Anastacia Sams, MA, LMFT

Couples Therapist

Relationship Consultant

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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Hi, I'm Ana. I help people discover joyful connection.

If you feel like your needs and desires are getting lost in translation, I am here to help. We will work towards creating connection with empathy and gentleness.

Whether single or in a long-term relationship, you’re not alone if you find yourself longing for a deeper connection (but aren’t sure how to get there). As an experienced couples counselor specializing in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), I am here to help you find a path toward healing. EFT is a cutting-edge, tested, and proven intervention for couples and individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.

You deserve a life full of love. In fact, we are hard-wired to seek out loving relationships! We need to feel understood by those we love - just as much as we need food, shelter, and oxygen. Your need for connection is sacred. But we live in a world that sometimes teaches us the opposite - that connection is unnecessary or dangerous.

Love is simple, not easy. Our desire for deep, intense connection can activate our most vulnerable feelings. Sometimes we get caught up in cycles that stop us from getting the love we want. Difficult past experiences, intergenerational trauma, anxiety, and depression are just a few of the dynamics that can put up roadblocks on our path to love.

As a Black, indigenous, Afro-Caribbean therapist, I know how hard it can be to connect to vulnerability while navigating the effects of racial trauma. But I also know the boundless possibilities of Black Love - how attunement with each other reconnects us to the strength of our culture, histories, and ancestral wisdom.

You are worthy of connection. And when you begin to heal yourself and connect more deeply to others, you develop resilient love that extends to everyone around you. Together, we will get you on a path to a life full of love. Reach out today to get started. Click on this link or email [email protected].

On Being a Counselor

I am passionate about helping couples and individuals heal from intergenerational trauma to experience more fullness in life and in love.

People experience my style as gently directive. Emotionally Focused Counseling is a natural fit for me - a framework that centers and seeks to understand the vulnerable needs and emotions we are trying to communicate.

I’m not the kind of counselor who sits in silence, nor am I the kind of person who will constantly assign you worksheets from manuals. My approach is to act as a guide, helping you confidently navigate through challenges to get the love you want. You can expect a collaborative space where your voice is heard.

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Practitioner Background

Couples counseling is my calling. But I didn’t grow up imagining I would find myself here, doing this work I love so much. As the daughter of achievement-oriented parents, I grew up believing there were only three “acceptable” career choices for me to pursue: doctor, lawyer, or engineer.

By the time I was 14, I was on track to becoming a corporate lawyer. I even spent my junior year as an intern for a law firm in Solomons Island, MD. And even though my internship kept me incredibly busy, I kept finding myself drawn to the desk of the lawyer who specialized in family law.

The family law associate had a kind smile and quick wit. But he always seemed sad. I asked him about his work, and he told me stories of BIPOC families he worked with - families torn apart by years of repeated, bitter conflict. When families worked with him, the only path forward was divorce.

Together, we wondered: what, if anything, could have prevented the years of heartbreak and family separation? Because even though Black folks and indigenous peoples come from cultures that treasure love, family, and community, we are also survivors of colonization and systematic family separation. And so, I continued pursuing law while also studying psychology.

My “aha” moment happened during a Crisis Intervention class, where I witnessed the transformative power of support. I was amazed by how a few skillful, caring techniques helped people go from “fight-flight-freeze” to regulated.

I thought about how defensive skills and protective walls help BIPOC survive oppression. Still, behind closed doors, these survival coping skills can limit us from loving connection. But we deserve so much more. Black folks are connected to cultures of love and resilience founded on deep, transcendent connection. That’s when I decided to become a couples counselor.

Today, I am proud to provide Black Folks and People of Color an affirming space to restore authentic connection. All of us deserve the freedom to be emotionally “held” in a way that promotes individual and communal healing. When we connect to genuine love and ancestral strength, anything is possible.

My extensive experience with couples and individuals helps me appreciate the beauty of repair. Even if you feel like a damaged product, you are a person whose pain is a product of a damaged system. Your path to healing can begin today.

I am here to provide a compassionate and accountable space where you can begin to release what no longer serves you. Together, we will illuminate your path to abundant love. To schedule your first appointment, click on this link or email [email protected]. I’m here for you.

More About Ana

Key Philosophical Beliefs

  • All people, especially People of Color, deserve a safe space to be vulnerable.
  • People desire loving connections with themselves and with others.
  • Healing reconnects us with our authentic self, leading to an increase in self-confidence and relationship satisfaction.
  • The key to change is gaining a deeper understanding of one's emotional experience.
  • Identifying, processing, and communicating vulnerable emotions can promote healing and connection.

Counseling Training

  • Master of Arts in Couples and Family Counseling (MA), University of Colorado Denver
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) Training
  • Experiential Therapy Training
  • Narrative Therapy Training
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy Training
  • Evidence-Based Conflict Resolution Training

Specializations and Experience

  • Couples and relationships
  • Intergenerational trauma
  • BIPOC couples
  • Attachment science
  • Emotional intimacy
  • Complicated grief and loss
  • Racial trauma
  • Self-esteem
  • Member of American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • Member of Counselors for Social Justice

Ana as a Person

I was born and raised in Florida and moved to Chicago after falling in love with the city. I am passionate about all things tea, and having a pot of tea daily is an essential part of my morning ritual. Year-round I enjoy spending my free time curled up with a good book. I grew up playing tennis; you can catch me on the courts when the weather is warm. I love exploring our beautiful city, finding new restaurants, and dancing to live music.

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If you'd like to work with Ana or one of our therapists, contact us to schedule your appointment.