Watch Hill Therapy
Watch Hill is a Chicago-based therapy practice specializing in individual, couples, and trauma therapy, with a unique focus on enhancing relationships, healing from the past, and thriving individually.
Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®)
TRE® is a series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. As mammals, we have a unique, naturally occurring shaking/tremor response that occurs in the body to release the excess charge after significant stress or a traumatic event. TRE® safely activates a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance.
Regularly practiced, TRE® has been shown to:
- Improve sleep and mood
- Decrease anxiety, emotional reactivity, and hypervigilance
- Improve emotional resiliency
- Increase flexibility, mobility and range of motion
- Increase quieting of the mind and deepening of relaxation
- Increase sense of connection with self and others
- Help with symptoms of PTSD
TRE® is an effective complementary practice and integrates well with other more traditional mental health and physical treatment modalities to support wellness on all levels.
Speaking / Teaching
Therapists at Watch Hill speak and teach regularly on topics related to relationships and trauma. Some examples of speaking topics include:
- Mind-Body Techniques for Treating Complex Trauma
- Navigating the Therapeutic Relationship with Trauma Survivors
- Understanding the Impact of Working With Trauma Survivors
- Trauma Informed Care for Sex Trafficking Survivors
- Trauma Informed Care for Non-Profits and Treatment Centers
If you are interested in learning more about having a therapist at Watch Hill speak at your organization or event, email us for more information.
To learn more about past speaking engagements, teaching, and consulting projects click below to view our Linkedin profiles:
Navigating work with trauma survivors or in a traumatized environment can be overwhelming and complex. There are many unique factors that combine to ensure competency, treatment success, and fostering individual healing. The need for training, support, and guidance is essential to staying vital and relevant in the lives of those you are working with. Some of the services we provide are:
- Strategic planning and implementation of trauma informed treatment services
- Individual, supervisory, and staff training –Training on topics unique the the needs of the clients within the organization to build competency and resiliency in working with trauma survivors. Learn the impact on the clinician, parent, and/or organization on working with and caring for trauma survivors. Learn how to prevent compassion fatigue and work through vicarious trauma, increase productivity, value and prioritize self-care, become aware of red flags and pit-falls, and foster an environment that helps survivors flourish
- Teaching & public speaking on trauma related topics
- On-going consultancy for clinicians who work with trauma survivors
Play therapy creates a safe environment for children to explore and express feelings in their natural form of communication. Children are given the opportunity to express their feelings naturally and safely through the therapeutic use of play. Children who have experienced significant changes in their lives or who have survived traumatic events need to express and understand their feelings.
Play Therapy Helps Children:
- Deal with parental conflict, separation or divorce
- Process traumatic experiences such as sexual,physical or emotional abuse
- Adapt to adoption, foster care or other changes in their family system
- Cope with grief and loss
- Who have witness domestic violence
- Who are experiencing:
- excessive shyness
- excessive anger, worry, sadness, or fear
- behavioral regression
- low self esteem
- aggressive behavior (hurting others or self)
- learning or other school problems
- preoccupation with sexual behavior
- difficulty adjusting to family changes
- sleep, eating, or elimination problems
- separation anxiety
- physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches that have no medical cause
Building a fulfilling, passionate long-term relationship takes work. When problems in relationship create too much distance or painful conflict, it can be crucial to get some help. Watch Hill understands how hard and yet important it is to build a fulfilling relationship. Whether you are questioning if you should still be together, want some help learning how to communicate, or are trying to repair your relationship, we can help!
Couples Therapy Services:
- Premarital therapy
- Adjustment to marriage
- Emotional & sexual intimacy
- Conflict & communication
- Same-sex relationships
- Navigating intimate relationships as a trauma survivor
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a type of psychotherapy that attempts to alleviate the pain of traumatic or disturbing memories and experiences. When we experience an upsetting or traumatic event it is often not processed or stored correctly in the brain. EMDR taps into those memories and helps to process them correctly so that they cause less distress.
EMDR is conducted in phases. It begins by identifying traumatic and painful experiences, memories and negative self-beliefs. Next, through a process of desensitization, the memories and beliefs are transformed so that they are no longer emotionally disturbing. The last step helps individuals to form positive feelings about themselves and their experiences.
You may wonder if EMDR really works. Approximately 20 controlled studies have researched the effects of EMDR. The studies have consistently found that EMDR decreases and/or eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients. For more information about the research studies, click here.
Is EMDR for you? Research has shown that EMDR is particularly useful for processing traumatic events. It can also be useful for working through painful memories, difficult behavioral issues, and feeling “stuck”. Examples of issues that can be targeted are:
- Panic Attacks
- Performance Anxiety
- Sexual/Physical Abuse
- Sexual/Physical Assault
- Disturbing Memories
- Complicated Grief
- Sexual issues
Trauma has a profound impact on our relationships, mind/body, and emotions. Therapists at Watch Hill are uniquely trained and skilled at helping individuals bring resolution to painful past experiences in a safe environment.
Trauma Therapy Services:
- Childhood Trauma
- Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault
- Physical Abuse
- Witnessing Violence
- Complicated Grief
- Problems in Relationships
- Emotional Distress
Watch Hill Therapy provides therapy for adolescent and adult individuals looking to deepen relationships, work through on-going or problematic issues, or revitalize their life.
Some examples of individual therapy services include:
- Relationship & Family Issues
- Emotional Distress
- Anxiety & Depression
- Grief & Loss
- Performance Anxiety
- Career/Success Blocks and Failures
Tovah Specializes In
Jennifer Specializes In
Laura Specializes In
Ryan Specializes In
Tovah Means, MS, LMFT, Owner
Tovah is a relational, trauma informed, systemic therapist who has a passion for helping clients experience vitality and joy in both their relationships and lives. Tovah received her Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from The Family Institute at Northwestern University and is uniquely trained to work with individuals, couples, and those recovering from trauma. Tovah uses the mind/body connection, trauma theory, and an understanding of the family and cultural issues to help her clients navigate complex issues.
Jennifer L. Rolnick, PSY.D., Clinical Director, Certified TRE® Provider
Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, who received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Her clinical practice focuses on individual therapy with children, adolescents, and adults. Her areas of expertise include trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, and life transitions. She uses an insight-oriented, relational approach with an emphasis on collaboration, connection, and empowerment. The therapeutic relationship facilitates growth by identifying and exploring both past and present patterns that keep people feeling stuck. Jennifer sees therapy as a collaborative effort that allows people to observe and more deeply understand themselves, their relationship patterns, and their characteristic ways of thinking and feeling.
A particular area of passion and specialty for Jennifer is working with child and adult survivors of trauma. When traumas occur within the context of a relationship, those traumas need to be healed within a safe and trusting relationship. Her goal is to be that safety and connection for her clients.
Jennifer is also available to lead workshops and provide trainings for organizations and individuals wanting to deepen their skills and knowledge base in providing excellent care for trauma survivors.
Laura Gossin, MS, LMFT
Laura is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist who received her training at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. She is a relational, systemic therapist who works with individual adults and couples. Her practice focuses on helping individuals and couples develop new strategies to improve their relationships, cope with significant pain and loss, and live more fulfilled and satisfying lives.
Laura works with clients to deepen their understanding of themselves and their relationships She helps clients who are experiencing communication, intimacy, and conflict issues, navigating the transition to marriage and parenthood, and facing various life transitions. Clients can expect therapy to be a collaborative process in a safe, respectful environment. Her approach is empathetic, honest, interactive, and direct. She values client insight and recognizes the importance of a trusting and open therapeutic relationship to bring about change.
Laura is trained in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Ryan Maher, MA, LCPC, CYT
Ryan is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who received his training from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He provides individual therapy for adults experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, difficult life transitions, health and body image concerns, as well as those recovering from trauma.
Ryan brings a deep sense of acceptance, empathy, and respect to the therapeutic process. His approach honors the unconscious/shadow elements of experience and seeks to integrate this into conscious awareness to promote insight, wholeness, and empowerment.
In addition, Ryan provides couples counseling to help navigate relationship challenges, facilitate communication, and nurture greater emotional connection.
Ryan is a certified yoga teacher and a member of the American Counseling Association and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
How do I schedule an appointment?
To schedule an appointment you can call 312.725.6136, fill out a contact form on the website, or click on an individual therapist to contact them directly. We will get back to you in 24-48 hours.
Do you accept insurance?
Watch Hill Therapy is a provider for Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO. We are not providers for any BCBS PPO Blue Choice plans or HMO. We work with other insurance companies as an out-of-network provider. If you would like to use your out-of-network benefits, a receipt will be provided to you to submit to your insurance provider. Please check with your insurance provider to confirm your eligibility for reimbursement.
What forms of payment you you accept?
Watch Hill Therapy accepts credit cards, cash, and checks.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to miss an appointment, we require at least 24 hours of notice; otherwise, you will be charged the full fee for your appointment.
Are therapy sessions confidential?
Yes. Federal and state law prohibits our sharing anything without your expressed written permission.
What does Watch Hill mean?
Watch Hill is the name of a beach on the East Coast near where founder, Tovah Means, grew up. It is a place that represents learning to be a grounded, calm, open to self-reflection and a willingness to experience inner healing.