Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor

Joanna300 openedValues and Philosophy

I believe each of us have developed skills throughout our lives that have helped us to cope in difficult situations and have allowed us to continue functioning in the world even when faced with adversity. At times, the skills we have long depended on are not always enough to allow us to function as well as we could be. When we are in crisis or unable to cope with external stressors, when we experience symptoms of depression or anxiety, or when we feel hopeless or misunderstood - these are the times when we most benefit from receiving support and validation from someone else. I see my role in the therapeutic relationship as someone who is there to help by not only listening, but by hearing, witnessing, validating, and understanding.

The therapeutic relationship involves exploration, collaboration and trust. What we explore and collaborate on will vary based on each person's individual needs and treatment goals; however, trust is the one constant in every clinical relationship and it is established through consistency, dependability and the creation of a healthy clinical relationship. This will be the foundation of the work we do together. Trust will be the catalyst for you to begin to gain a better understanding of the challenges you have faced. It will also allow you to explore more effective ways of coping, gain resiliency, learn to make healthier choices, increase self-awareness and most importantly, to be empowered to live a happy, healthy life.

Psychotherapy

I use an integrative approach to therapy, meaning I incorporate different approaches and interventions based on my client's individual needs. I typically apply a strengths-based, trauma-informed lens to assess each person's experiences and strengths and explore how these have shaped his/her/their understanding of the self and the world. I also believe in the use of mindfulness techniques and the creative process to promote grounding and allow each person the opportunity to explore individual strengths, gain insight, and instill a sense of empowerment. My role throughout this process will be to provide a safe, non-judgmental space that will allow you to reflect on your experiences and receive feedback, validation and support and help you to live an authentic life.

I provide individual, couples and family therapy services to children, adolescents and adults, and specialize in the treatment of anxiety and depression. I frequently rely on my training in EMDR and art therapy modalities, in conjunction with a DBT and CBT informed approach. Although there is a structure and basis for my approach to therapy, there are different ways to incorporate this approach into treatment. Therefore, our early work together will be spent identifying your individual needs and goals, as well as exploring various treatment methods. Because therapy is a partnership, we will collaborate throughout this process to find what feels most comfortable for you.

Education and Experience

I earned my master's degree in art therapy from Florida State University in 2006. As part of my education, I completed three practicums, each of which varied in terms of client presentation and needs and therefore allowed me to explore the versatility of utilizing art therapy with different populations and to address unique treatment needs.

Following graduate school, I worked for over 10 years as a trauma-focused art therapist and counselor providing individual, group and family therapy services to children, adolescents and adults who had experienced simple and complex traumas, including being involved with the child welfare system, experiencing abuse and neglect, coping with grief and loss and dealing with issues related substance abuse. I worked primarily at non-profits and in community mental health facilities, including Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Streamwood Behavioral Health Hospital, One Hope United and Community Counseling Centers of Chicago. In addition to providing clinical services, I have also provided education and training regarding the impact of trauma on the brain and the use of art therapy and EMDR to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memory. I offer a variety of treatment methods, including art therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and cognitive behavioral therapy, all of which inform my current clinical practice. Below I have included links to websites for several of these modalities to provide additional information and answer any questions you may have.

Each of these experiences and training opportunities have not only contributed to my clinical skills, but have also helped me to better understand the importance of remaining open to the use of different modalities to best meet the needs of the people I work with.

EMDR: https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
DBT: http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
Art Therapy: http://arttherapy.org/upload/whatisarttherapy.pdf

Range of Focus
  • Trauma Recovery
  • Art therapy
  • EMDR
  • Mind/body connection
  • Affirmative Practice with LGBTQ Individuals and families
  • Children, Adolescents and Adults
  • Separation
  • Grief and Loss
  • Parenting
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-Esteem
  • Relationship issues
Degrees and Certifications

MS in Art Therapy from Florida State University 2006
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, 2011
Registered Art Therapist, 2010
Completed training in EMDR, June 2015

Office Hours

Monday 11:00am-9:00pm (Belmont)
Tuesday 11:00am-9:00pm (Belmont)
Thursday 1:00pm-9:00pm (Belmont)
Friday 1:00pm-9:00pm (Belmont)
Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm (Downtown)

Contact Information
Contact image

1300 W. Belmont, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60657

30 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 508
Chicago, IL 60602

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773-880-1310 ext. 7271