Learn more about our clinician, Samantha Tankenoff, MS, ALMFT
1. What inspired you to enter this field? I always knew I wanted to be a part of a field that included helping others! As I was exploring different career options during my time in undergrad, I discovered a deep passion for working systemically and relationally. Naturally those two things led me into pursuing my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy! I’m thrilled to remain inspired and impassioned by the work today.
2. Where has been your favorite place to travel and why? I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel both within and outside of the U.S. My favorite place I have traveled to has been to Iceland with my partner. I love to be around and within nature. This experience truly felt like the trip of a lifetime as we visited different waterfalls, went on many hikes and drove around the country of Iceland along the Ring Road.
3. What is your favorite thing about living in Chicago? There are so many things to love about living in Chicago. I personally love being close to Lake Michigan and enjoying a nice sunny day reading by the water. I also love that there is no shortage of activities to enjoy. It’s so fun to try new restaurants, attend comedy shows or go to all of the different neighborhood fairs and festivals.
4. What are some tools you use to decompress? My main form of decompression is reading. Despite being a therapist and spending the majority of my workday talking to others, I am an introvert. Reading gives me the opportunity to reconnect to myself and have some quiet time. I also enjoy going to yoga classes with my partner or going for a walk outside.
5. Do you have any mentors? Who inspires you and why? There have been many amazing friends, family members, supervisors, professors and coworkers who have and continue to inspire me. I am thankful for my time at Northwestern for providing me with connections and kinship to other passionate professionals in the field. I absolutely love and value the team at Fleming Family Therapy and I am honored to work alongside such compassionate and supportive individuals.
6. How would you recommend a client prepare for a session? For an intake session I recommend clients think about what is bringing them into therapy and what they hope to achieve in therapy. Having an idea on the presenting issues you want to focus on and your goals will provide a helpful guide for future sessions! As the therapeutic process continues it is important to keep track of what tools you are using and how you feel throughout the week. Then in session you can reflect on progress made or areas that may require more shifting or a different approach. As a clinician who values authenticity, try your best to come into the session as yourself. No matter what is going on, showing up as your authentic self allows the therapeutic work to be more fruitful and rewarding!
7. How do you keep up to date on industry trends and news? I engage in supervision with other MFT’s to learn new skills and discuss new trends. I engage in continuing education and training that provide different ways of conceptualizing and teach new approaches. In addition I love to read therapeutic books.
8. What are you most looking forward to for summer? I am most looking forward to spending time outside and going on a trip to the Smoky Mountains. My partner and I love to go for hikes, go kayaking and spend as much time outdoors as possible. When I am in Chicago I am looking forward to spending time by the lake, going to the farmers market and enjoying lots of ice cream!