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SERVICE IN THERAPY


ALTERNATIVE HEALING


THE WORD “THERAPY” usually conjures up images of couches and talking about feelings. But that’s not what you’ll find at Chicago’s Head/ Heart Therapy, Inc. Here, a therapy session can include music, poetry, even tai chi. For Sarah Buino (MSW


her patients. She doesn’t intend to minimize the benefits of traditional therapy, but her unique approach is rooted in a quest to connect the mind with the heart through activity. She even got a tattoo of the Head/Heart logo as a reminder: a brain and heart tied together with ribbon, a key in the middle. “I look different than what people typically think of for a therapist, and that has attracted an interesting client base to me,” said Buino, who wears a nose ring and is a fan of switching up her hair color. “We are different than what people would consider mainstream. I try to bring an energy of acceptance and non-judgment with everybody.” Buino founded her practice in


January 2014 with the tagline “unique therapy for unique people.” She felt there was an underserved population of clients who didn’t feel understood elsewhere and wanted to create a place for them to go. For the past four years, Head/Heart has been that space, and the practice has grown so much that they opened a second loca- tion this winter, an intensive outpa- tient center and co-working space for therapists. Buino herself specializes in counseling people with addiction, mental health, and shame issues, and she received the National Association of Social Workers’ 2017 Emerging Leader Award for the Illinois Chapter. Buino said her professors at Loyola


’09), the founder of Head/Heart and an adjunct faculty member in Loyola’s School of Social Work, talking about problems isn’t the only way to heal. The key—as the name of her practice suggests—is making a connection between a person’s head and heart. That’s why Buino offers a breadth of holistic, customized services to


36 LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO


encouraged her to find the popula- tion she connected with most and serve that group. “Now being on the other side as a professor, it sounds cheesy, but I get to do that for stu- dents on a regular basis,” she said. “For me, I knew I wanted to work with people with substance abuse issues because I’ve always been fighting for the underdog, and that’s what social justice is all about.” Buino, who performs in a wedding


band in Chicago and loves to sing classic rock, has found that music is something that can often be helpful. In some sessions, she sings; in others, she analyzes song lyrics with patients.


It’s an approach she wasn’t sure about at first, but her supervisor during a Loyola internship at Harborview Recovery Center encouraged her to find ways to incorporate her musical talents into therapy. “Music is empathy. To be resilient


from shame, we need to be heard and understood, and feel that heart con- nection,” she said. “We want to know that someone has been there, too.


That’s what music does.”— Maura Sullivan Hill


READ MORE STORIES OF SERVICE ONLINE


Sister Norma Pimentel (MA ’95) is a tireless advocate for the rights of immigrants. Working along the Mexican


border, Pimentel serves as execu- tive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, but she sees her role more simply as being a voice for the voiceless. “These are people, not illegals,” she said. “They need care and attention and it’s our responsibility to do that.”


READ HER STORY: LUC.edu/NormaPimentel


Karen Aguirre (BS ’15) believes everyone should have access to affordable health


care. From her work with local communities in Chicago to mentoring other young leaders to getting involved with the Obama Foundation, Aguirre is dedicated to helping marginalized commu- nities obtain better care.


READ HER STORY: LUC.edu/KarenAguirre


BUINO PHOTO BY SUZANNE TENNANT; PIMENTEL PHOTO BY HEATHER EIDSON; AGUIRRE PHOTO BY JOEL WINTERMANTLE


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