Dr. Ariadna Cymet Lanski is a clinical psychologist who she specializes in reproductive health issues. In her career, she worked across the spectrum of reproductive health issues, including preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum adjustment to parenthood. She offers psychological services to meet the unique needs of individuals and couples coping with infertility challenges.

For those seeking support, she provides consultation during various stages of fertility treatment. Dr. Cymet Lanski also conducts egg donor assessments and does consultations with surrogates, recipients, and intended parents.

Dr. Cymet Lanski received her Psy.D. in clinical psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 2004. She completed her doctoral internship at Illinois Masonic Behavioral Health, and received post-internship training at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and post-doctoral training at Chicago’s Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Q&A with Dr. Cymet Lanski:

What do you like most about what you do?
When patients come to me, they allow me to enter into some of the most intimate aspects of their lives. I feel honored to be a witness to pain and sorrow, but also feel privileged to help people learn how to reach their full potential. I like helping people go from feeling stuck in an area of their life to achieving a more peaceful and skillful way of being. I enjoy when patients come back and share a smile or even a laugh because they are feeling more equipped to deal with the difficult aspects of life.

How can talking to a professional help those dealing with infertility?
The inability to conceive or maintain a pregnancy affects individuals and couples in many ways. Fertility treatment often invades every aspect of an individual’s or couple’s intimate lives. In addition, people tend to feel shame, doubt, anger, as well as guilt about treatment. Fertility struggles can also put considerable drain on one’s resources (e.g., time, financial, and energy). Finally, relationships with friends, family and colleagues may also be impacted.

Psychological support may help a patient normalize this difficult experience and to cope more effectively with feelings of confusion, disappointment, depression, helplessness, failure, hopelessness, or other emotions that arise. Psychologists typically provide therapy that is goal-oriented. Through talk therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, a psychologist can aid in identifying the emotional concerns that a patient has regarding infertility. She will also help identify ways in which the patient can deal with those emotions.

Whether it’s improving mood or relationships, a psychologist can help by using tailored psychotherapy techniques, including personal interviews, surveys, questionnaires, and role playing.

What type of counseling services do you offer?
My psychological practice emphasizes utilizing a patient’s strengths by honoring the uniqueness of their experiences and assisting patients in helping themselves. My focus is on integrating the relationship between emotional and physical well-being.

I provide consultation during various stages of fertility treatment. This can be done in individual or couples counseling. We also have a number of psychoeducational and support groups throughout the year. I also conduct third-party reproduction assessments.

What is your approach to counseling?
I focus on the integration of three major therapeutic approaches: dynamic psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, and mindfulness. Mindfulness and psychotherapy ask people to look at all aspects of the inner life and decide what to keep and what to modify.

Cognitive psychology mindfulness is in broad agreement about the dependence of emotional disturbance on pervasive patterns of thinking and perception.  That is, how we think about an event will determine how we will feel about that event. Mindfulness provides us the ability to be present in the moment, thus, decreasing the anxiety that comes with always thinking about the future.  We discuss different cognitive–behavioral skills and mindfulness exercises to allow your mind to slow down and feel more in control.

Share something unique that most people don’t know about you.
I grew up in Mexico City until I moved to Chicago for graduate school. I was a competitive swimmer when I was in elementary and middle school.

What do you do for fun in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
I like reading, movies, cooking, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Illinois School of Professional Psychology, 2004