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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 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 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 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 Rebecca Corpuz Swanney (she/her). I am a psychotherapy fellow at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

It’s easy to feel disempowered in the world we live in today, especially when you have marginalized or intersectional identities, and/or experienced trauma. In our sessions, I hope to give clients an opportunity to feel empowered and in control of their treatment. I believe that many mental health issues stem from or are exacerbated by the current cultural climate we live in. In addition, many of the beliefs we have about ourselves are learned from our families, friends, and societal influences, and those in turn affect our emotions and behaviors.  In therapy, we can work together to untangle what beliefs are helping you and which ones are not. I also welcome feedback from my clients. I want to know what is working for you and what isn’t, and I hope to foster an environment where the client feels comfortable to express that criticism. 

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 Izabella Bebenek (she/her).

As a therapist, I specialize in exploring complexities within families, romantic relationships, friendships, or work relationships. I deeply believe the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. During my time in this field, I have witnessed that every human being strives for social interaction, whether with a friend, partner, or family. I also noticed that dysfunctional patterns in any of these relationships might cause enormous pain in clients. I believe working with relationship conflicts, even a slight change in this dysfunctional pattern, might help clients change their life qualities. Also, I recognize that relationship conflicts are not restricted to only our relationship with the outer world. The relationship with ourselves is also an essential indicator of our peace of mind. I am committed to helping you gain insight into your dysfunctional patterns. I aim to detect those dysfunctional patterns, whether inward or outward, and work through them to attain your peace of mind.

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 Kathleen Truby (she/her). I am a psychotherapy fellow at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa, LCSW.

‘Life’s obstacles are easier to overcome when you have the right support’. At this time, you may be experiencing emotional, professional, romantic, familial or other relational obstacles that you may need additional guidance and support with. When life gets difficult to overcome, you can start to believe that nothing is going well and be rushed with a feeling of hopelessness. This feeling of hopelessness can leave you feeling severely out of control. Understanding deeply the distress that can come with struggling with relationships and feeling out of control, I’m here to be a gentle, yet skillful and measured process for you to approach your current feelings and thoughts. 

Hi! I’m Andrae Laws and I usually go by Drae (he/they). I am a provisionally licensed psychotherapist at Roamers Therapy under the supervision of Shaysa Villa MSW, 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.