Ariel Gaines, Psy.D joined LifeWorks Psychotherapy Center in August of this year as a Post-doctoral Fellow. We are very glad to have them on our team. Ariel holds a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. They also earned a master’s degree in the social sciences at The University of Chicago, where they wrote a thesis on the history of mental health research on lesbianism. Ariel received their bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where they studied the psychology of prejudice. READ MORE about Ariel.
What drew you to LifeWorks?
I first became aware of LifeWorks while researching resources for Chicago’s LGBTQA+ communities. I was immediately impressed with how the clinicians at LifeWorks understand the intersection between clinical work and experiences of marginalization. Respect for diversity factors permeates the culture here and inspires me to grow as a clinician.
I was also drawn to join LifeWorks because it is a community that fosters depth-oriented and humanizing approaches to psychotherapy. I delight in the process of exploring deepening layers of experience in a trusting space that welcomes discarded aspects of experience. At Lifeworks, I have found a community of clinicians who nurture and develop this approach to treatment.
What new or existing passion, interest or area of interest/expertise do you hope to bring into your work?
I bring a variety of clinical and educational interests to LifeWorks. I have training in neuropsychology, and I enjoy considering the intersection between neurodiversity, sense of self, and the development of satisfying relationships. I am interested in trauma and how those who have been touched by it live and heal. I have worked extensively with children, which has instilled a respect for how the powerful experiences of childhood impact development well into adulthood. And I am deeply interested in psychodynamic and attachment theories and enjoy discussing their application alongside my new colleagues.
In the short amount of time, since you joined LifeWorks, what has surprised you most and why?
I have been pleasantly surprised by the commitment to training, support, and staff development LifeWorks. We are regularly invited to diverse trainings and growth-fostering experiences, and I already feel myself happily integrating into this vibrant and caring community!