Clinicians

Dr. Terry Dornak, Psy.D., CCATP

Clinical Psychologist | Clinical Director

I received my Doctorate of Psychology and Master of Arts from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I have gained my therapeutic experience not only working in private practice settings but through working in residential settings as well.

 

It is my goal that each person who steps into my office feels  comfortable and accepted.  I respect each individual's culture, gender, race, and sexual identity.  I am passionate about my field and believe that each individual that comes into my office is unique.  I use an integrated approach that includes cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and psychodynamic techniques.  I work with each client to design a treatment plan that meets his or her own personal needs and goals.  I enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults, and I provide individual, family, as well as relationship therapy.

I have extensive experience and training in treating mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety, substance use, and anger. In addition, I specialize in treating the psychological struggles frequently associated with chronic pain including anxiety, depression, stress, and relationship difficulties.  I also specialize in treating post-partum depression and infertility.  

I welcome feedback from my clients.  When a client feels that a certain technique is not working, I encourage him or her to tell me so that we can work together to find another technique that may work better.  I think therapy is definitely a team effort.

Hermina Chamnankit, RDN

Nutrition and Dietetics 

Mindful eating is at the center of my approach to helping clients reach their goals towards living a healthier lifestyle.  Our health is impacted by the choices we make in selecting and preparing meals each and every day.. The reason for choosing this field is because of the “healthy food healthy body” concept that made me realize how much I can help myself and other people.

 

I received my BS in Nutrition and Dietetics at Dominican University and did my internship in Community Nutrition, Food Service Management Nutrition, Outpatient and Inpatient settings. 

 

Languages spoken: English, Romanian. 

Tara Link, LCSW, CADC, Certified Meditation Teacher, Tibetan Sound Healer

Therapist

All of us struggle at different times in our life. We often feel stuck in our current state or situation and wonder if this is how life has to be. Whether you are facing a conflict that seems irresolvable, are searching for more meaning in life, or want to heal past wounds to feel a deeper sense of peace, making the decision to seek help takes courage. My belief is that we all have the power to limit the chaos of our own mind through developing a strong and loving connection to ourselves.

I am a licensed clinical social worker and certified drug and alcohol counselor. I completed my Master of Social Work with specialization in mental health from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Throughout my career, I have worked in various settings within the therapeutic community with a diverse client population including adult men and women, families, children, and adolescents. I’ve held positions at the Department of Corrections in the addiction and trauma program in addition to inpatient psychiatry, veteran’s rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, and in the development of mental health programs internationally.

Through my own journey, I have experienced the difficulties of life and realize the freedom that comes through developing self awareness, resilience, and inner peace. I believe in building an authentic and trusting therapeutic relationship, where you can truly be yourself, are accepted, and feel heard.

My style is genuine, compassionate, and practical. My approach to healing is holistic and integrative, combining evidence-based modalities including Cognitive and Dialectical behavioral therapy, with mindfulness, transpersonal psychology, and alternative healing modalities such as sound healing, naturopathy, meditation, and breathwork. As a certified meditation teacher and sound healing practitioner, I enjoy introducing new tools and ways of coping in conjunction with traditional talk therapy. Because no single treatment is suited for all, I strive to tailor our sessions in line with your unique values and needs. I encourage you to follow your intuition and welcome the opportunity to work with you.

Raphaelle Cuenod, LCSW, Certified Yoga Instructor

Therapist

I believe therapy can be one of the most healing techniques for someone trying to overcome a challenge. Whether it be a life transition, tension in a relationship, or past trauma, therapy is a way for people to reconnect with their minds and bodies in order to better understand their feelings and behaviors. It allows people to regain control over their choices and make decisions that are a better fit for them. I create a space in which each of my clients feel comfortable and accepted in their journey towards their goals. 

Some of the common issues I help my clients with are trauma and/or PTSD. I am especially interested in childhood and sexual trauma. I also enjoy working with couples who are looking to deepen their connection and work through challenges in their relationship. No matter the topic, I am also excited to work with individuals who are searching to reconnect with their bodies through breathwork, yoga, and meditation. 

 

Every client is different, that is why I use a variety of treatments to best suit my clients’ needs. I most often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness/Grounding Techniques, Seeking Safety, and Motivational Interviewing. As a certified yoga instructor, I utilize yoga and breathing exercises in order to assist people in their journey to reconnect and/or process trauma that is held in their bodies. In addition I speak English and French.

Dr. Nisha Kumar, Psy.D.

Psychologist

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” This quote by Brené Brown continues to inspire me to show up, to be authentic and vulnerable. I value developing authentic therapeutic relationships with my clients and strive to foster a nonjudgmental space through empathy and acceptance where all emotions and experiences are validated and all diverse race, gender, and sexual identities are affirmed and valued. 

 

We are all human and we all struggle at times.  I recognize that asking for help is difficult.  I feel honored to hear your story and sit with all you bring into session, whether painful emotions, past experiences, or current stressors, and to help guide you to develop a deeper connection with yourself and others.

 

I provide individual and group therapy to adults and have training in working with a variety of mental health concerns. I am particularly passionate about working with individuals who are experiencing anxiety, depression, relationship or interpersonal concerns, work or professional concerns, adjustment difficulties, low self-esteem/self-worth, and relational trauma.  Practicing from an integrative approach, I utilize client-centered therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness techniques.  

 

I received my PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University Oregon and completed my internship and postdoctoral hours at Kansas State University Counseling Services.  I have extensive experience working with multiculturally diverse adults in university counseling centers and community clinics.

 

My therapeutic style is warm, gentle, and collaborative.  I meet my clients where they are and support them in moving forward toward their goals. It is my hope that, through feeling heard, safe, and supported, you are able to discover your inner strengths and make positive, value-driven changes in your life. 

Taylor Moore, LCSW, LADC, CADC

Therapist

It is an honor for me to be present to people’s stories and work with them to discover their inner strengths and wisdom. I work to support my clients in providing a safe, collaborative, and non-judgmental space where we can develop trusting connections that can facilitate healing and growth. I view my role as a therapist to provide a compassionate and caring space where you feel seen and heard, so that we can uncover your strengths, dreams, and to learn how to navigate through the complexities of life in alignment with your values.

 

I am dually licensed in clinical social work and chemical health with experience working in outpatient therapy, community mental health, intensive outpatient, and residential treatment centers. I have experience working with a range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, trauma and abuse, substance use, relational and communication issues, stress, and life transitions. I have worked with people of all identities, including: LBGTQ+ individuals, various gender identities, cultural and racial backgrounds, and creatives.

I believe our relationship is the primary tool in therapy to work towards acceptance and change in your life. To ensure that I am continuously meeting the needs of my clients, honoring their inner-strengths, goals, and context of life, I use an integrative approach including psychodynamic, strengths-based, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Sensorimotor Therapy, relational, mindfulness, and psychoeducational approaches. My hope is to create a space of exploration, where you can feel empowered, laugh, be vulnerable, and grow in your awareness and healing of self.  

Chaya Smilowitz, LPC

Therapist

Respect, honesty, and understanding are therapeutic qualities that I bring into my work with clients. I specialize in Complex Trauma, past relational abuse, childhood emotional neglect, shame, complex grief, and anxiety. I emphasize the relational components of my client’s life and aim to enable understating and acceptance of all parts of oneself, especially the parts that induce toxic shame, intense anxiety, or a sense of hopelessness. 

 

Through our thoughtful work together of uncovering the wounds from childhood and building a strong and nurturing self-identity you can better manage the intense emotions, relationships struggles, and uncomfortable physical symptoms that came along with the traumas you faced or are currently facing. 

 

Fostering a compassionate, empowering, and authentic relationship towards yourself will be invaluable in creating secure, boundaried, satisfying and thriving relationships with the people you care about. I deeply encourage clients to listen to their inner voice, discover their own truth, and let that guide them on the journey towards a more peaceful and satisfying life.

 

My approach balances compassion with empowerment, spirited humor with deep dignity, and hope with validation. The goals you bring to therapy and collaborating to build a safe and trusting relationship on your healing journey are priority. Our work together can help you live more fully in the present moment, be more in touch with your body and emotions, and find new meaning in the vital and life giving force of human connection. 

 

“I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am this soul that lives within”

Rumi

In addition I speak English and Hebrew.

Kat Aldag, LPC

Therapist

Therapy is about building an understanding of yourself and creating a path forward to grow.  I want to connect with you and help you connect with yourself, at your own pace. To accomplish this, I create a compassionate space in which you can cope without criticism.  As an intersectional feminist, I approach therapy as a collaboration between equals, and I believe that you are the authority on yourself. In my practice, I avoid condensing you to a simplistic category; I take into account personal and social issues such as identity, the mind-body connection, power, and privilege — all the things we can and cannot control. Considering and accepting your whole self, you can work to withstand and welcome the world in a way that works for you.

 

Prior to clinical mental health counseling, I studied linguistic anthropology – the interaction of culture, communication, and self.  Combined with psychotherapy, this provides a unique framework through which to explore and assert autonomy, authenticity, and connection.  In our sessions, you will have the opportunity to reclaim and reshape your own narrative; you are the author of your story, and I serve as your psychosocial thesaurus guiding you decidedly toward your chosen path.  In addition I speak both English and Spanish.

Jing Han, LPC

Therapist

I believe we’re naturally good and unfortunately taught to feel shame, worthlessness, inadequacy, and the ideas of “bad” and “wrong”. I’m dedicated to providing a non-judgmental environment to support clients, explore their situations, and achieve their goals. I strive to hear and understand your feelings, past and current experiences, as well as to provide information and new coping strategies to help you deal with your concerns, difficulties, and struggles. We will sort out what’s going on in your life and sort it out together.

 

I received my Master’ degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University. I have received training  in CBT, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and personality disorders treatment and management. It is my goal to keep enlarging my toolbox in order to provide more efficient and effective support to my clients.

 

I offer therapy to individuals, couples, and families in English, Mandarin, and Japanese. The differences between cultures, languages, and environments may cause frustration or even conflict, and having new information and ways to handle them will create fresh insights and help you accomplish your goals. I hope after every session my client feel more confident, having healthier boundaries, and enjoy their lives more.

Pari Shah, MSW

Therapist

I take a warm, empathetic, authentic, and “real” approach to therapy. I believe in  maintaining a personable professional relationship with my clients helps build a strong therapeutic alliance. My clients are the experts of their lives and allowing them to take control empowers them to make lasting changes. My clients have uncovered that being able to talk with me-openly and freely without judgement is a great source of liberation. 

 

My clients come from all walks of life who are seeking to live a well balanced life. Hence, I aim to provide a safe space where you can develop coping skills and emotion regulation techniques. I recognize therapy varies from person to person, therefore, I utilize a person-centered modality through a culturally competent lens. My primary theoretical orientations are CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Acceptance/Commitment Therapy which I’ve found to be highly beneficial. I believe these modalities can help clients identify their triggers, manage symptoms, and learn ongoing coping skills. 

 

I’ve had a lifelong passion to learn about people’s journey which inspired my career in mental health. I’ve worked with survivors of domestic violence, clients with severe mental health, and child abuse/trauma. My experience has been primarily working with adolescent and adult populations focusing on anxiety, depression, life transitions, trauma, sexual kinks/fetishes, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, relationships, grief, and loss.

 

On a personal note, I am a hot sauce connoisseur who enjoys kickboxing, art, and trying new foods. My love for spice has inspired me to create my own recipes, research, and learn about all things spice!

Languages spoken: English, Gujarati, Hindi

Santina Bianco, LPC

Therapist

I received my Master of Arts with a specialization in forensic counseling from Adler University. Adler University was important to me because of its emphasis on social justice and community engagement. Being a part of the Chicago community has opened my eyes as I am originally from a small town. Being a small fish in a big pond has allowed me opportunities and experiences that I feel has helped me grow as a counselor. My desire in the field of forensics stems from the fascination of psychology and law working together to help survivors of crimes or justice for the wrongfully accused.

 

I have gained therapeutic experience working in residential settings such as Chicago Public Schools, juvenile residential centers, and crisis centers. My passion involves working with children, adolescents, and young adults while promoting diversity. I provide individual, group, and family therapy. My experience consists of treating a range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), adjustment disorder, and anger.

 

My approach is integrated combining evidence-based practices including client-centered therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and Adlerian therapy. My area of specialty involves the use of play therapy. Play therapy is psychotherapeutic approach primarily used to help individuals freely express their emotions and thoughts through the use of play. Therapeutic play is a way for me to help individuals with academic, behavioral, social, or emotional issues with those who express communication differently. Verbal communication is not for all of us and can be intimidating. I prefer getting to know someone while doing something active or fun.

 

My passion is to help my clients reach their fullest potential by using their strengths to foster independence. My style of therapy involves meeting my clients where they are currently at. After all, the session is all about you. My own personal experiences with counseling are reasons for understanding the vulnerability that individuals face throughout therapy. That is why it is important to treat my clients as VIPS throughout our time together. My goal is to provide a unique and authentic counseling experience where one can feel accepted for being yourself. I seek to provide a safe and collaborative space to help develop trust to facilitate growth in the therapeutic relationship.

Fax: (847) 972-6445

3525 W Peterson Ave, Suite 522, Chicago, Illinois, 60659

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©2016 BY Chicago Pysch Therapy Group Inc.