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RENA McDANIEL, MEd, LCPC, CST
(THEY/SHE)

You want to feel calm, confident, and powerful in your own, unique skin in a world that doesn't always celebrate your various, intersecting identities. You want to do more than just survive and you need ideas and tools to help you get there. You want to feel free and happy without feeling like you have to hide parts of yourself. You want to feel like you have space to breathe. As a Gender and Certified Sex Therapist, I work with folks like you feeling anxious and lost about a transition you're experiencing in sex, gender, sexual identity, or relationships.

I can help you uncover more of who you are so you feel confident in your own skin, providing you with the support you need to go from feeling broken and alone to whole and part of a community.

My specializations include sex therapy, gender questioning, transgender, LGBTQ population, trauma, sexual pain, PTSD, and kink/poly affirming care. My clinical style is warm and collaborative, helping you locate and build upon the strengths you already have in your life in order to create change while challenging behaviors and thoughts that aren't working.

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.

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. 

 
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CASEY TANNER, MA, LPC
(SHE/THEY)

You want a sense of security that sustains through the ebb and flow of your circumstances and relationships.  You want inspiration to pursue what matters to you, and less anxiety about what doesn’t. You want to stop apologizing for what makes you you, and to speak aloud the fears, fantasies and experiences that have previously been silenced.  You want to revel in yourself, maybe for the very first time. I work with folks like you who feel disconnected and overwhelmed - folks who recognize that healing doesn’t have to happen alone.

Casey is a queer-identified, sex-positive, intersectional therapist committed to providing support and authenticity as you bravely navigate being human.  She combines evidence-based guidance with tenderness and levity to create a space in which you feel seen and understood.

Casey specializes in working with individuals and couples in the LGBTQ and poly/kink communities on concerns related to sex, gender, transition, relationships, anxiety, depression and disordered eating.  She often works with folks with histories of physical, sexual, relational and/or spiritual trauma.  

Casey attended The Chicago School of Professional Psychology for her Masters in Counseling, interned at Center on Halsted, and completed a post-graduate fellowship at Live Oak.

Emily Zoller, MA

(she/her)

You deserve to feel comfortable and at home in your mind, your body, and your community. You deserve to feel secure and stable, and to find strength in yourself to weather whatever storms may come. I want to support you as you discover more about yourself, your past, and your desires for the future.

I take a holistic approach to understanding the complexity of your life and desires, and work with you to help create a clearer picture of what’s going on in your world, and ways in which to better align your life with your values. I believe in collaborative work, and am committed to meeting you where you are and creating a strong therapeutic relationship. I want to work with you to embrace your voice and to support a connection between mind and body.

I am a trained sex-educator, social worker, and relational psychodynamic therapist. I use a queer and feminist lens, and often work with people around identity, relationships, anxiety, depression, and trauma. I work hard to create a space to be safely vulnerable, and bring a warm and engaging energy to our work together.

My past experience centers around counseling, education, and reproductive justice work. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Brandeis University and completed my Masters in Social Work at The University of Chicago. I’ve spent many years working with young adults, and recently spent a month in Amsterdam with American high school students to study gender and sexuality cross-culturally. In addition to my role at Practical Audacity, I am currently completing a post-graduate fellowship in psychodynamic therapy.


 
 
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RUCHITA CHANDRASHEKAR, MA
(she/her)

Ruchita graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with her Masters in Counseling Psychology - Latino Mental Health. She is originally from Mumbai, India. She gained specialized training in working with the LGBTQIA community during her clinical internship at Center on Halsted. She has also worked with communities of sex workers and their children in Mumbai. An intersectional feminist by nature, her specific interests lie in striving to combat gender violence and encouraging dialogue that embraces the fluidity of gender, destigmatizing mental health, trauma informed therapy, and cross-cultural issues in South Asian Communities. 

Ruchita believes in a collaborative approach to treatment. She is multi-lingual and can communicate in English, Hindi, Tamil and Marathi. Her model to providing services includes the integration, discussion and acknowledgement of the impact of systemic oppression on community mental health. With queer affirming principles at the core of her practice, she often works with folks who have experienced physical, sexual, emotional and intergenerational trauma.

Ruchita is a regular columnist at The Wire, an independent publication carrying authoritative opinions and the best of Indian reportage, where she discusses the impact of marginalization and oppression on individual mental health. Her previous written work can also be found on Huffpost.

Transitioning your gender can be an overwhelming, confusing, and anxiety-provoking process. Intense self-reflection, experimenting with names, identities, and different ways of presenting is often a daunting task in a world that doesn't always validate or support our various, intersecting identities.

You wonder: Will I ever feel good about myself? What if I never feel legitimate?
You feel like you haven't quite convinced yourself it's okay to just exist as who you are. 

A familiar narrative of transgender/gender non-conforming (TGNC) experience is that transition equals suffering and anxiety.
Is it possible that transition could feel more like a process of curiosity, discovery, and empowerment? That is the question we are obsessed with.

WE want to make transition easier by addressing common sources of anxiety throughout transition, asking good questions to help OUR clients uncover more about their identities, assess their readiness to come out and/or medically transition, and develop coping skills that work at each phase of transition.

Over and over in OUR practiceS, clients have sat in front of US with tears in their eyes voicing “I feel broken” because:

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  • others have taken away their sexual power through abuse

  • they are experiencing sexual shame related to gender or sexual identity

  • they have physical problems that have become so intertwined with emotions that they feel inseparable and insurmountable to the client

  • they've never experienced an orgasm and that fact really bothers them

Others are:

  • stuck in a rut with romantic and sexual satisfaction and exploration and want to explore how to take their romantic and sexual life to the next level

  • facing relational and sexual challenges in both monogamous and polyamorous and/or kink relationships

  • figuring out how to navigate differences in libido between partners

  • want to uplevel their communication with partners

WE want to help people find pleasure, joy, and confidence in their sexuality and relationships no matter what barriers they face. WE do this by providing therapy and coaching grounded in feminist ideals and collaboration, a focus on strengths, trauma-informed care, and science-backed interventions that focus on the interactions of our thoughts, emotions, and actions. While providing a space for you to feel safe and seen right where you are, WE also have a bias to action that WE believe produces change in people's lives.