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.