Meet Our Therapists

Rahila Waka, LPC Headshot
Rahila Waka, LPC

Specializes in:

South Asian
Life Transitions
What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation. – Glenn Close

Rahila is currently in network with Aetna, Anthem, BCBSIL PPO, Blue Choice and Cigna. She is also offering self-pay and can also provide a SuperBill if requested.

Hello there! I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois. I believe we all have a story to tell that is rooted in different lived experiences. These stories that we embed into our identities are unique with very distinct needs. Sharing and having your story heard and empathized with can help provide relief and release while creating the space to help understand yourself more effectively. I strive to provide a space that encourages safety and curiosity as well as guide you at your own pace and your own comfortability level. The opportunity to be part of your journey would be an honor to me!



My view of therapy is holistic in that I center your values and culture as we work together to break labels and judgements that might prevent you from reaching your best self. I draw from multicultural and person-centered approaches and seek to be cognizant of sociopolitical contexts impacting life. I work to embrace and acknowledge concerning issues related to gender, sexuality, financial circumstances, race, ethnicity, culture, spirituality, intergenerational trauma and so much more. In my work with you I pay attention to your needs and incorporate mindfulness, interpersonal techniques, self-awareness, stress, and mood management skills. Below are some techniques I incorporate in our sessions:


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of CBT that focuses on four core areas; mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT helps people recognize discomfort while still feeling “ok,” so they feel empowered to make decisions rather than act on impulses.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy has roots in the ancient Buddhist tradition. Mindfulness therapy works on guiding individuals to direct their focus into the present moment. It offers individuals the space to cultivate self-awareness allowing you to build resilience, balance and peace of mind.

Person Centered Therapy is a client centered approach in which the therapist will strive to understand the clients experience from their perspective. It also is on the basis that each person has the innate ability to change and grow, which sometimes becomes clouded by certain life experiences or struggles.





2022 – Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling | The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

2020 – Bachelors of Psychology | University of South Africa


I have experience working in settings such as community mental health agencies, behavioral centers and private practice. In private practice, I have served individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds, with a focus on Asian/South Asian clients, first-generation/children of immigrants, LGBTQ+ spectrum, polyamorous and kink communities. As a South Asian immigrant who grew up Muslim, I understand the importance of inclusivity and what it is like to feel “different”. In my work, I create space that welcomes “different” and appreciates it.  My work in private practice has primarily focused on adolescents, young adults and adults.

My work at the community mental health agency primarily focuses on working with underprivileged families of adolescents to assist in conflict resolution and bring families together by working collaboratively to learn coping skills and better understanding of one another.

During my graduate studies, I interned at Hartgrove Behavioral Health Center. There, I worked with children, adolescents and adults in the inpatient units providing individual and group therapy. I gained experience working with a wide array of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, severe trauma and complex trauma. I mostly worked with adolescents and experienced a great understanding and interest in the LGBTQ youth community.



I am born and raised in South Africa and moved to Chicago in 2021. I am passionate about learning different languages and can understand several languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, and Urdu but do not have practice speaking them. In my spare time I enjoy taking long walks in the park with my dog Iroh, watching movies or series with my husband, doing makeup and nails, working out and meditating. I love baking and cooking, and enjoy testing out different vegan recipes and making them my own. I am an avid plant nurturer and enjoy propagating plants.