Sarah Buino, LCSW, RDDP, CADC, CDWF, NMT (she/her) is a speaker, teacher, therapist and the founder of Head/Heart Therapy — a thriving and respected group practice in Chicago. She is a licensed clinical social worker, registered dual diagnosis professional, certified alcohol and other drug counselor, Certified Daring WayTM facilitator, and NARM Master Therapist, and holds a master’s degree from Loyola University in Chicago.
For more than a decade, Sarah has applied her social work skills supporting individuals, groups, helping professionals, and organizations with issues such as wellness for therapists, shame, antiracism, and trauma. Sarah founded Head/Heart Therapy in 2014 and it quickly grew into an important resource both in Chicago and nationally.
Sarah is also the creator, host and producer of the podcast Conversations with a Wounded Healer, which examines the parallel path of helping professionals of all types as they heal themselves, while supporting their clients. Interviewing prominent guests such as Lissa Rankin, Laurence Heller, Hillary McBride, Sera Beak, Sarah holds intimate and authentic conversations that inspire, educate and entertain listeners. Addressing a wide range of topics from spirituality to antiracism, she invites helping professionals to step into their own healing with courage.
In 2019, Sarah helped launch the podcast Transforming Trauma by The NARM Training Institute and served as the host for the first two years, interviewing leading trauma experts such as Gabor Maté, Dick Schwartz, and Veronique Meade, educating listeners on the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), a revolutionary approach for healing Complex Trauma (C-PTSD) and restoring connection to self and others.
Sarah has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Loyola University’s School of Social Work since 2015 and Fordham University from 2019-2020. She is committed to supporting the newest generation of social workers to become passionate about and competent in working with substance use disorders.
Sarah has been recognized by National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Illinois as an Emerging Leader (2017); the Illinois Association of Addiction Professionals as a Rising Star (2018); and by Sierra Tucson with its Gratitude for Giving Humility Award (2014).
Sarah is energized by helping other therapists and therapeutic organizations. Her clinical work supports helping professionals heal from trauma and shame, enhance resilience, and create a space for self-knowledge and growth. Sarah also integrates her knowledge of adjunct healing modalities and mystical practices such as music, yoga, reiki, tarot, astrology and the chakra system into her clinical practice to help clients enhance connection with their authentic selves. She is trained in a variety of therapy modalities including: NARM (neuro-affective relational model), sensorimotor psychotherapy, comprehensive energy psychology, experiential therapy, and shame-resilience.
A born performer from an early age, Sarah shared the stage with her mother, a professional singer. Sarah continues to sing in local Chicago bands and has utilized her musical skills, developing interventions for addiction treatment centers. Sarah is passionate about being the best version of herself, and is committed to daily meditation and spiritual practice. She also loves tattoos and changing her hair color often. Sarah finds joy and rest playing with her 10-pound chihuahua mix, Batman.
You can reach Sarah by email at email@example.com.
Rayell Grayson, LCPC, CADC (she/her) is a licensed clinical professional counselor and a certified addictions counselor. She holds a Master’s of Arts degree in clinical counseling psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Rayell specializes in: substance abuse/addiction, complex PTSD, trauma/racial trauma, cultural/racial identity development, life adjustments/transitions, stress management, mood disorders, anxiety, relational complications, domestic and sexual violence, low self-esteem/self-worth struggles, women’s issues, and health/wellness concerns. Rayell is currently holding space and centering her work around those who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigeous, and People of Color).
Rayell has spent eight years working with adolescents and adults from diverse cultural backgrounds and who struggle with various life complications. Rayell is deeply passionate about holding space for others and believes that every person deserves to be their authentic self, live in their truth, and enjoy healthier interactions and connections within their relationships. She offers a genuine sense of compassion for any challenges faced and works collaboratively with her clients in a warm, caring and calm environment where they can feel safe, supported, and open to share their experiences in a compassionate space. Rayell views therapy as an opportunity to cultivate a collaborative relationship with her clients, while centering connection, exploration, validation, and growth. She empowers clients to identify their strengths and increase self-acceptance by inviting curiosity into the therapy space.
Rayell utilizes an approach that is eclectic, strength based, empathetic, playful and relational. Rayell genuinely believes that talking to someone about your worries and concerns is something that we all can benefit from when faced with life’s changes, challenges and obstacles. Currently, she is training to become a NARM (NeuroAffective Relational Model) therapist, which is a trauma model that supports those who have experienced complex/developmental trauma.
In her spare time, Rayell loves traveling the globe and immersing herself in new cultures. When she’s not traveling, she can be found enjoying fun events in Chicago – especially outdoor festivals and concerts. Rayell also enjoys playing intramural softball, rooftop yoga, volunteering, cooking new recipes, training/jogging on the lake path for the next race, watching football (college & NFL), and being outdoors with her 13 year old dog, Theodore. Rayell can also be found spending time with family and friends or binge watching shows on Netflix.
Anna Goldberger, LCSW (she, her), is a licensed clinical social worker. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Beloit College and a masters from University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Before becoming a social worker, she worked as a community organizer. Because of this experience, she recognizes the need for emotional, spiritual, and psychological healing among communities and individuals fighting for justice. She brings this recognition and a joy for holding compassionate healing space for all who need it into her therapeutic relationships.
Anna has practiced in a wide variety of settings. She has provided in-home individual, couple, and family counseling in the community mental health world, emotional support and counseling to individuals and families in both inpatient and outpatient medical settings, and outpatient individual therapy. While in community mental health, Anna worked with adolescents and adults recovering from serious mental health crises and helped them recognize and build upon their own strengths. Many of her clients were survivors of physical and sexual abuse, were children of people with addiction, and/or were struggling with their own addiction issues. Through her work in medical settings, Anna worked closely with adolescents and adults with disabilities who were coping with progressive illnesses, loss of physical functioning, anxiety and depression, and who were facing end-of-life decisions. She specializes in working with trauma, anxiety and mood disorders, chronic illness and disability, body positivity, fat positivity and liberation, adolescents and families, and grief and loss. She also has experience and enjoys working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans and their loved ones, and adults and children impacted by divorce.
Anna believes that people bring inherent strength and beauty with them into the therapeutic relationship, that they carry their own tools for healing and empowerment but are in need of a safe and compassionate space to bring their whole selves and learn to use these tools. She believes oppressive, stigmatizing systems and past trauma are at the root of so much of the shame, isolation, and sense of inadequacy many of us struggle with. Anna brings an all-encompassing empathy and strengths-based approach to her work. She collaborates with her clients to build safety and trust and then partners with them using trauma-centered interventions on the journey towards healing and wholeness.
In her free time, Anna enjoys being with her humans, dog, cat, and chickens. She also loves dancing, karaoke, and crafts. The occasional, raucous round of MadLibs with her loved ones is also an important part of her self-care.
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
Joanna Taubeneck, LCPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA, E-RYT (she/her) is a licensed clinical professional counselor, registered dance/movement therapist, certified movement analyst, and experienced registered yoga teacher. She holds a bachelors degree from New York University and a masters degree from Columbia College Chicago in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling. Dance/Movement Therapy is a psychotherapeutic modality which emphasizes the use of the body in the healing process. As a former dancer, Joanna is passionate about movement and acknowledges that the body holds deep, intuitive wisdom and also the imprints of our many life experiences. The body remembers, on a physiological level—oftentimes much more fully than does the brain—moments of calm and also moments of trauma. Joanna’s goal is always to create a safe and supportive space for exploration of how the body would like to express itself, while also inviting verbal processing of sensations, feelings, thoughts, and memories.
Joanna has been a therapist in various settings, including inpatient hospital detox, intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health diagnoses, and outpatient individual therapy. While in outpatient environments, Joanna worked specifically with survivors of domestic violence as well as with those struggling with anxiety and mood disorders. Joanna has worked with adults, adolescents, children, and families and specializes in working with trauma, substance use disorders, LGBTQ+ folks, anxiety and mood disorders, and grief. She is also currently being trained in NARM (NeuroAffective Relational Model).
Joanna believes that each of her clients innately holds the key to their own healing, yet deeply embedded societal systems, stigmatization, oppression, past trauma, and general feelings of “not enough-ness” so often block our ability to discover, trust, and give voice to our authentic selves. Joanna encourages her clients to come as they are and to bring all of their inter-sectional identities into the therapeutic relationship. She uses strengths-based, relational, and trauma-informed interventions to facilitate sessions, and hopes to offer her clients a grounding space where they can exhale, soften, and turn inward in an attempt to hear what their bodies are saying. Joanna is certain that with validation, compassion, safety, choice, and an empathetic witness, the body/mind has the power to heal itself.
In her spare time Joanna loves to teach and practice yoga, listen to music, cozy up with a good book, and lean into her newfound love of astrology. You can reach Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Operations
Benji Marton, LCSW (he/him), is a licensed clinical social worker. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago and a masters degree from Loyola University Chicago and specializes in substance abuse, trauma, grief, and difficulties around identity. He has worked as a therapist in multiple settings, including outpatient mental health, schools, and group psychotherapy practices. Benji has worked with folks all across the age spectrum from childhood to elderhood in individual, relational and group therapy.
Benji’s work comes from a place of recognition that every person has a unique story, an inimitable set of circumstances within and without their control. Sometimes those circumstances can create scars that leave us feeling uncomfortable; sometimes, we fear mastery over our future because we haven’t obtained mastery of our present. In therapy, Benji believes in the telling of your story from a non-judgmental and curious lens. You, and only you, are the expert in your story. Benji sees therapy as a journey in which therapist and client experience together through a non-hierarchical relationship that focuses on empowerment. Benji is the guide, but ultimately, the journey is yours.
Benji believes that no matter how turbulent and violent the storm on the surface of the sea, somewhere within the depths there is calm. In the same way, each of us holds within us a presence that is authentic, true, and contained within that the ability to just be. The way there is unique to each of us, but Benji utilizes multiple approaches including Somatic Experiencing (utilizing the mind-body connection), psychodynamic work (exploring interpersonal and intrapersonal patterns stemming from childhood), mindfulness/meditation, narrative therapy, depth work with a specific focus on Carl Jung philosophy, and relational/attachment-based therapy.
With this recognition of the individualized story, Benji seeks to build an affirming, sex-positive space that recognizes the natural fluidity of human gender and sexuality. Through this, Benji will set sail on the journey of story mastery no matter your current identity, relational configurations or erotic practices, be it monogamous, non-monogamous, kink/BDSM, and/or LGBTQIA+.
Intake Coordinator & Therapist
Alison Dowd (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Chicago. Alison received her MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Counseling and has specialized in working with complex trauma and associated concerns including anxiety, grief, shame, substance use, chronic stress, and persistent dissociative processes.
Alison holds space for individuals to metabolize trauma and shame by honoring relational patterns and beliefs as learned ways of being in the world. She holds the belief that people grow through and toward relationships, yet the consequences of traumatic events, relational wounding, cultural oppression, and systemic inequities often become sources of chronic disconnection and disempowerment. Alison enjoys working with folks who would like to reclaim their agency and reconnect authentically with self and others in order to live more empowered and affirming lives.
Alison invites all parts of you into the space with curiosity, compassionate attention, and radical acceptance. As a practitioner of sensorimotor psychotherapy, she draws on somatic (body-based) interventions to support folks in exploring their emotions, survival defenses, and beliefs as they manifest in the nervous system and body. Alison is currently working toward her certification in NARM (Neuroaffective Relational Model), an embodied approach that addresses early attachment and relational trauma. Alison holds space that encourages folks to attune with their own embodied intelligence in order for it to emerge, unfold, and facilitate their own brilliance and emotional robustness.
Alison has worked as an outpatient therapist at community-based agencies with survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and childhood sexual trauma. She is sex-positive and 2SLGBTQIA, poly/ENM and kink-affirming. Prior to her clinical practice, Alison had a career as a teaching artist with the Disability community and maintains her own creative practice.
Alison can be reached at email@example.com.
Ann Cain, LSW (she/her) is a social worker with her Masters in Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago. She has experience working with adolescent and adult clients, with a focus on late adolescence and emerging adulthood. Her clinical focus includes shame, trauma, depression and anxiety. Ann believes that therapy is inherently relational and she works to establish a supportive and encouraging environment where clients feel empowered and connected. Through the therapeutic relationship, Ann strives to create a space where a client’s intersecting identities are affirmed and celebrated. She employes cultural humility into her work by continuing to engage in education and conversation around racial justice, disability justice, and queer affirming topics. Ann believes in creating an environment where a client feels open to share their experience freely without the burden of educating their therapist.
Ann has experience in Community Mental Health, Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs. She centers her practice in feminist therapy, while incorporating behavioral, cognitive, and interpersonal interventions. Ann believes that a person is the expert in their own life and that therapy is one tool among many in the healing and self-discovery process. She also encourages peer support, and is familiar with 12-Step, Smart Recovery, and various support groups in the community. In addition to her clinical experience, Ann has worked in Fair Housing advocacy and Permanent Supportive Housing Programs, supporting disabled clients experiencing chronic houselessness.
Ann enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, Ollie, and biking around the city. She loves trying new rootbeers, watching documentaries, and can’t pass up a good meme.
You can reach Ann by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annika ‘Anny’ Seitz, LCSW (she/her), is a licensed clinical social worker who sees therapy as a collaborative process of growing into a more affirming, resilient, and accountable experience of life. Anny believes that we create and hold on to ineffective patterns in order to protect ourselves and survive. She helps clients identify and understand the contexts in which these patterns developed in body, mind, and spirit, in order to create the acceptance and self-compassion that can support deep healing and more fulfilling relationships with self and others. She strives to create a welcoming, open, and supportive space for all clients to explore their life experiences and empower themselves to create meaningful change.
Using a warm, eclectic, client-centered approach to therapy, Anny enjoys working with clients who are creative and self-reflective. Over the last year, Anny’s practice has become increasingly informed by Internal Family Systems (IFS), a therapy that promotes integration and wholeness by welcoming all of our internal Parts and enhancing our relationship to an embodied Self that heals. She is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a therapy process that can help resolve unprocessed memories of trauma and other distressing events. Anny values mindfulness and movement as powerful tools in the journey of change. A certified yoga teacher for over 11 years, Anny is trained in trauma-informed yoga and is currently learning to decolonize wellness practices. Anny believes that everyone holds an innate wisdom that we can uncover, build a relationship to, and ultimately learn to trust.
Anny specializes in treating adults with a history of complex/relational trauma, depression, and anxiety. She previously worked as part of a crisis intervention team and as a therapist treating survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.
Anny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in German Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. She is a fellow complex human being with an almost-daily meditation practice and a love of hot tea, cats, and vinyl records. Anny has found art, music, books, poems, Mother Nature, fresh vegetables, travel, animals, and a connection to Spirit to be infinite sources of reflection and joy.
Intake Coordinator & Therapist
Erica Fada, MSW (she/they) is a social worker with her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. They view therapy as a relational practice and strive to create a space for their clients to feel uplifted and emboldened in their experiences. Erica specializes in a harm-reduction approach to substance abuse, work with LGBTQ+ clients, and the intersection of the two.
Erica has experience working with adolescent and adult clients, with a focus on adults navigating the criminal justice system due to substance-related arrests. They have also worked in crisis intervention. Erica centers her therapeutic practice in feminist empowerment theory, while integrating elements of narrative therapies and behavioral interventions. This means that Erica sees clients as the experts in their own experiences, and enjoys helping clients see the sources of resilience, agency, and support they already have in their lives, and build from there. Additionally, Erica has a neurobiological understanding of the ways trauma can affect the body and brain. She recognizes that therapy is an individual and personal journey for the client, and views collaboration around treatment goals to be essential.
Erica acknowledges the power dynamics at play in the therapeutic relationship as well as the history of harm in mental healthcare, specifically against queer and BIPOC individuals. She understands that the process of engaging with therapy is a vulnerable one. In order to help facilitate a space for deep self-exploration, Erica prioritizes creating an environment that is queer-, trans-, kink- and non-monogamous-affirming, and they believe that no identity should feel like an unwelcome topic in the therapy room.
In addition to the MSW, Erica also completed a Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies at Loyola. In her free time, Erica enjoys planning the next bioactive vivarium for one of her reptiles, tending to their houseplants, and trying out new sushi restaurants with their partner.
You can reach Erica by email at email@example.com
Fredelyn Calla, LCPC, ATR-BC
Fredelyn Calla (she/her) is an LCPC, a licensed clinical professional counselor and an ATR-BC, a board-certified art therapist. She holds a masters in counseling psychology: art therapy degree from Adler University in Chicago. Fred specializes in working with those who want help with emotional expression; health and aging issues, such as living with cancer; grief and loss; racial and cultural identity; anxiety and mood disorders, relationship concerns and life transitions. She is currently holding space in her caseload for only those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Fred is also interested in helping those heal from trauma and knows that such issues, along with the concerns mentioned above may be made overwhelming by substance abuse and addiction. Her work is influenced by relational, feminist, trauma-informed, Adlerian, social justice-oriented, anti-oppressive, decolonization and liberation framework models.
She enjoys working with teenagers to older adults. Fred likes to work from a holistic, intersectional and self-empowerment approach. She encourages her clients to see they are capable of more than they think and promotes the “courage to be imperfect.” As an art therapist, she collaborates with clients to see what path is best, utilizing creative expression for awareness, self-growth and development. Fred believes compassion, love and acceptance of self goes a long way.
In addition to Head/Heart, Fred has been a support group facilitator at Gilda’s Club Chicago, a cancer support center, for many years. She has also worked with older adults living with dementia and their caregivers, with those affected by domestic violence, with those living with severe psychiatric illness and with community art therapy organizations. She has also worked as a graphic designer.
In her spare time, Fred loves going out to eat in Chicago and while traveling. She is into yoga, art and repurposed materials, true crime shows, chocolate peanut butter cups, The Daily Show, the Trolls movies, being with her friends and being Auntie Fred. Fredelyn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Keene, MFAW (she/her) is a current Master’s Degree candidate for Clinical Mental Health Counseling at DePaul University. She received her Masters of Fine Art in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFAs in Writing and Fiber Arts from Colorado State University. As a lifelong student of storytelling and narrative, Hannah is interested in the stories we are told and how they impact the narratives we tell about ourselves. She upholds the belief that therapy is a space for clients to rewrite their experience toward agency, empowerment, and acceptance while simultaneously navigating the uncomfortable and joyous, liberating moments of growth and transition.
Using an existential (meaning making) and narrative framework, Hannah believes in fostering relationship through mutuality, authenticity, and deep intention. As a psych-sensitive and trauma-informed certified yoga and meditation instructor, she integrates somatics (mind-body connection) into her therapeutic approach. She is versed in holding space for clients to attune to and affirm the brilliant, varied parts of themselves. Working through a feminist lens, Hannah recognizes the impacts of systemic inequities and regards rest is a needful path to resistance and change. She believes in supporting clients by honoring the healing process at their pace. With an emphasis in working with identity, trauma, shame, grief/ loss, and end of life work, Hannah’s approach is one of collaboration, compassion, and radical acceptance.
Previously, Hannah has worked in crisis intervention and as advocate for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner abuse, as well as an outreach educator on survivors and caregiver support. Hannah is sex-positive and 2SLGBTQIA, poly/ENM and kink-affirming. She is currently a volunteer speaker for the Green Burial Council and is working towards her Death Doula certification.
Jason Gerig, LCSW (he/him/his) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) based in Chicago. He received his Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas and undergraduate degree in social work from Eastern Mennonite University. For 15 years he has supported adults in multiple mental health settings through challenges and transitions. Jason’s training and experience includes issues of depression, anxiety, self-esteem and trauma. He is particularly interested in supporting folks in the LGBTQIA+ community, including those who have experienced religion-based shame or trauma.
Jason’s approach is person-centered and strengths based. He strives to create a warm, supportive space in which clients can discuss their hopes and struggles and be heard. He consistently reflects strengths back to clients in order to help them both remember and believe them. Jason works with clients to identify goals and develop strategies for reaching them, to explore how thoughts relate to actions and to unpack the impact of trauma. He also works to emphasize the importance of human connection and believes the therapeutic relationship can be an effective starting point and model.
Jason’s work and training acknowledge the impact of systems on people. Systems perpetuate oppression and cultural messages of inadequacy and hate can impact our day to day lives. Jason’s work with individuals acknowledges this impact and focuses on liberation, seeking ways to both carry on and create systemic change. He is committed to supporting folks working for social justice during this period of great difficulty.
Jason has been an adjunct instructor at Fordham University since 2018, teaching courses on incorporating human rights and social justice into social work practice and policy. In his free time he enjoys running, baking, theme parks, watching classic sitcoms with his husband and frequent board game nights.
John Codd, LCSW, CADC, ATE, PEL (he/him) is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified addictions counselor. He is also licensed to work in schools and certified in treating adolescents. John holds a masters degree from Loyola University in Chicago and specializes in trauma, shame, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, as well as family and identity issues. He appreciates how difficult finding a therapist and starting therapy can feel. You don’t have to figure things out on your own.
He has worked as a therapist in many areas of practice for over 25 years and has experience working with individuals, couples, families and with the LGBTQIA community. John believes that our successes and struggles have roots in our personal, relational, familial, and cultural histories. These concerns are maintained by present day patterns of thinking, feeling and relating. John works to support clients in finding solutions to challenges by helping them change the patterns that no longer lead to resolution and fulfillment. He offers an integrative approach beyond traditional therapy, including mindfulness-based interventions, to build and support an individual’s awareness, regulation and sense of well-being.
John supports all sexual orientations, gender expressions and relationship statuses. He recognizes that each course of treatment is deeply personal and unique. He is committed to establishing an open and collaborative therapeutic relationship, offering a safe, nonjudgmental, supportive environment for growth and change. He collaborates with each client to determine unique treatment goals that respect their right to self-determination. He believes enhanced self esteem, improved coping skills and a more empowered decision making process are the foundation for a less burdened, more uplifted & authentic life. John’s unique skills help clients create and choose a greater range of responses to life’s challenges.
Kara Luger (she, her) is a graduate student seeking her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a focus on mental health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before following her passion for helping others, she worked in software and realized her passion was focusing on the people and not the product. This career change gave her first-hand experience in how a major life transition can help foster a positive future.
Kara believes in creating a relationship with the client that is collaborative, compassionate, and non judgemental. Her therapeutic services for adults include topics such as depression and anxiety, trauma, body positivity, shame, and issues facing women and the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. While it’s important to her to concentrate on the individual, as a biracial woman (white/Lakota Sioux), she understands how larger issues such as systemic and intergenerational trauma, economics, and gender structures can affect a person in the present. Kara’s clinical alliance is informed by (but not limited to) cognitive and behavioral strengths-based, solutions-focused, and person-centered interventions that focus on empathy, empowerment, and self-compassion.
In addition to her clinical studies, Kara has volunteered with The American Indian Center Chicago, an organization that provides services and community events to local Native Americans; Sarah’s Circle, a homeless shelter providing services to those who identify as women; and Chicago Books to Women in Prison, an organization that provides books to incarcerated women nationwide.
In her free time, Kara is a voracious reader and loves crafting, exploring the city, traveling, tending to her pandemic-purchased plants, watching true crime documentaries, and receiving headbutts (lovingly) from her cats Starsky and Pudge.
Laura Nessler, LCSW (she/her) is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. She embraces complexity and nuance in clients’ experiences and sees therapy as an opportunity to make meaning of and reduce suffering by creating narratives that better serve us. Laura’s experience ranges from leading an interdisciplinary team working with individuals with complex medical and mental health needs, coordinating the psychiatric program for a mental health nonprofit, and engaging in outpatient therapy in a community mental health setting. Laura especially enjoys working with individuals with mood disorders, complex trauma, chronic illness, and psychosis, as well as those who identify as artists/creatives, neurodivergent, and recovering perfectionists.
Laura firmly believes that healing happens in relationships, and foremost strives to create an authentic and nurturing space with clients. She draws from various modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Existential Therapy. However, her most impactful training has happened in conversation with clients themselves. Laura is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, which can be used to process traumatic memories that may be at the root of many symptoms. As a white, cis woman working in a field traditionally dominated by people of similar identites, Laura strives to be antiracist in her approach to therapy and interrogate how systemic oppression shows up in clients’ experiences. Laura uses a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach to help clients of all body types heal their relationship with their bodies. Laura welcomes clients across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, as well as those in the polyam and Kink/BDSM communities.
Prior to pursuing a career as a social worker, Laura was a playwright active in Chicago’s storefront theatre community. Laura currently serves on the board of The Midwives Artistic Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to seeing the artist in everyone. She is a prolific pet sitter, admirer of strangers’ dogs, and fiction reader / writer.
Sonali Solanki, Pre-Licensed Professional, ATR-P, MA (she/her) is a pre-licensed art therapist who holds a Masters in Counseling and an Art Therapy degree from Adler University. She is focused on working with adolescents and adults adjusting to life challenges and transitions. Sonali is interested in helping those with low self-esteem and self-worth, anxiety, depression, and trauma express their emotions and reclaim their power and narrative.
By providing a safe, nonjudgmental, and collaborative space to process difficult emotions, Sonali empowers and supports her clients on their journey towards healing. Her role is to serve as a guide as her clients lean into their vulnerabilities and become their authentic selves. She believes that each individual has the ability to harness their strengths to find a path that gives them meaning and purpose. She views the therapeutic environment as a space where clients can tap into wonderment, explore feelings, ask questions, share experiences, laugh, cry, and celebrate successes, big or small.
Sonali has experience working with clients across the age spectrum who come from diverse cultural backgrounds in both Community Mental Health and Private Practice settings. She is intent on fostering cultural competency, equity, and inclusion for her clients. In her approach, she integrates solution-focused, person-centered, narrative, and somatic (mind-body connection) interventions along with warmth and empathy to nurture the therapeutic relationship and generate self-awareness and self-compassion.
In her spare time, Sonali loves hiking, traveling, and spending time with her dog. She can also be found painting, baking, and re-watching her favorite feel-good TV shows.
You can reach Sonali by email at email@example.com