About Our Staff

 Rebecca E. Tenzer MAT, MA, LCSW

Rebecca E. Tenzer MAT, MA, LCSW

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. She started her career in education directly after double majoring in Sociology and Anthropology from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Then 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 with a clinical concentration on becoming a mental health clinician, Rebecca became a licensed clinician to practice in the State of Illinois and opened her thriving private practice on the north side of Chicago. 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, trained in the Gottman Method for treating couples, years of experience with trauma and standard practices of Psychotherapy she has treated countless numbers of patients in individual, couple and 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 MA, NCC, LPC

Julie Thomas-Lotterman MA, NCC, LPC

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. 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 MA, NCC, LPC

Grace Hicks MA, NCC, LPC

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 low self-esteem, grief, depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health challenges. 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.

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

Treatment Areas

  • Depression
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorders
  • Couple and family therapy
  • Interperonal relationships
  • Family Dynamics
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Career frustrations and employment dissatisfaction
  • Trauma
  • 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
  • Life coaching
  • Peer relations
  • Grief
  • Anger management
  • Life changes and transitions
  • Families of loved ones with special needs

Our Psychotherapy Approach

Psychodynamic Therapy

In psychodynamic therapy — the interpretation of mental and emotional processes — we’ll discover how emotions, thoughts and behaviors affect your life. We’ll identify the recurring patterns that contribute to your concerns and seek to modify them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

We believe that our thoughts and feelings significantly affect our behavior. While we can’t control everything around us, we can control how we interpret and react to things in our environment.

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.