Leanette Pokuwaah

Leanette Sunsum

Therapeutic Orientation & Techniques

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Self-Compassion Based Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Somatic Experiencing

Narrative Therapy

Attachment Theory

Gestalt Therapy


Areas of Specialty

First Generation & Immigrant Experiences
Racial Identity
LGBTQ Identities
Emerging Adults
Spiritual & Religious Identity
Anxiety & Depression
Enneagram Work

Academic Background

Student MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Northpark University, Chicago, IL

Student MA of Divinity, Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

BA in Biology, North Park University, Chicago, IL

Locations: Virtual Illinois, In-Office Chicago

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Self Compassion, Communal Care & Connection

You might feel alone, unsure, or overwhelmed, especially in this uncertain time during this pandemic. If you are queer, you’re a person of color, or both you may find an especially looming hurdle to find representation in your search to address past trauma and future growth within the umbrella of healthcare. Do you experience the desire to find ways to heal, craving new ways to care for yourself, but simultaneously find it hard to connect with others or lean on anyone else for support? You might have this fear of not even knowing where to start. Even if you simply want to gain greater knowledge of who you are or establish a deeper sense of your identity a therapeutic relationship is a truly transformative space. In therapy we will utilize a communal path toward healing, and it is an open/available/accessible space for you to begin this self work.

Our approach is centered around self-compassion and deep embodiment practices, especially when we address feeling alone, anxious, or depressed. When we meet, we use mindfulness, contemplation, and other centering practices to help us navigate toward your overall greater sense of self-acceptance, balance, calm and inner connectedness, which is essential to all our work. We will also use personality systems such as the Enneagram, a potent tool for self-discovery. As a co-collaborator in your journey toward growth and healing, I’ll compassionately communicate with you and directly share helpful practices if you’re hoping for a more hands-on and tangible approach.

My passion for creating healing and contemplative spaces for queer folks of color in an inclusive faith community initially brought me to this work. With my experience working in an LGBTQ inclusive Christian campus ministry for almost a decade, I was honored to walk along with students processing through religious trauma, coming-out, family conflict, and school. I loved every day that I had the chance to cultivate this unique place of safety, ease, community and care for those who are often inundated with false messages that say they are unwelcome, unaccepted or loved. So much of what I needed, and those queer students needed to hear was that you belong. Free to be who we are. Free from fear. Knowing you are loved because of who you are.

If you are ready and resonate with me and my work, please reach out! I know seeking help can be nerve-racking and overwhelming. The self-awareness healing journey is an even more challenging prospect so take all you need. I want to stress how much this therapeutic space is a safe home for queer, trans people of color searching for someone passionate about trauma and anti-oppression healing work. You are welcome here. I want you to feel fully seen and known. You can show up as your whole self because your story and voice matter. You matter.

"Working with Leanette on the Enneagram was a life-changing experience. It’s awesome how she approaches it from a POC perspective.” -AA

"The POC group led by Leanette was a sacred, insightful space for me. I was already quite familiar with the Enneagram, but it was a powerful and healing experience to receive teaching and further understanding through a person of color teaching it and to engage with it among only people of color. Leanette is such a gifted leader and guide that walked with us in such a caring and wise manner. I would highly recommend this space for people of color seeking wholeness and self-awareness." - JG

"Leanette was my coach in the beginning, but now she's my teammate. Life is hard, but I recognize I was able to walk through some dark times and have come out the other end feeling proud and greatly supported." -TF

Articles by Leanette

Coming Soon! Enjoy these articles from our staff:

Renewing Your Sense of Wonder

Renewing Your Sense of Wonder

Written by therapist Ruth NathanielWhen was the last time you felt curious, excited by something you’d recently discovered, or felt the renewed sense of wonder? For many of us, wonder took its last breath sometime ago, and we’ve been dragging our feet ever since....