I’m Dr. Vickie Bhatia, a licensed clinical psychologist in Chicago, IL working with adults and couples. As a first-generation American, I grew up in a tightly-knit immigrant community where there was considerable stigma around mental health and therapy. It wasn’t until college at Northwestern University that I became interested in psychological health and pursuing a career as a psychologist. I am now passionate about helping others live a fulfilling life based on their individual values and goals, and reducing the negative association around mental health.
I try to practice what I teach, so I prioritize self-care, which I broadly define as the behavior and practices that nourish me and help me function optimally. For me, this includes eating a nutrient-dense diet (based on the Whole30), getting adequate sleep, healthy movement, spending time with friends and family, and occasional travel.
Education and Training
I have received extensive training in evidence-based treatments for a range of disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, and relationship dissatisfaction. I have specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and I am certified in Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy (IBCT). Furthermore, it is important to me to stay current on psychological research and treatment advances, and as such, I am an active member of the academic community (see below for a selection of my research).
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Charleston, SC – Mental Health Service Line, Postdoctoral Residency in the Couples & Family Clinic
Charleston Consortium: Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Charleston, SC – Doctoral Internship
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY - M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Evanston, IL – B.A. in Psychology
My approach to the therapeutic process is to provide personalized, collaborative, and goal-oriented care. I conceptualize cases taking into account genetic and biological factors, personality traits, emotionality and emotion regulation factors, mood and anxiety factors, and social factors related to culture, environment, and family (both family of origin and current family functioning).
It is important to me to provide a safe therapeutic space to individuals and couples. I recognize this looks different from one individual to another, and therefore, I work collaboratively with clients to honor their unique experiences and identities. I find therapy to be most effective when we both feel comfortable to share reactions and feedback with one another. Although growth, healing, and/or change can be uncomfortable and challenging, my hope is to create an environment and therapeutic relationship where you can begin to create meaningful and lasting change.
My research has focused on the interplay between relationship health and psychological health. Specifically, I have co-authored peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters, and presented at conferences on how individual differences, such as personality traits or romantic competence, affect mental health and relationship functioning. Much of my work has examined these processes during young adulthood, which is often the first opportunity to utilize relationship skills in the context of new romantic and sexual experiences. However, more recently, my research has focused on examining relationship health and factors influencing couple therapy outcomes in Veteran couples. In addition, my past research has examined relationship functioning in sexual minority populations, and the association between social media use and psychopathology.
Fischer, M. S., Bhatia, V., Baddeley, J., Al-Jabari, R., & Libet, J. (2018). Couple therapy with Veterans: Early improvements and predictors of early dropout. Family Process, 57, 525-538.
Knies, K., Petty, K., Birks, A., Ridings, L. E., & Bhatia, V. (November, 2018). Telemental health with Veteran couples: Special considerations for providing evidence-based psychotherapy within the VA system. Clinical roundtable presented at the 52nd annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington DC.
Bhatia, V., & Davila. J. (2017). Mental health disorders in couple relationships. In Fitzgerald, J. (Ed.). Foundations for couples’ therapy: Research for the real world (pp. 268-278). Routledge New York.
Davila, J., Wodarczyk, H., & Bhatia, V. (2017). Positive emotional expression among couples: The role of romantic competence. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 6, 94-105.
Davila, J., Mattanah, J., Bhatia, V., Latack, J. A., Feinstein, B. A., Eaton, N. R., Daks, J., Kumar, S., Lomash, E., McCormick, M., & Zhou, J. (2017). Romantic competence, healthy romantic functioning, and well-being in emerging adults. Personal Relationships, 24, 162-184.
Bhatia, V., & Davila, J. (March, 2016). Eliciting and providing social support among emerging adult couples: The role of romantic competence. Paper presented at the 16th biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.
Feinstein, B. A., Dyar, C., Bhatia, V., Latack, J. A., & Davila, J. (2014). Willingness to engage in romantic and sexual activities with bisexual partners: Gender and sexual orientation differences. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 255-262.
Bhatia, V., & Davila, J. (November, 2013). Longitudinal associations between romantic competence and adolescent romantic experiences: The moderating role of temperament. Poster presented at the 47th annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.
Feinstein, B. A., Hershenberg, R., Bhatia, V., Latack, J. A., Meuwly, N., & Davila, J. (2013). Negative social comparison on Facebook and depressive symptoms: Rumination as a mechanism. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 2, 161-170.
Bhatia, V., Davila, J., Eubanks-Carter, C., & Burckell, L. A. (2013). Appraisals of daily romantic relationship experiences in individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder features. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 518-524.
Davila, J., Hershenberg, R., Feinstein, B. A., Gorman, K., Bhatia, V., & Starr, L. R. (2012). Frequency and quality of social networking among young adults: Associations with depressive symptoms, rumination, and corumination. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1, 72-86.