My Approach to Helping
Change and growth are often preceded by some difficulty, personally or in relationship. I congratulate your willingness to get support in overcoming the challenges you are facing.
My intention is to assist you in living from genuine strength and authenticity. I will help you resolve problems and achieve happiness. In our work together, you will discover that difficulties and obstacles in life are often blessings for in reality we grow through adversity. This process of growth liberates energy bound in unresolved issues, so that energy can be used to create a life of your own design.
I employ a learning paradigm. A learning paradigm does not presume anything wrong with you -- it simply presents things you can learn to make your life more easeful and productive.
I utilize a spiritual psychological approach that is based on the understanding that our true essence is spiritual and that our body, mind and emotions are vehicles for spiritual expression. This essence is present in every moment and we have the opportunity to connect with and respond to its guidance.
Somebody asked Michelangelo how he sculpted the David from a big block of marble. He said, "I saw the David and removed anything that was not that". My intention is to support you in focusing on what you want, where you want to go, and letting go whatever is in the way. We focus on what you want (outcome), why you want it (purpose), action plan (pathway) and making it happen (action). It is a grounded, practical approach to transforming your life and living by design.
I help troubled couples improve their lives, shifting from behaving like enemies to becoming friends, so you are better able to successfully and happily share life together.
Before we get married no one teaches us how to be successful in an intimate relationship. Counseling works because you learn skills so you can be successful and happy with you partner.
More Info About My Practice
I am a Board Certified Professional Counselor and an experienced teacher, coach, and guide. I have been helping people since 1986 and am the founder of Living by Design offering services to assist you in achieving life changing, positive outcomes.
I have supported individuals and couples create greater harmony and fulfillment in their lives. I specialize in working with adults and couples who are dealing with a variety of issues related to relationship issues, personal direction, authenticity and learning how to give and receive love.
I earned my Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, with an emphasis in Spiritual Psychology and my Bachelor's from Northwestern University. I also have a Master's of Theology in Practical Spirituality.
In addition to ongoing training to enhance and support my work, I have completed two intensive training programs in coaching and am a cetified ontological coach. My approach draws from almost thirty years of study in traditional and non-traditional programs in the art of coaching, psychology, ontological design, and communication, as well as more than thirty years of personal spiritual practice.
I am an experienced professional and have been in private practice for over 20 years with offices in Chicago and Geneva, IL.
WHAT CLIENTS SAY:
"I was depressed and stuck thinking what I needed was to find an idea and make it happen. I see that is not what it is about. It's about finding out who I really am and living from my essence, bringing my creativity into the world. Leslie helped me realize that I don't have to wait for other people in order to be myself. I feel empowered and in charge of the direction of my life. I have made great strides, and it's been worth the effort! --Leslie B.--Artist and Business Manager
"Leslie helped me to focus on what I wanted to change in my life and taught me the skills and techniques to do it." --Frank N.-- Restaurant Manager
"I now have a greater understanding of myself and my needs in love, work and friendship. I am living a more balanced, nurturing lifestyle integrating these areas of my life." --Patty D.-- Advertising Marketing Director
"It is truly a gift for me to have you in my life...I feel heard and honored in your presence." --Therese T.-- Flight Attendant
"I am more at peace, more relaxed, more accepting and more care-full with myself. I have my life back." --Mary Ellen M.-- Nurse
"I have learned to say yes to myself, to put myself ahead of everyone else. I used to think that being a good person meant that I was to save the world, devote my life to a good cause and sacrifice my well being in the process. I was miserable, out of sorts with my husband and tired all the time. I now realize that the way to make the world a better place is to learn to be a happier person and in this way I contribute to the greater good by adding more joy and peace to the planet. I am now doing work I love, and have more than enough time to enjoy family and myself. Things are good in my world." --Maria L.--V.P. Informational Services School Board
There are more testimonials at my website.
My Role as a Therapist
Healing is the application of Loving to the place that hurts. My job is to hold a place of unconditional acceptance and love for my clients so they can learn to have compassion and love for the places in them that are hurting. In doing so they heal and are more able to successfully meet and overcome life's challenges.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
There are good car mechanics and bad car mechanics, good doctors and bad doctors, skilled and talented anything and unskilled and untalented as well. It is the job of the consumer to do their best at researching in order to find someone who is a competent and reliable practitioner to match their needs.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
It is the wise person who seeks out support when in trouble. In my view it takes strength to recognize when one is in need and courage to ask for help.