Gina Powell, MA: Therapist Spotlight

Gina’s specialties and interest areas include: Anxiety Treatment, Depression, Trauma/PTSD, Identity/Life Transitions, Grief/Loss Counseling, Relationship Issues/Couples, Emotion Regulation, Anger Management, Personality Disorders, LGBTQ+ Affirming, Substance Use Disorders, and Adolescents. 

We sat down to chat with Gina Powell, whose therapeutic approach is marked by collaboration, non-judgment, and a deep commitment to meeting the unique needs of each client. Gina’s work is grounded in humanistic and relational approaches, forging connections with her clients to guide them toward discovering their individual purpose and motivation in life. Her therapeutic mission revolves around assisting individuals in coping with life’s inevitable challenges, losses, and transitions, with a firm belief that acceptance of change paves the way for positive growth.

We explore Gina’s journey into the field of psychotherapy, her top wellness and self-care strategies, and her therapeutic approach and insights.

IVPC: Welcome, Gina, and thank you for sharing your experiences with us today. I’d love to hear more about your transition into this field.

Gina Powell: I spent 15 years working for corporations in a professional role and I think just my life experiences, and my experience with therapy, kind of led me to this profession. I thought about making a career change back in 2017 and then I never followed through. It was always something that I thought about and then during COVID, I think that was kind of my little kick to make the decision. It was the best decision. I went back to school for two and a half years and recently graduated.  

IVPC: What are your top five wellness self-care strategies?

Gina Powell: Meditation and taking at least 10 minutes a day to focus on observing thoughts and letting them go. I try to do it in the morning. I don’t every day, but when I have time. When I am in the routine of it, it definitely sets my day up to be productive and I feel more centered. 

Being active — I love working out. I love going on walks. I went on a walk before this just to get moving, and I like to be out in nature. So anything outside. I think it is very soothing and helpful.

I like writing/journaling. When there is something that’s kind of pressing in my mind and I need to process, I try to just write out what I’m feeling. I find it very helpful to get it on paper and get it out of my thoughts.

I love listening to music. I’m a big music fan. I have a lot of playlists depending on what mood I’m in.

I love being around my dog. She’s 16. She’s a little Shih Tzu. She’s getting up there and she’s definitely slowing down a lot. So I’m trying to just embrace the time with her. 

IVPC: What can potential clients expect when working with you?

Gina Powell: I think clients feel a sense of ease and comfort in my presence. I come to the session authentically myself and fully present. And encourage my clients to feel comfortable being themselves as well. I’m not opposed to challenging clients in a productive way and I’m direct. I also use humor to lighten the mood and hope my clients feel that I’ve created a safe space for them.

IVPC: What are some things we should know about your area of expertise?

Gina Powell: I have interest and experience in substance use treatment. I’m interested in working with couples. I’m interested in working with people coping with difficult life transitions. My theoretical lens is more existential so helping people find their meaning and purpose.

IVPC: What do you like most about being a therapist?

Gina Powell: Working with people! I like learning about people’s histories, their patterns, their dreams, and their aspirations. I think it’s cool to see people implement some of the things you talk about and to see their progress. That’s very rewarding.

IVPC: What would you tell someone considering therapy for the first time? 

Gina Powell: For someone seeking therapy for the first time, it can feel scary and it is hard. Absolutely take that first step.  If someone is looking to make a change, it is well worth it. It can be painful to go back and address and relive things. But the outcome can be positive and change can happen. If you allow it to. 

IVPC: Do you have a personal mantra or motto?

Gina Powell: The only way out is through. It can be applied to a lot of things, I think.

Before embarking on her path as a psychotherapist, Gina spent many years in the corporate world, working in sales and technology. Her transition into the field of mental health was driven by her own life experiences and a profound connection with therapy. She has also ventured into the high-stress environment of hospital emergency rooms, performing risk assessments and psychiatric evaluations for individuals in crisis or those who have experienced trauma. Her extensive training, work history, and life experiences uniquely position her to support individuals and couples through life transitions and relationship challenges.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

InnerVoice Psychotherapy and Consultation in Chicago, IL and Skokie, IL