Becca Adduci gives help to the hurting

"I truly believe that anyone can change and improve their life."

Becca Adduci gives help to the hurting

Written by: Julia Perla Huisman
November 19, 2018


It’s the most wonderful time of year? For some, not quite. Between the lack of sunlight and the stress of the holidays, our mental health can take a hit during this time of year. And for many, the struggle is year-round and can be severe at times. Thankfully, there are mental health specialists in our region who can give those hurting the help they need. One such specialist is Becca Adduci of Valparaiso. Adduci offers individual and family therapy, mindfulness and meditation classes, health and wellness workshops, and yoga classes.

The Griffith native hadn’t originally set out to do therapeutic work, but 20 years ago, after having gone through a breakup, she sought treatment and felt pulled to help others the way her therapist had helped her. Once she pursued the work, it came naturally to her. “Having faced the unexpected loss of my dad at a young age, and being an empath, I have been blessed with this gift—to be able to help others,” Adduci says.

After several years as a social worker in a hospital setting, Adduci set out to start her own private practice a little over a year ago. She now sees clients in a downtown Valpo studio made bright and calming with lots of windows and plant life. “I’m not your ‘typical’ therapist,” Adduci says. “I believe it’s a partnership, between me and my client, and I’m here to provide objective feedback, support, and assist them in meeting their goals, whatever they may be. My perspective is holistic in nature. I believe that every area of our life influences our mental health, so it’s important to look at all of it.”

Adduci has seen improvement in nearly all of her clients, but one in particular stands out. “One of the most dramatic changes was a man who had been struggling with severe depression,” she says.

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Becca Adduci is a Valparaiso-based therapist who uses a holistic approach to treating mental health.
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Becca Adduci is a Valparaiso-based therapist who uses a holistic approach to treating mental health.

It’s the most wonderful time of year? For some, not quite. Between the lack of sunlight and the stress of the holidays, our mental health can take a hit during this time of year. And for many, the struggle is year-round and can be severe at times. Thankfully, there are mental health specialists in our region who can give those hurting the help they need. One such specialist is Becca Adduci of Valparaiso. Adduci offers individual and family therapy, mindfulness and meditation classes, health and wellness workshops, and yoga classes.

The Griffith native hadn’t originally set out to do therapeutic work, but 20 years ago, after having gone through a breakup, she sought treatment and felt pulled to help others the way her therapist had helped her. Once she pursued the work, it came naturally to her. “Having faced the unexpected loss of my dad at a young age, and being an empath, I have been blessed with this gift—to be able to help others,” Adduci says.

After several years as a social worker in a hospital setting, Adduci set out to start her own private practice a little over a year ago. She now sees clients in a downtown Valpo studio made bright and calming with lots of windows and plant life. “I’m not your ‘typical’ therapist,” Adduci says. “I believe it’s a partnership, between me and my client, and I’m here to provide objective feedback, support, and assist them in meeting their goals, whatever they may be. My perspective is holistic in nature. I believe that every area of our life influences our mental health, so it’s important to look at all of it.”

Adduci has seen improvement in nearly all of her clients, but one in particular stands out. “One of the most dramatic changes was a man who had been struggling with severe depression,” she says.

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Adduci's bright, naturally lit studio overlooks Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso.

“He had lost a ton of weight, was unable to work, had paranoia, delusional thinking, and was essentially a shell of the hard-working, vibrant man his wife had described him being previously.” A prior therapist had told the client’s wife that he would likely never get better, but after having worked with Adduci for several months, “his symptoms of depression and anxiety subsided, he started eating again, and participating in life,” Adduci says. “He was able to go back to work full-time, and enjoy the things that he used to enjoy.

“I truly believe that anyone can change and improve their life,” she adds. “They just have to want to.”

As the national conversation about mental health has gained traction over the past few years, more people are seeking treatment for what ails them mentally. Adduci feels that there is still a stigma around mental health, “but I believe it has gotten better,” she says. “People seem more open to working on themselves and aren’t as afraid to go see someone to help them.”

Adduci herself has become more transparent about the anxiety and depression she has experienced in her own life. “I spent a lot of years not saying anything, fear of being vulnerable, of the stigma,” she says. “But because I feel very strongly about eradicating the stigma, it didn’t make sense that I would omit that from family, friends, and clients. We are all human, we all have flaws, make mistakes, and I think that my experiences with adversity make me good at what I do.  Not only can I relate on some level, but I like to think of my ‘story’ as hope for others.”

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Adduci's bright, naturally lit studio overlooks Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso.

“He had lost a ton of weight, was unable to work, had paranoia, delusional thinking, and was essentially a shell of the hard-working, vibrant man his wife had described him being previously.” A prior therapist had told the client’s wife that he would likely never get better, but after having worked with Adduci for several months, “his symptoms of depression and anxiety subsided, he started eating again, and participating in life,” Adduci says. “He was able to go back to work full-time, and enjoy the things that he used to enjoy.

“I truly believe that anyone can change and improve their life,” she adds. “They just have to want to.”

As the national conversation about mental health has gained traction over the past few years, more people are seeking treatment for what ails them mentally. Adduci feels that there is still a stigma around mental health, “but I believe it has gotten better,” she says. “People seem more open to working on themselves and aren’t as afraid to go see someone to help them.”

Adduci herself has become more transparent about the anxiety and depression she has experienced in her own life. “I spent a lot of years not saying anything, fear of being vulnerable, of the stigma,” she says. “But because I feel very strongly about eradicating the stigma, it didn’t make sense that I would omit that from family, friends, and clients. We are all human, we all have flaws, make mistakes, and I think that my experiences with adversity make me good at what I do.  Not only can I relate on some level, but I like to think of my ‘story’ as hope for others.”

Adduci shares some practical tips for those who may be struggling:

1. Talk to someone, anyone. Ask for help, reach out to a friend, a family member, or a professional. But don’t suffer in silence. You are not alone, even though it may feel like it.

2. Tune into your inner dialogue. How do you speak to yourself—are you a buddy or a bully? We all have a 24-hour conversation with ourselves, regardless if we are alone or with a crowd of people. Our language creates our reality, so if we are negative and hypercritical to self, we will be depressed and unhappy. Create awareness around this and then decide if it is hindering you, and come up with a plan to start shifting your thought process.

3. Engage in positive self-talk—or even just neutral. When you wake up in the morning, instead of saying to yourself, “Ugh…this is going to be a terrible day,” try saying, “This day is going to be challenging, but I know I can get through it. I will do the best that I can.”

4. Practice self-care and the ‘basics.’ Try to eat nutrient-dense food that will fuel your body and brain. Drink a lot of water. Sleep a minimum of 6 hours every night. Take naps and rest when you need to. Listen to your body. Do what you love, what feels good. Surround yourself with supportive people. Get outside, even when it is 20 degrees. We need fresh air and sunlight to make vitamin D, energize us, and regulate our circadian rhythm. Move your body, even if it is just light stretching, or chair exercises. Spend time alone with your thoughts. Practice loving kindness to others but also to self. Appreciate nature. Have faith in something larger than yourself.

5. Be you! Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are enough just as you are today.

6. Practice gratitude. Instead of looking at the things we don’t have, or the things in our life that aren’t going so well; notice the things that you do have, what is going well, and be grateful for the simple things.

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf

This story is sponsored by Becca Adduci, LCSW.