A therapist’s ability to quickly connect with others is not something that’s taught, it’s a unique quality. As we’ve expanded our team over the years, finding therapists who are engaged and supportive has always been the top priority. We are not here to judge or nod in silence, but rather relate to your struggles and collaborate on ways to overcome them and find meaning.
Michael Vernon, LCSW
Michael is the co-founder of Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago. He earned his graduate degree from Smith College in 1999. Prior to entering private practice in 2001, Michael worked in a number of area clinics, including the University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago Hospitals. He has worked extensively with clients on overcoming depression, anxiety and trauma. Michael has a strong interest in the clinical use of mindfulness and Buddhist psychology. He is also the co-director of The Mindfulness Clinic, which offers workshops to laypeople and continuing education to professionals. In addition to his work with individuals, Michael has worked extensively with couples and received advanced training through the Gottman Institute.
Jonathan Levy, LCSW
Jonathan is the marketing coordinator and co-founder of Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago and has been working as a therapist for over 20 years. He earned his graduate degree from Smith College and undergraduate degree in Psychology from Ohio State University. Prior to entering private practice in 2001, Jonathan worked in a number of area clinics, including Chicago Lakeshore Hospital and Lutheran Social Services. He has worked extensively with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and loss. Jonathan also has considerable experience working with couples to regain a sense of trust and connection with one another. Jonathan has a warm and direct approach with his clients, knowing everyone is capable of achieving a greater sense of happiness and peace, regardless of life circumstance.
Amy Roth, LCSW
Amy attended college and received her MSW degree at the University of Kansas. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, she worked as a hospice social worker and a family mediator. Amy believes that people are the experts on their own lives and that we all have strengths and basic goodness that sometimes we don’t see, but we can learn to recognize. Mindfulness practices can help facilitate this process. As we familiarize ourselves with the way our minds work, we discover that our ideas about the way things are might be less solid and more workable than we had previously believed. Amy has been a practice leader with the Tergar Meditation Community for the last decade. In addition to her graduate degree, she is trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and completed the Contextual Behavior Therapy Fellowship Program at the University of Chicago. Amy has experience helping individuals and couples as they grapple with issues around depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma.
Emily Deaver, LCPC
Emily earned both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from DePaul University, where she had a concentration in elementary education and counseling. She has a tremendous amount of experience working with children and families. Prior to becoming a therapist, Emily spent time working as an elementary teacher in both CPS and charter schools. She is intimately familiar with how school stress can impact a student’s academic, social, and emotional life. Emily is welcoming of children and adolescents of all ages, abilities, gender identities, sexualities, and cultures. Her areas of specialization include school refusal, conduct disorder, anxiety, depression, LGBT issues, and trauma.
Christine Duffy Levy, LCSW
Christine received her Masters of Social work from the University of Chicago and has worked at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Lutheran Social Services, and Grant Hospital. Christine believes that feeling comfortable and developing a positive rapport with clients is essential to successful treatment and has experience in working with adults struggling with issues of anxiety, depression and relationship issues. She utilizes supportive psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral techniques, and goal-setting as part of her clinical approaches, and has worked in a variety of settings including hospital outpatient and inpatient day treatment programs, private practice and community mental health centers. Christine is also highly experienced, skilled and supportive in issues of parenting and families. She has done work with adults with mental illness, focused group therapy and skill-building for adults. In addition to her work at Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago in North Center, Christine also sees people at her office in Evanston.
Natasha Bhatt, LCSW
Natasha attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She has extensive training dealing with issues of depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, gender issues, and sexuality. Prior to joining PAC, Natasha worked at the University of Chicago Medical Center counseling adults with complex medical issues, substance use, and trauma. Natasha utilizes a holistic approach to therapy employing a variety of techniques, including CBT and acceptance and commitment therapy. Natasha also has a strong interest in couples work and is currently seeking advanced training in this area. She enjoys helping her clients embrace their strengths, learn new skills, and live fuller lives.
Alexis Michael, LCPC
Alexis has been working in the mental health field since 1991. Prior to joining PAC, she worked in a variety of settings, including private practice, community agencies, intensive outpatient programs, and teaching at both graduate and undergraduate levels. Alexis has extensive experience with individuals or couples and her specializations include depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse recovery. She has a deep understanding of the 12-Step program, how it can be uniquely adapted to each person’s needs, and how recovery and psychotherapy can best work together to promote lasting change. Alexis offers supportive therapy that helps her clients improve the quality of their life and deepen their relationships.
Cynthia Cruz, LCPC
Cynthia attended college at DePaul and obtained her Master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She began her clinical work in 2009 and has worked with adults, children, and families. Cynthia is fluent in Spanish and has significant experience working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Her clinical background includes treating depression, anxiety, and trauma. Cynthia has a very warm and approachable style in her work with others.
Alyssa Arnol, LCSW
Alyssa received her master’s degree from New York University and her bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alyssa has significant clinical experience working with adults, children, teens, couples and families throughout New York and Chicago. She has received advanced training in the field of trauma, including how to work with people who have histories of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, emotional trauma and unmet family needs. In addition, Alyssa has significant experience with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, chronic health issues, and parent/child struggles. She is committed to creating a safe space where people feel empowered to explore their unique experiences while feeling respected and appreciated. Alyssa is always striving to promote interpersonal strength, vitality and overall wellness.
Annette Iskra, PhD, LCSW
Annette received her Doctorate degree in Psychology/Human Development from University of Chicago and her Master’s degree in Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Annette has expertise in trauma, posttraumatic growth, homelessness and culture. In addition to working at PAC, Annette supervises C4’s Intensive Support Team program that provides group and individual therapy to adults with severe mental illness. Annette’s humanistic approach combines positive psychology, strengths-based, harm-reduction philosophy with therapeutic techniques such as CBT, mindfulness, and gestalt therapy. Her areas of specialization include anxiety, depression, physical/sexual/emotional, narcissistic abuse, and both simple and complex trauma. Annette believes that if a person seeks help, the person has the strength and resiliency to surpass recovery to a life of thriving.
Anna Wlodarczyk, MS
Anna received her undergraduate degree from Northeastern Illinois University and her master’s from DePaul University in Public Service Management with concentration in Health Care Administration. She has over 15 years of experience working as a practice manager in different medical and mental health settings. Anna has been working as PAC’s office manager since 2008. In addition to her work in office management, Anna has given presentations for health professionals on ethical and efficient billing practices.