Our Team

We’re the experts, but we’re in this together.

Are you really freaking stressed out?

You may be looking to overcome depression, to feel less anxious, or to improve a relationship. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to achieve your dreams in quarantine. Maybe you’re trying to deal with loneliness. Or maybe you’re trying to manage a relationship that has gotten very tense, or is long distance. You may have tried therapy in the past and felt that the therapist was too passive, too judgemental, too inexperienced, or in some other way was unable to meet your needs.

Jason Best

LCSW he/him/his

Therapist. Educator. Nerd.

For ten years I worked at one of the most prestigious psychiatric hospitals in the country. As a core therapist at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, I gained an extensive background in treating depression, anxiety, and bipolar issues using a mix of CBT and DBT modalities. I am Level II Certified in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.

I specialize in working with gender and sexually diverse issues and enjoy working with LGBTQIAA individuals, poly people, nerds, kinksters, gamers, and trauma survivors.

In addition to my clinical work, I teach classes on a variety of topics, including ways to improve communication, how to live a healthy, more balanced life, and how to manage negative or unhelpful thoughts. I am a regular speaker at the Multiplicities of the Erotic and Chicago Non-Monogamy conferences, a recurring guest on Wild and Sublime, and am currently a Lecturer at the University of Chicago teaching “Working with Alternative Sexual Interests and Relationship Structures”.

I am a member of Chicago Kink and Poly Aware Therapists (KPACT).

This work is way, way too important to do with a completely straight face. Some times in therapy it’s important to cry, or feel your anxiety, or maybe to do the opposite of what you expect you’re “supposed” to do. There are other times where it’s important to be funny, or to laugh, or to even be a bit silly. I promise to be myself in our sessions, real and authentic with all of the wit and humor that implies.

 

Karla Scherf

LCSW she/her/hers

I spent five years at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital working intensively with their adolescent population. To broaden my base of experience, I moved into nonprofit program management at the Association for Individual Development and Habitat for Humanity, working with trauma, case management, and community outreach. In private practice, I work with addiction, anxiety, depression, couples and adolescents, polyamorous individuals and the LGBTQIAA community. I have received Gottman Couples Therapy training.

I am also an adjunct professor at Aurora University, overseeing the clinical work of student therapists in the field.

I am passionate in helping you in making critical healthy choices as you walk your own path and forge your own identity. I want to help you feel empowered on your walk through life. In our work, we will look at learned behaviors that may be holding you back, as well as ways to positively rebuild those behaviors. Coming from a strengths-based approach, I believe that learning how to empower yourself and then restructuring these thoughts and habits is the key to success.

Hannah Schwartz

MA, LPC she/her/hers

I have spent my career serving the LGBTQIAA community, working as a clinician at the Stonewall Project/San Francisco Aids Foundation, and now facilitating group therapy at the Center on Halsted.

I employ a blend of therapeutic approaches, including harm reduction, CBT, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and relational approaches and am experienced with LGBTQIAA individuals, trauma survivors, people who use substances, kinky individuals, and poly individuals.

Common areas of focus in my sessions include: trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, substance use concerns, grief/bereavement, LGBTQIAA concerns, and interpersonal concerns.

I approach counseling with a client-centered and collaborative approach. Ultimately, I believe that you have everything you need inside of yourself to create the healing and transformation you seek in your life. Sometimes our journey takes us off course. We might feel overwhelmed, lost, confused, and afraid. My job is to help guide you through your journey and provide you with any additional skills/tools you may require.

You deserve a space dedicated to supporting you while on this journey. I welcome you into the therapy room. The therapy room is a safe space free from judgement for you to process, explore thoughts and emotions, heal, set goals, and grow.

Patrick Sterk

LCSW He/Him/His

After a prior career of helping people in a university setting, I did quite a bit of soul searching and refocused on my passion for counseling. I truly believe that each one of us is doing the best that we can each day with the tools and skills that we have. Change isn’t easy. If it was, we would have done it already. In my experience, change and personal growth come with guidance and training as well as support and understanding. That is what I can offer to anyone that would like to work with me.

I am a graduate student at DePaul University completing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In addition to my studies and my position at Best Therapies, I also co-lead weekly Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) groups at another practice. I am trained in DBT and I employ its skills and concepts along with Narrative Therapy to help each client reframe their lived experience in a kinder, more forgiving light for themselves and to find their own meaning in their life. After all, your life shouldn’t be based on what people say you are “supposed to do” or “need to do”, your life should be yours to live in a way that makes you feel the happiest, authentic, and most complete.

The main focus of my work is with individuals and couples in the kink and poly communities, as well as individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I also work frequently with LGBTQIAA clients and people experiencing anxiety or depression. I am a member of Chicago Kink and Poly Aware Therapists (KPACT) as well as several similar national organizations.

As a member of the kink and poly communities myself, I have experienced the confusion, shame, doubt, and anxiety that comes with the process of self-discovery. As your therapist, I can’t promise that I have unlimited wisdom and all of the answers. What I can provide though is an abundance of patience, empathy, support, and encouragement. We all have our own journey to walk, but I would be honored for the opportunity to walk alongside you and share in your discoveries.

Clark Hazel

MA, they/them

Are you looking to make changes in your life but are unsure of where to start? It can be especially challenging to navigate life right now with the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the unveiling of the multitude of intertwined systems of oppression we find ourselves in at this time. You are not alone in experiencing concerns, outrage, and fear. I am here to accompany you in navigating these challenges and also acknowledging the joy in life. You are deserving of support and a space to talk openly. I am someone you can trust to process your fears and anxieties with as well as cultivate hope for your future and to move towards your goals. Part of our work together will be establishing goals, and working towards a more fulfilling future.

My areas of experience include working with members of the Queer and Trans community. Specifically, those who are questioning their gender identity, navigating barriers to receiving gender affirming care, and working with folks experiencing difficult family relationships related to their transgender/non-binary/GNC identity. I have experience working with the D/deaf and Hard of Hearing community and children of D/deaf adults. It can be frustrating to navigate oppressive systems that hinder us from obtaining our goals, and I’m here to assist you in your journey.

You are valued, you are needed, and you are not alone during this time. Please take the first step and reach out today. I am offering telehealth appointments and phone calls at this time. I look forward to connecting with you soon and supporting you on your journey.