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 at 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 as unique as they are, for a sustainable recovery.