Meet Ann Tharayil: Helping Clients Build Connected Relationships with Themselves and Others - Counseling & Therapy Services - The Juniper Center

Ann Tharayil LCSW The Juniper Center“Too many people think therapy is about fixing something that is broken,” says Ann Tharayil, LCSW, at The Juniper Center. “But in reality, therapy is beneficial for anyone at any time, regardless of what issues they are dealing with.”

Although it can be crucial when someone is going through a crisis or transition, it can also be used as a place to sort out dreams, goals, and values.  It can be a place to grow and improve how you are relating to others and living your life. People go the gym regularly to maintain and improve their physical health. Therapy can be used in a similar way.

As we advance technologically as a society, Ann believes therapy needs to evolve and change to fit people’s needs.  The profession has become much more flexible and holistic in the last 20 years.  We have embraced the mind/body connection.  Science has informed us about how trauma shows up in the body and the brain.

She believes that to be most effective, clinicians should meet people where they are, and tune into their mind, body, and spirit to explore each person’s individual needs.

“I wish people could see how valuable therapy can be in understanding one’s self and living a more fulfilling life.” 

Ann has more than 25 years of experience doing individual, couples, and family therapy as well as parent education. In addition, she has training in various areas of specialty, such as post-partum depression, parenting, and marital therapy. She serves as a supervisor for graduate interns at The Juniper Center and has offered workshops on parent education programs for families in Chicago and nearby suburbs.


Drawing from her own experiences to support others. 

Prior to joining The Juniper Center, Ann spent time working in agencies, in her own private practice, and as a staff clinician in the Perinatal Depression Program at North Shore University Health Systems. All are experiences that shape her approach today.

Ann lived in Asia for several years of her adult life and cites her experiences during her time there as instrumental in shaping her sensitivity to different cultural perspectives. It also gave her greater appreciation for the richness and complexity that one’s cultural lens brings to their lives and relationships. She loves working with couples where the partners come from different cultural backgrounds.


“I believe in the power of a caring, connected, therapeutic relationship in helping people heal from hurt, learn about themselves, and harness their strengths to make changes in their lives.”

One thing Ann also credits is her own personal experience, being married for 22 years and raising children of her own. Having trained in “the school of life,” Ann is able to bring her real-life experience of the challenges in family life to her work.


A collaborative guide to a fuller life.

Ann frequently sees people come in for therapy when they feel overwhelmed, confused, afraid, or angry with people or situations in their lives.

In the beginning, Ann spends time listening to her clients talk about their experiences and what they want out of life. This allows her to gain a better understanding of each person and what they’ve been through.  “There are no quick fixes, but there is always a way forward together.”

Ann serves best as a collaborative guide in figuring out what is in your way and what you need to be your true self. Most of the work Ann does revolves around empowering her clients to know (and learn more about) themselves and how to utilize their strengths in their relationships and in their lives.

I love being a part of the process because I know it works.


Why The Juniper Center?

 “I have been with the Juniper Center for 10 years because I love working with a staff who is dedicated and caring. It is a great environment to work in because the staff is constantly learning and growing.

“One of the best features of The Juniper Center is the wide range of people served — from children to seniors, couples and those in polyamorous relationships, and people from across the ethnic and sexual orientation spectrum.

“And we offer a broad spectrum of therapies and approaches from our 30 different clinicians. There is something for everyone, from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to yoga therapy to art therapy, EMDR and more.

“Another benefit unique to Juniper is our collaborative approach. For example one clinician might work with a child who is struggling, and another therapist might assist the parents.  Our team approach can then be used to understand the whole family as a whole and work collaboratively to support healthy growth for all.”

Get help now.

Ann provides services out of the Park Ridge location. If you or a loved one would benefit from the confidential support of Ann or any of the other clinicians at The Juniper Center, please email us at or call us at 847-759-9110.


Read articles by Ann Tharayil.


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