Experienced Therapists Counseling People through Active Partnerships
COUNSELING AND THERAPY SERVICES
Treatment of Depression Some variation in mood is a normal part of life, however, ongoing feelings of sadness, lack of enthusiasm, disruption in sleeping and eating patterns, and difficulty in completing responsibilities, may be indicative of clinical depression. Depression may have a biological or genetic basis or may be related to an acute situation such as a relationship difficulty, environmental stressor, or loss. Depression may also be reflective of a problematic, chronic behavioral pattern. We listen carefully and seek to understand what is causing the depression. We develop specific behavioral strategies to help individuals improve their mood and energy. In those situations where a medication evaluation makes sense, we carefully refer to psychiatrists whose judgments we respect.
Anxiety and Stress Management
Occasional periods of heightened anxiety are a normal part of life, however, ongoing stress that disrupts the quality of life and impacts an individuals’ ability to function needs to be assessed. Excessive anxiety and worry may have physical or genetic roots, be in reaction to an acute situation or trauma, or may be part of a lifelong problem.Panic attacks are physically intense experiences of terror, and often include difficulty in breathing and a sense of loss of control. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by the re-experiencing of a previous trauma and can create extreme anxiety. We listen carefully and help our clients understand the factors that have led to problematic anxiety. We utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, relaxation training, meditation and a variety of other tools to help our clients learn how to reduce and manage problematic anxiety. If a medication evaluation makes sense, we work closely with various consulting psychiatrists.
Marital, Premarital and Couples Counseling
While most of us enjoy the fruits of a successful romantic relationship, it’s difficult to make a successful romance work. Members of a couple come separate families, often have different ideas about what they need in a relationship and what is “normal”. Most people enter relationships with baggage and unfinished business from both their own family of origin and from previous relationships. Individuals in long term relationships can feel stuck in a rut and become discouraged about issues that simply appear to be irresolvable. We provide couples counseling to marital, pre-marital, heterosexual and gay couples. We form strong alliances with both members of the couple and believe strongly that each plays some role in the difficulties. We work to improve communication, help both partners modify their own behavior and seek to create a more satisfying relationship.
Grief and Loss
The death of a loved one, the ending of an important emotional relationship, job loss, and severe illness takes a toll on all of us. Even “necessary losses” such as a child going to college, can trigger strong emotions. When an individual does not grieve sufficiently his or her emotional process can become “stuck”, leading to symptoms of depression such as difficulty concentrating, sadness, lack of enthusiasm about life, and impairment in sleeping, eating and sexual functioning. We help individuals, couples and families deal with their feelings and move on with their lives.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
When people are in emotional pain, they often need to examine their belief system and pay attention to their inner voice. We help clients tune into their (often critical and unreasonable) inner voices and help them modify beliefs that do not serve them well and are not accurate reflections of their current world view. Through the use of “homework” and verbal contracts, we help clients take specific, small behavioral steps that lead them in the direction of lifelong behavioral change.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Alcoholism, Addictions, and ACOA Issues
Several members of the practice are acknowledged experts in working with adult children of alcoholics, family members of the addicted, and individuals who may be concerned about their own possible addiction. Importantly, we do not seek to diagnose clients as addicted; rather, we carefully gather relevant diagnostic information, assess the facts, educate our clients and help them understand, in depth, the nature of our diagnostic assessment and treatment recommendations. When possible, we treat addictions on an outpatient basis. When indicated and necessary, we refer to various intensive outpatient [IOP] and residential rehabilitation programs.
As a culture, we often create extreme, unrealistic and confusing messages regarding body image. We help individuals assess their relationship to food and understand the ways which food can be a vehicle for other issues, such as intimacy, vulnerability and anger. We help clients develop new behaviors that promote emotional and physical health.
Anger is a normal human emotion. When it is not dealt with in a healthy manner, it can come out in extreme, distorted and indirect ways that often create significant consequences for individuals and those they are involved with. Excessive anger is often correlated with poor health and the increased incidence of life threatening illness. We help clients understand their anger, assess the impact that it has on others, and help create healthier and more adaptive behaviors and strategies.
Choosing to divorce a spouse may be the best long-term option for some individuals, but it usually comes at the short-term price of increased stress and involvement with the legal system. Engaging in therapy with a trained Divorce Coach can help individuals deal with your emotions, make educated choices, and assertively negotiate your settlement.
Partners for Change, LLC is conveniently located in the downtown Chicago loop, within a few blocks of zip codes 60601, 60602, 60603, 60604, 60610 and 60611. We are directly accessible to the Chicago Pedway through the Macy’s Pedway annex.