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Counseling Center

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Additional Information about our staff relevant to training

Robert Ballantyne, Psy.D.

As a therapist and supervisor, I work to create a safe, non-judgmental environment to facilitate authenticity and open exploration. I have a foundation in contemporary psychodynamic theory but also rely upon an integration of multicultural, feminist, developmental, and systemic lenses in my approach to develop a holistic and contextual view of clients. I also integrate CBT and DBT interventions to aid in skill building and use the therapy relationship as a tool to build interpersonal self-awareness. I tailor my supervisory interventions to trainee developmental needs/learning styles and use humor where appropriate. I am sensitive to power dynamics and work to share power in the room for trainees to find their own voice. I also greatly value self-reflection and encourage exploration of self in supervision to strengthen self-awareness and clinical effectiveness.

Jenna Bauer, Psy.D.

I take an integrative approach in working with clients. While looking through a multicultural lens, I address the interpersonal dynamics at play while bringing in mindfulness, CBT and DBT skills if needed. I view the therapeutic relationship as the foundation for growth and change, and thus I strive to create a safe, nurturing environment where therapist and client can work together. Similarly, I feel that creating a safe and supportive supervisory relationship is key to the growth of a supervisee. I seek to make supervisees feel comfortable enough to process both successes and challenges in their work, as well as the dynamics of the supervisory relationship. I meet supervisees where they are at and balance guidance with collaboration and space for self-exploration. Supervision is a process where both parties are constantly learning and growing, and I feel honored by the opportunity to help a supervisee on their path towards developing their own style as a therapist.

Stephanie Benedict, Psy.D.

I describe my theoretical orientation as psychodynamic, with an emphasis on interpersonal/relational and multicultural dynamics. As such, I consider relationships to be powerful tools for healing and growth and believe the therapist and client both bring important contributions to the therapeutic relationship. As a clinician, I pay particular attention to cultural factors, transference and countertransference dynamics, and interpersonal/relational dynamics. As a supervisor, I work to create a safe space within which we can work together to explore similar factors. Additionally, I believe it is important to examine the relational components of the supervisory relationship, including parallel process dynamics and cultural factors.

Chandan Bhagia, Psy.D.

Within therapy, I tend to utilize a Psychodynamic/Interpersonal approach while also placing an emphasis on the socio-cultural context of my clients. I strongly believe that the therapeutic relationship is central to the change and growth that occurs in counseling and try my best to create a safe, non-judgmental and secure environment with the clients I work with. In addition, I attempt to facilitate an exploration of how the client's relational patterns, self-concept and experience of the world have an influence on their presenting concerns. I find that my supervisory style parallels my therapeutic approach and attempt to make the supervisory relationship collaborative at its core. Through this, I attempt to take a non-directive stance within supervision while providing the trainee support to explore and work on the developmental and clinical needs they might be facing. I have found that doing so is an effective manner by which I can facilitate the growth of my supervisee's therapeutic voice and emerging professional identity.

Joe Hermes, Ph.D.

I began my clinical training heavily influenced by my psychodynamic mentors and consider myself to practice an informed eclecticism; client and therapist in a dyadic relationship as influenced by internal and external systems with personal and practical resources brought to bear on symptom relief, recognition of strengths, and further interpersonal development. My hope for a supervision process is that it is an ongoing relationship of recognizing development and developmental needs and supporting, encouraging, and acknowledging change toward greater knowledge, skill, and clinical success.

Chuck La Chance, Psy.D.

My approach to therapy is integrative with a primary foundation in cognitive behavioral theory along with systemic, multicultural, and relational perspectives. I approach supervision from a developmental perspective, acknowledging the supervisee’s strengths and current skills and working collaboratively to identify the supervisee’s goals and interests for training and professional development. In keeping with my approach to therapy, I consider supervision to be a collaborative, respectful process, and strive to provide an atmosphere for supervision that is safe and supportive. My goal during supervision is to provide a balance of supporting and appropriately challenging the supervisee in a way that will promote the development of individual strengths while addressing areas for growth in clinical skills.

Karen Maddi, Ph.D.

My primary theoretical approach is psychodynamic/interpersonal with additional emphasis on socio-cultural context and feminist perspectives. I have a strong generalist background but am also experienced in working with individuals suffering from trauma, PTSD or eating disorders and can be equally comfortable working with a pragmatic symptom management of disruptive symptoms. I prefer to take a developmentally-based approach working collaboratively with trainees to identifying and work on individualized goals for professional development.

Michelle Montero, Psy.D.

My commitment, as staff member and therapist at UIC Counseling Center, is to celebrate and encourage personal growth and independent thought, while maintaining and weaving these values into the fabric of a collective community environment. My approach to treatment is integrative, holistic, and relational. I work with clients to understand how diversity/culture, relationship patterns and the environment impact emotions and overall functioning. I enjoy working collaboratively with clients to bring awareness, self-discovery, and a deeper personal understanding of oneself to promote empowerment, personal acceptance, change, and academic success. As a supervisor, I apply many of the same principles. I strive to create a safe and supportive supervisory relationship, meeting supervisees where they are in their training. I work collaboratively with supervisees and balance guidance with self-exploration, as well as process through both the successes and challenges of their work. I am deeply committed and passionate about working with supervisees. I believe that it is a true honor to learn from supervisees, as well as join supervisees on their journey to developing their own style and professional identity.

Yoko Mori, Ph.D.

My approach to clinical work can be described as transtheoretical with a strong emphasis on interpersonal, multicultural, and feminist perspectives. I perceive the working alliance as the foundation for any change process; as such I strive for creating collaborative working relationships with my clients and supervisees while adjusting my approach to where they are. Similarly, I focus on supervisee' training goals to meet their needs in supervision. I strive to create an environment where trainees feel comfortable discussing various issues, including dynamic within supervisory dyad by bringing interpersonal, multicultural, and feminist perspectives to supervision.

Danielle Simmons, Ph.D.

My clinical approach is closely aligned with my supervisory style and can be best described as interpersonal and emotion-focused with intentional attention paid to multicultural contexts. I believe in the power of a solid, working relationship and therefore, strive to create safe, supportive environments that promote self-care and authentic self-expressions. It is my hope that through our working relationship, clients and trainees can further their development and affirm their unique voices and identities. I deeply believe in the strengths and resources that we all possess. I also believe that training is a life-long process for all of us and each day I am enriched by the clinical and supervisory work I do. I am truly honored when I can sit with a client or supervisee who is working to hone their skills and increase their understanding of self and others.

Jeanette Simon, Psy.D.

My approach to therapy is integrative with a primary foundation in psychodynamic/interpersonal theory and systemic, feminist, and multicultural perspectives. As a supervisor (in many ways similar to my approach as a therapist), I believe an essential part of my role is to create an environment where trainees feel understood and supported. I approach supervision from a developmental perspective, looking at where at a supervisee is at and mutually identifying training and professional development interests, needs and goals. I strive to seek a balance of supporting and appropriately challenging and value having an open and collaborative relationship.

Kurt Stevens, Psy.D.

While my primary theoretical orientation is strongly influenced by psychodynamic theories (e.g., object relations, attachment, self-psychology, ego-psychology, and contemporary relational) within a multicultural framework, I generally utilize an interpersonal/relational treatment approach in which I continually strive to foster an authentic and trusting therapeutic alliance in which clients feel validated, understood, and safe to identify and explore their emotions, thoughts, and underlying motivations in greater depth. Similarly, as a supervisor, I use a relational and collaborative style in order to create a safe and supportive space in which I attempt to meet supervisees where they are both in a particular moment during supervision as well as from a broader, developmental perspective. I view the opportunity to serve as a supervisor as a privilege and aspire to create a mutually enjoyable and rewarding supervisory experience. I also aim to seek an appropriate balance between giving positive feedback, providing guidance, offering appropriate challenges, and exploring supervisee's emerging reactions associated with both their client-therapist and supervisor-supervisee relational experiences, all in the context of an open, supportive, and collaborative supervisory relationship.

 

 

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