Ariel K. Gaines, Psy.D.

Pronouns: they, them, theirs

I work with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, poor self-esteem, and the effects of marginalization due to neuro-diversity, LGBTQA+ identities, alternative relationship structures, race and ethnicity, body diversity, and disability. Using a relational approach based in decades of research, I help adults, adolescents, and children find relief from suffering, deepen connections with others, and develop greater self-understanding.

As a therapist, I am motivated by genuine compassion for and engaged interest in your unique experiences and stories. I strive to create a trusting space where you may safely uncover deeper layers of yourself, your past experiences, and your current situation. As we grow increasingly comfortable exploring these areas together, we will find patterns and insights that promote exciting growth.

I believe the therapeutic relationship itself offers a remarkable opportunity to reflect on relational patterns and experiment with new ways of being with another person, a process that can transcend the therapy room and help you to live other relationships more fully.

Therapeutic work often takes an unexpected, twisty path, but however it progresses I will be there as a support, walking alongside you toward greater peace and engagement with life.


Ariel K. Gaines, PsyD., 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.

Ariel has trained at the following locations:

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The University of Chicago
The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis
Shared Vision Psychological Services
Rice Child & Family Center
The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School
Sarah Lawrence College

Ariel is a member of:

The American Psychological Association (APA)
APA Division 39: Psychoanalysis
Kink & Poly Aware Chicago Therapists (KPACT)
Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project

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