What You Need To Know About: Personal Development

What is personal development?

Personal development is not a milestone and it is not achieved by a specific age. Personal development is an ongoing process for those who choose to work on it. Since achieving perfection is impossible, everyone room for improvement in certain areas of their lives.

The term “personal development” can include:

  • establishing a sense of identity
  • working on confidence & self-esteem
  • advancing further in your career path
  • improving upon communication skills
  • developing quality connections with others
  • increasing your sense of self-awareness
  • improving time management skills & discipline
The underlying theme of personal development is the improvement of the quality of your life by effectively working towards one or more of your personal goals.

How do I get started?

The first step is making the decision to work on your own personal development. It does not matter if you are a young, college student or an experienced business professional. Everyone and anyone can benefit, irrespective of age, gender, or background.
The next step is to identify areas of your life you would like to improve. It is important to set a goal, prepare a plan, and stick to that plan. As you accomplish the small goals you set for yourself and work towards them consistently, you will see the results of your efforts later on. For example, if you want to advance further in your career, you should create a plan to make yourself the most ideal candidate for a promotion. This may involve getting another degree or improving upon your networking skills.
Once you have a plan, it is important to work on it consistently. Although you may not see immediate results, your effort will pay off in the long run.

If you would like to browse Urban Balance’s Personal Development Resources, click here.

Landino, R. (2013). Growth and Change Through the College Years. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 15, 2015, from

psychology of success

Approach Success The Right Way to Achieve It

by UB’s Joyce Marter, LCPC

Change how you think of success and you soon might find it

There’s more to finding success in your career than how you act or what you say. How you mentally approach success can dramatically improve your chances for achieving it.

Through my experience as a psychotherapist and a business owner, I believe the following strategies are pivotal for achieving career success:

Become conscious of why you do what you do. We all come into our careers for a reason. We learn our roles in our families of origin and often recreate patterns until we work through them. Give yourself permission to let go of old behaviors that are no longer working and open yourself up to new ways that will allow success into your life.

Open yourself up to prosperity. Cognitive psychology suggests that our thoughts precede our feelings and behaviors. To be successful, we must first think of ourselves as a success. We must believe we deserve prosperity, such as health, love, resources and money.

Bring your attention to the present. Honor the past, learn from it, accept it and let it go. Don’t obsess or worry about the future. The best decisions are made when grounded in the present. Achieve clarity through mindfulness practices such as deep breathing and meditation.

Discover the power of intention. As in sports psychology, positive visualization increases the likelihood of success. We largely create our own realities through our thoughts and intentions, so clarify them by writing out your careers goals and objectives.

Develop your vision.Ask yourself, if you had a magic wand, what would you want? Aim high. As you develop your career vision, look for the “win-win.” Look for how your strengths can benefit others and use assertive communication to ask for what you deserve.

Create work/life balance.For success and wellness, plan your career in the context of your life, not the other way around. Empower yourself to create a career that supports your personal life (with regard to lifestyle, schedule, location, et cetera.).

Practice self-care.Practice self-care, such as proper nutrition, rest, exercise, social support and leisure activity to reboot your mind and body. You must take good care of yourself first in order to be effective in your career.

Silence your inner critic.Pay attention to your self-talk and notice if you have negative thoughts that perhaps come from voices of the past (i.e. a critical parent). Separate from negative beliefs by “zooming out” and looking at situations objectively from a neutral place.

Practice positive thinking.Choose to be your best cheerleader rather than your worst critic. Cut yourself some slack and recognize we are all human and works in progress.

Surround yourself with good people.Assess your support network. Let go of negative or toxic relationships. Establish and nurture positive ones.

Be resilient. Deflect or detach from negativity rather than absorbing it. Don’t let somebody tell you that you can’t do something, as they are likely projecting their own fears and limitations.

Let go of that which you cannot control.Empower yourself to change what you can, and let go of the rest. Don’t expend your energy trying to control others. Focus on yourself.

Appreciate that personal and professional progress is not linear.We all go through setbacks. It’s how we respond to those setbacks that determines if we are going to grow and move forward or continue to cycle.

Practice gratitude. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will be unhappy and attract negativity. Be grateful for what you have and you will be attract positivity, opportunity and success.

counseling practice insurance chicago

Maximize Your Mental Health Benefits

Recent law changes mean your health insurance plan probably has some mental health benefits. UB has an insurance benefits manager on staff who can quickly let you know what your mental health coverage is. Contact UB’s Intake Manager to learn more.

UB has therapists In-Network with the following Insurance plans:

Aetna PPO & POS
American Behavioral
BCBS – Blue Choice
Beacon Health
Blue Cross & Blue Shield (BCBS) of IL PPO (contact about HMO)
Chickering Group
Cigna Behavioral Health
Claremont EAP
Deer Oaks EAP
EAP Consultants
Employee & Family Resources
Employee Resource Systems
Great West
Horizon EAP
Land of Lincoln
Magellan Behavioral Health (not EAP)
Managed Health Network (MHN)
Mines & Associates
One Health Plan
Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS)
The Allen Group
Tri Care
United Behavioral Health (UBH)
Value Options
Workplace Solutions

chicago counseling service list

UB Therapists Provide Comprehensive Counseling Services

With over 60 therapists working from 6 offices in the Chicago area, Urban Balance has therapists on staff who specialize in a wide array of presenting concerns, including the issues listed below.

Email UB’s Intake Coordinator or call 888-726-7170 x 1 to confidentially be matched with a therapist that is right for you.

UB therapists provide counseling services to adults, adolescents and children dealing with:

Stress Management
Relationship Problems
Anxiety Disorders
Depression/Bipolar Disorder
Eating Disorders/Food & Body Issues
Alcohol & Drug Problems
Addiction & Compulsive Behaviors (gambling, spending, sex, etc.)
Grief & Loss
Career Development
Self-Esteem Concerns
Academic Problems
Behavioral Concerns
Anger Management/Impulse Control Problems
Gay, Lesbian, & Bisexual Issues
Women’s Issues/Men’s Issues
Challenges of Single Parenthood
Family-of-Origin Issues
Life Transitions
Personal Growth

For couples seeking therapy for:

Relationship Issues
Communication Problems
Conflict Management Issues
Pre-marital/Pre-commitment/Pre-cohabitation Counseling
Pre and Post Baby Couples Counseling
Parenting Skills Training
Processing Adoption
Dealing with Divorce
Sexual Concerns
Financial Conflict
Abuse/Domestic Violence
Gay/Lesbian Relationship Issues
Relationship Growth & Development

For families seeking therapy for:

Communication Problems
Parent/Child Conflict
Blended Family Challenges
Addiction Issues

Clients seeking therapy are matched with a counselor who best meets their needs with regard to area of expertise, therapeutic approach and hours of availability. UB is contracted with most insurance companies and will file claims for clients. The length of treatment is tailored to the particular needs of each client.

counseling for those with learning disabilities2

What You Need to Know About: Learning Disabilities

What is a learning disability?

The symptoms of a learning disability vary depending on the type, but overall, learning disabilities impede a person’s ability to process information in the brain. A person may struggle with auditory or visual processing, which may make it difficult for them to communicate and understand others. An individual with a learning disability may also struggle with behavioral complications, such as a limited attention span and a lack of coordination.

How is a learning disability diagnosed?
Signs of a learning disability include not reaching developmental milestones by a certain age. A formal diagnosis considers a two-year delay significant. Learning disabilities are diagnosed using standardized tests that take age and intelligence into consideration.
 How are learning disabilities treated?
Medication is most effective in helping those with an attention-related learning disabilities, such as ADHD . As for other types of learning disabilities, specialized education or therapy can help children and adults work on their skills and learn to adapt. Most children with speech disabilities who receive help eventually learn to speak and are least likely to have long-term complications.

Browse UB’s Learning Disability Resources here. 

counseling for veterans chicago

Get Affordable Counseling Now, Vets. UB Therapists Accept TRICARE Insurance.

UB has therapists on staff who accept the military insurance carrier TRICARE, and specialize in therapy for stress, trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, relationship/marriage/family issues, and career transitions.

Contact UB’s Intake Manager to learn more about UB’s services for military veterans.

With recent cuts to mental health services in Illinois, UB knows that the population most likely to be hit hardest will be our state’s veterans. That is why UB is actively certifying more of its therapists in TRICARE, so military veterans can find accessible, affordable counseling services in the Chicago area.

UB has several therapists already in network with TRICARE with more to be certified soon, meaning that vets can get the counseling they need, when they need it.

UB has over 60 therapists serving 6 locations.

dperession counseling chicago therapist for depression

More Pics From iFred Event, A Great Organization Supporting Depression

UB’s Joyce Marter was proud to be a speaker at iFred’s recent #hope event. UB supports iFred’s mission to shine a positive light on depression and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education. Its goal is to ensure 100% of the 350 million people affected by depression seek and receive treatment. Visit to get depression support resources and join.

counseling for codependency chicago

What You Need to Know About: Codependency

What is codependency? 

Codependency is a relationship issue that concerns an individual’s own behavior in a relationship. A person who is codependent has an unhealthy reliance on the other person in the relationship to the point where the codependent views the other person as more important than himself or herself. A codependent person will put the other person’s needs before his or her own needs and will do whatever he or she can to accommodate them. A codependent tends to be highly sensitive and tends to determine his or her own value based upon the approval of the other person. Codependency is often compared to addictions, such as gambling or substance abuse, due to its ability to cause obsessive, self-destructive behaviors.

What are the symptoms of codependency?
Codependents tend to have one or more of the following:
  • Low self-esteem
  • Intense need to help and accommodate others, even if it requires them to sacrifice their own needs
  • Highly sensitive of other people’s feelings & opinions
  • Desire to have control over other people in order to feel okay
  • Communication issues
  • Obsessive thinking patterns (especially about another person)
  • Dependency on another person due to fear of abandonment
  • Denial about their symptoms
  • Emotions such as: anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, depression, hopelessness, and despair
How does someone recover from codependency?
In order to stop codependent behavior, the person must become self-aware and must put forth the effort to change his or her behaviors. Breaking old habits and developing new behaviors may not be easy, which is why therapists offer specialized counseling to help people overcome codependency.
Browse Urban Balance therapists who specialize in codependency.

Click here to browse Codependency Resources in UB’s Wellness Directory.

Lancer, D. (2012). Symptoms of Codependency. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 10, 2015, from
Lancer, D. (2013). Recovery from Codependency. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 10, 2015, from