Dr Anna Maria Węgierek has been a psychologist for 30 years. Working with people is and has always been her passion. She started her career in acting, followed by psychology, then neuropsychology, and her last achievement was a job as a doctor of clinical psychology with the ability to prescribe medications. Dr. Węgierek is thirteenth psychologist prescribing psychotropic drugs in Illinois and the first Polish-speaking in the world. She is the only Polish-speaking psychologist in the World who can prescribe medications to treat mental health disorders. Dr. Węgierek completed three master’s degree, doctoral degree, a postdoctoral certificate in neuropsychology and she holds numerous licenses and certificates. One of her last certificates was awarded by the National Board of Forensic Evaluators. She is the 223rd evaluator in the USA.
Dr. Węgierek helps other people by realizing and fulfilling her own dreams and goals. Her job is not only to help, treat, test and diagnose her patients to improve their lives, but also to educate and prepare students. Dr. Węgierek volunteers for one of the Chicagoland polish school and she has a fifteen yeas history of weekly presence in polish radio.
Dr. Węgierek’s motto is: “Life is short, so use every minute of it and do not live the life of others”. Her professional career is a vivid example of this. Her days are filled to the brim with activity and work, so she does not waste time on unimportant things. Dr. Węgierek, regrets that the day is too short to complete all of her goals and ideas. Nevertheless, each subsequent completed project and goal are another brick on the way to better understanding and more effective assistance to patients.
While still in Poland, she completed master’s degree in pedagogy and rehabilitation. After arriving in America, she set up the first in the United States a 24/7 program for Poles struggling with alcoholism. At the same time, she completed her second master’s degree in psychological counseling. At that time, she was involved in establishing a pioneering program for patients who are diagnosed with addiction on top of another psychiatric diagnosis. She then completed doctoral degree and her dissertation was the creation of the dual diagnosis indicator. The dual diagnosis indicator allows clinicians to build treatment plan that includes addressing addiction and another mental health problem such as depression.
Dr. Węgierek completed her doctoral degree in 2003. Her practicums and internship took place mainly in hospitals, but not only as her diagnostic practicum took place in a prison that is in the very center of Chicago. She loves telling a joke that she spent a year in jail.
In 1998, Dr. Węgierek founded her clinic in Chicago, where she still sees her patients. Her clinic is developing very dynamically as she now works with two other psychologists that joined her practice and since her clinic is a teaching facility, she has students that spend a year with her on learning ropes of neuropsychology.
Dr. Anna Maria Węgierek was also a teacher at the University of Illinois School of Professional Psychology and DePaul University. But she had to postpone this activity due to lack of time. Working in her clinic and constantly expanding her knowledge consumes almost all of her time but she always finds time for her family as she is a wife and mother.
Thanks to her supportive family, in 2011, Dr. Węgierek continued her studies and in 2015 she obtained a postdoctoral certificate in neuropsychology, completing a one-year internship at the University of Illinois. Dr. Węgierek was the first Polish-speaking neuropsychologist in the United States. Doing so she was able to enrich the diagnosis of brain injury among Polish patients by offering them neuropsychological tests. Usually, patients with traumatic brain injuries undergo x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging tests. Neuropsychological evaluation supplements this knowledge with information about how the brain functions despite damage. These tests are long, but their results reliably demonstrate the cognitive functioning of the patient’s brain. Such tests are most often recommended for patients with problems including memory, attention, concentration, decision making, and learning difficulties. Please read more about those tests under test portion of this webpage.
Dr. Węgierek is clinical psychologist that provides complete care for her patients who by seeing her have diagnosis stated by her expertise, clinical interview and testing completed. They also can be prescribed medications if required. All of her clinical services are in English and Polish.