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, Vanessa am 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. 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 examines problems with this premise in mind. Vanessa sees the whole person and not just an individual with, for example, depression or anxiety. Developing and maintaining a solid working alliance with clients is important, 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, she provided ongoing support and education to families affected by dementia. In addition, to her experiences as a MedFT, Vanessa has worked in social services and community mental health, providing direct service to at-risk older adults and their families.
Before making a career change in 2001, Vanessa worked in a family-owned business for more than 10-years. During this time, she worked in various roles including sales and marketing, product development, and management. In 2014, Vanessa joined the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy(AAMFT) staff as their product development specialist, and currently, provide on-going support as their content development specialist. She has the privilege of working closely with their communications and marketing team to produce accurate and up to date educational products for association members.