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Anna Rucinov√° Headshot

Anna Rucinov√°

Adolescent/Teen Therapy;
Family Therapy;
Third Culture Kid Therapy (Individual or Family)

Life is full of transitions, some that we choose and some that we do not have any say over.  No matter what culture we have grown up in or have roots in, adolescence is a season of transitions from childhood to adulthood that is full of countless unknowns.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
-- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Just like this exchange between Frodo and Gandalf, adolescence and other life transitions provide an invitation to decide today - in what was laid before us – who we are becoming, one step at a time. The decisions we make about how to navigate the grief and joy of these times will shape our habits, character, self-confidence, and our identity. Though the stakes are high and the pressure to get things right the first time can feel unbearable, the good news is that we do not walk this path alone. We are shaped by our own choices and relationships. Often, when families with adolescents slow down and take time to intentionally work through difficulties, they can navigate transitions in a way that facilitates growth and resiliency. Unfortunately, though, some of the transitions are traumatic in nature and interrupt the natural and familiar flow of development for parents/caregivers with their teens. This can knock everybody off their feet, making it feel like there is no way forward together.

This is where I see the beauty and helpfulness of family therapy.  It can provide resources and guidance for families with a unique focus on all life transitions – normative, developmental, and traumatic.  My desire is to be a guide along this transitional journey, where together with parents/caregivers, we can support your adolescent’s growth, self-reflection, and ability to make informed decisions with confidence. The goal is not to shortchange the importance of parents/caregivers in your adolescent’s life, but instead to provide space and opportunity for the whole family to emerge strengthened through these transitions.  Family therapy is a place where we honor and bear witness to your family’s reality – both the victories and the hardships – empowering you to face whatever life brings, and to help families know that you are not alone in this journey.

Getting to Know Me

As a Third Culture Kid (an individual who has grown up in another culture different than their birthplace/passport nation) who grew up in Slovakia with parents from the United States, I have an intimate understanding of the transitional terrain of adolescence amidst cultural differences and unexpected traumatic events – not to mention part of my collegiate career overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, I persevered in my pursuit of helping others through earning my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and in Music; thereafter, working full-time with adults with special needs, and now balancing part-time work with adults with special needs while pursuing my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Wheaton College. 

At The MFT Clinic, I work under the supervision of both Dr. Wendy Smith, PsyD, and Jessica Drachenberg, LMFT.  As a therapist, I see myself as someone who walks alongside clients as they navigate their complex challenges. I desire to draw attention to personal and family strengths while expanding options to move through difficulties in new ways. Together, we can create encouraging new experiences in relationships.