in Phoenix, Arizona. She has specialized in working with Survivors of Suicide, facilitating support groups, and working with Survivors individually for over sixteen years. She can also be found providing suicide prevention presentations and trainings around the community, as well as speaking about Survivors of Suicide nationally and internationally. Jill is passionate about, and has dedicated her life’s work to working with those bereaved by suicide. To blow off steam and create balance Jill teaches indoor cycling classes, listens to loud music, and indulges on cookie dough regularly.

Click to tweet: Jill McMahon shares her incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project Show!

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Time Stamped Notes

  • 6.37 When Jill was 6 years old, she experienced trauma when she and her mother were car jacked and kidnapped
  • 8.10 Jill only began dealing with the emotional effects of her childhood trauma while studying in her graduate counseling and then again in her 30s
  • 9.08 Jill began seeing a counselor for the effects of her trauma while in her 30s and at first felt like a fraud for both not seeing a counselor in the first place, and then not having seen a counselor for the trauma until her 30s
  • 9.27 Jill feels that her childhood trauma and then being treated for it makes her a better counselor
  • 13.35 Jill feels that one is not a good counselor if they don’t deal with their own issues
  • 18.35 Part of Jill’s treatment for her childhood trauma is known as EMDR, the same kind of treatment many soldiers get when coming home from battle
  • 19.32 Jill and Josh discuss the similarities between EMDR and playing the piano and indoor cycling/spinning, because all require hand-eye coordination
  • 20.40 There are many forms of mental health treatment, not just medication
  • 26.06 If someone made a movie of Jill’s life, it would be Meg Ryan (find out more fun facts about Jill during the Quick Fire Round)

Key Points

  • Even behind a person’s “perfect” white-picket-fence lies some kind of secret, or trauma, or something that would be considered “less than perfect.”
  • Even physicians and clinicians (mental health practitioners included) need both medicaland mental health treatment and it doesn’t make them “less than” for seeking that help
  • We have a choice as to how we frame any situation “good” or “bad”

Resources or Websites Mentioned

Jill’s counseling private practice website:

Jill is an author in The i’Mpossible Project’s Lemonade Stand: