Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
Tanya (she/her/hers) is an integrative therapist, grounded in relational and contemporary psychodynamic practice. She uses complementary emotionally-focused and narrative-based techniques to help people grow self-acceptance and self-worth and experience more satisfying relationships. She also brings a human-development-across-the-lifespan lens, informed in part by her own midlife career change.
Tanya approaches clients with a compassionate and open heart. She enjoys working with people who are navigating life transitions and identity development: helping them figure out what it all means and shaping the stories we tell ourselves.
Her work is trauma-informed and incorporates the wisdom of our bodies to support therapeutic change: paying attention to our embodied experiences and using attachment-based and somatic techniques to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as to heal trauma.
Tanya is passionate about getting comfortable with ambiguity and living in the “gray areas,” embracing vulnerability as strength, tackling perfectionism, self-doubt, and shame, improving relationships and communication, and helping creative people harness their superpowers. She is committed to building our connected resilience in an increasingly disconnected world.
Education and Credentials
- LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
- NCC, Board-Certified Therapist
- M.A., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Northwestern University
- B.A., Psychology, Duke University
What specific modalities do you practice and are you certified?
I am a board-certified therapist, practicing insight-based, depth therapy from a multiculturally-informed and strengths-based perspective. I combine the verbal narrative of talk therapy with the somatic narrative, incorporating techniques to explore how our bodies carry the legacy of trauma, attachment difficulties, and relational stress.
Counseling is not about having various effects on others but rather about how to let people become comfortable being themselves.
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained in living every day.
Sooner or later you have to give up the hope for a better past.
What do you like to do when you are not working? What do you do for fun?
I’m a voracious lover of ideas and experiences. Nothing heals me more than full immersion in live music, theater, TED talks, books, museums, movies, art, architecture, fashion, design, and politics. I love travel, both the real world and armchair varieties. I am also a proud aunt to four boys and love to plan outings where I can experience the world through their eyes and work on my favored-aunt status!
What are you excited about? What is your passion?
My passion is lifelong learning, and right now, this is focused on deepening my work in trauma-informed and attachment-based practice. I am exploring additional training/certification in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and NARM (The Neuro-Affective Relational Model) or Somatic Experiencing.
What do you want to learn more about?
My first answer is “almost everything” … but most of all, there are three things I find infinitely fascinating: humans and the human condition, travel (52 countries and counting!), and all forms of creativity. Ultimately, I believe in the power of healing, creativity, and passionate people working together to change the world.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I subscribe to the relational idea that it isn’t just okay – it’s necessary – to let your clients affect you. People come to therapy with the strength and courage to grow already inside them. It’s my role to provide an accepting space and favorable conditions – a safe haven and secure base – to help them heal and thrive.
What’s your “go to” creative or restorative outlet?
Music. Any and all. Live. In the car. Under a disco ball. Even in the supermarket. Karaoke. Dancing in the living room to old school vinyl on the turntable. Twirling like Stevie Nicks.
I work with
- Older adults
- Adolescents (11-17)
- Emerging adults (18-24)
- Relationships (couples/relational work)
- People exploring identity development and life transitions
- People who experienced difficult childhood experiences and attachment trauma
- Contemporary Psychodynamic
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Narrative Therapy
- Internal Family Systems
- Somatic Awareness
Areas of Interest
- Depression and mood
- Grief and loss
- Creative people
- Single parents
- People exploring life and career transitions
- People exploring their gender identity and sexuality
What do you do for self-care?
- Practice mindfulness in ways both formal, like transcendental meditation, and informal, like getting lost in music I love
- Cuddling with my cat, Goose, who thinks he’s a dog
Favorite podcasts, books, or blogs
- The Path to Love, Deepak Chopra
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb
- Chicago Ideas Week, Chicago Humanities Festival, 92NY, and TED talks
- 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Patricia Schultz