Doxa Zannou

Doxa Zannou

Therapeutic Orientation & Techniques

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Gestalt Therapy

Existential Therapy

Multicultural Competence

Therapeutic Writing Techniques

Narrative Therapy

Family Systems

Areas of Specialty

Depression
Anxiety
Identity Development
Racial Identity Development
Emotional Abuse
Religious Abuse
Trauma & Post-Trauma Growth
Transitions
Emerging Adulthood

Academic Background

Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Moody Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

Bachelors in Psychology & English Creative Writing, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA

Locations:
Chicago: Virtual sessions

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

“In the day of their bitterest need, all souls are alone.” -Olive Schreiner

The agonizing and overwhelming pain of isolation, loneliness, rejection, and abandonment are inherent to the human experience. You may feel this pain when you experience a loss, a transition, a break-up, or an abusive relationship. You may also feel this pain when you are dissatisfied in your career, when your dreams or hopes do not come to fruition, or when you feel cut off from everyone, with no intimate network of support. This pain may then be accentuated by real or perceived loneliness, which can contribute to even more isolation and depression. 

This is why I believe in approaching therapy from a person-centered perspective by providing unconditional positive regard, empathy, and genuineness in our work together. Research confirms that a strong therapeutic relationship leads to better outcomes.

Our time together is therefore meant to be a safe space for you to unpack your deepest and most painful burdens, without feeling judged or condemned. We will identify and dismantle the effects of shame in your life, so that you can experience the power and bravery of vulnerability. We will examine your history, and explore the critical elements or events in your life that have contributed to your identity and beliefs. We will identify what you hope to accomplish in therapy, and we will explore the coping skills and interventions that will help you on your journey towards wholeness.We will work on amplifying your strengths and empowering you in your commitment to change. Indeed, healing is not always about a specific destination. Instead, it is a life-changing process of inner transformation and wholeness.

Growing up in Benin, West Africa, I went through some of my darkest days alone, even though I was surrounded by loved ones. There were many times I wished I had a safe person to speak with, but I did not have the opportunity to see a therapist. Thankfully, as I transitioned into young adulthood, I built meaningful relationships and experienced the empowering and healing presence of therapy. I learned that we cannot heal or change without others. We experience some of our deepest woundings in relationships, and these woundings lead to traumatic responses which can be unlearned in safe relationships. For instance, we learn to feel crippling shame and self-hatred in relationships, but we can also learn and experience the corrective power of vulnerability in safe relationships. I am therefore honored to walk alongside you as you journey towards holistic transformation. 

In my moments of despair and hopelessness, coping tools such as creative writing, physical exercise, and a safe, faithful community, helped me make sense of my struggles. Based on these experiences and the growing amount of research on the benefits of these various factors, I believe that the things we hold dear such as our family, community, religion, and culture, can both bolster and harm our mental health, depending on our circumstances.

Thankfully, the process of reflection and therapy can help you and I uncover the toxic messages and habits that are affecting you today, so you can live a more abundant life!

Call to set up a session with me, so we can begin this brave journey together!

“I sought therapy because I believed I was simply too emotional, and needed “fixing.” I did not understand that my emotions were connected to my thoughts, assumptions, beliefs, and self-doubts. Working with Doxa helped me name my emotions, identify the root of my assumptions and core beliefs, and commit to change by practicing self-acceptance. By the end of our time together, I felt more emotionally healthy, and secure in my identity. I had a better understanding of the impact my attachment figures and community played on my unhealthy beliefs.”

“I was afraid of coming to therapy because I did not know what to expect. However, Doxa was incredibly understanding, and she constantly emphasized that this was a safe space. I felt heard and seen for the first time in my life, and this empowered me to explore the depth of my pain, and the buried facets of my story.”

“Doxa opened my eyes to the fact that I tend to over-spiritualize issues in my life, as a way to avoid dealing with them. Spiritual bypassing protected me from the abuse I suffered as a child, and in the Church. However, Doxa used cognitive behavioral exercises that helped me understand the connection between my thoughts, emotions, and resulting behaviors. I learned to pay much more attention to my actions, and I learned to undo self-destructive patterns in my life once I understood they were rooted in trauma. I’m thankful for her graciousness and patience with me.”

“I’m grateful for Doxa’s non-judgemental presence. I felt safe to share and explore some of the most painful, and hidden parts of my identity in therapy.”

Articles by Doxa

Coming soon! Check out articles by other Optimum Joy therapists.

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