Sarah Buino, LCSW, RDDP, CADC, CDWF is a therapist, teacher, speaker and the founder of Head/Heart Therapy, Inc. She is a licensed clinical social worker, certified addictions counselor, NARM Therapist, and Certified Daring Way facilitator. She holds a masters degree from Loyola University in Chicago and specializes in shame, substance use disorders, and trauma. She has trained in a variety of therapy modalities including: NARM (neuro-affective relational model), sensorimotor psychotherapy, comprehensive energy psychology, psychodrama/experiential therapy, and shame-resilience. She uses each of these modalities as a framework to support resilience within her clients and create a space for self-knowledge and growth.
Over the last decade, Sarah has gained experience in the social work field by supporting adolescents, adults, and families struggling with the difficulties of addiction. In 2014, Head/Heart Therapy was born and it quickly grew to be a successful well-respected group practice in Chicago.
Sarah became part of Loyola University’s School of Social Work adjunct faculty in 2015 and Fordham University’s adjunct faculty in 2019. She is committed to supporting the newest generation of social workers to become passionate about and competent in working with substance use disorders.
In 2017, Sarah was honored by NASW’s Illinois Chapter by being recognized as an Emerging Leader. The Emerging Leader is an “early” career social worker who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, expertise, and dedication to the profession in the state of Illinois, whose contributions enhance practice knowledge and/or the capacity of the profession and the human service to obtain resources and influence. Other awards include the Humility Award (2014) from Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving event as well as the Rising Star Award (2018) from the Illinois Association of Addiction Professionals.
Sarah has always valued authenticity as a critical component of whole-hearted living. Since hearing Dr. Brené Brown speak in the winter of 2009, she has been sharing the concepts of shame-resilience, authenticity, and vulnerability with her clients. She completed training with Brené Brown’s team in 2013 and is a Certified Daring Way facilitator (CDWF).
Sarah is also knowledgeable about the benefits of various adjunct techniques for wellbeing, and is a certified Reiki Master. Reiki is a form of energy healing that encourages the release of oxytocin to reduce pain and increase the body’s ability to repair itself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
In her spare time, Sarah is a musician and sings in musical groups around the Chicagoland area. She’s passionate about being the best version of herself and commits to a daily meditation and spiritual practice. She also loves tattoos and changing her hair cut and color often.
Rayell Grayson, LCPC, CADC 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.
Joanna Taubeneck, LCPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA, E-RYT 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 email@example.com.
Director of Operations
Benji Marton, LCSW, 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 to help you get there including bioenergetics (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 is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Chicago. Alison received her MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art Therapy & Counseling and has specialized in the treatment of complex trauma and associated concerns including anxiety, grief, substance use, chronic stress, and persistent dissociative processes.
Alison works collaboratively with individuals to metabolize trauma and shame by honoring relational patterns and beliefs as learned ways of being in the world. Alison holds the belief that people grow through and toward relationships, yet the consequences of trauma, social stigma, cultural oppression, and systemic inequities often become sources of chronic disconnection and disempowerment. Alison embodies an authentic, affirming and emotionally engaged presence to welcome and witness all aspects of a person’s identity and story.
As an art therapist, Alison incorporates art-making as a restorative tool to self-soothe, increase insight using nonverbal expression, and expand imaginative capabilities within the self. As a Level 1 practitioner of sensorimotor psychotherapy, Alison draws on somatic (body-based) interventions to support folks in exploring their habits and underlying beliefs as they manifest in the nervous system and body. Our bodies hold the imprints of our experiences and these impressions can contribute to our thoughts, emotions, habits, relationships, beliefs, and fears that may no longer serve us. Our bodies also hold an abundance of resources. Alison uses a strengths-based, trauma-informed, and relational approach to facilitate sessions, and hopes to offer a space that encourages folks to attune with their own embodied intelligence in order for it to emerge, unfold, and facilitate emotional growth and self-compassion.
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. Prior to her clinical practice, Alison had a career as a teaching artist with the Disability community and is a practicing artist with a background in print media. In her spare time, Alison enjoys getting lost in a good book, biking around the city, and learning the guitar (very slowly).
Ann Cain, MSW (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, addiction, eating disorders, and OCD. 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.
Annika ‘Anny’ Seitz, LCSW, 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.
Florence Paquet is a licensed master social worker, certified Acceptance and Integration Training (AAIT) Practitioner, trained Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) professional, Reiki master, and doula. She is enrolled in the Sexual Health Alliance’s AASECT sex therapy certification program. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Her therapeutic style incorporates body work, working with parts of self, meditative states of consciousness, highly effective and gentle trauma techniques, as well as soul retrieval and past life exploration. She is passionate about working with psychedelics as they guide people towards connection to the Self that is larger than their suffering and pain. Instead of dampening unpleasant experiences, folks are able to sit with, and experience, sources of suffering in a new way that is incredibly empowering. Florence is passionate about creating the sacred connection, set, and setting for these healing experiences to be powerful and nurturing.
During her professional journey in foster care, school, emergency, and ketamine clinic settings, Florence encountered lots of folks recovering from intimate trauma – sexual, relational, generational and birth traumas. Through supportive trauma recovery, Florence values the reclamation of pleasure and play in the healing process and heightening a sense of intimacy and sexuality. It is in this process that trauma is transmuted into pleasure and power using tools that anyone can learn, use, and enjoy.
Florence works towards manifesting your goals, and addresses intimacy-related PTSD, low desire, performance anxiety, intimacy challenges, and compulsive sexual behavior and erectile concerns. She is a sex-positive, trauma-informed, and LGBTQIA, poly, and kink/lifestyle-allied and educated. She sees her role in therapy as a facilitator of pleasure and a fellow hand in the dark, as together you and her are guided to your innate wisdom, strength, and light – so you can share it with your community and loved ones. She works well with folks who enjoy active collaboration, integrating body and spirit into their mental and sexual health journey, open to psychedelic assistance, and learning self-healing tools. She believes as within so without. As you empower and heal yourself, you are healing and empowering others around you
Florence enjoys playing fiddle and mandolin, drawing, karaoke and dancing like a wild woman whenever possible. Connect to her here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fredelyn Calla, LCPC, ATR-BC
Fredelyn Calla 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 email@example.com
Jay Meythaler, MSW, CADC is a social worker and certified alcohol & drug abuse counselor. He holds two degrees from Loyola University Chicago, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree within Loyola’s School of Social Work with a specialization in substance abuse and trauma treatment. He has worked as a therapist in residential and outpatient settings, with clients ranging in age from young adults to seniors, facilitating individual and group therapy.
In a collaborative process, Jay develops a personal treatment plan guided by the client’s self-determined goals and values that can support a more balanced and peaceful life. Jay believes that anyone can experience more satisfying ways to relate to themselves and others through shared experiences of reflection, as well as traditional and alternative forms of treatment. Jay sees this work as a journey of enabling clients to develop or restore self-compassionate awareness of the value and dignity in all of life’s experiences.
Jay also supports clients who wish to engage in recovery and other support groups (e.g., 12 step fellowships, SMART recovery, non-binary and gender-affirming groups). Involvement in such groups helps create daily structure and can provide additional spiritual resources for support. Additionally, on a personal and professional level, Jay is dedicated to the work necessary to exist in a world free from oppressive social conditions of systemic racism, classism, ableism, and sex-based discrimination experienced by marginalized people daily.
Jay is presently training in NARM, the NeuroAffective Relational Model. NARM is a cutting-edge model that addresses the physiological dysregulation and psychological distortions of identity within people living with complex trauma. NARM attempts to help individuals restore the capacity for connection within themselves and with others. Jay understands that building connections for someone who has or experiences complex trauma and/or an addiction can be a client’s most profound desire as well as their greatest fear. Therefore, Jay integrates psychodynamic and narrative therapies as well as mindfulness-based interventions when working with his clients. Jay believes in creating an environment that is collaborative, safe, and conducive to your journey of inner exploration, guided by self-determination and your heart’s desire.
In his free time, Jay enjoys practicing meditation and yoga. Jay can also be found taking road trips with friends and family to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to go hiking.
John Codd, LCSW, CADC, ATE, PEL 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.
Kaylee Kruzan, Ph.D., is an MSW intern at Head/Heart Therapy. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Psychology (BSc) and Communication Studies (BA) from Grand Valley State University, a master’s degree in Communication (MA) from University of Illinois at Chicago, and a master’s (MSc) and PhD in Communication from Cornell University.
Kaylee’s therapeutic approach is holistic, strengths-based, and person-centered. She sees therapy as a collaborative process that is guided by the client’s own unique story and tailored to their personal goals. Kaylee creates a safe and compassionate space for clients to share their vulnerabilities, confront challenges, and learn and practice new life skills. While her approach is eclectic, Kaylee always strives to empower clients in their own process and invites clients to show up as they are, authentically. She also believes in the power of mind-body connection and integrates aspects of mindfulness and meditation in sessions when appropriate.
Kaylee has clinical experience working with clients from various cultural backgrounds in community mental health and substance use treatment. She has also received training in suicide risk assessment and intervention, as is certified in Psychological First Aid, as part of her work as a crisis counselor.
In addition to her work at Head/Heart, Kaylee is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University. As a researcher, Kaylee studies the design and implementation of digital mental health interventions. She is particularly interested in self-injury recovery and the role of peer support in behavior change.
Outside of therapy and research, Kaylee finds balance in being outdoors, gardening, hiking and playing with her dog, Stevie Nicks. She maintains a regular meditation and yoga practice and enjoys watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. You can reach Kaylee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Diedrich, LSW, CADC, is a licensed social worker and certified alcohol and drug counselor. Matt holds a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work and specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders, in addition to complex trauma.
When working with clients, Matt uses a combination of psychodynamic, acceptance and commitment, and solution-focused theories, as well as motivational interviewing. Matt is currently training in NARM, the Neuro-Affective Relational Model, a humanistic and compassionate approach to treating complex, developmental, and relational trauma. Matt is also committed to fighting injustices and systemic racism by operating from an antiracist lens, both personally and professionally. Lastly, Matt does not take a “one size fits all” approach in his work with addiction. Matt collaborates with clients, to meet them where they are at and help them how they see fit. Matt understands that recovery looks different for everyone. With that said, Matt uses principles from a variety of groups, including twelve-step, SMART, and Dharma (Refuge) Recovery in his work with clients. Matt believes that finding a community to connect with, regardless of what that community looks like, is vital in the treatment of addiction. Matt places a heavy emphasis on authenticity, vulnerability, and connection when it comes to mental health. Again, he believes that if addiction is a disease of isolation, then the solution is connection with oneself, others, and the universe. In his work with clients, Matt believes in helping them to cultivate self-acceptance, which leads to an improved sense of self-worth and greater love for oneself. Additionally, he encourages clients to have compassion for themselves, while having an appreciation for the therapeutic process. He considers it his job to help others discover and become their true self, so that what’s on the inside matches the outside.
Prior to joining the practice as a full-time therapist, Matt was the Director of Residence Life at Providence Farm, an extended care community-based and community-supported recovery home for young men located in Northbrook, Illinois. During his training to become a social worker, Matt worked as a case manager with refugees and in Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic, as a psychotherapist. Before entering the helping profession, Matt worked in the finance industry for nearly eight years. Wanting more out of his career and driven by a passion to help others and give back, he decided to return to school and make the change to the helping profession. Matt comes equipped with an extensive knowledge of the demands of working a corporate job.
In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his Doberman/Blue Heeler pup named Earl, cooking, enjoying time with friends & family, sipping a cup of Dark Matter coffee, and watching awful horror films.
He practices meditation and enjoys going for walks, listening to music, and being outdoors to help him stay grounded, centered, and connected.