On the Many Joys of Cultivating Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotional experience that may arise in us spontaneously, swelling our hearts with love and appreciation, and contributing to our sense of connection – to people close to us, to our community, to the many things that ultimately ground us and infuse our lives with meaning.

Gratitude is also a practice that can be cultivated intentionally. It is a powerful antidote to the false sense of separateness from others that our fiercely individualistic society can instill in us. For all our glorification of independence, we humans are not autonomous beings, we are not meant to be. We are interdependent instead, meaning that while there is much we can accomplish by flying solo, the most meaningful achievements in life, those that create a sense of purpose and deepest kind of joy, come about when we are part of a greater whole, embedded in and supported by communities we care about.

We need to cultivate gratitude, especially now, when the world around us is so intent on highlighting our differences and when, instead of coming together in the experience of shared humanity, divisions of us versus them are nurtured at seemingly every turn.

Gratitude is good for our relationships, our mental health, and our communities. Try to find something you are grateful for in your everyday life, and do that not only on those days when the sun is shining and your heart feels light, but also when everything feels heavy and dark.


About Aga Grabowski, LCSW, PMH-C, CST (she/her)

I am a co-founder of Wildflower, a psychotherapist, a presenter and a consultant in the area of perinatal and reproductive mental health.  Many other aspects of my personal identity shape my clinical work: chief among them is the family and immigrant background which has informed my attunement to the psychological upheaval that accompanies major life transitions and to the many sociocultural forces that impact our lived experience.

In my clinical work, I am focused on helping people thrive and cope during periods of significant change, and particularly during journeys towards and through parenthood which may involve infertility, losses, depression, anxiety, and conflict.  I work with people from all walks in life. Clients I work with are some of the strongest, most resilient folks I know. They don’t always feel this way, and they come to therapy feeling raw, maybe lost, and certainly quite vulnerable. It takes courage to confront your pain and struggle. I view psychotherapy as a deeply collaborative process that aims to help you discover and tap into your strengths and resources.  You already have what it takes to feel better, be happier, face challenges – good psychotherapy basically helps you access all that. This can only happen if your therapist genuinely cares about and respects you and is invested in their own ongoing professional development and personal growth.

I have extensive training in perinatal and reproductive mental health, evidence-based treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, sex therapy, and trauma.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Chicago and obtained my master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.  I often present on topics related to mental health. I am an AASECT-certified sex therapist and a certified perinatal mental health clinician. My most valuable learning experiences come from my clients: their experience, wisdom and perspective have shaped my clinical practice the most, something I am deeply grateful for.

LCSW License Number:149016046
Type 1 NPI Number: 1841631132
Accepts: BCBS PPO and BlueChoice plans, Lyra, self-pay and out of network clients


Selected training and affiliation
AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training
Bringing Baby Home Educator Training, Gottman Institute
Circle of Security Parent Educator
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) training
Gottman Method Level 1 training
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training

Key beliefs
People are stronger and more resilient than they often realize.
Our culture teaches us to be fiercely independent. To thrive, we need to embrace being interdependent -- deep connection with others is essential for happiness.

More about me
I love the outdoors and hiking, camping, kayaking.
I can’t live without chocolate.
I feel grateful every day for getting to do the work I love.