Silvia Acosta, LCSW
Hi, I’m Silvia.
My chosen path to help people through holistic therapy was initially driven by life experiences that began with immigrating from Cuba to Venezuela to the US before the age of 12. Switching to different sociopolitical contexts in the early stages of life forces you to approach the world with a certain level of curiosity. As a child and adolescent, I adapted by finding ways to connect with my peers by being flexible and open with myself and others. When it was time to apply for college, I was completely clear about my interest in pursuing psychology as my career and I have never looked back since then.
To this day, I approach all my interactions, whether personal or professional, from that same place of genuine curiosity and openness. I work hard to engage with my clients on a human level (beyond the issues that brought them to me in the first place), and I believe this forges a path where a beautiful therapeutic alliance begins to develop. I have chosen to work within a holistic framework because that is how I live my life. I love stepping out of the traditional psychotherapeutic approaches to give people important tools that can serve them well for the rest of their lives.
My Treatment Philosophy
When working with clients, I use a collaborative approach that invites for a safe, respectful, and genuine working relationship where clients can feel empowered and motivated to create rich and meaningful lives. Through my work, I aim to help you identify what really matters in your life in order to engage in actions that are aligned with your values.
I have a strong commitment to assisting all my clients in reaching their full potential by bringing the full self; body, mind and spirit into the therapeutic relationship. This can be achieved by working experientially to accurately describe and be with what is happening in a given moment. This often manifests as helping clients bring more awareness to the present moment and to physical sensations that accompany emotions. It is a very good way of gently becoming more in touch with your “inner process," which in turn helps you make a better connection with yourself and others. Some of these activities include mindfulness meditation, role playing, guided imagery, the use of metaphors, and breathwork. I believe these are tools for immediate use in daily life that can help increase self-compassion and counteract stress.
For me, this approach to psychological health and wellbeing has not only redefined my understanding about the nature of human struggle, but it has become a way of life.
Training & Professional Experience
I hold a Master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida International University.
I have held clinical internships and full-time positions in family-centered community-based mental health, nonprofit organizations, outpatient psychiatry, and private practice. I have experience providing culturally sensitive, evidence-based individual and group psychotherapy to children and families, adolescents, and adults of varying ages and backgrounds.
Before founding Wicker Park Counseling, my Chicago practice, I coordinated a multi-site adolescent outpatient substance abuse program in the North Shore. In that role, I was responsible for providing individual and group psychotherapy aimed at treating substance use disorders and co-morbid mental illness. I also supervised a clinical team of staff and interns and provided trainings and workshops year round on topics aimed at preventing substance use among youth,promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and increasing parents' understanding of how to foster positive familial relationships.
I completed my advanced clinical training in outpatient psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Stone Mental Health Center providing psychotherapy to adolescents and adults experiencing a broad spectrum of behavioral or emotional problems ranging from mood and anxiety disorders and trauma and stressor-related disorders. Prior to that, I completed training at Casa Central's Safe Start program providing bilingual counseling to children and caregivers impacted by trauma,abuse, and violence exposure.
Lic. #149018441 | State of Illinois
Lic. # 0876401 | State of New York
Lic. # 44SC05828000 | State of New Jersey
Does this sound like a good fit? I would love to hear your story. Please get in touch below.