Michelle Cutler

Michelle Cutler

Department Faculty
  • Assistant Professor
    Clinical Psy.D. Department
  • The Chicago School Chicago
Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.
Dr. Michelle Cutler is an Assistant Professor in the Child and Adolescent Track, in the Clinical Psy.D. Department, Chicago Campus. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialized interested in working with children who have experienced trauma, particularly abuse and neglect. Dr. Cutler received her Ph.D. from the University of Toledo, and completed her internship training at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, where she then continued to work to help develop the mental health program, providing therapy services to children and families who experienced sexual abuse, and training students in the field.
Dr. Cutler also currently works in private practice with children of all ages with a variety of emotional and behavioral issues, particularly sexual abuse and trauma. Her research interests continue to be in the area of child abuse and trauma. She is excited to be a part of the Child and Adolescent Track, and sees it as a unique opportunity to give back to the field, by helping to train a focused group of students that will continue to contribute to help children and families in need. At TCS, Dr. Cutler teaches Professional Development Groups, Intermediate Practicum Seminar, and Child Trauma.
  • Ph.D., University of Toledo
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Areas Of Expertise

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

Select Presentations

  • Group therapy with sexually abused children: From Manual to Practice. (October, 2007). Midwest Conference on Child Sexual Abuse, Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Group therapy with sexually abused children: From Manual to Practice. (January, 2006) International conference on Child Abuse, San Diego.

Select Publications

  • Urman, M., Funk, J., & Elliott, R. (2001). Children’s Experience of Traumatic Events: The Negotiation of Normalcy and Difference. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 6(3), 403-424.


Q. Please describe your teaching philosophy.

A. I greatly enjoy teaching, and find working with students to be my favorite part of working at TCS. I find that I am continually learning, not only from the preparation that comes with teaching, but from my students – who challenge me to be creative and stay current, while remaining grounded in my clinical work and the theory behind it. As an instructor, I encourage students to be responsible for their own learning process, both in and out of the classroom. I see students’ role as preparing for class with the assigned readings, and my role as “bringing the readings to life,” that is, helping students understand and apply to concepts to clinical practice. Rather than lecture on course readings, I use clinical case vignettes, my own experiences, and problem-based learning to help students gain an understanding of the concepts and achieve learning objectives.

Q. Please describe your philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.

A. I work primarily with children and families in my clinical practice, with a specialty in working with those that have experienced trauma, particularly child sexual abuse. I work integratively, as I was originally trained, using several frameworks and types of techniques. I strongly believe in understanding the child in the context of the family, and while I heavily use cognitive – behavioral techniques in therapy, I employ a systemic lens, while always considering the importance of early attachment patterns and caretaking relationships. I have a nurturing, yet directive style that helps children and families to feel at ease, as I believe that feelings of safety in the therapeutic relationship are most important. I consider it a privilege to be allowed into a family system to facilitate change, and have been honored by being a part of the healing process for many children and families.

Q. What advice would you give a student entering The Chicago School of Professional Psychology?

A. For a student entering TCS, my advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity you can. Our curriculum has such breadth; there is the opportunity for exposure to so many different areas of psychology. If you would like to go deeper into one area, go for it! Our faculty is so diverse, with expertise in so many areas, I encourage you to approach faculty with whom you have similar interests and work to develop a relationship with them. There is also great opportunity to work in the community, locally and internationally! Again, you may have to take some initiative to find the ones that work best for you, but our faculty have connections that will help you both as a student, and in the future.