GET TO KNOW your therapist

Maria Duda, LCSW

“Sometimes growth hurts, but it is the type of pain that is easier to endure because it is helping us come forward as a better version of ourselves.” yung pueblo

Insurances I Accept:

  • BCBS HMO NorthShore
  • Optum/United Healthcare
  • Humana
  • Cigna

Ages I work with:

  • 18+

Languages I speak:

  • English

Who Am I?

Hi, there! I am Maria (she/her).

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Yoga Instructor. I utilize a holistic approach to help adults 18+ navigate life’s difficult transitions and day-to-day concerns, specifically with regards to relationships, employment, and body image. I am passionate about incorporating movement and meditation into sessions recognizing the body as a source of healing, strength, and growth. My overall intention is to create a space that cultivates comfort and safety, allowing us to better understand and work through presenting issues.

I love working with:

Individuals that are open to and interested in a more creative and free-flowy approach to therapy including meditation, movement, writing, and visualization. I also love working with individuals that are interested in and open to incorporating spirituality and religion into their sessions.
Finally, I really enjoy working with individuals that are navigating life transitions and the process of grief.

Some of my favorite approaches include:

motivational interviewing, mindfulness, meditation, gentle movement, person-centered treatment, self-compassion, and journaling.


The foundation of my therapeutic style and approach is self-compassion. According to the research of Kristin Neff, self-compassion consists of mindfulness, kindness, and common humanity. In our sessions, mindfulness shows up as increased awareness of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations. Kindness shows up as curiosity, acceptance, and openness, oftentimes in place of judgment. And common humanity shows up as a recognition of our shared struggles and experiences, allowing us to feel more connected with others. I often incorporate meditation, breathing exercises, and gentle movement into sessions as a means of bringing self-compassion to life.

Beliefs section:

I believe therapy works best when safety, comfort, and support are present, as they allow us to be authentic without having to hold back. I also believe that a dash of laughter can strengthen the therapeutic relationship, offering a shared sense of joy.

What it’s like in a session with me

Having witnessed the role of movement on a personal and professional level, I like to think of therapy as a journey to one’s desired destination. And as your travel companion, I am here to help you identify the destination, plan out the route, and begin the journey itself. I will hold space for an array of experiences that may arise, including laughter, sadness, joy, frustration, and sometimes even silence. More than anything else, I am committed to being present, supportive, and understanding along the way. I am here to help you keep moving forward and growing, no matter where we find ourselves!

More about me

I have an affinity for the outdoors, spending most of my free time running, biking, and going on walks with my dog Elsa. I also enjoy challenging myself with a jigsaw puzzle, expanding my yoga practice, and exploring different bakeries and coffee shops around the city. More than anything else, however, I enjoy spending quality time with my friends and family.


Schedule your first appointment. For follow up appointments (existing clients), please contact your therapist at 773-774-4444.