Dr. Elissa Sarno is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice at Center Focused Therapy, located in downtown Chicago. She works with individuals across the lifespan who are seeking to create change in their lives through gaining a better understanding of themselves. Many of her clients experience symptoms of anxiety and depression, challenges in their relationships, or self-criticism that impact their ability to function and thrive in their daily lives. She supports clients by providing them with a warm, trusting environment to understand their current challenges through the lens of their past experiences so that they may change patterns built in the past that are no longer serving them in the present.
Therapy sessions with Dr. Sarno integrate insight-oriented, interpersonal, and skills-based approaches. She guides clients in exploring the origins of their symptoms to facilitate greater awareness of their emotional and relationship patterns. At the same time, she uses cognitive and behavioral strategies to alleviate symptoms in the short-term and help clients integrate new skills into their coping and self-care repertoires.
Dr. Sarno has worked in several university settings, providing individual and group therapy to undergraduate, graduate, and professional (law, medical, and business) students, as well as in community mental health settings. She has an interest in working with students, those who are new to therapy, and those who struggle with anxiety, particularly in the context of high-stress and competitive work or school environments.
Dr. Sarno is committed to maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive practice that is LGBTQ+-affirming. In addition to her Chicago office, Dr. Sarno offers remote therapy sessions, and welcomes new clients both in-person and online.
Anxiety - Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)
Depression - Providing support and promoting healing of hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life
LGBTQIA, gender, & sexuality topics - Exploring topics of sexuality, gender, and identity; coping with discrimination and oppression; navigating relationship, family, and cultural challenges
Relationship issues - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating
Self-esteem - Cultivating self-compassion, assertiveness, and confidence; developing ways to reduce suffering, anxiety, social withdrawal, and self-neglect
Work stress - Managing overwhelming stress and expectations; increasing effective ways of restoring and maintaining emotional stability and health; addressing challenging relationships with coworkers and bosses
Frequency of sessions this provider offers to see clients once you are an established client.
Years of Experience: 5 years
Center Focused Therapy, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, 2019 - Present
University of Maryland, College Park, PhD, 2018
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, BA, 2010