Therapy & Counseling In Chicago

Healing yourself starts from within. You deserve an active partner to help you reach your goals.

Can you envision a change for the future? Freedom from a behavior, past experience, or negative self-doubt that seems to prevent you from taking that next step forward?

Vanessa E. Ford LCSW, CADC

At one time or another, we all experience losses- some may feel like a slight dip, and at other times they may seem like a tidal wave, ready to take over our lives.

When we are under this kind of stress, we may begin to notice that our normal coping skills are stretched to the maximum. Our relationships, attitudes towards ourselves or others, or negative “self-talk” worsens.

Or perhaps you have begun to drink more or use drugs to cope, or out of habit or circumstance. Behavioral addictions or compulsions have taken over. You have begun to think to yourself, “Now is the time for change- but I don’t know where to start.”

This realization can be sudden, or a gradual build-up until it just seems like it is too much to handle alone.

Support begins here.

Therapy can be an invaluable tool towards regaining a sense of control and peace over your life.

My practice offers mental health counseling on the north side of Chicago.

Good psychotherapy should allow you to begin to focus your energy inward, into healing yourself. This process will allow you to begin to see the connections between your past and present experiences while feeling empowered to work toward your future goals.
Living a mindful life begins when you feel yourself in control: Control of your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, and when the natural ups-and-downs of life are taken in stride.

This is when we begin to live without fear or a sense of lack, but with a sense of purpose and meaning, and a confidence that whatever life brings is a gift.

Highly-Credentialed, Experienced Psychotherapist in Chicago Ready to Help

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Individual Psychotherapy

Our approach includes concrete tools to help you manage day-to-day stresses more effectively and depth work to help you develop insight into the origins of your distress. Learn more

Couples Therapy: Inclusive Options

The practice is available to help all couples improve communication, resolve conflict, and create closeness. Same-sex and queer-identified couples welcome. Learn more

Family Counseling

Family therapy, parent consultation, and child psychotherapy available. Learn more

Addictions Therapy: Binge Drinking, Drug Abuse, Behavioral Compulsions, & Beyond

Chemicals such as alcohol and other drugs provide relief for ongoing life anxiety. Other behavioral compulsions do too. What happens when this stress reduction takes on a life of its’ own? Or perhaps a family member’s addiction problem is affecting your life. We are here to help. Learn more

EMDR therapy: Treatment for Trauma

Traumatic experiences can cause ongoing mental health symptoms. Counseling helps you unpack and explore how traumas are still impacting you today. EMDR may be a useful tool to help. We can also provide talk therapy to treat your trauma symptoms. Learn more

Stress & Anxiety Counseling: Tools That Provide Relief

Anxiety is a normal reaction to life stress. When anxiety becomes overwhelming, we are here for you. Panic attacks,  overwhelming worry, checking out, addictive behaviors, feeling out-of-control. Knowledgeable counselors help you get your life back on track. Learn more

LGBTQ Therapy: Our Team Understands Your Community

LGBTQ-affirming therapy moves beyond a commitment to “social justice.” Our commitment is to provide culturally-relevant, inclusive care that meets the needs of your community. You deserve counseling care that understands you and the issues that intimately affect your life. Learn more

Hi! I’m Vanessa.

I started my own mental health practice in 2007. I’ve dedicated myself to individual, family, and couples counseling / marital therapy in Chicago ever since. My specialty areas include anxiety, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, grief, depression, EMDR, dealing with a traumatic or abusive past, conflict resolution for couples, LGBTQ community, same-sex domestic partner issues, communication problems, 12-step recovery support, drug and alcohol issues, Moderation Management for binge drinking, behavioral addiction, and living with chronic illness.

image of Vanessa E. Ford

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unique challenges, even for us mental health professionals. As each of us has adapted to the Coronavirus in our own time, psychotherapists have begun to offer telehealth in a meaningful way. Requests for therapy services have outpaced the ability to provide quality counseling services in a timely way. Some mental health practices have recruited clinicians that are recent graduates from counseling training programs, with the offer to help. We believe in remaining a cut above the rest. My therapy practice is dedicated to
partnering with highly credentialled, fully-licensed psychotherapists only, so you never need to question the quality of services you are receiving.

Our counselors offer unique skills to provide a depth of insight and usable tools backed with extensive years of experience, to help you tackle life’s problems. Seeking help from a qualified, fully licensed counselor can put your life back on track.

Contact me today. My practice can help.