STEPHANIE BONZA, PSY.D.
FOUNDER, CLINICAL FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST
"WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING IT IS TO BE BOTH KNOWN AND LOVED NOT JUST BY OTHERS, BUT BY ONE'S OWN SELF."
I am a licensed clinical psychologist and the founder of Zeal Family Wellness, LLC. I hold a doctoral degree of clinical forensic psychology- with a law enforcement concentration- from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a bachelor degree from University of Michigan-Dearborn, and an associate degree of criminal justice.
I provide individual and family counseling services to adults, children, and adolescents who are seeking to build healthy relationships and authentic lives. I also work with couples and co-parents who are experiencing communication problems. My areas of specialization include life transitions with an emphasis on divorce and separation, relationship conflict, and childhood trauma. I typically help people overcome feelings of shame, sadness, self-doubt, denial, powerlessness, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, grief, or anger.
Some of my work is with individuals and families involved in the criminal and family court systems. I have ten years of experience providing court mandated psychological evaluations, co-parent counseling, supervised and therapeutic supervised visitation, domestic violence counseling, anger management counseling, and parent-child reunification services. The evaluations I have conducted include psychological assessments, parenting capacity evaluations, competency evaluations, and sex offender evaluations. I am currently accepting referrals for evaluations, including 604b evaluations, on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to the work I do with children and families, I have a special interest in working with law enforcement officers, first responders, and members of the military. I graduated with a concentration in law enforcement and previously conducted fitness for duty evaluations and job suitability screenings for the Kane County Sheriff's Department and the Chicago Police Department.
In addition to my clinical work, I provide graduate level instruction as an adjunct faculty member at a local graduate school of psychology and offer clinical supervision to masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral interns. I also provide professional consultation to mental health practitioners and family law professionals.
My personal zealous pursuits include camping + hiking, horseback riding, yoga + mindfulness, Chicago history, and baseball.
MY APPROACH TO THERAPY
Life is hard, therapy shouldn't be. My goal is to create a rewarding and productive relationship with the individuals and families I work with. Together we establish a fluid and open dialogue, with an understanding that therapy works best when there is a healthy and authentic connection between a therapist and her client. My clients have shared that they appreciate my relaxed and relatable demeanor and my transparent communication style.
I am a relational psychotherapist, but I also incorporate aspects of trauma informed and cognitive behavioral treatment modalities. This means that the therapeutic relationship is instrumental in fostering self-awareness and facilitating a deeper understanding of the patterns and internal processes that hold us back. New strategies for connecting with other people, making decisions, and managing emotions are built upon the insights we develop through this collaborative introspection. In addition to traditional talk therapy, I utilize therapeutic play, mindfulness strategies, and art-based interventions.
I believe that with the right support and guidance, everyone has the potential to create a happy life. I absolutely love being a therapist and this enthusiasm is reflected in my therapeutic style. It is deeply rewarding to help someone discover the power of acceptance and to bear witness as they learn to embrace their unique strengths and authentic self.