Neelma Zafar, LCSW - Illinois Therapist at Grow Therapy

Neelma Zafar

Neelma Zafar


4 years of experience

Hi, my name is Neelma Zafar. The stigma in many cultures around mental health can be debilitating. I believe that no matter what background you are coming from, your mental and emotional health should be made as much of a priority as your physical health. Taking the first step and asking for help can be intimidating, but I meet my clients where they are and get to know them and their strengths. My approach is trauma-focused and evidence-based therapy and I believe in empowering my clients. I am trained in EMDR, DBT and CBT. Currently, I am working with sexually abused and sexually problematic children. I do family therapy sessions. I immigrated from Pakistan and I know personally what "trauma" is. I volunteered with refugees and worked with them on their mental health issues. I know Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi languages. I volunteer at the food pantry and daily bread soup kitchen and strongly believe in giving back to the community. I am hear to listen to my clients in a judgement-free zone in order to help them grow as a person and move past trauma.

What can clients expect to take away from sessions with you?

In our first session together you can expect to get to know some background information about me, to make yourself feel more at ease, followed by an introduction as to why you decided to book a session and what problems are plaguing you. Then we can dive deeper into specifics, following your lead and comfort level.

Explain to clients what areas you feel are your biggest strengths.

I’m a great listener and I believe in empathy and compassion. In the past I've worked as a physician in Pakistan. My priority has always been making sure my clients problems are being heard and that they are comfortable. I recognize that divulging information to a stranger can be difficult, which is why I do my best to meet my clients halfway and ensure they are at ease and leave sessions feeling secure. I take my time to get to know my clients and form bonds with them over multiple sessions, as I believe mental health should be treated like any physical ailment, with precise care and attention over several sessions.

About Neelma Zafar

Licensed in


Free consults, virtual

My treatment methods


I had my training from Chicago and I am using it in my practice from two years. I had tremendous feedback from the clients when they process their trauma through EMDR and their flashbacks and unwanted memories and feelings associated with them get a lot better.

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

I use trauma informed CBT in my practice and also cognitive restructuring with clients.

Family Therapy

I work with kids and teenagers and do family therapy as this is the core key concept to resolve issues between the family to increase communication between them and decrease conflicts.

Dialectical Behavior (DBT)

DBT works better with clients who are in need of using emotional regulation skills all the time and need to learn mindfullness.