lllyana Massey, MSW, LCSWA is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate in North Carolina accruing hours towards full licensure and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Master of Social Work program. While there she focused on mental health and completed the Substance Use and Addictions Specialist (SUAS) academic program and is now working on becoming a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist. She also completed the Primecare Scholar program, being trained in integrated trauma-informed behavioral health care. Illyana received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a concentration in Community Health and a minor in Sociology. Upon graduation Illyana received the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credentials.
Illyana has worked for the Department of Health and Human Services as a sexual health educator and program coordinator for a Statewide STI/HIV prevention and awareness program. During her role she was responsible for implementing sexual health awareness programming county wide, hosted sexual health fairs and presented to various groups. She completed training in HIV counseling and attended numerous national sexual health and wellness conferences. Illyana also coordinated a program in two NC counties for teen pregnancy and STI prevention, working with youth ages 13-18.
Illyana sees clients in our Durham office and via telehealth. She accepts most BCBS, Cigna, and Aetna plans and can also see clients who would like to use out of network benefits and private/self pay clients.
“Sex is natural, it’s healthy. Even though everyone may not have sex, sexuality is a part of us all.”
Illyana believes that individuals and couples should consider therapy with the intention of wellness, not only when in crisis. Therapy is a space where you can continue to learn more about yourself, relationships, and how your life experiences impact(ed) you. Illyana has an understanding that sex therapy is holistic and integrative. She strives to make each of her clients feel comfortable while building the therapeutic alliance. Illyana feels sex should be enjoyable to every individual who engages. She strives to destigmatize the topic of sex to help clients embrace their sexual wellbeing. Illyana uses a variety of techniques such as cognitive behavioral theory, motivational interviewing, and acceptance and commitment theory to help address client issues.
Professionally, Illyana has worked as a therapist in an acute hospitalization setting and has experience working with individuals living with depression, anxiety, trauma, substance use disorders, and other mood disorders. Illyana is LGBTQ+ affirming and is experienced working with diverse populations.
Illyana is still passionate about community health and social justice. In her free time she does volunteer work with local youth groups. Outside of her work as a therapist she truly enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. She loves to travel even for weekend getaways. She has the goal of traveling abroad at least twice/year. Illyana describes herself as a “foodie” and loves trying new restaurants.
In this Candid Conversation with Dr. Krista Nabar, Illyana shares the journey that led her to becoming a Sex Therapist, what she finds interesting about human sexuality, the one thing that most people don’t get right about sex, and much more!