We are a group of psychologists trained at Northwestern University in both traditional and contemporary approaches to psychotherapy and coaching. We come together as a collective to keep each other sharp, engaged in our work, and balanced in our lives.
Therapy can be beneficial for people who feel unsure, stuck, or disengaged in their lives. From time to time, most people may struggle in their relationships, careers, or school. Some people seek further self-awareness and focus towards living more purposeful and balanced lives. Engaging in therapy provides a space for feedback, reflection, and support.
In addition, therapy has been shown to be effective in helping people who feel sad, anxious, restless, or depressed. People may have experienced these difficulties for a long time or only recently, possibly due to specific events such as life changes, losses, and new challenges. Therapy can help people gain insight and skills to cope with these difficulties, and possibly find ways to either ameliorate or better manage them.
At Vita Nova, we are all Clinical Psychologists. We obtained doctoral degrees in psychology and completed additional postdoctoral training before becoming licensed. We specialize in talk therapy and while we do not prescribe medications, we can collaborate closely with any prescribing physician.
Psychiatrists are physicians, and they attend medical school. They focus primarily on biological aspects of mental illness. They can prescribe medications and some provide talk therapy as well.
Other psychotherapists (e.g, Social Workers, Clinical Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Pastoral Counselors) typically obtain masters degrees and can provide psychotherapy, either under supervision or independently.
In our experience, there are many excellent professionals licensed under each of these different titles. Most important is to find a psychotherapist who is the right fit, as we explain below.
Research studies and our experience both suggest that fit is crucial. There are two aspects that determine fit. The first is to ensure that your therapist has expertise in the areas you want to work on. Expertise has to do with relevant training and ongoing professional development, typical clients seen, and even the therapist's own life experiences. The other aspect is the sense that you are comfortable sharing stories with and receiving feedback from your therapist – a very subjective evaluation.
We help you assess both areas of fit during an initial phone conversation and the first few meetings. At any point, you can ask or we may suggest that you meet with a different therapist within our group or with a trusted clinician elsewhere. The goal is to help you match with the best resources available for you.
Our first step is usually to schedule a brief phone conversation to answer any specific questions you might have and begin assessing for fit. If we decide to meet, you can expect the first sessions to include a longer conversation about your background, current life and your reasons for seeking therapy. It is often useful to talk also about how you have approached difficult situations before, as well as your areas of strength.
We believe in being engaged therapists. As we discuss your difficulties, we will join you in generating ideas, providing feedback, and suggesting new possible perspectives. While you remain the expert of yourself, we are committed to helping you make progress. If after a few sessions you do not have a sense of movement, we can tweak our approach or help you connect with a trusted colleague.
Therapy lasts as long as it is helpful and valuable to you – you can decide to stop at any time. If you are seeking therapy for a focused, specific issue, then therapy is often helpful within a few sessions. If you have been struggling with long-standing issues or if you are curious and motivated to explore how you approach your life and decisions, you may find it valuable to be in therapy for several months or longer.
Italian poet Dante Alighieri wrote Vita Nova in 1295. A combination of prose and verse, the book narrates Dante's own experience of loss, in his case of a loved woman. The narrative details how an upsetting event was transformed by the Poet into an occasion for maturation and growth. The book starts with a sentence in Latin, Incipit Vita Nova, "thus begins a new life."
Vita Nova - Psychology Associates was founded on the 750th anniversary year of Dante's birth.