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Get To Know Your Therapist: Annika Bushman

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Where did you go to school? What degree did you obtain from each?

  • I attended North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I am currently enrolled at DePaul University and will be obtaining my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in June of 2024.

What’s your hope for each client when they leave your office?

  • They are able to take the skills we worked on in our sessions and apply them to their real-life experiences. I want clients to be able to leave my office at the end of session and feel better than the moment they stepped into my office. Whether we are just talking, sitting in silence, or working on therapeutic skills, I want my therapeutic space to be one where my clients feel supported.

What is your favorite part of being a therapist?

  • Seeing clients grow through their own work and personal development. Each client has the ability to grow and reach their personal goals, and I am there to help them unlock that ability. Seeing someone have that ‘aha’ moment when they learn something about themselves is deeply rewarding.

What’s something you would say to a potential client who’s on the fence about beginning therapy?

  • While therapy has become more of a norm in our society, it is still scary to start this new relationship. It is incredibly hard to be vulnerable with someone you have never met before, but you can be sure that the therapeutic space is one that is safe and non-judgmental. It is a place to vent, to learn, to grow, and to understand who you are in a new lens. Taking that first step, reaching out to a therapist, and starting therapy is something to be proud of.

How do you practice self-care?

  • To me, there are so many different levels of self-care. In the most basic sense, washing my face before starting my day and before going to bed helps me feel refreshed and ready to do whatever follows. Taking a step above that, I love to listen to music, go to the gym, or simply just spend a day watching TV to decompress and relax. Taking one more step above that, I love to connect with nature. Hiking is something I am deeply passionate about. Living in Chicago makes it difficult for me to hike often, however, when I have the time to go out to one of our stunning nature preserves in the suburbs, I value that time greatly. It is a way for me to feel my mind and body connect, while reminding myself of the beauty of the world that we live in. On that same step, I go to a lot of concerts. I have traveled across the country to see certain bands – it’s a way for me to connect with people I have never met and be a part of a welcoming and supportive community outside of the one I have already built.

Unpopular Opinion?

  • Living in Chicago, there are a lot of food opinions that get thrown around. While we all know deep dish pizza isn’t a staple in our diets here, like out-of-state folks often think, I will always claim Giordano’s is better than Lou Malnati’s. Also – I don’t like hot dogs and I certainly don’t like anything more than ketchup on hot dogs.

Something Unique About Me

  • I have an older sister who is also a therapist in the North Shore area!

  • I have traveled outside of the country twice: Italy and England

  • My dream place to live is either in Seattle or somewhere in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.



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