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
  • Beyond Trauma Informed: Complex Treatment

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:

While parenting is often rewarding, it brings unique challenges and stressors. Parents are often bombarded with conflicting information in regards to managing their children’s behavior. Consequently, parents are frequently left feeling unsure and frustrated. Furthermore, the birth of a child, and the demands that accompany a baby and young child, can trigger confidence issues and difficulties in parenting due to past traumas or experiences. Therapy at Watch Hill can help provide parenting support and guidance.

Adjustment to Parenthood

Discipline

Behavioral difficulties

Attachment

Helping children overcome:

  • difficulty adjusting to family changes
  • sleep, eating, or elimination problems
  • separation anxiety
  • excessive shyness
  • excessive anger, worry, sadness, or fear
  • behavioral regression
  • low self esteem
  • aggressive behavior (hurting others or self)
  • learning or other school problems

Marital problems

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

Postpartum Depression

Consulting

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

Child Therapy

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

Couples Therapy

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
  • Divorce
  • Emotional & sexual intimacy
  • Conflict & communication
  • Infidelity
  • Same-sex relationships
  • Navigating intimate relationships as a trauma survivor

EMDR Therapy

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
  • PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Sexual/Physical Abuse
  • Sexual/Physical Assault
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Complicated Grief
  • Sexual issues

Trauma Therapy

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:

  • PTSD
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault
  • Physical Abuse
  • Witnessing Violence
  • Complicated Grief
  • Self-Injury
  • Problems in Relationships
  • Emotional Distress
  • Dissociation

Individual Therapy

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

Services

TRE®

Speaking/ Teaching

Parenting Support

Consulting

Children

Couples

EMDR

Trauma

Individual

Our Team

Tovah Specializes In

Consulting
Individual Therapy
Speaking/ Teaching
Trauma Therapy
Workshops

Jennifer Specializes In

Children's Therapy
Consulting
Individual Therapy
Speaking/ Teaching
Trauma Therapy
TRE

Jessica Heiman Freilich Specializes In

Children's Therapy
Individual Therapy
Parenting Support
Trauma Therapy

Teri Specializes In

Couples Therapy
EMDR Therapy
Individual Therapy
Trauma Therapy

William Ewing Specializes In

Children's Therapy
Individual Therapy
Trauma Therapy

Tovah Means, MS, LMFT, Owner

Tovah received her Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from The Family Institute at Northwestern University in 2009. After graduating, she completed a 2 year fellowship at Womencare Counseling Center where she developed her specialty in treating complex, developmental trauma.

Tovah is the founder and co-owner of a trauma specialty group practice, Watch Hill Therapy, located in downtown Chicago. She is uniquely trained to work with individuals who are recovering from childhood emotional, physical, sexual trauma, neglect, dissociative process, somatic issues, and deep soul injuries. She also diligently works to understand the effects of historical trauma, structural abuse, dissociation, and relevant cultural realities that impact survivors such as denial, racism, sexism, transphobia, and the discrimination against the expression of one’s true self by society.

Tovah speaks and teaches regularly about treating trauma and enjoyed briefly teaching the Psychological Trauma course at Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her interest in people and culture has sent her all over the world. She has lived in Ghana, West Africa and traveled to many developing countries as well as other international countries. For many years she consulted a sex trafficking aftercare program in Cambodia as well as other organizations and therapists in Chicago.

For an example of her speaking style, listen here to her teleseminar on the Core Elements of Traumatic Response.

Connect with her on LinkedIn!

Contact

Jennifer L. Rolnick, PSY.D., Owner, 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 interest 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.

Contact

Jessica Heiman Freilich, PSY.D.

Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who received her doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She is dedicated to helping people foster well-being and positive relationships despite the challenges they may face. She provides individual therapy to a full developmental range of individuals: children, adolescents, young adults, and adults that share similar experiences of anxiety, depression, life transitions, and trauma. Jessica utilizes a relational and insight oriented approach while also collaborating with clients to aid in the implementation of useful strategies and coping skills aimed at improving quality of life. Jessica brings warmth, genuineness, and a sense of empathy and safety to the therapeutic process.

Particular areas of specialty and passion for Jessica include working with new parents to help navigate and cope with the transition to parenthood, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, support surrounding parenting, and treating individuals who are recovering from traumatic experiences.

Contact

Teri Cicurel, MA, LPC

Teri is a relational, insight-oriented psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of trauma, depression and anxiety. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned a master’s degree in Clinician Counseling from National Louis University. Teri works with individuals and couples and is committed to providing a
compassionate, non-judgmental space where her clients can begin to deepen their understanding of how they relate to themselves and others, and how patterns and behaviors act as barriers to living the life they would most like to live. She supports clients as they explore issues of self-esteem and identity, grief and loss, parenting and family concerns, social and relational difficulties, substance use and process addictions and posttraumatic stress.

Teri recognizes the importance of adapting her approach to meet the unique needs, goals and experiences of her clients. Teri’s relational, reparative, strength-based approach to therapy is augmented by utilization of EMDR, mindfulness practice, DBT, CBT and somatic awareness, to name a few. She has extensive experience and certifications in providing support, advocacy and crisis intervention for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and childhood trauma.

Taking the first step towards self-discovery and more meaningful connections may feel daunting. It is with this understanding that Teri joins her clients to ensure that they are seen, heard and valued as they embark on their healing journey.

Contact

William Ewing, MA, LPC

Will received his Masters of Counseling from Northwestern University’s Family Institute. He provides individual therapy for people at all stages of development – young people to adults (ages four and up). His therapeutic style is relational, client centered, and strength-based. His style emphasizes humor, genuineness, and a non-judgmental approach to facilitate a safe and respectful connection with his clients. Will works with his clients to understand themselves more fully, develop self-compassion, and experience profound and authentic growth. While he works with all types of challenges, he has a particular interest in working with survivors of trauma, as well as family and relational disruptions such as divorce and bereavement.

Will worked as a Behavioral Specialist with families and schools, educating parents, teachers, and youth in the skills needed to help the family system cope with trauma and the challenges that come with everyday life. Will previously worked on a Crisis Intervention Unit where he provided individual trauma-informed therapy, crisis assessment, and intensive psychiatric evaluation to a diverse population of children, adolescents, and adults.

Personal growth as a psychotherapist is critically important to Will. He believes that, as the world changes and grows, he must also. To stay on the cusp of growth, Will actively produces research in the field of perfectionism and intimacy, regularly attends conferences, and participates in consultation and trainings. 

Contact

FAQs

  • 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.