Kristy Padilla, LCPC
I’ve been asked often, “How and when did you know you wanted to be a therapist?” I can tell you I was fortunate enough to know this was my calling since the 7th grade. That’s right. At the age of 12 I knew this was my calling after being mentored by students from DePaul University, some of which were psychology majors. My classmates and I were asked to write about a profession we would be interested in learning about. After writing about the field of psychology, my passion for the profession began.
I received my B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an undergraduate, I worked with a post-doctorate to co-author “Training Researchers to Use the Project Manager Model with Human Participants” which was submitted and approved by the American Psychological Society.
Santuzzi, A. M., Santuzzi, N., R., Garza, K., Weber, M., & Yan, E. (2006, May). Training researchers to use the project manager model with human participants. Poster to be presented at the 18th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Society, New York, New York.
I immediately transferred into a graduate program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where I earned my Masters degree in Clinical Counseling.
My career began at a non-profit agency on the Southwest side of Chicago working with children and families involved in the child welfare system. Here I gained extensive training working with survivors of trauma from sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. My role as a therapist involved learning how to truly understand a person as a whole by learning about their attachment to others, biological factors, family systems, and trauma history.
I sought to explore a new area within the agency to further build on my skill set. I began working with pregnant and parenting teen wards of the state. My position focused on conducting in-home therapy throughout the entire city of Chicago. These in-home visits were invaluable as I created more understanding of how their environment contributed to their emotional suffering.
In 2012, after 5 years of working within the child welfare system, I decided to explore the world of private practice after becoming a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. To date, I have received training in Child-Parent Psychotherapy through the Erikson Institute, the T.E.A.M approach with Dr. David Burns, and earned certification in domestic violence counseling through South Suburban Family Shelter, Inc. I am also a member of the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association.