M.Ed. in Clinical Psychology — University of Virginia
B.A. in Psychology — University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Amy Wagner is a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed marital and family therapist at The Family Institute. She is also the coordinator of TFI's Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Training Program for Psychiatric Residents at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, in addition to her position as clinical lecturer in Northwestern's Psychology Department. Dr. Wagner is one of approximately 125 psychologists nationwide who are certified to treat couples and families, according to the Couple and Family Psychology division of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).
Dr. Wagner has over thirty years of experience treating adults, couples and families. She integrates current research with clinical theory to employ the most up-to-date, evidence-supported treatment options. Her passion and specialty area is working with individuals and couples to enrich or heal their relationships. This is often accomplished by focusing on improving relationship communication skills and raising awareness of repeated patterns, as well as understanding the emotions that foster the creation of a secure bond between partners. Working in a supportive, non-judgmental and affirming space, she promotes collaboration in identifying therapeutic goals, fostering healthy connections with others and a centered, positive sense of self. Dr. Wagner works extensively with individuals, couples and families going through transitional periods which include adjusting to marriage, parenthood and divorce or recoupling/remarriage.
Currently, Dr. Wagner is in the second phase of becoming a Certified Emotionally Focused (EFT) Therapist. Emotionally focused therapy for couples is an integrated model utilizing elements of humanistic, experiential and systemic approaches rooted in adult attachment theory. EFT certification designates expertise in the model of therapy and is recognized by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).
Dr. Wagner has extensive experience helping clients throughout the divorce process. She received a certificate in mediation skills training through the Center For Conflict Resolution in Chicago and has been elected as a Fellow in the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois for appointment as a Child Specialist and Divorce Coach.
Collaborative law — a consensual, non-litigation model of conflict resolution — has been practiced in Illinois for more than 15 years. The Illinois Collaborative Process Act, which took effect on January 1, 2018, formally recognized the model and its use in family law and other settings.
In the Collaborative Divorce Process, the Child Specialist is neutral and helps parents navigate the divorce process with the goals of minimizing any negative impact on children, developing an effective co-parenting relationship and preserving healthy parent-child relationships. The Collaborative Divorce Process is the only approach that includes a neutral child specialist as part of the divorce team.
A Collaborative Divorce Coach is a divorce professional with a background in mental health who helps couples recognize, negotiate and communicate emotional concerns during the divorce process, so they can participate more constructively in negotiations. They help identify and give voice to needs in order to create a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. Divorce coaching is future-focused and goal-oriented to aid couples in thinking more clearly and navigating through their divorce in a more respectful and constructive manner.
Dr. Wagner's research and clinical expertise centers on treating divorced and recoupled/remarried individuals, couples and families. She is co-author of a chapter on therapy with divorcing families in a book entitled Contemporary Families at the Nexus of Practice and Research. Dr. Wagner is also the first author of two chapters in the Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy about Divorce and Stepfamilies.