Therapist Spotlight: Defne Ildiz, MA, LPC

Defne is a psychotherapist at Wildflower. In her clinical practice, Defne draws on Psychodynamic Theory, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Mindfulness-based approaches. Defne works with adults, couples, and family structures experiencing stressful transitions including the transition to parenthood, infertility and reproductive health issues, anxiety, grief mood disorders, trauma, sexual challenges, and relationship issues. Defne obtained her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Northwestern University. Read Defne’s full bio here.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a psychotherapist?

My journey to becoming a psychotherapist was deeply influenced by a personal medical experience during my young adult years. This experience not only shaped me as a person but ignited a passion for advocating for women’s mental health and wellbeing. During this time in my life, I discovered the power of resilience, self-care, support systems, mindfulness and various tools that I now help my clients tap into for themselves.

As a psychotherapist, what part of your job is most satisfying?

One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as a psychotherapist is witnessing a client’s journey of self-discovery and growth. I find so much gratitude when clients recognize and reflect upon their progress. Partnering with clients in their therapeutic journey and empowering them to navigate through their life experiences is an honor!

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

In my practice, I resonate most with Psychodynamic, Acceptance and Commitment, Internal Family Systems, and Emotion Centered theories, using a holistic and tailored approach for each of my clients. I also incorporate mindfulness, movement and breathwork as part of my practice. My clinical style is built on mutual trust. I focus on building connections through empathy, warmth, humor, and honesty.

Why do you believe that psychotherapy can help?

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.

What are some of your specialties and what drew you to them?

Aside from my specialty in maternal mental health and wellbeing, I also am passionate about working with client’s experiencing infertility or other reproductive health challenges which stems from my own personal health journey.

What is one thing about psychotherapy you wish everyone knew?

One thing I wish everyone knew about psychotherapy is that it’s a collaborative process tailored to each individual’s unique needs and experiences. It’s not just about addressing problems or symptoms; it’s about fostering self-awareness, promoting personal growth, and enhancing overall well-being. Psychotherapy offers a safe and supportive space to explore emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, empowering individuals to make positive changes in their lives.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

“Growth is a continuous process, not a destination.” We can learn to embrace the journey of self-discovery and show compassion to all of our parts in order to lead a more fulfilling life.

What are your favorite self-care activities?

My favorite self-care activities include spending time outside with my puppy, Mia, meditation, re-watching any and all Nancy Meyers’ movies, moving in the Pilates studio and cooking for my loved ones!