Christina Griffin, PMHNP-BC
medication management for adult-geriatric psychiatry.
If you’re interested in teen and adult med management services, Christina is accepting BCBS PPO and self-pay clients.
Alfreda Shields, APRN-FPA
Mrs. Alfreda Shields, MSN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, is a dual certified Family and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan. Before becoming a nurse practitioner, Mrs. Shields worked as a staff nurse on a cardiac unit at Mercy Hospital. She has worked as a travel nurse in which she has worked in a variety of settings.
Mrs. Shields received her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, from Indiana State University. She received her Post- Master Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of Cincinnati. She is dedicated to providing the evidence-based care that patients deserve. She desires to establish long-lasting relationships with clients. She has an interest in treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and reading.
If you’re interested in adult med-management services, Alfreda accepts BCBS PPO and self-pay clients.
Dzejna Mujkic, BA
Dzejna is currently a fourth-year student pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Adler University and has earned her BA in Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago. Before joining CCBH, Dzejna worked at Guada Psychological Services, Mental Health Solutions, and a non-profit community-based organization, Together Chicago. Through her clinical training, she gained experience providing individual, couples, and family therapy, administering neuropsychological evaluations, and providing socio-emotional learning and mentoring to school-aged children in under-served communities. She has experience working with a broad range of ethnically and racially diverse clients of all ages. Dzejna has provided therapy to clients struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship problems, eating and body image, family conflict, traumatic experiences, acculturation, self-esteem, emotion regulation, school performance, and many other challenges that compromise one’s quality of life.
Dzejna is very warm-hearted and naturally builds comfortable and trustworthy relationships with her clients. She values and strives to make the therapy experience one that enables individuals to learn about themselves, others, and life in ways that empowers them and promotes resiliency in the face of hardships. She helps clients redefine their life narratives by emphasizing their strengths and shedding light on the concepts of agency and self-worth. Dzejna is a first-generation college student whose family background is of central European and Middle Eastern descent. Dzejna takes pride in the diversity of her cultural competence and ability to validate clients’ acculturation experiences. She is keen on identifying how the mental health of marginalized people is affected by overlapping discrimination of race, class, and gender.
Dzejna believes that for treatment to be effective, it must bring awareness to and target the various environmental, emotional, familial, and cognitive factors that have impacted and interacted with the client in the past, present, and anticipated future. She possesses a high level of compassion and understanding of people’s struggles and works to instill that same compassion in clients themselves. Dzejna is exceptionally passionate about her work and practices largely from an interpersonal approach in therapy. Her treatment style integrates various therapeutic techniques that best meet each client’s unique needs and goals throughout their growth in therapy. Dzejna intends to make the therapy setting a safe space for clients to build confidence in their skills and abilities in coping with their mental health concerns.
Dzejna will be available for sessions starting August 1st. She will accept BCBS PPO plans.
Rebecca Goldstein, MA
Becca Goldstein (she/her) is an advanced extern receiving her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Prior to joining CCBH, Becca trained in college counseling and at a hospital where she completed a rotation with the OB/GYN department working with pregnant women and new mothers. Becca has experience working with adolescents in multiple settings, including residential treatment and various school settings.
She strives to create a warm and nonjudgemental therapy space where clients are encouraged to grow above their concerns in ways that feel meaningful to them and fit their unique needs. Becca practices primarily from a client-centered and relational psychodynamic lens, supporting clients in gaining insight into how lived experiences, personal identities, and the world around them shape who they are and whom they can become. She utilizes a warm and collaborative approach throughout to support clients in meeting their goals both within and outside of therapy. Becca has experience helping clients with a wide array of presenting concerns and has worked primarily with clients experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, and life transitions.
Outside of the office, you can find Becca petting any dog who passes on the street, rewatching 30 Rock for the 10th time, and attempting to bake bread from around the world. She listens to an outrageous number of podcasts and enjoys late spring walks to lake Michigan.
Becca will be available for sessions starting August 2nd. She will accept BCBS PPO plans.
Maggie Collins, MA
Maggie (she/her) is an advanced therapy extern at CCBH. She is a fourth-year student at Roosevelt University where she earned her M.A. and is earning her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D). She holds a B.A. in Psychology, with an emphasis in clinical science and counseling, from Indiana University. Previously, Maggie gained therapy
training at a community mental health setting focused on sexual trauma recovery (C4: STARS). She also gained assessment training at an inpatient hospital focused on the interdisciplinary care of chronic migraine patients (Diamond Headache Clinic). Additionally, she trains in an academic medical setting focused on mental health and sexual health with patients on the cancer continuum (UChicago- Psycho Sexual Oncology).
Maggie’s clinical background includes working with adults, adolescents, and a variety of presenting concerns. She is experienced and interested in helping clients recover from various types of trauma (sexual/physical/emotional/discriminatory/religious/institutional/interpersonal). She is also passionate about the processing of grief, family conflict, mood challenges, self-esteem issues, body-image issues, sexuality & gender expression, relationship challenges, adjustment challenges, women’s issues, and chronic illness.
Maggie practices from an identity-affirmative, intersectional feminist, and anti-racist framework aligning with her values while pulling from a variety of evidence-based therapies to address each client’s need. She predominantly uses Relational-Cultural Therapy (RCT), emphasizing the role of human connection in the therapy space and the systems which impact our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing outside the therapy space. She also utilizes principles from contextual cognitive-behavioral therapies (ACT & DBT) for skill-building guidance.
Maggie shows up as a therapist authentically herself to facilitate humor, relational healing, and self-discovery. She understands that seeking help through therapy can evoke several emotions and is just one point in time compared to your whole history. She is eager to hold space for all emotions in unpacking that history and helping you move toward an empowering future!
Maggie will be available for sessions starting August 4th. She will accept BCBS PPO plans.
Amber Walker, MA
Amber Walker (she/her) is a recent graduate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is currently obtaining her licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Chicago State University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent treatment from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Before CCBH, Amber worked closely with children and families residing in underserved populations. Amber provided continuous support and used strength-based and evidence-based models such as the Parent as Teacher model to strengthen family engagement, family dynamics, and parenting practices in the home.
Amber admires working with children, teenagers, adults, and families who are experiencing unique and challenging circumstances. Her professional and personal experiences have provided her with the ability to connect to each individual on a more personalized basis. She utilizes interventions from a CBT and Integrative approach, interchangeably applying techniques from a strength-based and family systems model. She strongly believes that our lives are greatly impacted by the stressors we experience. Therefore, Amber’s overall goal is to assist individuals with the ability to identify, process, and formulate coping strategies to navigate through life’s stressors successfully.
Amber is vibrant and engaging, which promotes her artistic ability to incorporate expressive interventions such as art therapy into her client’s therapeutic space. Her number one mission is to provide her clients with a positive, therapeutic experience so that they are exiting therapy with a better sense of self and understanding.
Amber accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Brittany Jamrozik, LMFT
Brittany (she/they) is a Licensed Couples and Family Therapist (LMFT) who earned their Master’s Degree from Adler University in Chicago. She has served in a diversity of roles in a diversity of contexts and found a home in the therapy room. She integrates her experiences with community mental health, teaching, music, theatre, writing, dance, child care & development, wilderness adventuring, & sociopolitical activism to co-construct a creative therapy that resonates with each individual client. Brittany holds clients’ unique personhood and lived experience in the highest regard, focusing on the power of exploring one’s strengths & values within their broader cultural context. Her areas of expertise are in lovingly attending to developmental & relational trauma, working alongside individuals navigating a history of unmet needs & frustrating attempts to get them met, shame & self-rejection, identity development, life transitions, and of course, supporting others in the ongoing search for –and making of– meaning.
While many folks come to therapy for relief from distress, Brittany also sees therapy as a gateway to deeper self-reflection & discovery that awakens new meaning in our lives. Brittany specializes in attending to distress by way of liberatory and creative approaches, questioning the attitudes and behaviors that keep us stuck, and making space for better, chosen ones in their place. She brings a passion for liberation justice to this work, in an ongoing practice of dismantling the oppressive inner and outer systems that do us harm and responding with compassionate practices of resistance. Brittany’s approaches are anchored in cultivating radical acceptance, celebrating queerness in its many dynamic forms, & engaging the shared power of mind & body through breath, affirmations, and movement to generate the embodied experiences of safety & connection that we all deserve.
One of Brittany’s main aims is to make space for humor & joy even in times of struggle — why do the hard labor of healing if we aren’t feeling some of the good stuff along the way? As you collaborate side by side, she will encourage you to build your safety, discover your power, further develop your voice, and welcome the new possibilities you desire.
Brittany accepts BCBS PPO plans and United Healthcare plans.
Abeha Jafri, MA
Abeha is a recent graduate from Adler University and is obtaining her Licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Purdue University, and she earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University. Currently, Abeha is pursuing her Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Adler University. Prior to joining CCBH, Abeha worked with Chatham Family Counseling Center and Hartgrove Hospital. She has experience working with adults, teens, and youth from marginalized backgrounds. Abeha has worked with various client concerns such as anxiety, depression, grief/loss, trauma, relationships, phase of life problems, self-esteem, and suicidality.
Abeha is very passionate about working with clients and making their well-being her number one priority. Abeha practices from a humanistic approach and tailors her services around each client and their lived experiences. Abeha believes that self-awareness and the quest for self-knowledge are vital for personal growth. She encourages clients to look at themselves through a lens of curiosity rather than judgment. Abeha values fostering therapeutic relationships that are nonjudgmental, collaborative, and built on trust. Abeha is also passionate about the mind-body-spirit connection and how mindfulness can be used as a tool for healing and self-actualization. She is also passionate about promoting mental health awareness and destigmatizing mental health care within marginalized communities.
Abeha accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Dr. Anne Rufa
Dr. Anne Rufa (she/her/hers) received her PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology from DePaul University. She has worked with clients of all ages in a variety of settings including hospital-based outpatient clinics, community mental health centers, shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and a Veterans Affairs hospital.
Dr. Rufa uses an integrative approach to therapy driven by a collaborative working relationship that honors clients’ goals, preferences, and strengths. A typical course of therapy couples insight-oriented techniques with evidence-based interventions specific to clients’ treatment goals and concerns. She believes it is imperative to consider both individual experience and one’s broader social context, encouraging an intersectional lens through which to view and understand one’s lived experience.
Dr. Rufa specializes in treatments addressing trauma and related mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relational difficulties, and managing painful emotions (e.g., grief/loss, shame/guilt). She has extensive experience working with veterans and people experiencing housing instability or homelessness. Dr. Rufa is certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and trained in a number of other evidence-based modalities including: Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA), Skills Training for Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based interventions.
In addition to therapy, Dr. Rufa has a passion for community-engaged research. Her work aims to address mental health disparities and to promote health equity for oppressed groups by addressing differential access to mental health services and building capacity in community-based organizations, with long-term goals of enacting policy change and dismantling racist systems.
Anne accepts BCBS PPO and United Healthcare plans.
Lexus Goings, MSW, LCSW, EMDR
Lexus Goings is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, certified EMDR therapist, and certified as a trauma conscious yoga therapist. She earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Arkansas.
Lexus has experience working with adolescents and adults who struggle with trauma, chronic illness, and Asperger’s syndrome. Lexus integrates Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and holistic healing in her practice.
Lexus focuses on exploring all parts of self, as well as the systems we are a part of. Lexus’ practice is completely non-judgmental, encouraging clients to focus on their inner strength and residency. While providing a safe place for individuals to express themselves, she works to assist individuals in healing and building on their strengths.
In her free time, Lexus loves to read, play video games, participate in yoga, and watch the Chicago Cubs play. She also enjoys spending time traveling and gardening.
Lexus accepts BCBS PPO, Medicare and United Healthcare plans.
Amanda Jue, LPC, NCC
Amanda (she/her) is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology from UIC, and she earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Roosevelt University. Prior to joining CCBH, Amanda worked with City Colleges of Chicago at the Harold Washington College Wellness Center. She has experience working with adult and young adult clients from historically marginalized backgrounds and she has worked with a variety of client concerns including depression, anxiety, grief/loss, trauma, relationships, self-esteem, identity, and suicidality.
Amanda is very easygoing and practices largely from a holistic and client-centered perspective. She believes that self-awareness and genuineness are core components of personal growth, and she encourages clients to be naturally introspective and curious about themselves. Amanda seeks to understand each individual as a whole within the larger context of their unique lived experiences and intersecting identities. She strives to foster therapeutic relationships that are collaborative, open, and nonjudgmental, and she is invested in helping each client create a therapeutic experience that is personally meaningful. Amanda is also passionate about destigmatizing mental health care within communities of color, and she is particularly attentive in addressing the unique struggles, barriers, and experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color on individual and systemic levels.
Outside of work, Amanda loves video games, anime, and shows like BoJack Horseman, Futurama, and Bob’s Burgers. She enjoys international travel (at least, she used to before COVID became a thing), and she has lived and worked abroad in South Korea and Australia. Amanda always appreciates a good laugh, and she is very fond of singing, drawing, playing the piano, and gardening.
Amanda accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Capri Izzo, LCSW
Capri Izzo (they/she) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who received their Master’s Degree in Adult Mental Health & Wellbeing from the University of Southern California. Before working at CCBH, Capri gained experience working in an outpatient program supporting clients around diverse experiences such as issues with substances, depression, anxiety, identity development, and other life challenges for individuals, couples, and families. Some of her favorite forms of self-regulation include poetry, art, video games, and being in community with friends.
Capri considers therapy to be a cooperative process that allows a person to grow and explore within a dynamic relationship between therapist and client. They are trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solutions-Focused Therapy (SFT), and mindfulness-based interventions, and use a relational approach that allows each client’s needs to take the center of a therapy session.
With training in intimate partner violence, unhealthy relationships, and body-based interventions, Capri takes a trauma-informed approach to therapy. They ensure a comfortable environment in which to delve into tough experiences and make changes in life through introspection, understanding, and empowerment.
“Coming to therapy can be a big step in a person’s life. It is a choice to grow, heal, and give yourself space to work on your needs. In safe & comfortable sessions that welcome authenticity and vulnerability, we will create goals and collaboratively find ways to attain them. As we increase our understanding of your inner world and the world around you, we’ll take steps to bring you to the person you want to be.”
Capri accepts BCBS PPO, Medicare and United Healthcare plans.
Carolyn Raitt, LCPC, NCC, CCTP
Carolyn is a board-certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She earned her Masters of Arts (MA) in Counseling from Northwestern University.
Although Carolyn’s theoretical orientation is firmly grounded in psychodynamic and relational theories and training, she takes an integrative approach to therapy. She has extensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Radically-Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT), Mindfulness, the Gottman Method, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Carolyn also draws from contemporary advances in the neuroscientific understanding of emotions and trauma to help clients better understand the mind-body connection and its utility in coping.
Carolyn believes that the therapist-client relationship lies at the heart of therapy and that creating a sense of safety is an essential part of the therapeutic process. Carolyn works to ensure that clients feel heard and understood as she and the client work together to understand the cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional patterns in the client’s life. Similarly, she also strives to situate her clinical work within an intersectional, feminist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive framework, helping clients find a place where they can exist as a whole person, bring all parts of themselves, and explore the complexities of their visible and invisible identities.
While Carolyn has experience helping individuals with a wide variety of presenting issues, including depression, anxiety, and grief/loss, she specializes in working with eating and/or body image issues, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and adolescent & young adult life transitions & identity development.
“Choosing to enter and engage in therapy often brings up a variety of complex and potentially conflicting thoughts and emotions. I welcome all aspects of you and your experience into our therapy sessions, including parts that you may not yet be ready to share. I feel grateful and honored to partner with you on your journey. My hope is that together, we can cultivate the kind of transformative and empowering psychotherapeutic experiences that will help you develop the self-awareness, coping skills, and self-efficacy to be your authentic self and live the life you want to lead.”
Carolyn accepts BCBS PPO and United Healthcare plans.
Mariya Sirman, LPC, NCC
Mariya (she/her) is a queer-identified, first-generation immigrant, and multiculturally informed psychotherapist. Mariya has experience working with adults who struggle with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, and PTSD. She specializes in working with individuals who are recovering from eating disorders and have body image disturbance, as well as survivors of trauma. Mariya integrates psychodynamic therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, relational, and attachment-based therapy in her practice.
Mariya focuses on exploring the individual identity, as well as how the system around us impacts our well-being. Mariya utilizes a collaborative approach in the therapy room and believes in incorporating curiosity into any of life’s challenges while eliminating judgment. While being compassionate and nonjudgmental, she understands the importance of examining the intersectionality of identity and will work with clients to establish a deeper belonging in the world.
Mariya accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Cynthia Sanchez Vazquez LPC, EMDR, NCC
Cynthia Sanchez Vazquez (she/her) is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She graduated with a double major in Nutrition, Health, and Wellness and Psychology from Northern Illinois University. Afterward, Cynthia received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Northwestern University. Prior to joining CCBH, Cynthia has worked with high schoolers, young adults, adults, and couples. Some of the issues Cynthia has helped clients better understand and navigate are anxiety, depression, stress management, trauma, perfectionism, relational concerns, self-harm behaviors, life transitions, and suicidal ideation. Cynthia has worked in a variety of settings including a partial and intensive outpatient hospitalization program at Roger’s Behavioral Health, the outpatient and employee assistance programs at AMITA Center for Mental Health, and The Family Institute.
Cynthia utilizes an eclectic approach that combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, and Psychodynamic theories. She believes that an eclectic approach helps with symptom reduction and gaining insight into answering the big question, “why is this happening.” Cynthia believes that by gaining awareness of the why behind re-occurring patterns in life that are causing distress, a client can work towards creating lasting changes that can bring a client closer to achieving life goals.
Throughout her treatment approach, Cynthia highlights the importance of a collaborative approach by helping a client understand why something is recommended and by getting a clear picture of a client’s values and opinions. Cynthia also believes in the importance of acknowledging the impact cultural factors have on a client’s values, long-held beliefs, and current distress. Her goal throughout treatment is to create a safe haven where a client can feel heard by providing an escape from the fear of being judged and leaving space for a client to ask questions that can foster trust in the therapeutic relationship. To start the process of getting to know each other and building a trusting relationship some information about Cynthia is that she identifies as a Mexican American female using she/her/hers pronouns and is a first-generation American. While in the therapy room her personal aura is being warm, open-minded, and conversational.
“Thinking of engaging in therapy can give rise to so many different emotions, thoughts, and questions. I want you to know that I welcome all that into my therapy sessions and feel grateful to be accompanying you through this journey. I also acknowledge that being vulnerable is no easy task, can take time, and can also lead to benefits. I want to collaborate with you to make choices together that align with your values and goals you have set for yourself. As your therapist, one goal I strive to work with you on is to provide you the information and skills you need to feel empowered not only in the therapy room but outside of it as well.”
Cynthia accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Tara Sabol, LCPC
Tara (she/her) is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Northwestern University. Prior to joining CCBH, Tara worked extensively with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults in seeking relief from anxiety and related disorders, grief and loss, depression, and complex emotions. She has worked in a variety of settings including partial and intensive outpatient hospitalization programs, private practice, and transitional living services. She also has a strong interest in working with and navigating issues related to anxiety, self-esteem, emotion regulation, anger management, coping with stress, and identity development.
Tara is extensively trained and practices from a firm foundation of Psychodynamic theory, integrating evidence-based practices including Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), and Mindfulness-oriented approaches to provide clients tools to strengthen emotional regulation skills, reframe negative thought patterns, and integrate present moment awareness to build a greater capacity for stress reduction and minimization of rumination patterns. Tara strives to help clients uncover the deeper and more unconscious aspects of their experiences to increase self-awareness while also developing proactive and concrete ways to increase overall well-being and happiness. She values a collaborative and relational approach to therapy to ensure clients exercise their voice within their therapy experience and feel truly seen in the process.
As a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), Tara has a strong interest in the principles and effectiveness of mindfulness and meditation and strives to guide clients toward understanding their map of emotions, the power of the mind, and its impact on inner peace and physical wellness. It is Tara’s hope to empower women to recognize their individual potential and utilize its expression into meaningful and purposeful ways.
“I believe real change and transformation happen through feeling heard, understood, and being unconditionally accepted by another. We all do the things we do for a reason and it is my aim as a therapist to guide, support, and empower you in making sense of those things and making lasting changes that bring you closer to the life you wish to live.”
Tara accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Dr. Kayla Sivesind
Dr. Sivesind received her Master’s and PsyD degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She has worked with children, adolescents, college students and adults in a variety of settings including the Cook County court system, a Chicago college counseling center, a residential facility for formerly homeless veterans, a Veterans Affairs hospital and private practice.
Kayla practices in an integrative fashion, combining aspects of psychodynamic, relational, cognitive-behavioral and existential perspectives. She views therapy as a collaborative process and works with her clients to help create and maintain a safe space to explore and interact with one’s thoughts and feelings. She seeks to help her clients live fully and authentically and sees therapy as an opportunity to learn new ways of walking in the world that bring happiness and fulfillment. Kayla utilizes insight-oriented and present-focused techniques to help her clients work on long-term, as well as more immediate, relief of their symptoms.
While Kayla helps clients with many psychological and behavioral difficulties, including depression and anxiety, she specializes in working with grief and loss, guilt and shame, anger and trauma, including relational/developmental trauma, combat and military sexual trauma. Additionally, Kayla is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) and Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), evidence-based interventions proven effective in treating both chronic and single-incident trauma.
Kayla accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Dr. Celeste Jackson
Celeste Jackson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology at National Louis University; having studied protective factors and resilience in children and families impacted by incarceration. Celeste also has a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Celeste has experience working with individuals, groups, families, adolescents, couples, and court-mandated clients in a variety of settings including both community and private practices with an array of presenting concerns including anxiety, depression, relational concerns, stress, grief, and anger. Her current specializations include working with youth and young adults dealing with single-event or episodic trauma and life changing events at home, school or work.
Celeste practices an integrative approach to counseling, incorporating fundamental perspectives of Relational and Person-Centered Therapy with elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing to truly make the therapeutic process an individual and holistic experience for each client. She believes that each encounter is an opportunity to grow, build and challenge ourselves and she strives to set the platform for clients to come and do just that in every session. Her philosophy is that not one person operates within a single context and that all of our dynamic experiences play a role in how we view the world and that worldview impacts our ability to make changes in our lives. It is necessary to understand those contexts in which we operate and how they impact us if we seek progression.
“It is my belief that all of us have a purpose and our lives are most fulfilled when we walk in that purpose. Everyday challenges have the potential to discourage our paths. My goal is to help you work through those challenges by putting the power in your hands and being present on your journey as you reclaim your purpose and initiate the change you wish to see in your life.”
Celeste accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Dr. Petya Randelova
Dr. Petya Randelova (she/her) received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Adler University (formerly the Adler School of Professional Psychology) where she wrote her dissertation on the neuropsychological correlates of impulsive aggression in individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. She has worked with individuals, families, couples, children, and adolescents in a variety of settings, including Oak Park Counseling Center (formerly Austin Family Counseling Center) and Hartgrove Hospital, Elmhurst College Wellness Center, and Adler Community Health Services working in community partnership with Thresholds and City Year Chicago. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP).
Dr. Randelova practices from an integrative approach to therapy, combining a relational framework with skills-building to provide relief for the symptoms that brought clients into treatment in the first place while exploring the powerful impact of early life experiences on the person’s development and view of the world and themselves in the present. She believes that the relationship developed between herself and her clients provides the foundation upon which to build increase insight and self-awareness in order to make the changes necessary to reach one’s unique potential and create the life you want to live.
Dr. Randelova is trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and the Gottman Method, and values the benefit of integrating these approaches into her work to offer coping tools and alternative ways of interacting with one’s internal and external world. She also has a strong interest in the mind-body connection and makes use of the many benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and an emphasis on physical well-being in her work with clients. Additionally, she is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidenced-based intervention that has been proven effective for treating chronic as well as single incident trauma.
While Dr. Randelova helps people with many psychological and behavioral difficulties, including depression, anxiety, and life transitions, her primary areas of interest are the treatment of relational difficulties for individuals and couples, acculturation/multigenerationa
Petya accepts BCBS PPO and United Healthcare plans.
Dr. Kathryn Brandenborg
Dr. Kathryn Brandenborg (she/her) received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she wrote her dissertation on the development of a program for treating binge eating disorder. She has worked with individuals, families, couples, children, and adolescents in a variety of settings, including Hartgrove Hospital, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Community Reach Center, located in Denver, CO, as well as private/group practices in both the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
Dr. Brandenborg has an integrative approach to therapy that honors the profoundly unique nature of individuals. She believes in the powerful impact early life experiences have on a person’s development of self and experience of others. She seeks to help her clients increase insight and self-awareness in order to make the changes necessary to reach their unique potentials. Dr. Brandenborg is trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and values the benefit of integrating these approaches into her insight-oriented work to offer coping skills and alternative ways of interacting with one’s thoughts and emotions. She also has a strong interest in the mind-body connection and makes use of the many benefits of mindfulness and meditation practice in her work with clients.
While Dr. Brandenborg helps people with many psychological and behavioral difficulties, including depression, anxiety, and addiction, her primary areas of specialty are the treatment of emotional eating/binge eating disorder, relational difficulties, and trauma.
“I strive to create a space that feels safe, accepting, encouraging, yet challenging, and most importantly, collaborative to help clients create the changes they believe are necessary and most important for their well-being. My goal is to help clients better understand and alter the interpersonal, emotional, and cognitive patterns that not only contribute to their presenting concerns, but may also interfere with their ability to create and maintain healthy relationships with others and themselves. In a safe and judgment-free space, where clients can first feel heard and understood, I will offer support, direct feedback and coping-focused interventions to provide more immediate relief, while working towards lasting growth and change.”
Dr. Brandenborg accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Dr. Samantha Gehr
Dr. Samantha Gehr (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and received both her Master’s and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). She has worked with individuals, families, couples, children, and adolescents in a variety of settings including community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, hospital-based outpatient clinics, and group practice.
Dr. Gehr utilizes an integrative approach, grounded in psychodynamic theory, and pulls from skill-based and solution-focused techniques using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness to help provide more immediate relief. Dr. Gehr feels that while it is important to minimize daily struggles that get in the way of being fully present in your life and relationships, healing comes from exploring how our past experiences have affected the ways in which we interpret and interact with our world. By exploring underlying roots to emotional distress, and identifying unmet needs you are able to nurture more connected relationships, uncover thought and behavioral patterns that interfere with happiness, master effective coping skills, and experience overall symptom reduction.
While Dr. Gehr has experience helping individuals with a multitude of presenting difficulties, including anxiety, depression, relational struggles, and trauma, she specializes in working with developmental/relational trauma (very difficult childhoods, parents who struggled with their own mental health issues, substance abuse or personality disorders), sexual abuse, women’s health (infertility, unhealthy/abusive relationships, postpartum issues, etc.) and individuals navigating identity development and/or life transitions.
“I know that starting this process can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with is critical to a successful treatment outcome, as I firmly believe that change occurs in the trust and safety that is established in a judgment-free therapeutic relationship. Using warmth, empathy, direct feedback and skill building, I can help you more fully understand yourself and your relationships and therefore feel empowered to start living the life you want to live.”
Dr. Gehr accepts BCBS PPO plans.
Dr. Colleen Cira
Dr. Colleen Cira (she/her) is the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She has worked with individuals, families, couples, children, and adolescents in a variety of settings including Children’s Memorial Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Northwestern University College Counseling Center, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center as well as private/group practices in both the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Dr. Cira is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP).
Dr. Cira practices integratively, often going back and forth between the past and the present. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness/Meditation to help people decrease the symptoms that brought them into treatment in the first place. But she also believes that early life experiences profoundly shape who we are and believes that it isn’t until we fully understand how we came to be who we are that we can truly shape our own destiny. Through the combination of insight, self-reflection and learning new skills, people can see tremendous change in their lives.
While Dr. Cira helps people with many psychological and behavioral difficulties, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relational difficulties, and trauma, her primary areas of specialty is the treatment of relationship problems, sexual abuse/assault, relational/developmental trauma (very difficult childhoods) and parenting/motherhood. Additionally, she is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based intervention that has been proven effective for treating chronic as well as single incident trauma.
“Therapy is based on research & science, both of which are incredibly important, but I believe that nothing is more important than feeling heard & understood without any judgment. When a strong, supportive relationship is combined with direct feedback and skill building, people change & lives improve.”
Dr. Cira does not accept insurance. Sel-pay and out-of-network clients are accepted.
Maria (she/her/ella) is the Practice Manager at Cira Center for Behavioral Health. She ensures things run smoothly and making sure clients are provided with the best experience. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Psychology and have administrative and clinical experience in mental health care facilities, as well as teaching experience, in different areas in Mexico and The U.S. Additionally, she is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Hex (they/them) works as the Client Care Coordinator and Biller at CCBH. It’s their goal to help you with your first steps in your healing process. They are in charge of coordinating scheduling and billing and making the process of starting treatment as easy as possible. They are from Florida originally, and began working in Healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic before joining CCBH. They moved to Chicago to get a taste of the seasons and be closer to their family.
Lupita (she/her/ella) is the Executive Assistant at Cira Center. Her main objective is to ensure efficient operation related to organization and communication within our Practice. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Psychology and has experience in Health and Substance Abuse Institutions in Mexico. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.