About Our Staff
Rebecca E. Tenzer MAT, MA, LCSW, owner and head clinician, has over 16 years of clinical and educational experience in the field of mental health. After college she attended Dominican University as a member of AmeriCorps where she earned her Master's Degree in Teaching. After completing the University of Chicago's Social Service Administration Program (ranked 3rd best in the world for clinical services) with a clinical concentration on becoming a mental health clinician, Rebecca opened her thriving private practice on the north side of Chicago while also teaching as a Professor of Psychology at the collegiate level. Astute Counseling Services began as a way to ensure the township of Lakeview, the City of Chicago/Cook County and the surrounding suburbs all had access to quality mental health care but it has become so much more. As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT), a member of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Society of America and trained in the Gottman Method for treating couples, Becca has treated countless numbers of patients. She specializes in patients suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, grief, women’s issues, fertility/infertility, sexual dysfunction, life/college/career transitions, stress management, family planning, parenting and couple/family therapy. She believes mental health is not something to be ashamed of yet should be embraced as a part of the therapeutic process.
Julie Thomas-Lotterman attended Alma College and majored in Sociology with the hopes of one day having a fulfilling career doing what she loves most, which is helping people. After running a very successful start up company, she decided it was time to make her dreams come true. Julie attended Northwestern University and graduated with a Master's Degree in Counseling. Skilled in psychodynamic, person-centered, solution-focused counseling techniques and treatment planning, she uses an empathetic approach to treat children, teens and adults with a variety of mental health concerns. Julie specializes in anxiety, panic, depression, trauma, grief, couple/family therapy, life/college/career transitions, health and fitness, fertility/infertility and women’s issues. Through her combination of therapeutic approaches, Julie empowers her clients to reach their goals by focusing on their personal strengths, positivity, how to develop a deeper understanding and encourage empathy surrounding mental health concerns. During the treatment process, she helps clients to identify negative thought and behavioral patterns that are interfering with their happiness while mastering coping skills to improve quality of life.
Grace Hicks received her MA in Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. Grace’s passion is to help foster self-compassion, hope, and positive growth in the lives of individuals and couples experiencing tribulation. To do so, she uses an integrative approach to psychotherapy. With a psychodynamic foundation, Grace believes that many of the challenges addressed in therapy can be traced back to protective defense styles developed in early life. She helps clients become self-aware of these protective patterns, view them through a non-judgmental lens, and work toward a more productive way of living. Grace’s practice is also person-centered. She values the importance of the therapeutic relationship and acts as a compassionate facilitator in the positive change process for individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, low self-esteem, grief, stress, life/college/career transitions, couple/family therapy, fertility/infertility and women’s issues. Rather than focusing on shortcomings or failures, Grace highlights the unique strengths of each individual – strengths that can be used as tools to not only survive, but thrive amidst trials. Lastly, Grace helps her clients understand the relationship between their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. In this way, cognitive-behavioral techniques are used to empower clients to alter their mindsets and achieve mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Matthew Marx has experience treating teens and adults with a variety of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, life/college/career transitions, male issues/sexual dysfunction, couple/family therapy, substance use disorders, ADHD, anger/stress management and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Matthew is a firm believer in the power of the therapeutic alliance enabling clients to take control of their lives and bolster well-being. Using contemporary psychodynamic theory as a foundation, Matthew incorporates other evidenced based practices, such as CBT, solution-focused therapy, and existential therapy to guide the client to a path of relief, a clearer sense of self, and a focus upon intentional living and authenticity. Matthew received his BA in philosophy and journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and he has received his MA in mental health counseling from Northwestern University. After living abroad for many years, Matthew has first-hand experience with challenges of acculturation, transition, and international marriage. He takes pride is delivering culturally-responsive therapy that honors differences in lifestyles and values, and he looks forward to continued inspiration he takes from the strength and courage of all clients.
Rachel Shine attended undergraduate school at Northwestern University and immediately started her career in the mental health field working with families and young adults after graduating. Along with her growing caseload, her passion for mental health became more apparent as did her desire for a master’s degree in the field of behavioral health. Rachel was confident that counseling clients struggling with difficult situations would be her future career, so she decided to go back to school for a Clinical Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago’s SSA Program, the same program that owner Rebecca Tenzer attended. Rachel has had a wide range of experiences in the field of mental health, including working with adults who had variety of mental health diagnoses, including complex trauma, grief and loss, anxiety, panic, depression, life transitions, family therapy, couple’s counseling and parenting. Rachel also gained a great deal of experience while at Lurie Children’s Hospital where she worked directly with families struggling with anxiety and grief due to complex medical diagnoses. Rachel uses an integrative approach to therapy, combining different components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. Rachel believes in a strengths-based approach to therapy, and in this way, she helps to build up the client’s ability to cope with difficult life situations while decreasing presenting symptoms using evidence based practices in combination with their own individual strengths. She approaches each client with a non-judgmental and open perspective, and strongly believes in the power of therapy to heal and empower. She also has a passion for health, fitness and yoga which she incorporates into mindfulness techniques at Astute Counseling Services.
We are passionate therapists who are dedicated to helping people of all ages and backgrounds live happier, healthier and more productive lives. Through personalized psychotherapy and CBT approaches, we will work together to:
● Address your concerns
● Renew your sense of enjoyment of life
● Regain control over your life
● Develop effective ways to cope with future challenges
- Anxiety and Panic Disorders
- Couple and family therapy
- Interperonal relationships
- Family Dynamics
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Career frustrations and employment dissatisfaction
- Women's Issues
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Sex & Intimacy
- Divorce, co-parenting and mediation
- Life challenges during and after college
- School and work stress management
- Positive coping skills
- Self Esteem and self worth
- Life after a breakup/Divorce
- Life coaching
- Peer relations
- Adults diagnosed with ADD/ADHD
- Adults diagnosed with Austism Spectrum Disorder
- Social Skills
- Dating Anxiety
- Anger management
- Life changes and transitions
- Families of loved ones with special needs
Our Psychotherapy Approach
In sessions, we practice standard psychotherapy with a focus on psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches. These approaches are collaborative and dialogue-based — meaning that we’ll work together throughout the therapy process to help you develop healthier, effective habits and coping mechanisms.
We encourage a supportive and nonjudgmental therapeutic environment — one that lets you feel free to talk honestly about thought and behavior patterns that are currently preventing you from living life to its fullest.
Once we identify your concerns, we will:
Analyze the behaviors, emotions and ideas contributing to them
Incorporate my extensive clinical skills, training and field expertise to customize a therapeutic approach
Change how we react to them.
If you are willing to work and dedicated to making positive changes, We can help you to identify, navigate and resolve the issues that are negatively affecting your daily life. Our staff will also work closely with you to develop coping skills to successfully manage future challenges.
If we believe that medication may be an appropriate part of therapy, we can refer you to a local psychiatrist for further evaluation.