Jo-Ann Cook

Jo-Ann Cook, LCSW

Clinical Director

Jo-Ann Cook

Jo-Ann Cook, LCSW

Clinical Director

As Clinical Director of Borden Cottage, Jo-Ann brings strong clinical acumen, leadership and compassion to her work, which spans more than four decades in the field of mental health. Jo-Ann has been an integral part of the team since 2015, providing individual, group and family therapy, while also spearheading the Mindfulness and Art Therapy programs. She offers invaluable expertise in the evaluation and treatment of a wide range of complex diagnoses, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Addiction, Mood and Personality Disorders.

Jo-Ann moved to Maine in 1977, and began her career as a social worker in 1979. Graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in 1988, Jo-Ann has dedicated her 36 year private practice career to working with individuals, couples and families, children and adults. The backbone of her practice is the firm belief that healing takes place in the context of relationship and connection. “Family-integrated and trauma-informed care is essential to our work at Borden, healing relationships that have been fractured by addiction. Our interventions aim to provide optimal support for the family system. These are the building blocks to ensure a life in recovery.”

Jo-Ann has extensive experience in the design, implementation and oversight of specialized mental health services, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has maintained contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Corrections to provide evaluation and treatment to individuals and families who have been impacted by trauma and adverse childhood experiences. She has provided comprehensive forensic evaluations and expert testimony in Maine courts. Having served as a Field Instructor in the University of Maine School of Social Work, MSW program, Jo-Ann is firmly committed to training future clinicians.

Jo-Ann’s commitment to mental health advocacy extends beyond her clinical practice. She is dedicated to increasing public awareness and reducing stigma about mental health, addiction and trauma. She provides workshops, trainings, and has founded nonprofit organizations supporting this effort. As a former Commissioner and Co-Chair of the Maine Family Law Advisory Commission, she has played a crucial role in advising the Maine legislative and judicial branches on the complexities of mental health, thus influencing substantial legislative reforms.

Central to her therapeutic approach is Mindfulness, an evidence-based practice which cultivates attention and awareness, or what she calls “everyday neuroscience.” “When our residents understand the intricacies of the human mind, the science of addiction, and the science of meditation, they undergo a profound transformation and liberation from the constraints of the addictive mind. Mindfulness is a powerful practice for leading a life aligned with our values. Integrating this understanding into a sustained mindfulness practice cultivates empowerment, choice and well-being.”

Jo-Ann has been pivotal in optimizing art therapy as a critical component within the healing journey at Borden. “By creating a safe and nurturing environment, residents are invited to engage in the process of making art. Resourced with expressive materials and therapeutic support, they tap in to their inherent creativity to access the ‘raw material’ of the mind, fostering healing, self awareness and self expression.This is where the transformative journey unfolds. This is where the magic happens.”  Jo-Ann’s passion and unwavering commitment to the well-being of our residents is abundantly evident. “At Borden Cottage, it is such a privilege to be a part of this team of highly competent and compassionate colleagues who are firmly dedicated to the health of the individuals and families that we serve. The healing we witness is profound.”

When not on the Borden Cottage campus, Jo-Ann can be found building, stone work, rowing, kayaking, making art, volunteering, and enjoying all of the wondrous beauty that midcoast Maine has to offer.