Michelle Cutler



Michelle Cutler

Department Faculty

Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Address Map of 325 N Wells St Chicago IL 60654
Office 341
325 N Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Dr. Michelle Cutler is an Associate Professor 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. At TCS, Dr. Cutler teaches Professional Development Groups, Intermediate Practicum Seminar, Divorce and Child Custody, and Child Trauma.

Education History
Degree Institution Year
Ph.D. University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 2001
Professional Memberships
Role Organization
Member American Psychological Association
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Illinois
Community Involvement
Role Organization
PATHH Steering Commitee Member Chicago Children's Advocacy Center
Areas of Expertise
Area Expertise
Child & Adolescent Development Media Influence
Clinical Psychology / Mental Health Trauma/PTSD
Diversity Community Mental Health
Racism and White Privilege
Domestic Violence Child Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Marriage & Family Divorce
Psychology Subdisciplines - Clinical Psychology
PTSD/Trauma Vicarious Trauma
Violence Inner City Violence
Title Location Date
Clinical Implications of Mandated Reportng Chicago, Il November, 2017
Advanced Topics in Assessment: Child Trauma Chicago, Il June 2016
Collaboration in the Court Chicago, Il April, 2016
Bringing the Academy to Life: Qualitative Innovations in Conference Programming Ft Lauderdale, FL January, 2016
Doing the Dance of Therapy: A Long Term Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse Chicago, IL April, 2014
The Art and Craft of Storytelling in Teaching Psychology and Education Ft Lauderdale, FL January, 2014
Qualitative Research with Children: A Model of Children's Experience of Traumatic Events Chicago, IL June, 2011
Bringing Case Vignettes to Life: Using Problem Based Learning in the Classroom Chicago, IL July, 2010
Group therapy with sexually abused children: From Manual to Practice. Madison, WI October, 2007
Problem Based Learning: Application in the Classroom, Assessment and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Trauma Chicago, IL March, 2010

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.


Elliott, R., Slatick, E., & Urman, M. (2001). Qualitative change process Research on psychotherapy: Alternative strategies.. In J. Frommer & D. Rennie (Ed.) The methodology of qualitative psychotherapy research.Germany: Pabst Science Publishers: Pabst Science Publishers.


Funk, J., Elliott, R., Urman, M., Flores, G., & Mock, R. (1999). The Attitudes Towards Violence Scale: A scale to measure attitude change following a “Resensitization” intervention. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14 , 1123-1136.

Media Exposure





Good Day Chicago, October 2013

Question and Answer
Please describe your teaching philosophy.

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.

Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.

As a psychologist, I consider it a privilege for clients to let me into their lives, and allow me to be a part of their healing process. I see my role as a guide for clients to help them discover their best and true selves, while learning skills and techniques to help them do so. I also feel it is part of our role to advocate for those who do not have equal resources, rights, or privleges.

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?

I was one of those people who "always knew" that psychology was the field for me. From a young age, I was drawn to understand and the experiences of children who have suffered traumatic experiences, and how to help them heal. As I began to understand this process, and learn to facilitate recovery, I now recognize the privilege of being allowed to intimately engage with a child and family, to be a part of both their pain and strength. I have a particular passion for working with children who have been sexually abused, particularly those who live in under-resourced communities with a history of complex trauma.

What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?

Take advantage of every opportunity you can! The Chicago School offers an amazing environment full of clinical, research, and classroom experiences to which other programs cannot compare. Be prepared for a journey in which you learn about yourself, the community around you, and communities around the world. This is a demanding, at times emotionally difficult process, but know that the faculty are here, available, and happy to support you through it.

Professional Skills
child sexual abuse, expert testimony childhood trauma, divorce, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, traumatic grief, childhood attachment, adoption, child trauma, parenting, child sexual behavior, bullying, PTSD