Matthew J. Smith, LCPC
|Professions: Clinical Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Psychotherapy|
|License Status: I'm a licensed professional.|
|Primary Credential: Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor - 180.009590|
Billing and Insurance
I am an in-network provider for:
See other therapists in Chicago, IL.
The crux of my approach is simple, but versatile: I use anything and everything available to me to make your breakthrough(s) possible. Frankly, the reality of your life history and circumstances require this far more than one or two of the best methods found in any psychology library.
With that said:
#1 - Whatever your circumstances: I meet you where you are, hear you out carefully, and resist a lot of the knee-jerk quick diagnosing I feel is too common to my field. Doling out insights before this feels very egotistical and immature to me.
#2 - Only when a great portion of your personal history is heard and understood will you see me sharing "depthy insights." They wouldn't feel terribly useful to you until I do understand you that well.
#3 - Once we understand one another and you are insight-equipped, I will encourage putting insight into action. But in ways that feel authentic to your personal experience of things. NOTE: This tends to be the most elusive phase of things because individuals mistakenly associate "gaining new insights" with effective change. I would argue that the insights = psychological fuel, but acting on your new found wisdom yields the life you've hoped for! One must turn this corner for the real rewards!
MORE ON WHY I DO WHAT I DO:
About 1/3rd of my clients progress best through being heard and having me carefully "reframe" our conversations for them. The advantage being: I hold up a mirror for them and encourage their successful moves. When we are not doing this, we are pondering/critiquing what caused the ineffective decisions and behaviors. This approach allows you to benefit greatly from experiencing steering the therapeutic alliance from begin to finish. Clients report this approach as "feeling like something Zen."
Another 1/3rd of my clients are more eager for me to more actively guide the conversation in order to coach/model them help toward practicing new approaches over no longer effective decision & behaviors. This approach is a far cry from the overly-assertive methods seen on popular TV! It merely involves my being more active and, in some cases, more disclosure of my own clinical impressions for those who need practice after finding their own resources impaired.
The remaining 3rd of my clients tend to benefit from a collaborative mix of the former two approaches. Toward the last several sessions with virtually all of my clients, our familiarity with each other allows this integrated approach to come about organically. Your own experiences (in and out of session) will determine how this progresses.
A FINAL NOTE:
You will notice that I have said very little about the nature of human emotions so far. There is PLENTY to say about this! Nothing is more distinctive and nebulous than the nature of one's emotions. An old therapists' maxim says "Emotions are never wrong; only actions can be wrong. They don't need to be justified. They just need to be felt." It is because emotions are an expression of our emotional truth that I abstain here. Whoever you are reading this - your emotional landscape is too elaborate and experience-rich for a brief formulation. When you engage with a therapist you trust, then the language of emotion will form a bridge between you two. After some time you will find each other midway and get great things done.
Email or Call Matthew J. Smith, LCPC at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 18091
More Info About My Practice
I currently have offices in the West Loop and Oak Park/Forest Park neighborhoods, with home visits possible between those areas. Although our group practice does not take insurance, I offer a very sensible sliding scale rate. Typically, 60 minutes is $125-$100 for psychotherapy. However, reasonable accommodations can be made. Both you and I will find that this is better in the end. (By the time you are done calling your insurance company three times in a row and being on hold for 30 minutes, the difference in co-pays and your lost time is already worth my reduced rate.)
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
There is nothing better than seeing a former client walking down the sidewalk looking like they are happy with the course of their life. I talk about this kind of experience all the time with colleagues. Sometimes we even toast to them privately. I have the best job in the world!
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
It is NOT unusual to feel ambivalent about entering a dialogue like this! Especially given that pondering "whether to see a therapist?" was likely precipitated by murky/troublesome personal content. I would suggest you make the leap with a counselor who you feel *gets* you, then push past the ambivalence. You deserve the peace of mind and certainty. There's no advantage to letting that kind of thing drag on.
What Makes up a Problem?
My best statement I've heard about the overlap of these three things is this:
"The genetics load the gun;
The personality and psychology aim it;
The circumstances pull the trigger."
Services I Provide
- Individual Therapy & Counseling
- Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
- Family Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Clinical Supervision
- Home-Based Therapy
- Creative Arts Therapy
Ages I Work With
Groups I Work With
I am told that working with me is a very "positive," "motivating," "constructive," "depthy," and even "humorous" experience. These qualities have served ALL populations well.
My personal and work history have given me the strongest experience with men and women who are stuck in several ways... ways they often cannot describe. Most often, these situations require their needing help realizing the elusively knotted state of mixed troubled thoughts and/or mixed emotions, then how to proceed with a better skill set.
With men and women alike: I tend to be very good at helping clients develop self-esteem and the motivation needed to create change. I've found that I'm also very good at helping them understand the need for reconfiguring essential relationship skills.
With younger adults and adolescents: I am good at helping them scaffold their way into a more enriched, generative sense of self while placing heavy emphasis on the difficulties associated with ever-present peer pressure and over-dependence on technology and social media.
By using this site, you signify your assent and agreement to the Terms of Service.