Masuma Rasheed Ph.D. RYT
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Registered Yoga Teacher
“Don’t fight the darkness, bring the light and the darkness will disappear”
– M. Mahesh
Welcome! My name is Dr. Masuma Rasheed and I’m a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and owner of Mindful Life Counseling. I have 14 years of experience helping clients find more clarity & direction in their lives. Our practice specializes in supporting adults, including marginalized individuals, take control of our life story.
I root my therapy practices in anti-oppression and offer a safe therapy space for clients to come as they are. Societal structures can lead marginalized people to dim our authentic selves; in session with me, there’s no need to hold back, self-censor, or explain— my role is to work with who you are and your experiences. I do this by inviting awareness and conversation of racial, gender, and sexual dynamics and the impacts of institutional racism and discrimination into the therapy room.
As a therapist and team leader, I combine two major constructs and personal passions; movement and community. I founded Mindful Life Counseling to build a safe community for therapists to authentically serve clients in addition to fostering a space where clients feel a sense of belonging. In the therapy room, I employ mind and body techniques, such as guided breathing, body movement, somatic techniques, and trauma informed yoga-based therapy. I also encourage clients to connect with safe spaces and communities outside the therapy room with the belief that “choosing our people is the closest we come to controlling our destiny“.
“Choosing our people is the closest we come to controlling our destiny“.
I have a strong passion for using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, in sessions. EMDR enables clients to live more fully in the present by working through past triggers and letting go of beliefs that no longer serve them. I am also certified as a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner (LFYP®), trained in using yoga to treat depression and anxiety. I believe that although talk therapy is necessary, I strongly believe that we need to incorporate the body for a sufficient journey in the healing process.
Outside of the therapy room, I continue to value service to communities of color. I am a former board member of HEART Women & Girls, an agency focused on sex education and sexual violence prevention for marginalized communities. I also serve as a consultant to educate and train mental health providers in dismantling inequitable power structures and decolonizing the mental health field.
In my free time, my Mindful Life rituals include yoga, tai chi, breath-work and meditation — not to mention kickboxing, running, and weight lifting. I believe in strengthening the body to condition the mind. Other rituals include learning, dancing, journaling and connecting to nature as often as possible. I am usually working on a project that feeds my creative side; in addition to playing with my dog, Winnie.
Dr. Rasheed obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Southern Methodist University in 2003, a Master of Science degree in Counseling in 2008 at University of North Texas (UNT), and a Ph.D. in Counseling Education at UNT in 2011. Dr. Rasheed founded Mindful Life Counseling in June 2020.
nick alder Ph.D.
Spacemaker & Organizer
“without community, there is no liberation.”
– audre lorde
my name is dr. nick alder, ph.d. i engage my work grounded in my identities as a Black queer, non-binary femme. intersectionality is the foundational element of therapeutic exploration. from this position, i center the voices of those often forced to society’s margins (e.g., Black, Brown + Indigenous folx, LGBTQIA +, trans, gender-expansive people, immigrants + undocumented folx, sex workers, kinky + sex-positive folx, and people in various relationship structures). as a psychotherapist, issues i specialize in are gender, sexual, queer, racial identity exploration, intergenerational trauma, systemic oppression, and relationship/attachment concerns.
we heal in relationship. we heal in community. activating our personal and collective healing is the core of realizing our capacity for change.
we heal in relationship. we heal in community. activating our personal and collective healing is the core of realizing our capacity for change. through a collaborative therapeutic process, we work together to explore your emotional landscape, experiences, family and community dynamics, social and economic systems that impact this and identify practices that support your embodied adaptation and healing. together, we hold space for intentional change that grows our “capacity to embody the liberated and just worlds we long for.” my clinical approach is relational, rooted in healing justice, and is trauma-oppression informed. i offer tools and support to build resilience and improve a sense of safety, belonging, dignity, and community.
in recognizing the connection between individual and systemic trauma, somatic work allows me to incorporate a body-based approach to widening the range of sensations and emotions we are more able to feel and be present with. working through the body as the holder of ancestral resilience and an inherent capacity for healing. when we engage healing through a somatic lens, we create pathways to wholeness and connection. i support my clients in cultivating this life force and develop practices that enliven and pleasure, create openness, and nourish connection to their aliveness.
as a spacemaker and organizer, my commitment to community and ecosystems of care extends beyond the therapy room. advocacy, writing, facilitation, teaching, education, community outreach, and consultation are inseparable from my clinical work if i am genuinely to embody my value of politicized healing. i am active in event production, digital content creation, and community building with the award-winning collective and cultural hub Party Noire. when i am not engaged in clinical and creative practices, i am riding bikes and hiking with my partner, spending time with our dog, Joe Flex Louis, collecting sneakers, and communicating via my love language, gifs.
dr. alder obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies in 2010, a Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling in 2012, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2019. dr. alder’s dissertation was titled Black Millennial Womxn Navigating New Media Landscapes: Identity Formation, Black Womanhood, and Meaning-Making of Sexuality, Gender, and Relationships.
Alex Ngo LCSW
License No. 149.022023
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Professor & Educator
“Our most radical work is to love ourselves.”
– Kim Katrin
I’m Alex Ngo and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in trauma recovery, mindfulness, and racial, sexual, and gender identity development. As a Chinese Vietnamese queer and trans woman, I am especially passionate about the healing and liberation of queer and trans people, people of color, and their intersections. I am also committed to being a therapist who is affirming of sex workers, sex positivity and kink, and people in polyamorous and non-monogamous relationship structures.
I have over a decade of experience in anti-oppression and social justice work that informs my clinical approach and understanding of trauma and healing. I believe in fostering our collective radical imagination, in pleasure activism, in celebrating the resiliency of queer and trans people of color, and in the power of transforming ourselves to transform the world. I also bring my experiences as a child of refugees, a Buddhist, and a believer in trans divinity, into my work in breaking cycles, fostering intergenerational growth, and developing an ancestral connection and spiritual practice.
I am passionate about helping clients develop a gentle, curious, mindful, and compassionate relationship with themselves. I believe we are all made up of multiple parts, each with their own motivations and fears. When we are feeling distressing thoughts and emotions that come from these different parts of us, our first instinct is to push them away or use unhelpful coping skills to distract ourselves. However, relieving our suffering is possible when we learn to accept that, while we cannot control our thoughts and emotions, we can learn to control how we respond to them.
I can help you get to know these parts, understand your thoughts and emotions, create opportunities for self-reflection and self-dialogue, and provide tools to heal old wounds our younger selves still carry for us. I find parts work to be especially helpful when helping queer and trans people re-establish a relationship with our younger selves who did not have access to the safety required to be their most authentic self. It is possible for us to become the person we needed when we were younger.
Parts work, mindfulness, and a mind-body connection are also integral parts in my approach to trauma recovery. I can help guide those with unprocessed trauma through painful memories to create new meanings from the harm you survived and to heal the parts of you still stuck in those traumatic experiences. My passion for this kind of work began in my work as a sexual assault prevention educator and activist. That passion continues to guide my calling towards helping us heal from violence, whether systemic or interpersonal, and foster safer communities by interrupting oppression, cycles of abuse, and intergenerational trauma.
My most valuable clinical tool is my authenticity, vulnerability, and unapologetic approach to life, and I model that for my clients in the way I move through each therapeutic relationship.
My friends and clients alike would describe me as someone who is very direct and provides feedback in a “no-nonsense” manner. I am firm, will absolutely push and challenge you, and also understand that this work takes time, patience, and compassion. My most valuable clinical tool is my authenticity, vulnerability, and unapologetic approach to life, and I model that for my clients in the way I move through each therapeutic relationship.
Because I don’t believe healing can be all-encompassed within the context of talk therapy alone, I also engage in healing work in a number of different contexts. I am an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago where I teach a course on intergroup dialogue and facilitation. I provide conflict mediation, healing circles, and keynote speeches, consultation, and training on a wide range of topics, to universities, corporations, and organizations. I am also a performance artist and writer who has been active in the queer nightlife scene of Chicago, specifically working to make nightlife spaces that center and celebrate trans femmes of color.
Alex Ngo received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, Community Action and Social Change, and LGBTQ and Sexuality Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.
Christy Querol Psy.D.
My name is Dr. Christy Querol and I specialize in working with adults who face challenges related to anxiety, depression, body image, binge eating, self-esteem issues, and trauma. My mission is to help clients find peace in their daily lives by unpacking beliefs, behaviors, and emotions that may be holding them back.
I place an emphasis on helping my clients to arrive at a place in their lives where they feel in alignment with their authentic self, connected to their bodies, and internal wisdom.
In my practice, I emphasize finding alignment with the authentic self, and with it, a greater overall sense of well-being. I recognize that no two paths on this journey are the same. Because of this, I strive to provide a space that is sensitive to the individual needs of each of my clients. I mindfully help clients feel safe to connect to self, others, and the world through somatic, mindfulness, and polyvagal exercises. I also draw upon additional methods and techniques to enhance my work which include EMDR, Parts Work, Family Systems, and Attachment-Based interventions.
I operate from a holistic framework and place a strong value on the mind-body connection by integrating: body, movement, nutrition, nature, community, mindset, spirit, and purpose. I place an emphasis on helping my clients to arrive at a place in their lives where they feel in alignment with their authentic self, connected to their bodies, and internal wisdom.
Led by my passion for health and wellness, I help clients to nurture their bodies through compassion, gratitude, intuitive eating, and movement. I regularly work with clients to change unhealthy behaviors around food by exploring the context of those behaviors and helping to cultivate body neutrality and self-compassion. I hold the belief that when we become reacquainted with the guidance of our internal nutritionist then we are able to develop an authentic relationship with food and ourselves.
True to my motto of living a balanced lifestyle, when I’m not working, my self-care routine incorporates play (e.g., dance, movement, and laughter), self-reflection (e.g., meditating and journaling), and exploration (e.g., reading, trying new restaurants, and visiting museums).
Dr. Querol earned a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Raised by Dominican parents in Miami, Dr. Querol is fluent in Spanish.
Evelynann Davis LCPC
License No. 180.011673
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
My name is Evelynnan Davis and I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor who specializes in life transitions, depression, anxiety, and holistic spiritual development. I am passionate about supporting clients as they nurture their intuitive sense and learn to identify when they have control and can take action — and how to manage when they do not have control.
As a clinical therapist and certified Holistic and Integrative Health practitioner, my therapeutic philosophy is rooted in integrative practices that have been used to promote healing across cultures. I employ evidence-based holistic stress management techniques such as self-awareness, cognitive restructuring, guided imagery and art therapy to help my clients reduce the multifactorial effects of stress on the physical, psychological and spiritual self. My therapy approach incorporates spirituality and meditative techniques to promote healing in the mind, body and spirit.
I also strive to provide a safe space for clients to tap into their inner healer, supporting them as they unpack and examine the many moving, interconnected parts that compose the whole person. My goal is to help clients shift limiting beliefs to more valid beliefs that will propel them towards their goals. Ultimately, I work to create environments that support clients in their ongoing work outside of my office.
Embarking on a therapeutic journey is a process that allows both therapist and client to work together as a team to attain the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to live a life that serves divine purpose and fulfillment. As a therapist, I am honored to walk alongside my clients on this journey to feeling like their authentic, embodied self.
I strive to provide a safe space for clients to tap into their inner healer, supporting them as they unpack and examine the many moving, interconnected parts that compose the whole person.
In my own life, I am a strong advocate of self care. I celebrate this in my daily routine through meditation, hiking, kickboxing, and playing with my dogs, Zoey and Preston.
Evelynann Davis received her Masters of Art degree in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University and has over 10 years of experience as a Clinical Medical Therapist in the mental health field. In June 2020, Evelynann became certified in Holistic and Integrative Health.
Savannah Flores LPC, RAT
Licensed Professional Counselor
Registered Art Therapist
My name is Savannah Flores, and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Art Therapist, currently working toward a Ph.D. in Art Therapy Psychology. My clinical specialties are complex trauma, grief, depression and anxiety. I am experienced in working with artists, BIPOC and members of the LGBTQ community.
I approach therapy from the lens of critical consciousness, intersectionality and anti-oppressive knowledge. In sessions, I use critical inquiry around issues of identity as it relates to difference, prevailing power structures, inequality and oppression. It is my goal as a therapist to go beyond the concepts of multiculturalism and decolonize our beliefs about pathology and healing. My dissertation and research is focused on dismantling whiteness in the therapeutic community, and it is my mission to provide an anti-racist space in my own therapy practice as well.
As an art therapist I believe creative intuition can help us convey the truth of our experiences in a completely new and transformative way. Art therapy is an integrative, sensory practice that engages different areas of the brain. It teaches us to witness rather than make judgments, and when we put aside ideas of what art should look like, we can bypass our tendencies to analyze and defend.
Art therapy teaches us to witness rather than make judgments, and when we put aside ideas of what art should look like, we can bypass our tendencies to analyze and defend.
I believe art can be a conduit for healing, expression, stress relief and coping, identifying mental blocks, and building self-identity. We all have a creative voice, and with that voice, we can experience empowering self-discovery and improve our ability to make conscious choices for growth and healing.
If I’m not in session with clients or working on my dissertation, I am cuddling my 90-pound dog, Brambleberry, or working with my wife on home design projects. Cleaning and working out are ways I release stress, and I have an insatiable sweet tooth.”
Savannah Flores obtained a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy from Adler School of Professional Psychology in 2015 and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Art Therapy Psychology at Notre Dame De Namur.
Malarie Edwards NCC
National Certified Counselor
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brenè Brown
My name is Malarie Edwards, and I am a National Certified Counselor. I work with clients across a range of specialties, but I am particularly experienced in helping clients with anxiety, intergenerational trauma, identity development, dating and intimate relationships, and sleep issues. My practice is centered around serving adults ages 18-50 within BIPOC communities.
I believe in social justice and strengthening communities of color within the therapy space. As a cisgender, heterosexual, Black Woman from the inner city of Milwaukee, I have received therapy from clinicians who lacked cultural responsiveness and did not understand my nuanced, Black-lived experience. Those negative experiences in therapy often left me feeling gaslighted and invalidated. Over time, I realized that my experience was not unique to me, but was often experienced by other people of color. It took years for me to find therapeutic spaces that resonated with my identity and gave me room to do deeply emotional work that addressed many of my own adversities as a Black Woman. Now, I want to change that narrative for others in BIPOC communities. I actively work to dismantle stereotypes associated with how BIPOC individuals should appear in the world and in therapeutic spaces. I intentionally demolish implicit bias and stereotyping by ensuring I do not make assumptions about my clients based on how they identify themselves. As a counselor, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure the therapy I provide resonates with and validates my clients experiences.
I believe accessibility is vital and part of anti-oppressive mental healthcare practices, and this also extends to the LGBTQ community. I consider myself a strong ally and intentionally work to advocate for the LGBTQ community to bring awareness to the issues it faces. I am committed to seeking more knowledge about this community on a daily basis through activism, literature, and personal experience.
In my practice, I approach therapy as a partnership, with the goal of improving clients’ wellbeing and overall quality of life. I believe the client is the true expert on their own life, and as the counselor, I am there to guide them to find insight in their past experiences. My philosophy supports empowering individuals to examine their lives in a way that is impactful for themselves, their families, and their communities. I promote introspection into the issues that clients feel are a barrier to their happiness, and I safely support them in examining those issues.
I focus on how client experiences have shaped who they are while also validating and celebrating their accomplishments, focusing on joy & resiliency to build a strong therapeutic bond with them. As a Black Woman, understanding the duality of managing pleasure, joy and pain is an experience that is all too real for me on a daily basis. In therapy with me, I will understand you by speaking with you and not at you.
I approach counseling from a psychodynamic and client-centered perspective; focusing on my clients’ individual life experiences and how these experiences have shaped who they are while also validating and celebrating their accomplishments, focusing on joy & resiliency to build a strong therapeutic bond with them. As a Black Woman, understanding the duality of managing pleasure, joy and pain is an experience that is all too real for me on a daily basis. In therapy with me, I will understand you by speaking with you and not at you.
We cannot just develop individual approaches to dealing with trauma, but also group and communal approaches are vital. It is important that I, as a therapist, create a welcoming safe space for my clients to express themselves, share their experiences free of judgement and for me to challenge them to be the best version of themselves.
Outside of therapy, I genuinely value self-care. The time and space I make in my life for self-care is intentional to ensure I am emotionally prepared to work with my clients. My spare time is rooted in self-care activities that promote mindfulness and relaxation. Music, cooking, coloring in coloring books, journaling, and exercise are most restorative for me. Also, ensuring I get restful sleep is the most significant way I advocate for myself daily. Beyond self-care, I am a huge film buff and often watch new films with my fiancé.
Malarie Edwards received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University in 2019, and Master of Arts degree in Clinical Counseling from Northwestern University in 2021.
Noah-Christina Reed NCC
National Certified Counselor
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” -Audre Lorde
Hiya! I am Noah-Christina, a National Certified Counselor. I am a Black, cisgender, heterosexual therapist who practices cultural responsiveness and humility in the therapy space. I approach my clients with curiosity, make no assumptions, and honor each individual’s lived experience. It is my philosophy to empower individuals so that they may further empower themselves and others in the face of adversity, creating a sense of community and global healing.
Sometimes we feel stuck, ruminating about the past or anticipating an unpredictable future. It can become difficult to live intentionally in the now. Therapy with me offers a safe space to slow down, tolerate, and embrace the present moment. My specialties include issues related to anxiety, depression, trauma, occupational- and goal-striving stress, life transitions, and identity development. My purpose is to serve BIPOC folx, Black women, and queer folx of color.
I understand that just because two clients have the same identity presentation, their lived experience with gendered racism and other traumas can be very different. For example, I am an African American woman, and I am a lighter-skinned Black woman. I was raised on the Southeast side of Chicago, grew up as an inner-city kid, and I come from a two-parent household. Additionally, I attended predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and found myself emotionally taxed by some of my white counterparts who did not understand my experience. It is the intersection of all of my identities and their relation to systems of oppression and/or privilege that contributes to my lived experiences. Therefore, I understand firsthand the importance of acknowledging how we experience the world, how the world perceives us and how this impacts the way we think, feel, and behave. With this awareness, I invite conversations about intersectional identity into the therapy room with my clients, which lead to a deeper and more fulfilling therapeutic relationship on their path of healing.
My goal is to decolonize and destigmatize mental health by dismantling power dynamics and opening the floor to voices that are often silenced or may fall upon deaf ears. Our commitment to rest and rejuvenation, care for self and community, and untying the connections between self-worth and labor production are acts of resistance. In my work with clients, I offer a space to honor their authentic voice. You will not have to filter and censor your true thoughts and emotions in our sessions, as you may have previously in other settings. Come as you are, and I will meet you there.
I support my clients in assigning a more helpful meaning to their stories. We are made to feel that adversity is the most prominent part of our story, yet we encompass many additional and remarkable parts such as our strengths, resiliencies, and pleasures. I will help you honor and acknowledge all of these parts on your path to healing.
In our space, I will normalize and validate the idea that healing is not linear. It is a process that allows you to move at your own pace, and even take a step back if necessary. I approach counseling with a psychodynamic foundation and integrate narrative therapy to assist my clients in assigning a more helpful meaning to their internalized stories. We are made to feel that adversity is the most prominent part of our story, yet we encompass many additional and remarkable parts such as our strengths, resiliencies, and pleasures. I will help you honor and acknowledge all of these parts on your path to healing.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” -Aristotle
Additionally, I believe it’s important for us to observe all domains of life (e.g., physical and mental health, spirituality, interpersonal and life stressors). When one area is suffering, other areas can be important to highlight. My therapeutic approach is client-centered, putting you at the focus of our journey. I create a space that is genuine, authentic, and non-judgmental. With this humanistic approach, I believe it is quintessential to bring empathetic collaboration into the therapeutic setting. In our space, we will work alongside one another; you are the captain of our ship, and I am simply the sail that guides us through rocky waters to safety and peace at shore.
Outside the therapeutic space, I focus my time on social justice advocacy and self-care. You might catch me on the frontlines or behind the scenes supporting various human rights movements and promoting community wellness. I also like to paint, read by the lake, cook, taste different soups, and cuddle up with Mylo and Lynk, my two adopted cats.
Noah-Christina Reed received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Augustana College in 2019, and Master of Arts degree in Clinical Counseling from Northwestern University in 2021.