Maddie Tonjes

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Maddie (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about creating a space for healing and growth through empathy, warmth, and vulnerability. She understands the difficulties of sharing the deepest parts of ourselves with others and strives to make therapy an inclusive and safe space. Her style draws from trauma-informed practice, psychodynamic theories, and body-based practice.

Maddie has worked with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing chronic illnesses, sudden life changes, infertility and perinatal mood disorders, family conflicts, and those struggling with perfectionism, identity-related concerns, and mood and anxiety disorders. Maddie is dedicated to serving those who have been impacted by trauma. She believes in empowering others by making it possible to “speak the unspeakable.” She engages with each client’s unique challenges by first promoting safety and healthy coping and then focusing on understanding how each aspect of our lives, from our pasts to our presents, impacts who we are today. This also means that she is devoted to promoting anti-oppressive practice, which includes acknowledging and challenging sexism, racism, homophobia and all forms of marginalization in and out of session.

She earned her Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from DePaul University. During her studies, Maddie worked with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry as a member of the Trauma Treatment Services team. She has also worked with children, adolescents and their families in both school and research settings.

Education and Credentials

  • Depaul University, BA in Communications and Media
  • University of Chicago, AM in Clinical Social Work
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

What specific modalities do you practice and are you certified?

I have been trained in a variety of modalities including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Psychodynamic therapy. My practice also draws from a relational, client-centered focus with a lot of interest in creativity, narrative theory, play therapy, and body-based work. I have also completed the Postpartum Support International Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Certificate Course, but I am not yet certified as a PMH-C.

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

I love to be creative in any way I can be. I was originally trained as an actor and dancer before becoming a social worker and being in creative spaces is something I have been doing for most of my life . I have a lot of fun exploring the world as well.

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

I am so passionate about being a part of other people’s journeys! What a cool thing to get to be a human exploring our shared “humanness” with other humans. I also especially love when this work allows us to tap into parts of ourselves that have felt unheard or forgotten. We get to be more of ourselves. I want to learn more about how I can continue to help find those spaces.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I like getting to connect with people! It’s so simple and also so complex! I get to explore new things every day.

Whats your go to” creative or restorative outlet?  

Dance, dance, dance . I love to move and I love music. If I can’t dance, I like to go for walks or work on a knitting or crochet project. I have so many sweaters… but you can never have too many.

I work with

  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Emerging Adults (17-24)
  • Parents + Families
  • Perinatal + Postpartum Clients
  • Folks Living with Chronic Illnesses
  • Relationships (Parent-Child, Siblings, Family Therapy)
  • Trauma Survivors

Therapeutic Modalities

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) Framework
  • Body-based
  • Client-centered
  • Internal Family Systems
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Non-Directive Play Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Relational
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Areas of Interest

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic illness
  • Identity exploration
  • Medical trauma
  • Mood disorders
  • Parenting and family-related concerns
  • Perinatal mood disorders
  • Perfectionism
  • Self-esteem
  • Trauma, including Intergenerational, Developmental, and Complex Trauma

What do you do for self-care?

  • Dance and other forms of creative movement
  • Crafting, especially knitting and crocheting
  • Reading
  • Getting out into nature

Favorite podcasts, books or blogs

  • Maintenance Phase
  • Light Up the Couch
  • Trauma Stewardship
  • Anything by David Sedaris

Individuals / Authors / Theorists who have influenced my work

  • Dr. Judith Herman
  • Pete Walker
  • Dr. Sue Johnson
  • Dr. Gabor Mate

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