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Tenacity's Therapists

Mary Ann



Dr. MaryAnn Andrade-Bekker is a Chicana born and raised on the Southeast side of Chicago. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of St. Francis. She obtained her Master of Arts in Counseling and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She completed her predoctoral internship (APPIC) from the IPAPIC Consortium, focusing on chronic mental illness, neurodiversity, mood disorders, trauma, and grief. She wrote her dissertation on the formation of ethnic identity and social interest in American Indian peoples.


Dr. Andrade-Bekker has practiced in various locations before TenaCity Psychological Services. In her formative years, she worked at the Will County Health Department in the Forensics Unit for her diagnostic assessment practicum, the University of St. Francis Counseling Center for her counseling practicum, and community group practices in the south and north suburbs of Chicago. She has worked with children, teenagers, adults, and older adults from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. She has experience working with individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness, depressive and anxiety disorders, trauma, neurodiversity, LGBTQAA+ populations, grief, oncology issues, alcohol and substance abuse, and life transitions. She has also mentored and supervised Masters-level students for over a decade.


Dr. Andrade-Bekker utilizes trauma-informed care and a brief solutions-focused approach in her treatment. She conceptualizes from an Adlerian psychology and systems perspective, as she believes that people are affected in many different circles of individuals, cultures, infrastructures, and experiences. She provides a safe environment for her clients to discuss sensitive issues and tailor treatment to the individualized needs of her clients. Dr. Andrade-Bekker empowers and advocates for her clients, as she believes people are wired for connection and are strengthened through the community.

Outside of her clinical work, Dr. Andrade-Bekker enjoys running, weightlifting, reading, writing, knitting, exploring spiritual practices, and caring for her fur and water babies. 

Akeema Driggs


Akeema Driggs is a proud Afro-Trinidadian born in the US. She holds a Clinical Psychology degree from Adler University where she studied Black men and their perceptions of mental health. 

Akeema utilizes a client-centered approach as well as trauma-informed care in treatment. She often conceptualizes cases from a systems perspective as she believes no one client is untouched by the systems within society. Her professional and personal goals have always aligned as she daily advocates for subjugated populations. Akeema’s wish is that through her work, she would be able to deepen her awareness and understanding of how systemic factors can contribute to the struggles of her clients, and that she may be able to do all in her power to assist them in rising above obstacles they face. 

During previous training experience at Hartgrove Behavioral Health, Mt Sinai’s Under the Rainbow, and at Advocate Children’s Hospital, Akeema was able to work with a diverse population of children and adolescents presenting with a range of clinical concerns – from emotional to behavioral challenges, as they came from environments where there were high levels of complex trauma. Additionally, she has worked with adults in therapy and assessment capacities in Chicago with adults in transitional living facilities and in Raleigh at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety with male and female inmates. 

During the week, Akeema is a therapist, a student, and an advocate and on the weekend she loves to have fun with her friends. She loves to travel and experience new cultures, be that local, national or abroad. 

She is Pro-Black, Pro-POC, Pro-LGBTQ+, Pro-Heaux, and Pro-Womxn and believes that therapeutic services should be a right, not a privilege.

Vernice Barrimond

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Vernice is Trinidadian-born and New York City raised 3rd-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Wheaton College specializing in trauma. Her current research qualitatively explores the current perspectives of Black clergy around the U.S. concerning mental health in relation to Complex Trauma, Religious Coping, and Post Traumatic Growth.  

In terms of treatment, Vernice is a responsible eclectic who utilizes a tailored, trauma-informed and client-centered approach; while conceptualizing cases through frameworks that shed light on the various systems at play in each persons’ life. She believes that the relevant contributors of her client’s struggles should be acknowledged and examined. 

Vernice previously trained as a diagnostic extern at Outreach Community Counseling Center in which she was given the opportunity to conduct comprehensive psychological assessments and diagnostic interviews for underserved adults and children in the West Suburbs of Chicago. A motif found throughout Vernice’s placements is her intentional desire to work with marginalized and underserved populations, especially communities of color. 

Even though Vernice balances the responsibilities of being a doctoral student and a therapist/diagnostic extern, she has a myriad of diverse interests, and has yet to meet someone she does not have something in common with.

Sophia Julio

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(312) 857-4229


Sophia Julio is a Latinx woman born-and-raised on the Southside of Chicago. She is a Master's fellow working with us from Adler University. She is also a high-level Senior Recruiter working in the cannabis industry. Sophia is currently working towards her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and aims to specialize in psychedelic-assisted therapy. Recently she worked with Entheo IL and the Illinois Psychedelic Society for her Social Justice Practicum - creating their first annual fundraising and advocacy program and volunteer cohort. In 2019, obtained her Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University where she majored in Anthropology with a triple-minor in forensic science, psychology, and philosophy.


Sophia utilizes various therapeutic techniques to create a holistic approach to psychotherapy and work with each client's distinctive goals. She uses mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and client-centered therapy to empower clients and create a solution-oriented approach to their needs. Sophia believes in reducing systemic harm, uplifting marginalized folx, and using her power to create change within micro and macro communities.


As a long-term industry professional, Sophia brings unique perspectives gained from her experience in cannabis as a professional and a MMJ 

patient to the organizations and clients she works with. She empowers her community by shedding light on opportunities within the industry, and how to create change within organizations and in your personal life. Sophia showcases each person's invaluable talents and unique characteristics to positively impact their lives and reach their goals.


In her free time Sophia enjoys powerlifting at her local gym, attending live music shows, creating digital content and art, going to yoga classes, hosting networking events, and more. Sophia is a conscious creator who values advocacy, community outreach, LGBTQ+ rights, human rights, social justice initiatives, and continued education.

Co-Owner & Director of Operations

Brittney Coats


Dr. Brittney Coats is a proud Pansexual - Chicana. Originally from Southern California, Dr. Coats completed her bachelors and masters degrees in biological science. She moved to Chicago in 2012 to complete her doctorate in biomedical science at the University of Chicago. Her doctoral research focused on the effects of the immune system in type 2 diabetes. Dr. Coats is a fierce advocate for our patients and community. She herself is a disabled woman and has spent decades learning to navigate the American medical system and all of its challenges. Although Dr. Coats is not a therapist; she uses her 13 years in education to help educate our externs, interns and postdoctoral fellows, while keeping the practice up and running with billing, scheduling and any client advocacy needs.


Phone: 872-808-0285

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