Ellen Schnelle

MSW, LSW

(she/her)

My approach to therapy is deeply rooted in authenticity, humor, and a steadfast commitment to embracing one another with radical acceptance. First and foremost, I approach each client without judgment and understand that therapy can be intimidating. Building a foundation of trust is my priority. I hope to create an environment where clients feel not only safe but also encouraged to share even their most vulnerable emotions. I believe in a strengths-based approach, supporting clients in navigating the complex systems in which we exist. Empowering clients to embrace and nurture themselves is paramount to me. I want to walk alongside my clients, while supporting them in navigating everything from the deep pain to the great joy that exists in life!

I draw from an abolitionist framework and am queer-affirming, promote body and fat positivity, embrace sex positivity, and am a lifelong learner of anti-racism. My passion lies in supporting individuals navigating challenges such as self-esteem and body image, disordered eating and the rejection of diet culture, life transitions and women’s issues, as well as anxiety and trauma. After years of unlearning diet culture myself, I am especially interested in disrupting the cycle that negatively impacts folks on a daily basis.

In my therapeutic practice, I utilize a trauma-informed lens, drawing from a diverse array of modalities tailored to the unique needs of each client such as relational-cultural theory, psychodynamic theory, and cognitive behavioral therapy. I am dedicated to finding the approach that resonates most deeply with each client. I plan to gain further specialized training in body image and eating disorders, somatic therapy, and I’m in the process of pursuing my certification as a perinatal mental health certified provider (PMH-C).

I obtained my master’s degree in social work from the University of Missouri where I was part of a graduate student-run community mental health clinic that provided individualized counseling to community members, free of cost. I previously worked in school social work and gained invaluable skills in crisis intervention, trauma work, and advocacy. I also have experience working with incarcerated individuals in a high-security state mental health facility, leading me to further look at how mental health and the criminal justice system intersect. Additionally, I gained skills in group facilitation and working with complex trauma

  • IL LSW License Number: 150111333
  • Type 1 NPI Number: 1942982640
  • Accepts: BCBS PPO and BlueChoice plans, self-pay and out of network clients

Selected Training & Affiliation

  • Psychodynamic theory
  • Relational-cultural theory
  • Clinical Trauma Competency for Social Workers training
  • Person-Centered Theory
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Health at Every Size (HAES)
  • Member of Postpartum Support International

Key Beliefs

  • We are all just humans doing the best we can in our own set of circumstances, and that is always enough.
  • “Try to love someone who you want to hate, because they are just like you, somewhere inside, in a way you may never expect, in a way that resounds so deeply within you that you cannot believe it.” – Margaret Cho

More About Me

  • In my off-time, you can find me reading by the lake, giggling with friends, binge watching reality TV, and exploring new restaurants around the city!
  • I am an avid traveler and love to immerse myself in art, food, and culture all over the world.
  • I value fashion as a form of self-expression and find great joy in putting together outfits for myself and friends.