Kelsey Hizak

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Kelsey Hizak, M.A. (she/her) is a therapist-in-training pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at Adler University. She aims to create a safe, judgement-free space where her clients can come as they are. Kelsey strives to create a strong therapeutic relationship with each of her clients through the use of compassion, humor, empathy, validation, and collaboration. Kelsey utilizes ACT while integrating strengths-based and trauma-informed approaches along with CBT and DBT. She has a special interest in working with adolescent girls and young women, alongside experience supporting multiple gender identities across the lifespan in outpatient and higher levels of care. Kelsey seeks to support those navigating issues related to anxiety, depression, trauma, interpersonal relationships, and gender and sexual identity development.

Education and Credentials

  • Bachelor of Arts – Marshall University 2020
    • Major: Psychology
    • Minors: Criminal Justice, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Master of Arts – Adler University 2023
    • Clinical Psychology
  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology – Adler University
    • Fourth Year PsyD Student

What specific modalities do you practice and are you certified?

I primarily practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as my foundational modality. I used ACT while practicing in a partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient facility, while pulling in aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) depending on the needs of the client. I plan to continue learning about other modalities in order to better support my clients.

What do you like to do when you are not working? What do you do for fun?

When I am not working, I mostly enjoy hanging out with my friends! I also love to explore new areas of Chicago, go rock climbing, read fantasy novels, spend time with my dog, and watch various TV shows.

What are you excited about? What is your passion? What do you want to learn more about?

My main passion is psychology – I have known I wanted to be in this field since I was a young teenager. As I have continued my education, that passion has only grown. While working at Centered Therapy Chicago, I am excited to engage in long-term therapy and develop a lasting therapeutic relationship with my clients. I hope to be able to see my clients learn about and grow into themselves in new ways, while also working to better understand my own therapeutic approach and process. I look forward to learning more about new theories in psychology and ways to implement them in my sessions.

What do you like about being a therapist?

As a therapist and a human being, I know all too well that it can be incredibly difficult to seek help or support, to open up, and to be vulnerable with another person. I love having the opportunity to create a safe, non-judgmental space for my clients to work through difficult moments of their lives or to aid them in being more present for positive moments.  I quite enjoy getting to see my clients unlock their full potential and witness their growth as they move towards a life that aligns with their values.

What’s your “go to” creative or restorative outlet?

My go-to creative outlets are painting and photography! I love to pair photography with nature in any way that I can. For me, being out in nature is the most restorative outlet that I have, whether that be leaving the city to hike and rock climb or venturing to the nearest botanical garden.

I work with

  • Adults
  • Emerging Adults
  • Adolescents (12-18 years old)
  • LGBTQIA+ individuals

Therapeutic Modalities

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Areas of Interest

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender Identity
  • Identity Development
  • Minority Stress
  • Panic
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Identity
  • Trauma

What do you do for self-care?

  • Spend time in nature (New River Gorge, Red River Gorge, and in various public Chicago parks)
  • Explore Chicago with friends
  • Have alone time to engage in hobbies such as reading fantasy novels, walking my dog, and photography

Favorite podcasts, books, or blogs

  • The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
  • The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Individuals / Authors / Theorists who have influenced my work

  • Steven Hayes
  • Russ Harris
  • Judith Herman

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