Approach to Therapy
Vanessa is an interactive therapist whose work is informed by education and experience. Her training as a marriage and family therapist is unique. It emphasizes the connection between problems and relationships. By considering the link between them, she is able to create a contextual framework. And the context of any problem, big or small, matters. Vanessa tailors her approach to meet the needs of each client. And, she is committed to providing therapy that respects privacy and autonomy while promoting well-being. Vanessa believes we are all part of a bigger and more complex system—our family, community, and culture. She examine problems with this premise in mind and sees the whole person— not just an individual with, for example, depression or anxiety. Developing and maintaining a solid working alliance with clients is important to Vanessa. And she believes the right personal fit is central to a successful therapeutic relationship that, in turn, leads to greater self-awareness and personal growth.
Education and Training
- BA in English: The University of Western Ontario
- MS in Marriage and Family Therapy: Northwestern University
- Certificate in Mediation Skills Training: Center for Conflict Resolution
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Illinois
- AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Vanessa's career in behavior health started at Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, where she worked as a medical family therapist (MedFT). As part of an interdisciplinary team, Vanessa provided ongoing support and education to families affected by dementia. In addition, to her skills as a MedFT, she has worked in social services and community mental health, providing direct service to at-risk older adults and their families.
Prior to becoming a marriage and family therapist, Vanessa worked in a family-owned business for 10-years. During this time, she gained considerable experience and expertise in management, sales and marketing, and product development. In 2014, Vanessa joined the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) staff as their product development specialist. And in 2016, she took on the position of content development specialist, working in collaboration with their communications and marketing team.
Vanessa is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and a clinical member of both the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Illinois Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (IAMFT).