Dr. Abigail Percifield is a postdoctoral therapist with several years of experience treating children, adolescents, adults, and older adults who are facing a range of mental health challenges. She is passionate about working with people who often face marginalization from society and integrates an understanding of cultural and individual values in her therapeutic work. She enjoys working with a variety of presentations, including mood, trauma, and personality disorders.
Dr. Percifield approaches her work from a multicultural and relational framework, meaning that she focuses on developing a healing relationship through which issues of mood, identity, and personal functioning can be explored. She works to create a therapeutic environment where a person feels heard and can receive honest feedback about different ways to approach the issue at hand. Embedded within this framework is a number of specific treatment approaches that Dr. Percifield employs depending on a person’s preferences and presentation. She is trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy (EMDRIA trained), clinical hypnosis, mindfulness, trauma therapy, psychodynamic approaches, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She further integrates culturally specific approaches to healing, such as the use of movement and rhythm, faith- or spirituality-based practices, and exploring the ways systems of oppression create barriers to well-being.
Dr. Percifield specializes in the treatment of complex trauma and dissociation for adolescents and adults. Complex trauma refers to experiences of trauma that extend beyond a one-time event and includes a range of things, including childhood abuse, interpersonal violence, cultural and intergenerational trauma, and other experiences wherein a person was mistreated in a repeated and ongoing way. These experiences can contribute to difficulties gaining control over one’s emotions, maintaining trusting and fulfilling relationships with others, creating a stable and secure sense of who one is, and feeling safe or supported in the world.
Prior to joining the Chicago Center for Growth and Change, Dr. Percifield worked in a number of different settings including community mental health, primary care at an obstetrics and gynecology clinic, school-based settings, and private practice. Dr. Percifield is engaged in efforts to eradicate trauma and therefore participates in a number of social justice initiatives. She is a volunteer with Resilience, a Chicago-based advocacy center for survivors of sexual violence and is an ardent supporter of Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQIA+ community, and intersectional feminism. Additionally, she is an active member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) where she serves in a number of leadership roles including as a member of the Board of Directors. She is also a member of the American Psychological Association, EMDR International Association, and the Illinois Psychological Association.
Graduate: Adler University, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
Undergraduate: University of Tennessee
Community Reach Center, Denver CO
Chicago Center for Growth and Change