Get to know the experienced and passionate team of therapists at Cathartic Space Counseling


Kristen's clinical focus is anxiety, depression, and relationships.  She has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults, and has had the privilege of interacting with clients and families who have presented with a wide range of clinical issues and unique needs.  In addition, Kristen has experience providing individual, family, and group therapy in both outpatient (office) and inpatient (hospital) settings.  

Life can be overstimulating sometimes, and Kristen understands what it's like to feel paralyzed and confused about how to tackle these challenges. It can be easy to fall into negative patterns in which we imagine all of the worst case scenarios and feel as though we have to have a contingency plan for each. Kristen's goal is to allow you to regain control and make yourself a priority. We are unable to function at our best and help others if we are struggling ourselves.  We often spend so much time worrying about the future or ruminating about the past, that we are not present in the moment, and we miss out on important experiences.

Kristen Jacobsen, LCPC

Kristen's approach is eclectic, and she tailors her therapeutic techniques according to each individual client's needs.  For those requiring a more directive approach, she utilizes Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques. These are especially useful for clients struggling with anxiety and/or depression.  For those who are comfortable with a non-directive approach, she utilizes more Client-Centered techniques.  Kristen also incorporates mindfulness into her sessions as a method of managing symptoms and staying grounded in the present.

Kristen has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology & Education from Vanderbilt University and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology (Chicago, IL). She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois.  She started Cathartic Space Counseling in 2013 and has been expanding her practice since.

Kristen has been featured on CBS News, in the Chicago Tribune, and on Empire Broadcast Radio.  She was also interviewed for an article appearing in the "back to school" issue of Chicago Parent Magazine, all of which can be viewed on the "Media" link at the top of the page.

Laura's clinical focus is the LGBTQ community and trauma.  She is both a psychotherapist and certified yoga instructor.  Laura's approach is holistic, integrating traditional talk therapy with movement and breath practices. She believes building a stronger relationship between body and mind is integral to the process of healing from past traumas, as well as for managing symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Laura's experience and training include working with LGBTQ clients and the larger community, providing gender- and sexuality-affirmative care around a range of issues, including healing from trauma. She provides support to clients at any stage of gender transition, as well as those in polyamorous and other non-traditional relationship formations. 

As a feminist practitioner, Laura utilizes a multicultural and social justice approach that draws on the ways in which systemic marginalization and oppression affects individual and community mental health. With a background in social justice activism, she believes building stronger connections within our community and working to change unjust systems can play an important role in psychological healing. 

Laura Kacere, LPC

Laura has worked with clients of all ages, and has experience in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and facilitating crisis stabilization.  She also has experience conducting individual and group psychotherapy for women and the LGBTQ population at Center on Halsted.  She has taught yoga in a variety of settings, including studios, jails, community spaces, and corporate offices.  

During therapy sessions, Laura provides a supportive, non-judgmental space to work collaboratively in building healthy coping strategies and skills to manage the struggles in one's life, while also creating space for authenticity, creativity, and joy. She uses an integrative framework which includes Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Feminist Therapy, and Body-Oriented/Somatic Therapy.

Laura obtained her Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the Adler School of Professional Psychology (Chicago, IL).  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois and has a passion for social justice activism and advocacy work.   

Peggy Burns, LPC

Peggy is passionate about working with clients experiencing grief and loss.  This may be the death of a loved one, or another type of loss, such as the loss of a relationship, recent job loss or retirement, a child moving out of the house, terminal illness, etc.  Her personal and professional experiences allow her to empathize with the depression, loneliness, numbness and shock that accompany the grieving process. Peggy has facilitated counseling groups for survivors of cancer and bereavement, in addition to providing support in their journey toward wellness. She also has experience as the Operations Manager at the Ronald McDonald House, providing comfort, compassion, and a sense of community for families during their child's hospitalization.  

Peggy also has a vested interest in working with adolescents.  While there are many benefits of technology, its seductive lure has teens disconnecting from what is most important in life - each other and the world around them.  To be successful and happy in our digital world, it's imperative they learn to navigate these often treacherous waters.  Whether it’s social media, bullying, self-esteem, academic perfectionism, or college admissions, Peggy can help your adolescent explore these challenges with a healthier mindset.  She has co-led and facilitated counseling for adolescents at Pride Alternative School, and has developed and implemented IEP's & Behavioral Intervention Plans. Peggy also has experience as a job coach at A.E.R.O Special Education Cooperative.

Peggy’s approach is compassionate, warm, and understanding.  She believes in each person’s individuality and doesn’t prescribe a “one size fits all” solution to pain. She will listen to you and try to understand your needs, and tailor make an approach to encourage and guide you.  She assesses underlying patterns and clues and determines why you’re in the position you’re in and how to get out of it.

Peggy's counseling theory is based on Client-Centered/Humanistic Psychology, which embodies non-judgmental acceptance of individuals and multicultural sensitivity.  She also utilizes Worden’s task-based model of grief & loss, which sees mourning as an active process that involves four main tasks.  Her ability to combine feeling with intuition means she can easily understand how your situation will unfold. If you have a desire to regain control of your life or reach a goal, she will help you determine what steps you need to take to get there.

Peggy obtained her Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the Adler School of Professional Psychology (Chicago, IL), and she is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois.