Kristen Jacobsen, MA, LCPC


CLINICAL FOCUS: anxiety (and perfectionism), DEPRESSION, & RELATIONSHIPS 


Have you been striving for perfection even though your logical brain knows it doesn’t exist?  Are you overwhelmed because you can’t do it all and feel like your brain is on overdrive?

Maybe you’re wondering why all of your friends seem to be progressing through life seamlessly, yet you continue to feel stuck in a rut and unsure of how to move forward?


Perhaps you’re feeling lonely because you believe you’ve “burdened” your friends/family with your “issues” for long enough; Or maybe you internalize your feelings so much you want to explode. 

Perhaps you’re struggling with anxiety that often accompanies a questionable relationship or current phase of life?

I became a therapist because I never want anyone to feel like they’re alone in this world or continually misunderstood.  I have personally struggled with Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, therefore I know how impactful it can be.  I understand life can be overstimulating sometimes and 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.  I want my clients to understand that their pasts don’t have to dictate their futures, and the beliefs we’ve developed growing up can be counterproductive in adulthood. I try to apply humor to some of the idiosyncrasies of life, and my clients occasionally find themselves laughing during sessions.

As a therapist, I help my clients by untangling the thoughts or beliefs that shape their realities, often in a negative or unproductive way.

My clients often come to therapy asking questions like:

  • What's my value/worth?

  • What if…..

  • Why don’t I feel happy?

  • Why can’t I stop worrying?

  • Why is it difficult for me to adapt to change?

  • Am I on the “right” path or the path I “should” be on?

  • Why do I overthink everything and feel like my brain is on fire?

  • Do others see me in the same way I view myself?

I help by:

  • Offering validation and compassion without judgment

  • Identifying and questioning what you value in life and what you are deserving of

  • Assisting in deconstructing thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve you

  • Identifying why you are getting stuck and how you can move forward

  • Creating a safe space in which you can explore some deep seated emotions that are creating distress (no more bottling them up!)

  • Assisting you in remaining focused on the present instead of living in the past or future

  • Enabling you to understand your emotions more authentically

  • Teaching you tools to manage your anxiety and communicate more effectively

  • Educating you about healthy boundaries and how to effectively establish these in your relationships

If you’re ready to feel more content with life, learn ways to manage your anxiety, feel a sense of relief, and have healthier relationships, I would feel privileged to work with you to accomplish these goals.  Please call to schedule an appointment with me today: 773.633.9075

More About Kristen:

Kristen grew up in Philadelphia and lived in Australia and Nashville before moving to Chicago in 2004.  She is the oldest child, with 3 younger brothers.  Kristen received a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Educational Studies from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology here in Chicago.  She started Cathartic Space Counseling in 2013 and has been expanding her practice since.

When she’s not seeing clients or running the practice, Kristen can be found doing pilates, watching/reading psychological thrillers, taking her Rhodesian Ridgeback to the various dog parks around the city, searching for the best New York style pizza Chicago has to offer (still have yet to find it!), or spending quality time with friends & family.  

Kristen's clinical focus is anxiety, depression, relationships, and perfectionism.  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.  

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 (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). 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 been featured on CBS News, The Chicago Tribune, Psych Central, Empire Broadcast Radio, and Chicago Parent Magazine.  All of these can be viewed on the "Media" link at the bottom of the page. She is also an adjunct professor in the Psychology department at National Louis University in downtown Chicago.


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