Rachel Zar, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist who specializes in relationship and sex therapy. She is currently a clinical associate at Spark Chicago Therapy in downtown Chicago.
She knows that sex and relationships can be among the most difficult topics to talk about, and she strives to create a safe, non-judgmental place for these intimate and essential conversations. Her clinical interests include intimacy issues, sexual dysfunction, dating and relationship concerns, and non-traditional relationships. For clients working on general anxiety, depression, major life transitions, or other relational issues, she offers a sex-positive and sex-inclusive approach. She is experienced in working with couples and individuals of diverse cultures and backgrounds, and she is an LGBTQ- and kink- affirmative clinician. She also has a background in dance, and enjoys working with clients in the arts.
Her integrative approach is both warm and direct; it’s both creative and based in current therapeutic and medical research. She strongly believes that the most progress comes from a good client-therapist relationship, so her style is non-judgmental and collaborative, meeting clients where they are and working with them to access their unique strengths and empower them to reach their goals.
Certification in Sexual Health, Sex Therapy & Sex Education, University of Michigan, to be completed in 2019
Master of Science, Marriage & Family Therapy, Northwestern University, 2016
Bachelor of Arts, Tufts University, 2009
Individual Therapy is beneficial for those looking to explore their personal relationship or dating patterns, those who are struggling within a current relationship, or those who are in need of support while moving through major life transitions. Therapy with a sex-positive and sex-inclusive lens means there are fewer limits to the scope of what can be discussed.
Couples Therapy is open to any pair that strives to support each other through the therapeutic process. Whether you’re looking to light a spark in your longterm relationship, build a foundation for your future together, move as a team through a transition, or improve your ability to successfully communicate with each other, couples therapy may be the key.
Sex Therapy is for those who desire a safe space to form a deeper understanding of their sexual selves. Both couples and individuals who struggle with sexual performance, difficulty with pleasure or orgasm, chronic pain, desire differences, or incorporating kink or non-monogamy into a relationship can benefit from this work.
Rachel has always been a passionate writer—and she worked for many years as a magazine editor before starting her career as a therapist. This is a selection of her writing:
“Confessions of a Millennial Therapist” Psychotherapy Networker
Until I was asked to write this piece, I didn’t even consider myself a true millennial. After all, true millennials Instagram their avocado toast, they live with their parents until they’re in their late 30s, and they communicate exclusively via hashtags and emojis. And I don’t do any of those things! (And when I have, it’s been ironically, I swear.)…
“What’s a ‘Normal’ Vagina?” Refinery29.com
Women have a bad habit of comparing ourselves to other women. Whether it’s Heidi Klum’s long legs or that co-worker’s toned butt, there’s always an asset we’d rather have than our own. Recently, women have become increasingly concerned with the vulva…
“Why Sex Might Be Painful,” Greatist.com
“Burning Love” may be a good song to get you in the mood, but if your sex life is accompanied by a burning feeling of any kind, you’re probably more likely to strap on a chastity belt than opt for any kind of sexual encounter….
“When Summer Sex Goes Wrong,” Refinery29.com
Summer flings are the best kind of romance. But, while summer lovin’ may be a blast, it can also come with its fair share of libido-killers — from getting sand in ungodly places to dealing with the most unpleasant of body odors…
“What Does "Sex Positive" Mean, Anyway?” Refinery29.com
Are you a member of the “sex positive” movement? While that may sound like a radical idea – one that evokes images of orgies and marching through the streets in your bra — it’s actually a fairly simple concept stressing a healthy attitude towards sex..…
“When She Wants a Vibrator,” Muscle & Fitness
Q: My girlfriend wants to use sex toys in bed. Does that mean she’s not satisfied with just me? A: Don’t jump to the conclusion that your girlfriend is suddenly bored by your non-vibrating penis and looking for alternatives. In fact, it’s probably the opposite…
“Got Stage Fright? Overcoming Anxiety,” Dance Magazine
In the opening performance of her first season with Ailey II, Shay Bland was cast in Alvin Ailey’s Streams. This show was important—her first time dancing Ailey’s choreography. And as she waited in the wings, with the music already beginning to play, she panicked…
“Menstrual Myth-busting,” Dance Spirit
Can my tampon get lost up there after one too many rehearsals? Does missing a period mean I'm dangerously underweight? When it comes to menstruation, everybody has an opinion—but few have the facts. We asked the experts to debunk common myths.…