What’s the difference between talking to you instead of friends or family?

Good question. There is a big difference. The difference is between someone who is subjectively involved in your life, and a professional who has objectivity, training, expert knowledge, and experience. Family and friends have the potential to offer support, yet not in the same way.

Professionals can help you approach your situation in a new way:

  • Listen without judgment or expectations
  • Provide research-based knowledge, skills, interventions
  • Ensure confidentiality
  • Provide objectivity and transparency
  • Offer genuine, rational, professional support
  • Listen with no ulterior motives
  • Teach new information or skills

What do I have to do during sessions?

In general, you can expect to learn, discuss, participate in activities and apply information to current events in your life, history relevant to your issue, and monitor your own progress (or any new insights gained). Sessions are not all talk, however. Therapeutic activities and skill building are completed, as related to particular issues at hand. Recommendations and suggestions are provided for you to incorporate outside of appointments, to support your progress and achieve goals quicker.

How long will this take?

You are probably very busy, so we will work around your schedule to fit this in while keeping up a regular pace to maintain progress. Depending on your specific needs, this process can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to address more ingrained patterns. Appointments are scheduled based on your provider’s recommendations, your needs, and your availability.

I’m used to handling stress on my own. Aren’t people who go to counseling sick?

No way! There is no human being alive or that has ever lived who does not need this type of support.  The world would be a much better place if everyone had this guidance.  Just like our need for water, we need effective guidance.  Everyone deserves time to be listened to with unconditional support and without interruption. It is a basic human right to have time to talk about your stressors and receive help figuring these out. Unfortunately, our society has forgotten to teach us that we need time to release stress in the most fundamental human ways.  Instead, society teaches ineffective ways to cope with stress that often make things worse.  Seeking counseling is a strength you have.

My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

Ideally, the couple would come together. If that is not possible, simply make an appointment individually. The most important step is to make the appointment, as an individual or couple, or there is lessened potential for increased satisfaction. If you are concerned about your relationship, this is normal. Most individuals wonder how healthy their relationship is and if it could be better. Society teaches us to focus on the fun of falling in love but not the tools to make relationships work well in the long-term.

Can I just take medication instead of going to counseling?

Medication alone cannot change the nature of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors or how you view and process past experiences.  Overwhelming research for decades has shown that medication is best used in conjunction with counseling to address the underlying issues that stimulate the need for medication. A psychiatrist can best determine if you should be prescribed medication.

Instead of just treating the symptom, counseling addresses the cause of distress and the patterns preventing where you want to be in life. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in understanding how medications for mood or psychiatric disorders interact with the body and other medications you may be taking. Some psychiatrists may provide occasional talk therapy to assess the nature of the diagnosis, ascertain the most appropriate medication to assign, and recommend referrals, but they primarily prescribe psychiatric medication. Psychotherapists specialize in understanding and guiding mental health. Psychotherapists provide counseling and do not prescribe medication.


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1500 E. Lincoln Hwy, Suite 1
DeKalb, IL 60115


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