Dr. Kristin Anderson, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist providing individual therapy and counseling services in Geneva, Illinois

Dr. Kristin Anderson is a  licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with people of all gender identities from adolescent to adult. She has one common approach – helping clients seek the sources of support available to them, both internal and external, to create a balanced life that enables them to find the solutions to their problems and to achieve their goals.

Dr. Anderson has a pragmatic clinical style, focused on noticing and understanding patterns of cognition and emotional reactions and understanding their origins in order to make more effective choices. She use a variety of elements from cognitive and behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, solution focused therapy, Internal Family Systems therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy and mindfulness meditation. She uses an empathetic and empowering approach and favors interventions that focus on deepening self-compassion, increasing self-awareness and improving relationships with self and others. She helps clients learn to focus on their emotions, understanding what and why they are and how to manage them. She helps clients discover the wisdom held in emotions, seeing them as guides to the underlying issues causing them distress in their lives. Together, she works with clients to find effective strategies for change. She also draws attention to the messages the body gives and encourages physical self-care through balancing sleep, diet and exercise. She believes that we all hold the power to heal our psychological wounds by mindfully attending to them in relationship, bringing them to awareness. She works collaboratively with a number of area psychiatrists when medication appears to be a necessary addition to the work of therapy.

Dr. Anderson was trained at the University of Minnesota and received her Master’s of Art and Doctorate of Philosophy from the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology Program. Early in her career she began working with sexual abuse survivors including victims of rape and incest. Her dissertation research involved a treatment group she designed incorporating self-defense training with a short term incest therapy group. She has continued to pursue specialization in this area, attending many workshops on trauma recovery, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the impact of sexual trauma on brain function. She works with all genders who have experienced sexual assault, rape and incest in childhood or adulthood. She also works with survivors of childhood and/or adult physical, emotional and verbal abuse.

In addition to this specialty area, Dr. Anderson has been working throughout her career with dual-diagnosed clients – people who are struggling to recover from an addiction while being diagnosed with a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. These two issues must be treated together for any substantive change to occur. She uses a practical approach to managing both the addiction as well as the mental health issue, working with the client to create a treatment plan that suits their specific needs. She has a breadth of experience in both Buddhist and Christian spiritual traditions and uses these in combination with the traditions of AA in her work with clients.

Dr. Anderson also works with clients dealing with sexual identity and coming out issues. Whether newly out or questioning, Dr. Anderson works with clients to help them find their truth and develop the courage to live authentically. She also has experience working with clients exploring their gender identity, or those who define as transgender.

For many people, receiving a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder begins a long road of confusing treatment options. The most researched intervention is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This therapy has been shown to be effective in helping clients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder to manage the emotional reactivity and difficulties with self-harm and interpersonal relationships that typify this disorder. Dr. Anderson utilizes a version of Dialectical Behavior Therapy which incorporates a workbook to help teach the skills, thus freeing the individual therapy to focus on how to implement those skills effectively. Dr. Anderson has found this approach to be helpful in treating clients presenting with this unique combination of symptoms. She has also used this method to help clients who have similar struggles with emotional volatility and interpersonal relationship struggles, such as those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorders or other mood regulation disorders.

During her graduate education at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Anderson worked for many years in academic advising for the College of Liberal Arts. She was first an undergraduate adviser for undecided students and then as a Scholastic Committee Representative where her duties expanded to include handling suspensions and re-admissions to the College. These many years of work experience have given Dr. Anderson a sound understanding of the various stresses on students and a specific understanding of how to help those struggling with major/career choices and academic disruptions. Currently she works with students out of school on a mental health medical leave to re-stabilize and return to their college education. In this work she also helps manage the transitions many of these clients face returning to their childhood homes after having lived on their own for many years. These particular transitions often cause difficulties for everyone included; parents trying to figure out how to relate to and help their now grown children and students trying to maintain their independence during such a fragile time.

Finally, Dr. Anderson took some time out from working as a Clinical Psychologist while raising her son. During this time she worked as a dog trainer, both at a super pet store and on her own. She has loved and trained many of her own dogs, has fostered nine mama dogs with their litters of puppies for Homes for Endangered and Lost Pets (H.E.L.P.) and Safe Haven Rescue and has trained hundreds of dogs for her dog training club, Fox Valley Dog Training Club (FVDTC.org). She worked with two of her dogs who were registered therapy dogs through Therapy Dogs International at Delnor Community Hospital. She no longer trains dogs professionally but continues to work with her own and has been known to offer training advice from time to time.

Licensed: State of Illinois, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
PhD: University of Minnesota
Specialties: Sexual abuse and trauma recovery, Coming out and sexual identity issues, Women’s empowerment, Depression and anxiety, Recovery from addictions, Balanced living, Academic and career dilemmas, College-aged youth.
Previous Experience: Rape and Sexual Assault Center of the Neighborhood Involvement Project, Minneapolis MN; The Wellness Center, Carleton College, Northfield MN; Chrysalis, A Center for Women, Minneapolis MN; McKane and Associates, St. Charles IL; Clear Mountain Therapy, Geneva IL
Teaching: Multiple workshops on sexual violence issues; college student advising; diversity training.
Member: American Psychological Association
Theoretical Framework: Quickly and accurately gets to the core of what’s troubling you, then uses a combination of psychodynamic, ACT, IFS, solution focused problem solving, dialectic strategies and mindfulness meditation. Each approach designed for the individual client
Specialized Training: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT); Certified as a Sexual Violence Counselor in Minnesota

Please contact us to schedule at appointment.