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About Us

Roamers Therapy was created by Shaysa Villa (she/they) understanding how hard it can be to find a modern & down-to-earth therapist. We work particularly well with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and interpersonal stressors. We take a culturally sensitive, unique, and creative approach to therapy to help individuals and families achieve mental well-being. This may be an overwhelming point in your life, but pursuing psychotherapy can be one of the most transformative experiences you can take to heal & grow from your current state.

Our clinicians are able to provide in-person individual and couples therapy services from our offices in Chicago, as well as virtual therapy services if you are located anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. You can learn more about each of our clinicians below.

Our Clinical Team

Hi! I’m Candice Love (she/her).

Life is truly a gift that is meant to be enriching, filled with freedom and happiness. At times we experience challenges that prevent us from living life the way we truly desire. As a modern cognitive behavioral therapist, I understand these challenges and how they may alter us internally. My approach to therapy is collaborative, solution focused and nonjudgmental.

Hi! I’m Crystal Thomas (she/her).

As we grow and develop as humans, we often find ourselves confronted by issues from the past – issues we may have thought long-resolved. These issues can manifest in our relationship dynamics, our perceptions about ourselves, and our means of coping with our environment. My role is to join you in confronting these things so that you can integrate and learn the lessons these past experiences are meant to teach you. In our work together, you are the expert. You decide what your experiences mean and how they impact the person you are. Along the way, I will ask you questions designed to introduce new perspectives and to remind you of your strengths and abilities.

Hi! I’m Gwendolyn Hickey (she/her).

As a trauma-informed therapist, I believe developing trust and safety within the therapeutic relationship is crucial to doing meaningful work together. For this reason, I strive to bring warmth and authenticity to my sessions with the goal of supporting clients in feeling truly seen and heard. My approach to therapy is person-centered and relational, wherein the therapy process is demystified and therapeutic goals are developed cooperatively. Grounded in my commitment to anti-oppressive practice, I believe strongly in client self-determination and understand the therapeutic process to be collaborative by nature.

Erica Cole's Photo

Hi! I’m Erica Cole (she/her). I am a psychotherapy fellow at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

At times, we can feel stuck in cycles of unwanted patterns and feel unsure of how to navigate ourselves out of them. The sense of feeling like a part of you is lost can shake your world view as an individual and within relationships. You may notice that you are dealing with relationship conflicts, difficult managing life transitions, or consistently putting yourself last. My intention as your therapist is to walk alongside and empower you through tools, insight, and compassion that things can be different. My goal will be aid you connect your mind, body, and spirit. I will meet you exactly where you are, as exactly who you are, to help navigate through who is that you you would like be and allow yourself to come back to yourself or the relationships you imagined.

Hi! I’m Alyssa Alvarez (she/her). I am a psychotherapy fellow at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

As your therapist, I want to provide you the tools you need to face and overcome personal obstacles and enhance your relationships with others.  Having an extra helping hand can be helpful since life can be difficult at times. While in sessions I want to create a safe environment for you to be open and honest with yourself. I believe that in order for treatment to be successful, the therapeutic relationship is essential. Therefore, I put a lot of effort into developing a relationship with you early on in treatment and learning about your unique personality.

Hi! I’m Sima Sohanaki (she/her). I am a psychotherapy fellow at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

As an immigrant and bilingual minority woman who has dealt with many difficulties, and as a wife and mother of two adolescents, I bring a seasoned life experience to my counseling sessions. Throughout my life, I have learned to be resilient and face hardships with bravery and efficacy. I am determined and passionate about helping people to overcome their fears and manage their anxiety, depression, and life transitions since I have dealt with these issues myself. I am confident that my experiences in life allow me to connect and relate to my clients from various backgrounds in an accepting and empathic way.

Hi! I’m Natalia Gurmendi (she/her). I am a psychotherapy fellow at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

Addressing mental health concerns isn’t easy. It can be nerve-wrecking and anxiety-provoking but it also takes a lot of courage to advocate for yourself. As a trained art therapist, my goal is to assist you in achieving emotional balance by providing you with the option of exploring therapy through a different lens. At times, we can lose sight of the options available when seeking support. I’m here to help you harness your strengths. When you can experience the ability to regulate and control your emotions, you’ll find yourself feeling empowered. In sessions, I maintain a safe space for you to explore feelings, thoughts, and personal insights regarding your relationships and lived experiences. I work with clients to strengthen their awareness to identify challenges and struggles as a means to promote a desire for positive change—this can be done through actionable steps for growth to be sustainable. Being your support throughout this process is a privilege and I value the relationship we build. As a therapist, I strive to be genuine and intentional while maintaining deep respect and acceptance of you and your unique experience.

Hi! I’m Kaielle Sykes, Med, LPC (she/her). I am a provisionally licensed psychotherapist at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Candice Love, MSW, LCSW.

Seeking support for your mental health can be extremely difficult and even intimidating. Not only is it really personal, but it is also something that has been routinely stigmatized. When you’re feeling stuck with a sense of uncontrollable emotions, thoughts, and behaviors therapy can help. I strive to help my clients gain the self-awareness and tools needed to better their lives. 

Hi! I’m Izzy Jimenez (she/her). I am a provisionally licensed psychotherapist at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa MSW, LCSW.

Confronting difficult aspects of life such as grief, traumatic events, relationship issues, and mental health struggles can feel overwhelming and scary. Choosing to start therapy and confront the complex emotions that life throws at us is a choice that deserves praise. It is my goal as a therapist to create a compassionate and non-judgmental environment to explore these difficulties and help you feel empowered. I believe that therapy is meant to be a collaborative experience, with you being the expert of your own life, and me being there to provide you with validation and guidance.

Hi! I’m Sarena Korni (she/her).

I strive to build meaningful and impactful relationships with anyone who decides to begin individual or couples therapy with me. As we are developing our therapeutic relationship, I seek to understand and demonstrate respect for your identities, your perspective of the world, and to provide a therapeutic space that empowers you to find peace, balance, and security within. I believe that you are capable of healing, growth, and success with the right support and knowledge. My hope is to be that support and provide the knowledge that you seek.

Hi! I’m Raechel Pierce (she/her).

Sometimes life throws us challenges that are too overwhelming to handle alone. As a trauma informed and culturally sensitive therapist, I understand the importance of allowing space and time for healing in a non-judgmental space. As your therapist, my priority is that you feel comfortable as we work through these difficulties together. My approach is collaborative, as your voice is equally important. This is your lived experience, and my role is to help guide and gently empower you towards realizing a better version of yourself.

Hi! I’m Raquel d’Escoto (she/her).

Life is fun and exciting but also challenging. At times life is overwhelming and we are not sure how to deal with how we are feeling. Sometimes it is difficult to name what you are feeling and working through them can seem impossible. Through my work with those experiencing domestic violence, I have seen a range of individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and more. As a modern eclectic trauma informed therapist, I recognize and understand the importance of creating a space that is free to be expressive and non-judgmental.  

Hi! I’m Andres Carrion (he/they).

As a person-centered and multicultural oriented therapist, it is my philosophy that you know yourself better than anyone else and that it is your right to guide the therapeutic process. I strive to meet clients where they are at. I believe that you are a unique individual with diverse experiences and there is value in that. The differences that make you, you, should not only be seen, but understood and validated. 

Hello! I’m Audrey Regan (she/her). I am a psychotherapist-in-training and I am currently completing my practicum internship at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Gwendolyn Hickey, LCSW.

My client-centered approach ensures that I create a safe, non-judgmental space where you feel heard, valued, and empowered to explore your thoughts and emotions. Together, we’ll embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, as I firmly believe in your innate strengths and capacity for meaningful connections. With integrative techniques and a deep understanding of human nature, I’m here to guide and support you in reaching your fullest potential and living authentically.

Hi! I’m Andrae Laws and I usually go by Drae (he/they). I am a psychotherapist-in-training and I am currently completing my practicum internship at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

As humans, it is natural for us to experience highs and lows as we navigate through life. However, sometimes our lows are too overwhelming—we feel stuck and alone. This feeling may hinder us from experiencing joy, showing up for the people we love, and reaching our fullest potential. My therapeutic approach is shaped by three beliefs: (1) regardless of your past and current situation, you are worthy of love and respect, (2) you have inherent strengths, and (3) systemic oppression plays a role in the way we think, feel, and behave; therefore, in therapy, it is important to consider the relationship among systemic oppression, mental health and the multiple identities we hold.

Hello! I’m Emma Smith (she/her). I am a psychotherapist-in-training and I am currently completing my practicum internship at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Gwendolyn Hickey, LCSW.

I come from the world of theater, sketch comedy, and writing. I believe each of us has a unique story and background that informs how we move through the world today. I am excited to explore this story with you and help you feel empowered to tell it. As William Shakespeare once said, “What’s past is prologue.” Our history can help us explain and navigate the present, as well as plan for our future.