Holly O Houston, Ph.D., Director

Holly O. Houston, Ph.D. founded the Anxiety & Stress Center, P.C. in 1991 to meet the mental health needs of the growing diversity in the south suburban area. Dr. Houston works with people across the lifespan from diverse cultural, racial/ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religious/spiritual, and economic backgrounds. She adopts a collaborative, problem-solving approach to therapy. Dr. Houston treats a wide variety of problems including, but not limited to, anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, stress-related illnesses, relationship issues, work stress abuse/trauma, and issues of sexuality and gender. Her therapeutic style encompasses creating a warm, down-to-earth, compassionate environment. In this way, thoughts and feelings can be expressed in a shared effort to overcome problems.

Dr. Houston treats a wide variety of problems including, but not limited to, anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, stress-related illnesses, relationship/work problems, abuse/trauma, and issues of sexuality and gender identity.  She works with people across the life span from diverse cultural, ethnic, religious and spiritual backgrounds. Dr. Houston adopts a collaborative, problem-solving approach to therapy. Her therapeutic style encompasses creating a warm, down to earth, compassionate environment.  In this way, thoughts and feelings can be expressed in a shared effort to overcome problems.

Dr. Houston has expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy and routinely integrates insight-oriented techniques, relaxation therapies, meditation/mindfulness techniques, trauma reduction techniques and dialectical behavioral therapy techniques into her clinical work. In addition, Dr. Houston emphasizes the role of brain functioning (neuroscience) in the development and maintenance of both adaptive and maladaptive behaviors. She provides techniques that help shape brain functioning to strengthen targeted behaviors and mental states.

In addition to providing direct service, Dr. Houston has taught and trained other mental health professionals by providing supervision, consultation and didactic presentations.  She has held faculty appointments in the Department of Psychology, Behavioral Medicine Division at the University of Chicago, Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Department of Applied Psychology at Loyola University of Chicago, and the Department of Medicine and Psychology at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Houston has been instrumental in the training of psychology interns, medical residents and social work students.

Dr. Houston is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago where she earned a B.S. in applied psychology, an M.A. in clinical psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Dr. Houston recognizes the importance of staying abreast of the latest research and findings in order to provide high quality care. Therefore, she regularly takes advanced training seminars and incorporates this knowledge into her work. Dr. Houston holds leadership positions in the Illinois Psychological Association on the Social Responsibility Section and the Legislative Committee. In addition, she maintains professional memberships with the American Psychological Association and the Anxiety and Depression Disorders Association of America.

Dr. Houston is passionate about humanitarian concerns including social justice issues and promoting equity. In her free time, she enjoys learning new things, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family.