HI! MY NAME IS RENA MCDANIEL, BUT MY FRIENDS CALL ME RAE.
I received my Masters in Counseling from DePaul University and completed my clinical internship with Heartland Alliance International-FACES, working primarily with Iraqi, Burmese, and Nepali refugees and torture survivors.
Fresh out of grad school, I joined IntraSpectrum Counseling, a group counseling practice focused on the LGBTQ population. Over my six years with the practice, I was able to help grow the business from five therapists to twenty-two therapists and establish ourselves as one of the leaders in LGBTQ mental health care in Chicago. I am proud to say that we were able to serve 300-400 clients a year that came to us specifically because they wanted a place to feel safe and affirmed when talking about mental health concerns.
My interest in professionally studying sex and sexuality happened very organically. Through my work with the LGBTQ population, as well as my personal experiences, I knew both how deeply painful concerns about sex and sexuality can be, as well as how powerful and affirming healthy sexuality and pleasure in our own bodies can feel. I was hungry for more information and training, so I completed the University of Michigan’s Sexual Health Certificate Program with specializations in Sex Therapy and Sexuality Education and learned that I could happily read boring research studies about sex and sexuality for hours. I went on to become a Certified Sexologist through the American College of Sexologists and kept hungrily devouring more and more information to build my knowledge and expertise about LGBTQ population, sex and sexuality, and trauma.