Dr. Caitlin E. McGowan, Psy.D.
Dr. McGowan is a Chicago-based, licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in the clinical assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families. She is particularly interested in helping families and school districts work together to support children and adolescents with unique learning needs as a result of emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral difficulties.
Dr. McGowan’s approach to therapy is one that addresses and meets each individual within the unique family and community system that they come from. She utilizes a cognitive-behavioral and problem-solving approach, as well as, narrative principals to assist clients with addressing the various challenges they are facing. Dr. McGowan believes that therapy should be a safe and reclaiming space where strengths are built upon and challenges are addressed side-by-side.
Dr. McGowan has received specialized training in ADHD assessment and treatment, as well as, in systematic thinking and structural family therapy. Her clinical research has been in the areas of assessing and increasing teacher knowledge and self-efficacy for teaching students with ADHD, and attribution as a predictor of father’s acceptance of their child with Autism. Dr. McGowan has also been very active in supporting students who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, as well as, writing and implementing school policies that address the unique issues that this population of students often face. Through her 7+ years working in the school setting, Dr. McGowan also has extensive experience writing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), collaborating with teachers and school staff on behavioral plans, and with special education law.
Aside from her clinical expertise and interests, in her free time Dr. McGowan enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her adorable Golden-Doodle and co-worker, Nola.
Dr. Brittany Trauthwein, Psy.D., C.T.
Dr. Trauthwein is a Chicago-based, licensed clinical psychologist who works with adults, children, and adolescents. She values fostering meaningful relationships in therapy and provides a safe space for clients to share their experiences, gain insight into both their struggles and capabilities, and learn new and unique ways to cope with the difficulties they have faced.
Dr. Trauthwein’s approach to therapy is genuine, warm, and transparent. She utilizes existential therapy and draws from narrative, trauma-informed, and grief focused therapies to meet the individual and unique needs of the clients in her care. She pays particular attention to what is personally meaningful in each client’s life story and collaborates with her clients to identify goals for their work together. She has worked with adults, children, and adolescents facing a variety of concerns including complex trauma, depression, anxiety, and difficult life transitions.
In addition to her clinical work Dr. Trauthwein works to provide meaningful programming to the community raising awareness of the needs of grieving children and the importance of providing trauma informed care in education and healthcare settings.
Specialized Training: Grief, Loss, and End of Life
Dr. Trauthwein is certified and specialized in working with death, dying, and bereavement across the lifespan. She has walked with clients in their last months of life helping them achieve the best death possible and finding beauty in a life lived. She also has worked with children and adolescents who have lost parents or siblings to homicide, suicide, accidents, or illness. She knows there are not set stages of grief or a plan to follow when someone you love has died and is ready to walk with you in the “messiness” of grief.
Dr. Laura Vecchiolla, Psy.D.
Dr. Vecchiolla is a Chicago-based, licensed-eligible clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma with children, adolescents, and families. She has expertise in play and sandtray therapy, as well as trauma-informed treatment approaches.
Dr. Vecchiolla’s approach to therapy involves creating a safe space where clients know that their concerns and difficulties will be met with respect, empathy, and freedom from judgment. She uses warmth and humor to help facilitate one’s self-expression and believes that therapy should provide an environment in which people feel free and secure to explore the underlying meanings of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Dr. Vecchiolla’s role is to guide the therapeutic exploration in order to cultivate empowering insights that reconnect a person to their own inner authority. Therapy can re-gift the innate ability to make new choices, find balance, and live a whole and meaningful life.
Dr. Vecchiolla has received specialized training in sandtray and play therapy. Sandtray therapy is a non-verbal expressive style of therapy that facilitates communication through symbols and pictures in the sand. This process enables emotionally charged issues to be processed in a safe and controlled way and is applicable for individuals across the lifespan. Dr. Vecchiolla is also skilled in play therapy—a method she generally uses with children and adolescents that employs various modes of play to foster social integration, personal growth, emotional regulation, and trauma resolution.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Vecchiolla has conducted extensive research into the relationships between psychology, storytelling, and mythology. She has also authored several chapters discussing the intersection of pop culture and psychology including Star Wars Psychology: The Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors, and Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth. Dr. Vecchiolla believes that powerful narratives can heal and that stories and myths play an integral part in our individual and cultural psychology.