About me

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The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change – Carl Rogers

People searching for a therapist typically start with two questions: 1) Is this the kind of person who can help me? and 2) Does this person have the qualifications to help me?

I arranged this page with those questions in mind. If you’re interested in my qualifications, you can skip down to the last paragraph. But I find that most new clients want to know why I do what I do, why I believe it works, and whether my style will be helpful for the specific set of circumstances they are facing. If you want to get a good sense of who I am before we meet, this is the right place.

Years ago, I was a journalist. I loved writing. I loved meeting new people and pulling together threads from their lives in order to create a tapestry that told their stories. There was just one problem: talking on the phone filled me with panic. I knew I loved interviewing people and that I didn’t want to stop because of fear. But I also knew that the anxiety I felt was preventing me from doing my best work.

So I made a decision. I was going to do whatever it took to calm my anxiety – even if that meant facing into my fears. I had no idea where that journey would take me, but that decision had an incredibly unexpected impact on my life.

The most important thing about the path that took me from fear to safety, from self-criticism to self confidence, from a career in journalism to a doctorate in psychology, was this: it left me with an unshakable trust in the process of therapy. I believe that people are capable of great change – in fact, I agree with the opinion many psychologists hold that it’s almost impossible for people not to change. When people change within an environment that promotes authenticity, self-acceptance, and increased connectedness to the feelings of self and others, those changes tend to be positive.

Because I view therapy as collaborative, I know that your path to change will be different than mine. I share my story because my personal experience with the process of change has a direct impact on how I work as a therapist. I believe that therapy is a collaborative process between therapist and client. I place great emphasis on helping people share their vulnerabilities, because most often, the places we feel most vulnerable create the points of deepest connection with ourselves and with others. That said, I also place great emphasis on trust and safety – therapy can be a great place to learn how to take emotional risks in relationships, and you can’t do that until you’ve developed trust. While I do challenge clients, I also believe that therapy unfolds at its own pace, when clients feel safe and ready.

Regarding my qualifications: I began seeing clients in 2006 and since then have worked with numerous clients struggling with anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and complex family problems. I earned a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2012, and I completed my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Madonna University in 2007. My undergraduate degree is from Indiana University – Bloomington and is in English Literature, because English is the best major. I completed my Postdoctoral Residency at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and my Predoctoral Internship at the University of Texas at Dallas. I teach graduate classes at The Chicago School and at The Adler School of Professional Psychology. I work with individual clients, couples, and groups.

To schedule an initial appointment or to arrange a free 20-minute phone consultation, you can reach me by phone at 214.603.7297 or by email at dralexissilas@gmail.com.