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The Green House is LifeWorks’ post-graduate psychotherapy fellowship program.

The Green House is developed and sponsored by LifeWorks Psychotherapy Center.

The Green House

Applications for the 2024 Green House cohort are now closed.

Greenhouse Psychotherapy Training Program Logo

The Green House is a tuition-free program with no associated fees. Fellows are financially compensated for their clinical work.

The Green House is a part-time, paid, post-graduate psychotherapy training fellowship. This yearlong, cohort-based program provides fellows with extensive training, supervision, and hands-on clinical experience related to:

  1. Clinical work with LGBTQ+, kinky, polyamorous, and sex worker clients  
  2. Self-of-the-therapist experience and therapist identity 
  3. Psychodynamically-oriented depth approaches to therapy 

The Green House attracts newly-licensed clinicians, recent graduates, and other mental health clinicians seeking mentorship and experiential training in the aforementioned areas of focus. Fellows learn in a small cohort of 6-8 participants. 

Take the next step in your therapy career by joining The Green House Post-Graduate Psychotherapy Fellowship Program.

Green House Fellowship cohorts launch in January of each year, with the application process beginning the prior July.

If you’d like to be added to our mailing list to be notified of the next application cycle, please contact LifeWorks Programs Manager Essie Shachar-Hill, LCSW.

Cohort 8 on a site visit to Chicago’s Leather Archives and Museum (2023)

The Green House post-graduate psychotherapy training fellowship may be right for you if you…

  • Recently graduated, or are a newly-licensed or pre-licensed clinician
  • Want clinical experience with clients who practice alternative expressions of sexuality, erotic orientations, and/or relationship configurations
  • Are seeking support in exploring and developing your identity as a therapist
  • Wonder how to ethically and authentically use yourself (your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, reactions)  in the therapy session
  • Enjoy experiential learning and are ready to learn something new about yourself!

Green House fellows graduate with:

  • Deeper cultural humility and knowledge related to LGBTQ+, non-monogamous, kinky/BDSM, and sex worker clients
  • A clearer identity as therapist and increased capacity to use their unique strengths
  • Stronger clinical skills grounded in depth psychotherapy frameworks
Green House Cohort 6, on Zoom
The Green House, Cohort 6, 2021

“I had been searching for a way to hone my therapeutic skills without having to pay a school a small fortune or quit my full-time job. The Green House was able to meet that criteria and allow me to be a part of a team of dynamic therapists in a progressive practice. I am getting one-on-one weekly supervision, small group weekly training, and the chance to have a caseload of clients; I don’t know of any other program that provides that.”

Cactus in the Window, by Essie, final project 2021

“The fellowship was not only a portal to a new career, but also to new ways of understanding myself, others, and the world.”

“The fellowship was incredibly transformative in many ways. I learned so much more about gender and sexuality, polyamory, kink, and sex work, and how to explore these identities from a depth perspective. I found community in my cohort and grew in my therapist identity. The support I was given through supervision, my cohort, and the staff helped me feel more confident as a therapist and more connected to the work.”

“The Green House gave me new avenues to explore my work that I still frequently utilize when things feel stuck, slow, or shaky and those routes continue to increase my self-awareness.”

Green House Fellowship Program Details

Fees and Compensation

There are no fees associated with the Green House. There is no application fee, nor do we charge tuition. Fellows are compensated at a rate of $30 per therapy session conducted, as well as receiving weekly individual supervision, roughly 5 CE-bearing in-services per month, access to a monthly support group for BIPOC clinicians, a monthly cohort-only process space, free admission to Kink and Polyamory Aware Chicago Therapists (KPACT) education events, and a number of LifeWorks social and community events.

Low Residency

Starting in 2024, Green House fellows may participate remotely from outside of Illinois if they are able to commit to traveling to Chicagoland four times a year for in-person learning days.

For fellows outside of the Chicagoland area, please note:

  • LifeWorks cannot currently offer financial assistance for travel and accommodations
  • You will only be assigned clients residing in the state of Illinois
  • Clinical hours acquired in the fellowship contribute to Illinois licensure. Those outside of Illinois are responsible for doing their own research about reciprocity and if these hours impact licensure in other states.

Focus of the post-graduate clinical fellowship

According to participants, the unique quality of the Green House lies in the program’s emphasis on creativity and individualized attention, as well as the fact that Green House clinicians engage in real, paid work with clients.

  • The clients who you are likely to see and learn about include folks in these communities: LGBTQ+, kink, leather, BDSM, consensual non–monogamous relationships (such as polyamorous, open, swinging, etc.) and sex work/erotic labor
  • This training includes a focus on development of your identity as a therapist and your relationship to therapeutic work
  • Training revolves around deepening your clinical skills and awareness from a depth perspective as well as learning to use your unique strengths as a therapist
Shapeshift, by Jesenia, final project 2021

“The Green House was instrumental in developing my confidence as a clinician, as well as coming into my personal identity as a queer trans person. The cohort model, and the supportive community of LifeWorks as a whole, gave me a holding environment to learn, make mistakes, grow, and become a better therapist. Truthfully, I don’t know where my life would be had I not done the GH fellowship.”

“I participated in the fellowship right at the beginning of my tenure as a new therapist—it was an incredibly important experience that has helped ground me in my work and to confront a lot of my fears as a therapist (and some just myself as a person, too)! I am thankful to this day for how much this program and these relationships have helped me grow.”

Identity, by Cate Morrow, final project 2021

Requirements and Timeline

Applications for the 2024 Green house cohort are closed as of 8/31/23.

Desired Candidate Qualifications

  • A license-eligible MA, Psy.D or Ph.D in one of the mental health disciplines 
  • An interest in working with LGBTQ+, non-monogamous, kinky, and/or sex worker clients
  • An interest and commitment to incorporating or deepening the use of a depth approach to psychotherapy*
  • Two letters of reference, at least one from a current supervisor of clinical work
  • Fluency in a non-English language a plus, not required
  • Interest in relationship work a plus (I.e. working with couples and other relationship configurations) 

*Depth psychotherapy (includes psychodynamic, psychoanalytic or analytical psychology and process-oriented psychology or process work)  is based on two key propositions:  1. that the unknown or less familiar aspects of ourselves often hold the keys to healing; and 2. that the problems or conflicts that bring us into therapy are pointing us towards our own wholeness.

Application and Acceptance Timeline: January 2024 Cohort

  • July 22, 2023 – Introductory Zoom meeting*
  • August 1, 2023 – Applications open
  • August 31, 2023 – Application deadline 
  • September 2023 – Interviews conducted on a rolling basis
  • October 2023 – Acceptance decisions will be emailed
  • December 3, 2023  – Kick Off Day in-person in Skokie
  • January 4, 2024 – Green House 2024 Cohort begins

For more information about this timeline or other questions, please contact Essie Shachar-Hill, LCSW at essie@lifeworkspsychotherapy.com

Spaces are limited. 6-8 fellows will be selected.

* All applicants for the Green House fellowship must have attended the informational session OR had a phone call with the LifeWorks’ Programs Manager before applying. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a fee to apply or tuition to pay once accepted?

There are no fees to participate in the Green House.

What is the time commitment required of Green House therapists?

The Green House commitment is about 10 hours per week on average. Below are the required attendance days, times, and locations:

Cohorts starting in January:

  • All day Kickoff Day in December (In-person in Skokie, IL)
  • Weekly Green House in-service meetings: Thursdays 12-2:00 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Monthly Cohort Learning Pod: 1st Thursday of the month, from 11 am-2:00 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Weekly full staff In-service Trainings: 3rd & 4th Thursdays 2:30-4:20 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Monthly Team Meetings (with all LW clinical staff): 1st Thursday, from 2:30-4:20 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Optional BIPOC clinician support group: 2nd Thursday, from 2:30-4:20 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Supervision: one hour weekly, scheduled with your supervisor

Cohorts starting in July:

  • All day Kickoff Day in June (In-person in Skokie, IL)
  • Weekly Green House in-service meetings: Tuesdays 10:00AM-12:00PM CT (Zoom)
  • Monthly Cohort Learning Pod: 1st Tuesday of the month, from 10:00AM-1:00PM CT (Zoom)
  • Weekly full staff In-service Trainings: 3rd & 4th Thursdays 2:30-4:20 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Monthly Team Meetings (with all LW clinical staff): 1st Thursday, from 2:30-4:20 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Optional BIPOC clinician support group: 2nd Thursday, from 2:30-4:20 pm CT (Zoom)
  • Supervision: one hour weekly, scheduled with your supervisor

All cohorts:

Your clinical hours will be scheduled in 4-hour “blocks.” Evening and weekend blocks are recommended. Therapy sessions are conducted largely via telehealth, with the option for in-person sessions depending on your interest and location.

Roughly 4 times per year, fellows will gather in-person in Chicago/Skokie for group experiences and outings. These gatherings will take place when there is a fifth Thursday in a given month.

You will also be encouraged to attend other LifeWorks events such as community support groups, practice retreats, special trainings and workshops, etc. Times and dates to be announced. These events may be scheduled outside of LifeWorks offices.

The Green House is an adult learning format. Your successful completion of the program depends on your participation, ability to manage your time and responsibilities and communicate proactively.

What is the compensation for Green House fellows?

Fellows are paid $30 per clinical session conducted. In addition, fellows are allocated a CEU/professional development stipend, as well as extensive tuition-free training, supervision, and mentorship. Fellows are hired as W-2 employees.

How many clients will I see, and how long will it take for me to be assigned those clients?

You are expected to complete 240 clinical hours over the course of the year. This is an average of 5 to 6 clinical hours (individual or relationship therapy) per week. To maintain these weekly clinical hours, your caseload may include 6–10 cases. We expect it to take 3–4 months to build your caseload to that level. You may be assigned new clients for you to maintain that number of weekly clients consistently.

I haven’t had much clinical experience, but I want to become a clinician—should I apply?

Yes. While clinical experience is relevant and desirable, we have accepted fellows without much direct clinical experience. Before you apply, you should consider all of the experiences that you have had that are applicable to the clinical setting to assess how you know you would like to become a clinician (such as your own personal therapy; the role you may take in your community, friends and family; how important or enlivening your internship(s) experiences have been, etc.) and address this in your application and interview.

I have a lot of personal experience, but limited clinical experience working with the populations you mention—will that disqualify me?

Not at all. We expect that cohort members will not have extensive clinical experience working with these marginalized populations, but rather have a strong interest in gaining that experience.

I’m not very familiar with depth psychotherapy. I was trained in DBT/CBT, client-centered, or another modality, yet I want to do more long-term, deeper work. Is the Green House for me?

It may be. Before you apply to the Green House you should consider how it is that you know you want to work on a deeper level with your clients. Perhaps your own therapy experience has shown you the benefit of deeper work, or other personal growth experiences or books you have read resonated with you. Examine your own motives and be ready to share about what is moving you in the direction of depth psychotherapy.

*Depth psychotherapy (including psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, Jungian or analytical psychology and process-oriented psychology or process work) is based on two key propositions: 1. that the unknown or less familiar aspects of ourselves often hold the keys to healing; and 2. that the problems or conflicts that bring us into therapy are pointing us towards our own growth and wholeness.

I’ll be working full-time in an agency or another setting. If I can arrange for the time off, is it feasible to work full-time while doing this program?

Some cohort members do work full time in another setting, and it certainly brings challenges, but it is doable. Your ability to manage and organize your time will be an important variable in your successful ability to work full-time and participate fully in the Green House.

The Green House is an adult learning format. Your successful completion of the program depends on your participation, ability to manage your time and responsibilities and communicate proactively.

How can I find out more?

Essie Shachar-Hill is the LifeWorks Programs Manager and they manage the Green House fellowship. Please email Essie at essie@lifeworkspsychotherapy.com with any questions! 

Insights & Experiences

Posted in: Green House

What current and former Green House members are saying about the program. 

Is the Green House right for you?

The next Green House cohort will begin in January 2024, with applications opening in August 2023. For information or assistance, please contact Essie Shachar-Hill, LCSW. Contact Essie