We have experience helping clients explore issues related to relationships with intimate partners, friends, relatives, and coworkers. In interactions with others, clients may often feel distant, misunderstood, awkward, worried, or upset. They may seek a deeper understanding and new ideas on how to approach important people in their lives. Some clients may strive to establish and deepen connection and intimacy, and to understand cycles of disappointing experiences, for instance in their intimate life.

We believe that relationship work is not exclusive to couples therapy, but can be approached in individual psychotherapy too, for instance, by exploring new ways to identify personal needs, gain insight into differences in differing communication styles, and establish healthy boundaries. Clients may also benefit from exploring how experiences in past relationships and repetition of family patterns may impact connection and closeness in current relationships.

Overall, relationship-focused individual psychotherapy provides an opportunity to widen the repertoire of social interactions, helping clients find their own personal balance between boundaries, closeness, assertiveness, playfulness, and vulnerability.

We approach this work bringing curiosity, open-mindedness, and awareness of the many social and cultural forces that impact all kinds of relationships, including affirming the experiences of LGBTQ clients. For instance, we may join clients in exploring how pressure to conform to social expectations, as well as experiences of marginalization, can shape their hopes and possibilities in relationships. Clients may cultivate a deeper understanding of the impact on their relationships of identities, cultures, genders, religious backgrounds, and economic statuses.

Our Experiences with Relationship Concerns

Francesco Belviso, PhD, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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Stephanie Carrera, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

In addition to addressing relationship concerns one-on-one with clients, Dr. Carrera co-led outreach presentations on healthy relationships for students and parents transitioning to college. At the University of Illinois, she facilitated workshops for BIPOC and international individuals navigating romantic relationships, including long-distance commitment, deepening emotional intimacy, and boundary setting. Building on her identities as an Ecuadorian-American woman and working professional, she has published peer-reviewed studies in The Journal of Counseling Psychology on navigating cultural differences through communication and cultural bonding practices among BIPOC youth and families.

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Gina Chang-DeWitt, PsyD 張子函
Clinical Psychotherapist/Postdoctoral Fellow

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Kehinde Oladele, MEd, MS
Clinical Psychotherapist/Psychology Resident

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