Who Am I?
I was born in the United States, but I spent the majority of my childhood and adolescence in Taiwan. Growing up bicultural and bicontinental, I experienced many of the struggles as well as the joys that come from navigating multiple roles in my family and community. I became interested in pursuing a career in therapy to bring intra- and interpersonal dynamics into an open realm in which emotions, expectations, and assumptions could be shared, validated, and explored without judgment. Through this process in which the unspoken can be spoken, I have witnessed my own life as well as my clients' lives deepen in meaningful and significant ways.
I believe that people are so much more than their roles in their families, jobs, or communities, and as an expression of self-love, I strive to live a well-rounded life balancing work commitments with personal passions. When I'm not in the therapy room, you can find me taking photographs with my many film cameras, exploring restaurants and coffee shops in Chicago, or practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu and yoga. I also photograph headshots for other therapists.
I believe that psychotherapy is a deeply personal endeavor that has the potential to enact positive, life-long changes. In my therapy sessions with my clients, I explore the ways that your past and present relationships impact you, identify manageable and actionable steps to take, and help you connect with your community in ways that facilitate the change you wish to achieve. As a relational therapist, I also believe that one of the most important platforms for change comes from the therapist-client relationship itself. In my practice, I therefore strive to connect with all my clients in genuine and authentic ways. The most frequent feedback I receive from those who work with me is that our sessions feel like comfortable and casual conversations. I enjoy getting to know every client I meet, and clients can expect me to be curious, compassionate, empathetic, and open. I aim to create an atmosphere of collaboration, creativity, and safety in which personal growth and healing can occur.
I came to America to attend Northwestern University after finishing high school in Taiwan, and chose to pursue my Bachelors degree in Education & Social Policy due to the unique interdisciplinary nature of the program. I was then drawn to complete the Masters program in Marriage and Family Therapy from The Family Institute at Northwestern University with its emphasis on integrative theories and systemic approaches to therapy. Since then and for the past decade, I have continued my lifelong learning through supporting individuals to empower themselves within their systems. A unifying theme I saw in my past work in schools, hospitals, and clinics are the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that arise when individuals within a multitude of complex systems are unable to enact change for themselves. My goal is to integrate my story, approach, and work to help you find your agency and reclaim your identities in a way you want to be seen.
I hold the following licenses, professional memberships, and certifications:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), licensed to practice in the state of Illinois
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Clinical Member
Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), Professional Member
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor
Zur Institute Certification in TeleMental Health and Digital Ethics
For more details on my professional experiences, feel free to view my LinkedIn profile.
photo by Anjali Pinto
Amy Wu, MS, LMFT
(she / her / hers)
Amy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist whose areas of clinical focus include:
Reconciling intergenerational and intercultural hurt
Promoting values-driven living
Reclaiming your identities
A client of mine once used an analogy to describe her internal experience: "I feel like my mind is a cluttered room, and I'm trying to unpack and organize these boxes lying around, but people keep coming in my room and bringing in more stuff that adds to what's already there." My client and I built upon this analogy together to discuss the importance of setting up boundaries: when others knock on her door with a package, she can check to see if the package is addressed to her. Once we started identifying and filtering out what was allowed into her room, we were then able to start sorting out the existing contents with more clarity, focus, and effectiveness.
As a cross-cultural kid who grew up in two different countries and cultures, I understand the struggles that come from feeling pulled in multiple, oftentimes opposing, directions by family and community members, and cultural expectations and values, and personal wishes and desires — various individuals and entities that have come into my room with their packages. I also have experienced the feelings of frustration and powerlessness that can come from waiting for other people or external situations to change — not having the skills, knowledge, or support to manage the influx of other peoples' packages.
As your therapist, I honor the immense privilege it is to be allowed to join in the private, intimate spaces in the rooms of my clients' minds. I prioritize doing my own work so that I can enter into their rooms unburdened without adding my stuff to their space. I continue to use this room analogy with my clients to highlight the importance of "checking the packages." This means that we work to distinguish between what belongs to you and what doesn't. When we take more accountability for what's actually ours and relinquish responsibility over what isn't, we also feel an increased sense of empowerment and agency in our own lives.
My goal is to help my clients experience an alternative way of being, individually within themselves and relationally with those around them. Contact me to get started on decluttering the room of your mind!
What Do I Do?
Come Say Hello!
Free street parking • Right off I-94 exit • Close to CTA Yellow Line and Pace bus
You can also contact me directly by filling out the form below, and I will respond to your message within 24 to 48 business hours.
Please note that this is a general inquiry form.
For your own privacy, please do not include confidential health information. If this is a psychiatric or behavioral crisis situation and you need to speak with someone immediately, please contact 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or consult National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)'s crisis resource list.