Defne Ildiz

MA, LPC

(she/her)

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect.” – Brene Brown. I believe therapy is an opportunity to help people discover their authentic selves and guide them through their process of growth. Through the therapeutic experience, we learn how to accept all parts of ourselves, allowing us to build a deeper sense of self-compassion, courage, and confidence. My clinical style is built on mutual trust. I focus on building connections through empathy, warmth, humor, and honesty. Sessions with me are meant to be a collaborative space for us to develop a unique path and pace that best suits you and your needs. As your therapist, I strive to help you identify and build upon the strengths you already have in order to create the change you’re seeking.

My clinical interests involve working with individuals experiencing infertility and reproductive health issues, perinatal mental health and wellbeing, as well as grief, trauma and anxiety. In my practice, I resonate most with Psychodynamic, Acceptance and Commitment, Internal Family Systems, and Emotion Centered theories, using a holistic approach in our work together. This approach enables us to uncover recurring patterns in your life and relationships and wholeheartedly embrace the full spectrum of emotions that come alongside the human journey. I enjoy using mindfulness, movement and breathwork as part of my practice.

I earned my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Northwestern University. I have experience working with adults who have experienced anxiety, depression, mood disorders, complex trauma, body image issues, eating disorders, grief, and life transitions.

  • IL LPC License Number: 178019883
  • Supervised by: Amanda Matousek, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C
  • NPI Number: 1487333498
  • Accepts: BCBS PPO, Aetna PPO, BlueChoice plans, self-pay and out of network clients

Selected Training & Affiliation

  • Psychodynamic Theory
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems Theory
  • Person-Centered Theory
  • Emotion-Focused Theory
  • Mindfulness-based approaches
  • Crisis intervention and safety planning
  • Chicago Women’s Health Center’s Fertility Awareness Training
  • Member of Postpartum Support International
  • Gottman Method Level 1 Couples Therapy Training

Key Beliefs

  • Self-compassion is essential: Being kind to yourself, especially during hard times, is crucial for personal growth and well-being.
  • The power of gratitude: Cultivating a sense of gratitude for what you have and what you experience can lead to increased happiness and contentment.
  • Authenticity fosters meaningful connections: Embracing and expressing your true self allows for deeper and more meaningful relationships with others and yourself.
  • Love is a powerful force: Love and genuine care for oneself and others can create positive change and healing.

More About Me

  • I love farmers’ market Saturdays, playing with my tiny bernedoodle Mia, re-watching Nancy Meyers’ movies, being in the Pilates studio, and any and every type of dessert!
  • I am half Turkish, half Argentinian and Italian. I embrace my culture every day through cooking unique dishes and practicing my Turkish with my family.
  • Traveling is a passion of mine and I can’t wait for my next adventure!