Erin Richards

She | Her | Hers

Mood Disorders | Emerging Adulthood | Relationships

My Background

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that has been serving a variety of populations from incarcerated people, low-income, people of color, older adults, and those with chronic conditions since 2017. From a young age I wanted to know how people felt and how I could help them. I started pursuing a degree in journalism, but I didn’t feel like I was on the right track. I was challenged one day to look at a list of values and choose my top three. I wrote down: responsibility, dedication, and service. Upon looking at that list, agonizing over a major life change, and consulting with loved ones, I determined that I wanted a career in social work. I moved to Florida, got a part time job that focused on connecting volunteers with volunteer work, and completed my bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Florida Atlantic University. I moved back to Illinois and completed my master’s in Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2018.

I bring this experience of values-driven decision making into the therapeutic environment. My therapeutic approach is client centered, allowing them the self determination to choose what areas they prefer to focus the session on. I primarily use Acceptance and Commitment and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. I use a goal-oriented approach starting with where the client is, where they want to be, and how we can get there together. I believe in providing my clients with practical tools they can take home from a session and apply, which sometimes comes in the form of a handout, worksheet, or homework assignment. I am dedicated to creating a warm, nonjudgmental therapeutic environment that provides the client the validation and space that they need to grow.

My clinical focus areas and interests are particularly around emerging adults, those going through life transitions, and relational conflict. I am interested in helping those with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, self-esteem and occupational stress.

When I’m not at work I’m usually enjoying Chicago, whether it be at a great new restaurant or at one of the many beautiful outdoor spaces Chicago provides. I especially enjoy walking my Maltese by the lake, taking in a baseball game with friends, and attending the Art Institute’s latest exhibitions.