Ileana Ungureanu, Ph.D. Chicago Campus

"I believe that students are most likely to learn  
when class activities, assignments, and projects 
require them to use their minds & their hearts." 
- Ileana Ungureanu, M.D., Ph.D.

"I believe that students are most likely to learn
when class activities, assignments, and projects
require them to use their minds & their hearts."
- Ileana Ungureanu, M.D., Ph.D.

Ileana Ungureanu, M.D., Ph.D.
Core Faculty, Couple and Family Department

As a teacher I strive to engage, validate and challenge my students to grow and learn, to acquire and apply knowledge. I believe every student possesses unique traits and capabilities that can enrich other students as well as the teacher if given the appropriate support. For me, a teaching process is much more than providing information; it is a labor of the soul, as well as a mind labor. Thus, I believe that students are most likely to learn when class activities, assignments, and projects require them to use their minds and their hearts. 

My intentional purpose in creating and carrying out each class is to provide a learning experience where lives can be changed. I believe in Romanian philosopher Constantin Noica’s position that a teacher is “a mediator between his/her students and themselves,” a catalyst for growth and development. My hope for each student is that at the end of the course, he or she will see themselves and the world differently, change his or her way of thinking, and relate to those around them in healthier, more caring ways. I have found this philosophy especially useful in training therapists, who in turn will help their clients with their own shifts in thinking and changes of heart.

Another important aspect of training clinicians is helping them become sensitive to diversity issues and social justice. Addressing cultural issues throughout Couple and Family Therapy classes is an essential part of becoming a therapist. Adler University, through its mission, provides a supportive environment for classroom experience with multicultural aspects. I also strongly believe that students learn more when they are producing knowledge as well as consuming it. One of the key in helping them in this process is to encourage student participation through the use of specific in-class activities that stimulate learning and discussion.

I am especially interested in working with couples, particularly couples in which one of the partners (or both) have suffered trauma. I specialize in emotionally focused couple therapy and am very excited about its efficacy! Other special interests include medical family therapy, loss and spiritual issues with couples and families.

Please email or call me (312.662.4314) if you have questions or would like more information about me. 


  •  Ph.D., Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • M.D., Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie ‘Victor Babes’, Timisoara, Romania

Professional Memberships

  •  American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 2004 – present
  • International Family Therapy Association, 2009 – present
  • Collaborative Family HealthCare Association, 2010 – present.
  • Romanian Family Therapy and Systemic Practice Association, founding member, 2000 – present

Professional Projects

  • Adler School Global Scholars Project in Romania, in collaboration with the Areopagus Institute for Family Therapy, Timisoara, Romania

Select Publications

  • Ungureanu, I., & Sandberg, J.G (2010). “Broken Together” - Spirituality and religion as coping strategies for couples dealing with the death of a child: A literature review with clinical implications. Contemporary Family Therapy, 32 (3), 302-319.
  • Ungureanu, I., & Sandberg, J.G. (2008). Caring for dying children and their families: MFTs working at the gates of the Elysian Fields. Contemporary Family Therapy, 30(2), 75-91
  • Ungureanu, I (2008). The transgenerational transmission of the communist trauma: The Romanian experience. Terapia sistemica/Systemic Therapies, 1, 5-10.

Select Presentations

  • Ungureanu, I., & Lister, Z. Developing a psychosocial integrative component in an existing diabetes treatment program: Reflections and recommendations for interdisciplinary collaboration. 12th Collaborative Family Healthcare Association Annual Conference. Louisville, Kentucky, October 2010.
  • Ungureanu, I., & Sandberg, J.G. Losing a child: An EFT perspective on couples’ experience. 67th American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference. Sacramento, California, October 2009.
  • Rogobete, I., & Ungureanu, I. Transgenerational transmission of political trauma in families living under repressive regimes: A comparative study between apartheid and totalitarian communism, The 15th Congress of Psychology, Cape Town, South-Africa, September 2009.


  • Irving B. Harris Fellowship, Chicago Center for Family Health, University of Chicago, 2010.
  • Fulbright Scholarship, Romanian-US Fulbright Commission, October 2003.