My Approach to Helping
If you are up against what feels like an overwhelming situation... a failing marriage... a child or teen in crisis... traumatic memories that won't let you move on... moods and emotions that seem out of control... No matter the details of your unique story, you are here for a reason. You are here because you're not ready to give up on the life and relationships you truly desire.
You do not have to face your struggles alone. I have ten years' experience working with families, individuals, and couples; meeting them in the darkest moments of their lives and helping them find their path forward.
With my education and experience, I specialize in two areas. The first is with marriages in distress. Infidelity, dishonesty, conflict, and even separation can be healed with timely therapeutic work. I work with couples together, as well as with individuals seeking help for their marriage when the partner won't attend. Together, we will work through the anger, pain, and loneliness of your situation and map out a path toward forgiveness and love.
My second specialty is emotionally/behaviorally challenging adolescents and their parents. I have worked with teenagers and their families for over eight years in juvenile justice and therapeutic school programs. I have helped teens and parents overcome seemingly hopeless circumstances: depression, self-injury, suicidal thoughts; anger, defiance, and criminal behavior.
Individuals can also benefit from therapy for trauma, depression, and anxiety issues. Often, deep wounds from childhood and from past relationships can re-assert themselves in the adult's life, wreaking havoc. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I can help you see yourself in the context of your childhood and family life, while also focusing on the ways in which you can reach your own full potential.
More Info About My Practice
***PLEASE NOTE: UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, MY PRACTICE AND WAITING LIST ARE CURRENTLY FULL.
My therapy suite in Lake Bluff, IL is close to and serves clients from all surrounding areas: Lake Forest, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Gurnee, Grayslake, Waukegan. The office is located on Rockland Road between 41 and 43; next to the Silo restaurant.
I offer a free initial consultation in order to answer your questions about therapy and assess your situation fully.
I am currently an approved provider for the following insurance plans: Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and Cigna..
I cannot bill out-of-network (including contracted behavioral health subsidiaries such as Optum or Value Options). However, you may elect to pay in full and submit your receipt to your insurance provider for partial reimbursement.
I accept fee-for-service and offer a sliding fee scale.
I accept cash, check, credit card, debit card, and Paypal payments.
I believe that the highest quality therapy services should be available, accessible, and affordable to all who need them. Therapy is more often a necessity than a luxury. I will work with you and your family to ensure that you receive the best therapy you can at a cost you can afford.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
What do I love about being a therapist? That's an easy one - the clients!
I'm a student of people, and becoming a therapist allowed me to do what I've always been drawn towards: immerse myself into others' mental and emotional worlds, learn their unique strengths and challenges, and apply what is needed to help those people move forward.
I find that the human spirit is unfailingly optimistic. Even in our darkest days, we all want the same things for ourselves. We want happiness, love, acceptance, and success. Whatever seems to hold us back, our spirit still strives toward those simple, wonderful goals.
As a therapist, I am able to experience each client's journey as I move with them through their pain and fear; through their anger and grief. I am able to see what they sometimes cannot: the light inside of them, which shines brightly enough to show us each subsequent step on their path. I see the innocence, the nobility, and the humility in each person. I see how they have truly tried their best and with just a few tweaks, their best can begin working for them again.
Therapy is something I definitely feel called toward, and fulfilled by. It's being in service to the health and happiness of others, that I find my purpose. With each client who overcomes their depression, anxiety, anger or shame, who creates a renewed life and newly loving relationships for themselves, I get to bear witness to that triumph of the human spirit; it's like no other job on earth!
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
It is completely understandable for many people to hesitate about starting therapy. They are aware that therapy may stir up long-buried emotions, memories, and conflicts for them and their family. They may feel unsure that therapy will even help them in exchange for that pain. It may feel easier to continue pushing those negative feelings and memories off, or further down inside of them, rather than to face them.
In the long term, we know that burying feelings, traumas, and pain just doesn't work. Eventually, those wounds must come to the surface and be addressed. If we don't bring them to the surface in a careful, supported and thoughtful way through therapy, the alternative is that they may leap out of us in uncontrolled and destructive ways.
I've never met a client who is eager and excited to jump right into their most painful inner spaces. Yet, those clients who are willing to do so are some of the most courageous people I have ever met. They acknowledge the fear that comes with facing their pain; they feel the fear just like anybody else. And they work with it. They explore it, and own it, and eventually they learn to overcome it. Fear is inside of all of us, but so is joy... love... self-worth. We cannot allow our fears to block out everything else that is inside us.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
Therapy is so unique; it's a relationship that is unlike any other in the normal human experience. Your therapist needs to be somebody you feel you can completely trust; someone who is free of judgments and is unconditionally accepting. On the other hand, you and your therapist must also be able to challenge one another and disagree with what the other is saying, when necessary. Therapy at its best is a mutually created, mutually held "safe place" for you, the client; a place where you can be unapologetically yourself, while also open to feedback and movement and even some very big epiphanies about yourself.
As a client, you want your therapist to be on your team. Not a cheerleader, endlessly agreeing with everything you say; not an opponent looking to unsteady you; but a true teammate who shares your goals for yourself and will listen, strategize, support, encourage, and move with you toward those goals.
The best therapists can maintain a sense of total openness for the client, while balancing that on his or her end with an ethical and appropriate neutrality. While the therapist does care very deeply for the client, the therapist must also be able to hold objective thoughts, ideas, observations and treatment goals in his or her head, and know when and how to apply their ideas in order to move the client forward most effectively.