Denika McMillen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who was born and raised on the Westside of Chicago and is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She has nearly twenty-four years of experience as a mental health clinician, specializing in working with adults and adolescents of color, LGBTQ+, and individuals confronted with a range of life challenges from depression, anxiety, bipolar, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness. Denika feels her role as a clinician means being there for people who feel isolated or alone in their situation, needing someone else to help them gain a new perspective, feel differently, or at times escape the state at hand. Her philosophy is to view therapy is a “tune up” to help people keep operating through life. Just like cars need regular tune ups and oil changes to keep running smoothly, people also need regular check-ins and support. This is especially important for people of color and minority populations because they face additional societal challenges that may or may not be overt but are often internalized. Denika believes in utilizing a person-centered approach to intervention, which focuses on the participant having an opportunity to assess how their attitudes and thoughts are being affected. She thrives for everyone to perceive her as being genuine, having unconditional positive regard for them, and accurate empathy. Denika also has training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which she utilizes in her tool belt of intervention strategies.