Rachael Pettinicchi

Who am I as a therapist? I aim to provide a therapeutic space that allows clients to share themselves without fear of judgement, as well as explore how the various identities and roles they have may interact with each other. I appreciate the importance of both laughter and education in the healing process, and I incorporate humor and psychoeducation into my sessions when appropriate. I know people often come to therapy when they are struggling.  I think is important for me to not only hear and see the struggle, but also to hear and see their strengths, resilience, and resources.

Who do I work with? I work with children, adolescents and adults. I enjoy working with clients who are curious about how their family of origin experiences have impacted present lives, and how to add additional coping strategies to their “tool box.” I work with people who are going through life changes and transitions. I have pursued training in working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people who have a history of substance use, and I’m interested in furthering my work in these areas.

My areas of interest: My areas of interest include LGBTQIA+ topics and experiences across the lifespan, complex trauma, intergenerational trauma, and religion and spirituality.

How I practice: I aim to establish a therapeutic space where clients feel comfortable and affirmed; a place where my clients and I can work collaboratively. I am interested my clients’ goals and what they want for themselves in therapy and in their lives.

I work with clients to better understand how past experiences impact our patterns in our lives that sometimes interfere with our life, relationship, and future goals. I work with clients to identify these patterns that impact their behaviors, emotions, relationships and coping. I believe exploring and understanding these patters can help clients make meaningful shifts and help them attain their personal, relational and professional aspirations.

My background: I am a third-year Clinical Psychology Doctoral student, who has earned my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Adler University. In the past, I’ve provided psychological testing to residents at St. Leonard’s House and Grace House, plus transitional treatment settings for individuals who have recently left the Illinois Criminal Justice System. I worked with Floating Doctors in creating culturally-informed training materials for medical volunteers providing healthcare services to indigenous groups in Panama. I also volunteered at Alfred University’s Health and Wellness Center and held a leadership role in Hillel, helping organize cultural events and celebrations. Some of my interests outside psychology include knitting and cooking.