Michelle Barichello

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I (she/her/hers) am a therapist who embraces empathy, curiosity, understanding, and connection. I believe in the inherent worth and unique strengths of every client. I know that life can be difficult, and that it is easier to navigate life’s challenges when you allow yourself to receive support.

I invite my clients to guide the therapeutic process by showing up as their authentic and full self, processing difficult feelings or past events, and feeling empowered to take on what feels right to them in session and in their lives. I am humbled and honored to join clients on their journey to healing, meaning making, and empowerment.

I utilize a relational, collaborative, and client-centered approach within my therapy work.  I see my clients’ strength and accept them for who they uniquely are. I believe clients are the primary experts on their own life and I aim to create a partnership wherein they feel understood and seen. It is important to help clients address issues in their life that they would like to move away from (e.g. symptoms, stressors), and also identify what they are looking to move towards (e.g. values, aspirations, life goals). I view therapy as a nonjudgmental space where clients can freely express feedback and play an active role in what happens in the therapy room.

Education and Credentials

  • PsyD (2023) from Adler University

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

  • I love to travel (when I’m able to) and I try to visit a new city or country each year! When in Chicago, I love to “play tourist” and seek out new restaurants or coffee shops I haven’t been to yet.
  • I grew up in Illinois and feel very lucky to have so many close friends and family living nearby. I love to stay connected with them and spend time just catching up.
  • I’m a sucker for nostalgia and get so much joy from watching early 2000s movies which is my typical Sunday routine

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

  • I’m very passionate about expanding access to mental healthcare and reducing stigma around mental illness
  • Through my research within graduate school, I studied secondary trauma responses and the impacts on professionals who work with individuals who have experienced trauma. I feel very passionate about individuals in client-centered professions (therapists, nurses, lawyers, etc.) receiving both education on and support for secondary trauma responses
  • I am passionate about self-compassion, both within my work as a therapist and within my personal life, and am excited to continue learning about this area through Kristen Neff’s work

What do you like about being a therapist?

I feel so honored that through my work I’m able to connect with others and create a space where clients are able to show up as their authentic, messy, complicated selves. I recognize our world does not make it easy to feel and express our true emotions. Instead, we are often met with harshness, from ourselves or others. It is such a privilege that in my work I’m able to join with clients in creating a therapy space that embraces softness, healing, and vulnerability.

I work with

  • Adults
  • Emerging adults
  • Graduate students and helping professionals
  • Individuals seeking therapy for the first time

Therapeutic Modalities

  • ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
  • Relational
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Strengths-based
  • DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)-Informed
  • Phase-oriented Trauma Therapy

Areas of Interest

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Identity exploration
  • Life transitions
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Self-Exploration
  • Trauma
  • Values clarification

What do you do for self-care?

  • Walking around my neighborhood or on the Riverwalk and Lakefront
  • Connect regularly with family and loved ones
  • I love to unwind by cooking and trying new recipes
  • Shamelessly rewatch my “comfort” shows: Friends, New Girl, The Office, and Ted Lasso
  • Unplug on the weekends

Favorite podcasts, books or blogs

  • Covid rekindled my love for fiction! My favorite authors at the moment are Taylor Jenkins Reid and Emily Henry
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by E. Schwab
  • When I want a nonfiction that will deepen the way I think or see the world I go with anything by Adam Grant or Malcolm Gladwell
  • Podcasts: Armchair Expert and Oprah’s Super Soul

Individuals / Authors / Theorists who have influenced my work

  • Judith Herman – Trauma and Recovery
  • Steven Hayes and Russ Harris
  • Carl Jung
  • Kristin Neff
  • Irvin Yalom – The Gift of Therapy
  • Meg Jay – The Defining Decade and Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience
  • Brené Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection
  • Adam Grant – Give and Take
  • Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Bryan Stevenson – Just Mercy

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