Christine Leone, LCSW, ICDVP

Therapist

Anxiety Counseling Specialist

Race-based Traumatic Stress Counselor

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Hi, I'm Christine. I help people overcome chronic self-doubt.

Do you feel like you keep getting in your own way? Like you're constantly trying to meet others people's expectations? To others, it may look like you have it all together. But when you are your own worst critic, you may experience self-doubt, anxiety, and feelings of confusion.

Harmful ideas and expectations are inflicted on us daily - about identity, body size, gender, and power. Oppression can leave you wondering if there is something seriously wrong with you. There is nothing "wrong" with you. And you are not alone. You might be experiencing what popular media calls this specific form of self-doubt: self-gaslighting.

Self-gaslighting is the direct result of the power-based violent culture we live in, and its effects are real and harmful.

For years, I felt like something was wrong with me: as though I didn't quite belong or fit in. I felt alone, uncertain. I couldn't feel self-compassion until I began to unearth my true self from the delusion of white, thin, cis-male supremacy.

Self-gaslighting is associated with "invisible" conditions. Survivors of narcissistic abuse, violence, and institutional trauma may experience self-gaslighting. People with conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and poorly understood chronic illnesses also experience it. If you have one of these conditions, you may have internalized our society's tendency to discredit your valid experience.

If you seek clarity in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, I am here to help. You can develop a compassionate and loving relationship with yourself. Together, we will form a counseling relationship that allows for the time and space for you to nurture your authentic self. You can expect a consistent environment of kindness and dedication to your goals.

You can emancipate yourself from chronic doubt and internalize gaslighting. As you liberate yourself, you will begin to discover and trust who you are, what you want, and what you no longer need.

You deserve to feel heard and accompanied on this journey you are endeavoring in if you so choose. Reach out today to get started. Book your intake consultation with me by clicking on this link, or email [email protected].

On Being a Counselor

My approach to working with clients is to create a space of transparency, clarity, and mutuality in our relationship. As a counselor, I am inspired by all of the folks I have worked with whose healing journey I have had the honor to witness.

The way you view yourself is the key to understanding how you relate to the world. We can change the world one act and interaction at a time, starting with being in right relationship with ourselves. By fortifying your trust and self-compassion, you can reclaim the power to feel pain, heal, and transform the world one interaction at a time.

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Practitioner Background

I am dedicated to supporting others who walk through the pain to reclaim who they really are. My identities, privileges, personal and professional experiences, and commitment to learning inform my approach to clinical practice.

Eight years of working with trauma survivors and extensive formal training equipped me with a deep understanding of systemic inequities and a broad treatment skill set. I consider myself a trauma therapist and have extensive experience working with survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence, institutional trauma, and migration trauma.

As a daughter of immigrants, a survivor of sexualized and intimate partner violence, and a single parent with a multi-racial child, I appreciate the toll it takes on folks who navigate systems of oppression. At the same time, my mixed racial identity and my white skin give me insight into how challenging it is to "do the work" and resist the seductive privilege of ignorance.

As my identity as a therapist has evolved, it has become clear that I work best with clients whose identities have been marginalized, whose experiences do not fit in a white, het, cis, skinny world. This includes working with those whose identities fall within the LGBTQIA+ universe and those whose racial or ethnic identities have been systematically oppressed, and folks with multi-racial/biracial identities.

Systems of oppression cause pain and disconnection in our lives. By creating a grounded space in a trauma-informed, relational, feminist, anti-oppressive lens, I hope to reveal a path to meaningful connection.

Reach out today to get started. To schedule your first appointment, click on this link or email [email protected]. I'm here for you.

More About Christine

Key Philosophical Beliefs

  • The key to change is fostering connection and belonging within ourselves, each other, our communities.
  • Systems are at the root of the violence that many of us are trying to heal from.
  • Oppression causes trauma and isolation.
  • Everyone deserves access to mental health care.
  • Everyone needs a space to be themselves, be heard, validated, and not judged for their views or experiences.

Counseling Training

  • Master's in Social Work (MSW), Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Northeastern Illinois University
  • EMDR certified
  • Decolonizing Therapy for Black Folks (in progress)
  • 40-hour training in intimate partner violence and sexual assault
  • Relational Therapy Training via Womencare Trauma Consultation Training Program

Specializations and Experience

  • LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy
  • Black, Indigenous, and person of color affirming therapy
  • Sex-positive. Sex work is work!
  • Trauma-informed, evidence-based, and decolonizing approach
  • Migration trauma
  • Group therapy
  • Institutional trauma
  • Relational trauma
  • Violent trauma
  • Clinical supervision
  • Domestic violence and sexual assault response
  • Clinical research

Christine as a Person

I was born in New York City in an area in Manhattan that used to be called Hell's Kitchen (aka Clinton).  My family lived there for 3 generations until we moved to Portland, OR where reluctantly finished middle school and high school.  We then moved to the Chicago area and I have lived here for over 20 years. In my free time, I have fun dancing, walking in nature, hanging out with my son, friends, family, and partner, tending to my plants and my home. I enjoy Chicago summers the best.  I have never felt a city come so alive after the cold months of winter.  I also really enjoy all of the food options Chicago has to offer that are curated by chefs who have brought their culinary skills from their home country to ours.

Christine Leone, LCSW, ICDVP

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