Psychotherapist

micheleValues and Philosophy

Each client has his or her own unique story that needs to be listened to with attentiveness and reflected upon thoughtfully. In this way, treatment can be tailored so that it honors the client’s journey, goals and circumstances. Above all, I try to help facilitate a client’s full development of talents, abilities, ambitions and ideals. Psychotherapy enhances our best selves and allows us to be mindful of and work with our darker places from a standpoint of self- compassion, awareness and responsibility. My goal for clients is, in the words of Francis de Sales, “Be who you are and be that well.”

Psychotherapy

It’s daunting to pick up the phone and make the call for the first psychotherapy appointment. As such, I recognize and honor the courage and vulnerability that is necessary to engage in thoughtful therapy that develops insight and results in positive change. For some, progress is swift and obvious; for others, time is necessary to understand life patterns and their causes. I make a commitment to each client to see them through the process and provide support, interpretation and appropriate empathic challenge. Together we work so that clients enhance their self-sufficiency and reduce internal conflicts.

While I use an integrative approach to therapy, my main lens is a psychoanalytic one, informed by the work of Sandor Firenczi, Donald Winnicott and Melanie Klein. I also have an over-arching interest in spirituality (in its broadest definition) and meaning making. I believe that all of us seek to have lives that matter to ourselves and live lives that make a difference to others. Psychotherapy can be critical in helping us achieve these very human and attainable aspirations. Where applicable, I use client dreams to help further identify issues that might be unconscious and may benefit by being brought to light. I am in training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and this allows for an appreciation of the body-mind connection in psychotherapeutic work.

I also strive to bring mindfulness to my practice, helping clients develop a less reactive, more focused and engaged way of living. Using the tools of mindfulness, we begin to see the beauty and goodness in life, even when these may have been hidden from us previously. As a result, we can develop a quiet, yet perceptible confidence and tenderness for ourselves and others.

Education and Experience

I received a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University/Chicago and completed the certificate program in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy from the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy in Newton, MA. My clinical internship was at Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center in Skokie, IL, where I worked with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples who represented a wide range of cultures, mental health issues and family structures. I have been a staff therapist at Turning Point, the CG Jung Center in Evanston, IL, and Samaritan Counseling Centers in Arlington Heights, IL and Evanston. I am currently enrolled in the second year of the Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Range of Focus
  • Individual adult counseling
  • Adjustment to life transitions, including job, relationship and mid-life issues
  • Professional burnout/compassion fatigue
  • Mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorders)
  • Anxiety
  • Couples counseling
  • Grief/bereavement/loss
  • Chronic illness/chronic pain
Degrees

MA in Pastoral Counseling – Loyola University/Chicago, Institute of Pastoral Studies – 2012
DVM – University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine - 1994
BS in Journalism – Northwestern University, Evanston, IL – 1975

Contact Information
Contact image

1300 W. Belmont, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60657

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773-880-1310 ext. 7256