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Our highest priority

Our highest priority is to provide a safe, supportive, and confidential atmosphere for our clients. The goal is to help identify negative patterns and develop methods to avoid, cope with, and change these patterns.

 

Who visits a therapist?

Individuals

Therapy is a process to help individuals identify effective strategies for moving forward when emotions, habits, or life circumstances become unmanageable or overwhelming. Individual therapy is a partnership between client and therapist to help the client meet their goals.

Couples

Couples counseling helps increase effective communication and conflict resolution to bring meaningful, positive change to the relationship. The decision to enter couples counseling can be difficult, and our marriage therapists will be sensitive and supportive throughout the journey.


We provide counseling services to increase couple communication, adjust to life transitions, and to address intimacy concerns. We strive to help couples find greater levels of intimacy, understanding, and balance.


Types of Mental Wellness Issues

Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Stressful situations such as meeting tight deadlines or important social obligations often make us nervous or fearful. Experiencing mild anxiety may help a person become more alert and focused on facing challenging or threatening circumstances.

But individuals who experience extreme fear and worry that does not subside may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. The frequency and intensity of anxiety can be overwhelming and interfere with daily functioning. Fortunately, the majority of people with an anxiety disorder improve considerably by getting effective psychological treatment. Read More

Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. Sadness is only one of the twenty-one symptoms of depression. Depression can also include changes in sleep, appetite, or sex drive (libido), as well as loss of attention, concentration, and memory. Often things that used to be fun or pleasurable no longer are. There can be increased irritability, sensitivity to criticism, and a general sense that things will never get better. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors can be part of the picture as well.

Grief

Coping with the loss of a close friend or family member may be one of the hardest challenges that many of us face. When we lose a spouse, sibling or parent our grief can be particularly intense. Loss is understood as a natural part of life, but we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression. The sadness typically diminishes in intensity as time passes, but grieving is an important process in order to overcome these feelings and continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one. Read More

Life Transitions

Change is inevitable, and some change is really, really hard. There are many life transitions which including:

  • relocating to a new area
  • divorce
  • marriage
  • death of a loved one
  • retirement
  • birth of a child
  • a child moving away or leaving for college
  • getting a new job or a job promotion
  • losing a job
  • dealing with a prolonged illness or disability in yourself or a loved one
  • aging and retirement
Parenting

Parenting practices around the world share three major goals: ensuring children’s health and safety, preparing children for life as productive adults and transmitting cultural values. A high-quality parent-child relationship is critical for healthy development. We provide short-term effective (or evidence based) treatment to children and adolescents. We believe that family is an intricate part of the treatment process. Parents and caregivers often play a vital supportive role in enhancing social/emotional development while reducing the risk of developmental decline/regression in skills obtained in the treatment process. Read More

Peer Relationships

Children

The sad truth is that most U.S. schools don’t foster good mental health or strong connections with friends and nurturing adults. Data show that only 29 percent of sixth- through 12th-grade students report that their schools provide caring, encouraging environments. Another 30 percent of high school students say they engage in high-risk behaviors, such as substance use, sex, violence and even suicide attempts. Read More

 

Adults

Social phobia is characterized by a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and feeling embarrassed or humiliated by their actions. This fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other activities and may negatively affect the person’s ability to form relationships. Read More

Self Esteem

Self-esteem answers the question, “How do I feel about who I am?” We learn self-esteem in our family of origin; we do not inherit it. Global self-esteem (about “who we are”) is normally constant. Situational self-esteem (about what we do) fluctuates, depending on circumstances, roles, and events. Situational self-esteem can be high at one moment (e.g., at work) and low the next (e.g., at home). Read More

Stress

Stress can be a reaction to a short-lived situation, such as being stuck in traffic. Or it can last a long time if you’re dealing with relationship problems, a spouse’s death or other serious situations. Stress becomes dangerous when it interferes with your ability to live a normal life over an extended period. You may feel tired, unable to concentrate or irritable. Stress can also damage your physical health. Read More

 


Understanding your therapist

What is a psychologist?

from American Psychological Association

Practicing psychologists have the professional training and clinical skills to help people learn to cope more effectively with life issues and mental health problems. After years of graduate school and supervised training, they become licensed by their states to provide a number of services, including evaluations and psychotherapy. Psychologists help by using a variety of techniques based on the best available research and consider someone's unique values, characteristics, goals and circumstances.

Psychologists with doctoral degrees (either a PhD, PsyD or EdD) receive one of the highest levels of education of all health care professionals, spending an average of seven years in education and training after they receive their undergraduate degrees. The American Psychological Association estimates that there are about 106,000 licensed psychologists in the United States.

What they do

 

Practicing psychologists help a wide variety of people and can treat many kinds of problems. Some people may talk to a psychologist because they have felt depressed, angry or anxious for a long time. Or, they want help for a chronic condition that is interfering with their lives or physical health. Others may have short-term problems they want help navigating, such as feeling overwhelmed by a new job or grieving the death of a family member. Psychologists can help people learn to cope with stressful situations, overcome addictions, manage their chronic illnesses and break past the barriers that keep them from reaching their goals.

Practicing psychologists are also trained to administer and interpret a number of tests and assessments that can help diagnose a condition or tell more about the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. These tests may evaluate intellectual skills, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, vocational aptitude and preference, personality characteristics and neuropsychological functioning.

How they help

 

Practicing psychologists can help with a range of health problems and use an assortment of evidence-based treatments to help people improve their lives. Most commonly, they use therapy (often referred to as psychotherapy or talk therapy). There are many different styles of therapy, but the psychologist will choose the type that best addresses the person’s problem and best fits the patient’s characteristics and preferences.

Some common types of therapy are cognitive, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, humanistic, psychodynamic or a combination of a few therapy styles. Therapy can be for an individual, couples, family or other group. Some psychologists are trained to use hypnosis, which research has found to be effective for a wide range of conditions including pain, anxiety and mood disorders.

For some conditions, therapy and medication are a treatment combination that works best. For people who benefit from medication, psychologists work with primary care physicians, pediatricians and psychiatrists on their overall treatment. Three states, New Mexico, Louisiana and Illinois, have laws allowing licensed psychologists with additional, specialized training to prescribe from a list of medications that improve emotional and mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

How they are trained

A doctoral degree to practice psychology requires at least 4-6 years of full-time study after completing an undergraduate degree. Coursework includes areas such as ethics, statistics, individual differences and the biological, cognitive-affective and social bases of behavior, as well as specific training in psychological assessment and therapy.

While in graduate school, psychology students may also participate in research and teaching. A one-year full-time supervised internship is required prior to graduation and in most states an additional year of supervised practice is required before licensure. Psychologists must pass a national examination and addition examination specific to the state in which they are being licensed.

Once licensed to practice, psychologists must keep up their knowledge, which is demonstrated by earning several hours of continuing education credits annually, as required by their state’s license and regulations.

 

 

 

Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago