Tamara Sharifov, MSW is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW). She is a trained Dialectical Behavioral Therapist with 7 years’ experience specializing in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), complex trauma, suicidality, and mental health with both adolescents and adults. Tamara’s warm approach desires to guide clients through the art of deepening acceptance and compassion towards oneself, while helping navigate clients towards their desired meaningful life. Through her unique approach, Tamara helps lay the foundation for clients to gain trust in their own intuition, and discover skills for organizing one’s life around values centered living. She works diligently to create an environment which validates a client’s unique historical experience, while gently encouraging the dialect of change in the face of acceptance. Tamara has extensive experience working with diverse populations across gender, ethnicity, and life experiences. She also holds a deep passion for working with those affected by community and international-based conflict.
Tamara holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
During her graduate studies at the University of Chicago, Tamara received specialized training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) at the Emotion Management Program under the direct supervision of Paul Holmes, PsyD - a renowned expert in DBT, ACT, and Chronic Distress. Tamara continued her post-masters clinical training with Paul Holmes, and received extensive experience in the application of Third Wave Contextual Behaviorism. Also within this role, Tamara supported the development of a school transitional program, designed to provide continued therapeutic and educational services to adolescents struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties, as well as learning disabilities. Within this program, Tamara’s client focus consisted of high-risk adolescence navigating the welfare system, increased community violence, and disenfranchised communities in Chicago.
Tamara also continues to work as a mental health volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society, which provides humanitarian medical services within Syria, and Syrian refugee camps in the neighboring countries of Syria. In April of 2018, Tamara traveled on a global humanitarian medical mission to the Lebanese-Syrian border to provide psychological services within multiple Syrian refugee camps. Her role also involved providing psychological support to other medical volunteers, as well as training SAMS’s Lebanese mental health staff on treating chronic suicidality and self-harm behaviors.
Tamara has also worked extensively with sexual assault survivors, domestic violence, homelessness, substance use, as well as individuals affected by community based violence. Prior to become a trained DBT therapist, Tamara gained experience working in the following settings: various Rape Crisis Centers, Domestic Violence Shelters, Community Adult Mental Health Outpatient Programs, and Homelessness and Chronic Mental Health Outpatient Services.