Lena Budinger



I believe that therapy is at its heart about change. That can be a change in our behavior, thoughts, and in the ways we talk to ourselves. I bring a kind, non-judgmental approach to therapy, focusing on building safety for my clients as we work together to identify where change is most needed. As a queer, multiracial, South Asian woman, I understand how all aspects of our lives play into our experience of the world. I am committed to bringing an anti-racist, anti-oppressive framework into therapy. My goal for everyone I meet with is to create a safe relationship as a platform for their own unique path to growth.

I have experience with helping people with depression, anxiety, self-acceptance, identifying feelings and needs, building interpersonal skills, exploring gender and sexuality, and processing the impact of past trauma and abuse. I put an emphasis on sharing power within the therapeutic space, especially with clients who have experienced an imbalance of power through systemic oppression or interpersonal abuse. I believe that these approaches can help folks build their most honest understanding of themselves and move towards authenticity.

I draw from Acceptance and Commitment therapy, feminist therapy, and mindfulness approaches to build client’s understanding of themselves, and use Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy skills to concretely respond to their concerns. I completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University in 2019. I received my undergraduate degree in the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College. In my previous position, I worked at the Anti-Violence Project at Center on Halsted, supporting LGBTQIA+ survivors of violence in healing from past trauma and abuse.

Selected Training & Affiliation

  • Member of Postpartum Support International
  • 40 hour Domestic Violence Training Certification
  • 60-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention and Medical Volunteer Training

Key Beliefs

  • Each person is incredibly powerful and has the capacity to create change.
  • We love life more when we move towards the things we care about, rather than away from the things we fear.
  • Everyone knows themselves best – and there’s also ways to get to know ourselves better!

More About Me

  • I adore my tuxedo cat! I spend my days outside of therapy knitting, singing, playing guitar, and making jokes with my partner. If I could eat any two foods for the rest of my life, they would be beans and cake.