Denika McMillen, LCSW
Hello, I’m Denika McMillen, LCSW. I am a helper. When people feel isolated or alone in their situation, they need someone else to help them gain a new perspective, feel differently, or at times escape the state at hand. My philosophy is to view therapy is a “tune-up” to help people keep operating through life. Just like cars need regular tune-ups and oil changes to keep running smoothly, people also need regular check-ins and support. This is especially important for people of color and minority populations because they face additional societal challenges that may or may not be over but are often internalized.
I was born and raised on the Westside of Chicago, and am a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work. I have nearly twenty years of experience as a therapist and counselor. I specialize in working with adults and adolescents of color, LGBTQ+, and individuals confronted with a range of life challenges from depression, anxiety, bipolar, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and substance abuse.
I believe in utilizing a person-centered approach to intervention, which focuses on the participant having an opportunity to assess how their attitudes and thoughts are being affected. As a therapist, I thrive for each individual to perceive me as being genuine, having unconditional positive regard for them, and accurate empathy. I also have training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which I utilize in my tool belt of intervention strategies.
Meredith Farster LCSW
Hello, I’m Meredith Farster, LCSW. I am a graduate of the Jane Addams School of Social Work and Dominican University’s School of Social Work. My experience includes work with vulnerable populations such as young men and women of color, the LGBTQQ community, those experiencing homelessness and poverty, and those who have experienced violence and trauma. I have experience working with individuals, couples, and groups struggling with depression and anxiety, suicide ideation, parenting struggles, relationship violence, postpartum depression, and chronic illness. I have training in and professional interest in Motivational Interviewing, addictions, cognitive behavioral therapy, gender dynamics, and crisis intervention.
My focus is on providing culturally and racially conscious therapy services using the social work adage of the beginning where my client is. I see my role as being present with my clients as they face and navigate the grey areas of life while increasing positive & healthy coping skills. I learn from my clients as much as they learn from me, and I consider it an honor and privilege to be a part of your change process.
I am passionate about advocacy, empowerment, education and being active in my community, and have volunteered with several local community organizations. I am a certified domestic violence advocate & certified partner abuse intervention program(PAIP) facilitator through Sarah’s Inn in Oak Park. I am also a proud facilitator with the Oak Park Our Whole Lives (OWL) program, a comprehensive sexuality curriculum for youth between the grades of K-9th grade, whose focus is on consent, communication & respect and inclusion of the LGBTQ community.
Kirsten Kingsley, MA
Hello, I'm Kirsten Kingsley MA. I provide psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Whether struggling with mood disturbances (depression, bipolar disorder), anxiety, trauma, and life transitions, I utilize an integrative and collaborative approach that encompasses the cultural, social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of clients. I believe that the therapeutic relationship is integral to a positive outcome of wholeness and healing. I offer a safe space in which clients can experience trust, acceptance, respect, and integrity. This is where self-empowerment and self-agency begins.
I have experience working in community mental health centers, schools, and private practice. I am trained in trauma, positive psychology, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and domestic violence prevention. I earned my BS from Ohio State University and my MA in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Latino/a Mental Health, from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Five facts about me: I love being a mom to my four children; I am a student of curiosity and learning; I always have a book or two in my bag; I am always open to new traveling experiences, and in my spare time I enjoy doing voiceover work.