Kimberly A. Sharky, LMFT, CST
Kimberly A. Sharky is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist with a dual specialization in couples therapy and the confidential treatment of sexual issues. Ms. Sharky received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and then went on to earn her Master's degree in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego.
While at USD, Ms. Sharky received her early training within the Collaborative Care Program at the University of California at San Diego, an innovative partnership between the Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry. This unique opportunity allowed her to gain experience being a part of a multidisciplinary team focused on integrating both physical and mental health, a setting that ultimately fostered an appreciation for the importance of sexual health to one's overall wellbeing. Early in her career, Ms. Sharky was recruited by Dr. Laura Berman and gained extensive experience treating sexual concerns of individuals and couples at the Berman Center before transitioning to her own private practice. Five years later, Ms. Sharkyís lifelong dream of founding a group practice was realized with the launch of Enliven Couples Therapy.
Ms. Sharky is an active member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), American Association of Marital and Family Therapists (AAMFT), International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH), and the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR). In addition to being featured as a guest on the Dr. Laura Berman radio show, Ms. Sharky's work with couples has also been featured in Modern Bride, Details, Conceive and Time Out Chicago magazines, the Chicago Tribune and several online magazines.
Ms. Sharky believes that her role is to coach, empower, and encourage her clients to take ownership of the process as they strive to reach their potential and create the most fulfilling lives and relationships possible.
Amy E. Freier, LCPC
Amy Freier is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Senior Clinical Associate at Enliven Couples Therapy. Ms. Freier is a professional member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and is currently completing the extensive training and experience necessary to become certified as a Sex Therapist through this organization. Ms. Freier has been personally trained by Kimberly Sharky, among other specialists in the couples and sex therapy communities, stays up to date on the most advanced research and clinical trends in couples and sex therapy and offers specialized guidance to both couples and individuals in the areas of relational and sexual concerns. Her clinical interests include increasing intimacy and sexual satisfaction, addressing desire discrepancies among couples, and premarital counseling, for which Ms. Freier serves as the lead group facilitator in Enlivenís ongoing premarital workshops.
Ms. Freier earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University in California, and her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago. While at Northwestern University, she received classic psychoanalytic training from several of the top clinicians in Chicago, serving as a strong foundation for clinical growth. After graduating, she gained extensive training and experience at Jewish Child & Family Services, providing consultation to couples, families and individuals. Ms. Freier was recruited to Enliven Couples Therapy in 2011 for her exceptional clinical skills and passion for further developing a specialization in relationship and sex therapy.
Ms. Freier views the experience of therapy as a way for clients to identify and challenge undesirable aspects of their lives and relationships. She approaches therapy holistically in order to help her clients improve communication, resolve conflicts and increase intimacy. She tends to the experiences of her clients as a guide to understanding and managing a number of relational issues, such as poor or lack of communication, transitional distress, relational impasses, anxiety, depression, and trauma. Tailoring the treatment to each client's specific needs, Ms. Freier's clinical style combines genuine warmth and guidance toward effective and lasting solutions.
Amy M. Berrafato, LMFT, CADC
Amy Berrafato is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in addressing the intricacies of relationship issues among individuals, couples, and families.
Ms. Berrafato earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish from Saint Louis University and her Master's degree in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Her early training included clinical work at the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Diego with a focus in individual and couples therapy, followed by further experience working within mental health organizations providing a wide range of mental health services to adolescents, families, and adults of all ages. Her clinical interests and expertise include marital preparation, effective communication and conflict resolution, discrepancies in sexual desire and intimacy, and concerns regarding spirituality, religion, and divorce contemplation. She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and has treated complex mental health issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, sexual trauma, family conflict, substance abuse, and the unique psychological needs of our U.S. military veterans and their families.
Ms. Berrafato is fluent in Spanish, providing bilingual clinical services as needed, and has extensive experience treating clients of various cultural backgrounds, including interfaith, interracial, and bicultural individuals and couples. She is also a Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and is committed to continued personal and professional growth and development within the field.
Ms. Berrafato was recruited to Enliven for her exceptional clinical background and dedication to excellence in couples therapy, and has proved to be an invaluable addition to the team. Her therapeutic approach is one of genuine empathy, emotional attunement, and positive direction. Believing in clients as agents of change, her passion for clinical work inspires hope and commitment to personal growth and improved relationships.
Joanne Z. Flannery, MFT
Joanne Z. Flannery is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) with a masterís degree in sexology. Ms. Flannery received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University after which she pursued a postgraduate and masterís degree in sexology at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia, and finally a masterís degree in marriage and family therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
During her time at Curtin University Ms. Flannery received formal education on a breadth of sexual topics, including the various sexual dysfunctions, paraphilias, kink, non-monogamy, sexuality across the lifespan, sexuality and illness, sexuality and loss, intimacy, desire, romance and relationships. While completing her postgraduate degree Ms. Flannery researched and presented on some of her clinical interests, including tantra in sex therapy, polyamory and the healing power of touch. For her masterís degree thesis Ms. Flannery conducted a research project on sexual desire discrepancy and its effects on intimacy within the relationship. After completion of her postgraduate and masterís degree in sexology, Ms. Flannery sought an opportunity to learn how to best treat couples facing not only sexual but individual and relational issues as well. At the Adler School Ms. Flannery learned and applied couple and family therapy theory, including Structural Couple Therapy, and had the honor of being educated by the premiere Structural therapist in the city. Throughout her time at the Adler School Ms. Flannery grew as a culturally sensitive therapist, and gained knowledge on relational issues, including communication, infidelity, parenting, combative relationships, and mental illness within relationships.
Ms. Flannery is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and the American Association of Marital and Family Therapists (AAMFT).
Joanne Z. Flannery believes strongly in the power of acceptance, honesty, and encouragement. Through a collaborative effort involving commitment and creativity, Ms. Flanneryís goal is to render herself useless for each client she sees.