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.
Julie Matija, LCPC
Julie has been working as a therapist since 2002. Prior to joining PAC she worked at a number of local clinics, including Lutheran Social Services, Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network, and Children’s Memorial Hospital. Julie holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Northwestern University, as well as a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Julie has extensive experience working with adults, families and children. She specializes in addressing the behavioral and emotional difficulties of children as well as the effects of these issues on the family. Julie also works with adults who have anxiety, relationship issues, a history of trauma, and anger management problems. Julie embraces a collaborative and culturally-sensitive therapeutic approach that includes elements of psychodynamic theory, mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral strategies for growth.
Kristin Pederson Flores, LMFT
Kristin Pederson Flores received her Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Northwestern University. Before joining PAC, she maintained a private practice in Evanston and worked at Community Counseling Centers of Chicago. Kristin has significant experience working with children, families and couples. Her approach to therapy emphasizes the importance of seeking and creating healthy relationships. She specializes in issues related to life-stage transitions, depression, anxiety, adolescence, relational conflict, parenting, and family stress. Kristin utilizes family systems, cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic theory in her practice and seeks to develop a collaborative relationship with clients.
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 Flatt, 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.
Daria Hoey, LCSW
Daria received her MSW from Loyola University Chicago following a BFA in illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been working in the behavioral health field since 2008, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and with populations ranging from young children to seniors. She has extensive experience working with individuals recovering from trauma, as well as chronic conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar, and personality disorders, and specializes in work with LGBTQ+ youth. Her background in the arts has enabled Daria to work with clients using creative, individualized treatment for a sustainable recovery.
Kyla Dannelke, LCPC
Kyla has more than a decade of experience in the mental health field, having started her career while still an undergraduate at Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania. She earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Adler University in Chicago. Kyla has extensive experience working with children, families, couples, and individual adults. She enjoys tailoring her approach for each client and situation, but has formal training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Kyla’s special interest–and the area in which she has worked most extensively–focuses on individuals struggling with substance abuse.
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.
Jonathan worked for many years at various hospitals, social service agencies and nursing homes. Jonathan is no longer performing any clinical duties, but focusing exclusively on his role as Marketing Coordinator. Jonathan is responsible for overall marketing and building relationships between PAC, our staff, and the local community. He enjoys learning about area businesses and clinics to find ways that our practice might help your customers, clients, and staff. Jonathan earned his graduate degree at Smith College and attended college at Ohio State University. If you are interested in learning more about PAC, Jonathan would welcome your email or call.
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.