Intimacy Through Improved Communication!

       Dr. Karla Ivankovich  PhD, LCPC, NCC, BC-TMH Tell us about yourself. “My name is Dr. Karla Ivankovich I am a board-certified clinical counselor holding a PhD in psychology. Together with my husband (and best friend), we established a not-for-profit, One Patient Global Health Initiative, aiming to treat the mental health and medical needs of those […]

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 Dr. Karla Ivankovich 


Tell us about yourself.

“My name is Dr. Karla Ivankovich I am a board-certified clinical counselor holding a PhD in psychology. Together with my husband (and best friend), we established a not-for-profit, One Patient Global Health Initiative, aiming to treat the mental health and medical needs of those in underserved communities. My private practice focuses on mental health, relationships/sex, and communication.”

Whether she is in session with clients, meeting patients, or lecturing to classrooms of students, Dr. Karla is best known for passionately keeping things real. Her willingness to tackle subjects many still find difficult or taboo makes her a highly sought-after speaker and leader in multiple fields. Dr. Karla Ivankovich has been providing counseling services to individuals, couples, and families for more than two decades. Currently practicing in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Karla is board-certified as a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and a board-certified tele-mental health provider (BC-TMH). Studying at North Central University, she earned a doctorate in psychology; at Lincoln Land Community College, she received an undergraduate degree in business administration; and in the University of Illinois system, she received an undergraduate degree in psychology and two master’s degrees in human development counseling and INO-disability studies. To round out her knowledge of the educational field, Dr. Karla continued her graduate education by completing significant coursework in the field of educational leadership. 

Like most, Dr. Ivankovich wears many hats. She is a prolific public speaker and passionate educator who addresses a wide variety of topics from relationships, sex, burnout, empowerment, corporate culture, communication, all topics millennial, how social media affects self and body esteem, and everything between. She has a private practice, acts as a clinical internship supervisor, and teaches undergraduate psychology for the University of Illinois at Springfield and graduate-level counseling psychology for North Park University. She has co-authored a textbook chapter, published scholarly journal articles, presented at national conferences and summits, and is often called upon to provide expert opinion for national media sources, authors, and organizations including:

The Atlantic, Aljazeera Television, Best Life, Britt&Co, Business2Community, Chicago Tribune,  Dr. Oz: The Good Life, Elle, Fox8, Fox32, Fitbit, GlamourHealth Magazine, Health TechnologyHuffington Post, Market Watch, Men’s Health, NBC News, New York Post, New Parent, Reddit, The Science of Relationships, SelfSpringfield’s OwnTeen Vogue, Well and Good, Women’s Day, WGN Radio, WLS Radio, Yahoo, and Psychology Today.

Dr. Ivankovich has been featured in SO magazine, Health Technology magazine, Health News Illinois, Glenview Lantern, Northbrook Tower; on Becker’s Healthcare Leadership podcast, Money Matters podcast, CNN News Network, Fox News Chicago, WGN Radio, and WLS Radio. For years, Dr. Karla hosted a weekly radio show on iHeart radio, Life and Love, with her husband, orthopedic spine and trauma surgeon, Daniel Ivankovich, MD.

In her most recent endeavor as an author of the popular Psychology Today blog, Talk Dirty to Me, Dr. Ivankovich explores the taboo of sex, education, relationships, and open communication.  

Ranked as a top executive by the National Council of American Executives, in her full-time role Dr. Karla serves as CEO and co-founder of OnePatient Global Health Initiative,a non-profit she co-founded with her husband. OnePatient Global Health Initiative is dedicated to treating the mental and physical health needs of Chicago’s underserved communities, regardless of ability to pay. Dr. Karla’s extensive professional history as an industry executive has allowed her to develop and manage university and state-wide programs of assistance.Understanding how deeply entrenched in the medical community was in helping others, she saw the need to address the mental health needs of medical providers, front-line workers, medical students, residents, and physicians. To do so, she created a parallel program providing similar confidential counseling services. In her position as CEO, Dr. Karla’s primary role is to provide executive oversight through outreach, mental health assessment, strategic planning, financial management, organizational development, program operations, and clinical compliance. 

Dr. Karla lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and their three dogs, Max, Holmes, and Aspen. Together, they have a blended family of six adult children. Most recently, Dr. Karla’s newest title is “Mimi” to her grandson Paxton. 

With a laugh, she says, “I literally have my hands full with everything trying to help people, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

What would you like to spotlight?

My book, ‘Let’s Finally Talk About Sex: Improved intimacy through authentic communication.’

Tell us about it

“It all started one day when my father sat me down with the Life Cycle Library to talk to me about the birds and bees. I didn’t understand it then, but I knew if my dad was communicating this to me, it must be important—and important it was.” “I was fortunate enough to have a father who insisted on my being educated, in all areas.  At the age of 10, he sat me down to discuss the “birds and the bees”.  He did so in a way that didn’t seem odd, or creepy, but honest and heartfelt.  The older I got, the more it became evident that everyone did not get the same education.  That conversation shaped my future and gave me the courage to have authentic conversations with my patients and clients.  My father’s words of wisdom allowed me to give others hope.”  

“This book is a starting point for individuals and couples to explore their own experience as it relates to education and communicating about issues of an intimate or sexual nature from their familial, religious or cultural perspectives.”  “Doing so can help the reader unravel the mystery of communication between partners, by developing and unlocking the tools they need to have an open dialogue about relating and communicating as a means of achieving the intimacy they desire.” 

Tell me something you have overcome or success you have achieved.

“Finding success in a national spotlight remains one of my most cherished memories, but, it is not for the reasons you would think.” “Throughout my career, I have always been the champion for those without a voice.  Even before social advocacy became the right thing to do. Early in my career, I advocated for a young woman who was being denied physical access to a public facility where I worked, and she lived.” “In fighting for her, my position was ‘reassigned’; “Not because of my advocacy but because it exposed some very corrupt individuals who put ego over the health and safety of a person with a documented disability.”  “Every day that I change another life, or help another person or couple, I am reminded of my worth.  Even more so, I am reminded that fighting for what was right forced me to pay a price, but that price brought me to where I am at today and nothing makes me more proud…and I would do it all over again.”  

What would you like to achieve in 2020?

“So far, my goal is simply to find peace in this very, divided universe we live in.  I would also like to spend more time speaking, and opening the door to those seeking to build a stronger unity through authentic communication.” 

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