Who Am I?
I was born in the United States, but I spent the majority of my childhood and adolescence in Taiwan — I am a self-identified "in-betweener"! 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 we are all so much more than our roles in our families, jobs, and communities. As an expression of self-love and a stance against the forces of capitalism and white supremacy, I strive to live a joy-centered life balancing professional commitments with personal passions. When I'm not in the therapy room, you can find me taking photos with my many film cameras, exploring restaurants and coffee shops in Chicago, and 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. In my post-graduate work in schools, hospitals, and clinics, I frequently witnessed the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that arose when individuals within a multitude of complex systems were unable to enact change for themselves. These experiences helped me refine and clarify my desire to continue to support individuals empowering themselves within their systems.
I hold the following licenses and professional memberships:
Active Illinois license as Marriage and Family Therapist
Clinical Member of American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
Professional Member of Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA)
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor
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
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 in many of our subsequent sessions: When others knock on her door with a package, she can check to see if the package is actually addressed to her; if not, she can refuse to accept the package. 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 have firsthand understanding of 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 — in this analogy, various individuals and entities that barge 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 your mind. I prioritize doing my own work so that I can enter into your rooms unburdened without adding my stuff to your space. To this day, I continue to share 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 draw boundaries around what is not our responsibility, we also feel an increased sense of freedom, 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.