chicago ravenswood area counseling practice

Meet the Therapists at UB’s Chicago Ravenswood Counseling Office

UB’s new Ravenswood office on Wilson near Damen has 4 offices, a private waiting room, and is convenient to CTA and Metra. Additionally there is off-street parking, a doorman, and a pharmacy in the building. UB now has 12 therapists working from this location. View their bios and search by counseling specialties here.

The office is located at 1945 West Wilson Avenue, Suite 5113, and offers therapy for individuals (adults, adolescents and children), couples, families and groups.

 

life transitions counseling chicago

How to Better Cope with Transitions and Change

By UB’s Alyssa Yeo

Change comes in many forms. Regardless of how or when it occurs, we know that it forces you to evaluate yourself and your surroundings. You may question your current life situation, your goals, your intentions, and you may be a required to reroute your “plan” and figure out a way to adapt.  It’s difficult to find peace in these transitional phases of life. The uncertainty of not knowing what’s next breeds anxiety, fear, depression, and other uncomfortable emotions that can be difficult to overcome.

Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist and scholar, perceived life transitions as a “call to action” from the universe. He believes that each individual receives several different calls during the course of their life, with each one posing a threat to security or disrupting the comfort of our ordinary world. A call to action is powerful, and it presents a challenge or quest that must be undertaken but is often met with resistance. Campbell believes, however, that if an individual fully commits himself or herself to the adventure, they will uncover hidden powers and insights that move them closer toward reaching their full potential.

In other words, life presents challenges and opportunities for change that – if embraced – will lead you exactly where you need to go.  Your success depends on your willingness to embark on your adventure, as well as your ability to trust in the process.

road_journey

Now let me ask you this: Have you recently experienced changes in your life that you’re struggling to adapt to? Are you questioning your current situation and wondering how or if it will ever get better? Do you find yourself comparing your life to others and wondering why you aren’t where you “should” be? Do you have anxiety about your future and your ability to accomplish your goals?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then I encourage you to think of all the thoughts and feelings that revolve around your current life situation. What is your internal dialogue? And within that dialogue, I ask you to identify your fears.

Are you afraid you’re going to fail? Do you fear you won’t be able to accomplish your goals in the time you expected? Are you scared of what others will think of you? Do you fear the consequences of your next decision?

Whatever fears you may have, consider them your demons. The very same thoughts and feelings that drive your desire to change are what stop you from doing so.  Consequently, our biggest fear of all is our own self.

Think about that for a moment. Our biggest fear of all is our own self.

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To move forward you have to commit to your journey and overcome those fears that are making you feel helpless. The truth is, you have all the power to succeed – you have all the control. You are, at your core, the only person that can move you forward.

What can you do to confront those demons? Confront yourself.

Trust yourself

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

Perhaps you are basing all your future decisions on the conditions of your life right now, instead of realizing that new directions, and new decisions in life, open new doors. You can’t possibly know what’s behind the door in front of you until you open it. And chances are, once you open that door, you’ll see a bunch of other doors that are waiting to be opened. The key is to not be paralyzed by all your choices – trust in your ability to make a decision on what door to open and open it.

Embrace change

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” – Joseph Campbell

When you are presented with a new situation that requires you to change your behavior, think about all the ways that this could positively impact your life. Preparation helps decrease our anxiety, so if we are unable to prepare for what’s next we can easily get caught up in anxious and fearful thoughts. We can’t possibly know what will come from change, good or bad, so why should we assume the worst? Challenge your need to prepare and your tendency to dwell on all the possible negative outcomes. Focus your attention instead on what you do know in this very moment, and have confidence that you will be able to handle whatever occurs next.

Be flexible

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

We often have set expectations for ourselves on what we “should” be doing and what our life is “supposed to” look like. These expectations add unnecessary pressure, and they end up making you feel bad about where your path has taken you. Rather than spending time and energy worrying about why you aren’t exactly where you thought you would be, try reflecting on all those things in your life that you are grateful for. Chances are, you weren’t able to plan for all of those situations, were you? Sure surprises in life can be scary, but they also can add wonderful opportunities that we never imagined. So it’s okay to let go of some of those rules and plans you have for yourself. Rewards come when you exist outside your limitations.

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Joyce Marter’s ‘How to Get Out of a Bad Mood’ Featured in Best of Blogs

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“Large and rapidly moving, ominous clouds of negativity roll into my mind, infuse my thoughts and deeply darken my mood. As I exhale, I feel the irritability fume from my nostrils like fiery smoke from a dragon’s. As I bristle with defensiveness and hostility, I feel the energetic spikes of anger jet from my spine, creating a non-verbal warning to others to steer clear. My eyes narrow and shoot lasers of fury. My tongue sharpens and my words become cutting and biting. As waves of anger ripple through my body, my energy and power grows. My walk becomes a stomp and I can almost feel the slash of my tail as I move, determined to defend myself and survive anything that comes my way…”

Read Full Article

Subscribe to Joyce’s Psychology of Success blog at Psych Central

What you need to know about: Grief

by Meaghan Diaz
Grief
The stages one goes through after experiencing the death of a loved one include: denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. Every person is different and subsequently each person experiences grief differently. Some may go through the stages in a different order or others may experience one stage longer than another stage. Some may cope with the loss by outwardly expressing their emotions, while others may bottle it up. Regardless of how a person expresses grief, everyone goes through stages of grief in his or her own way.
Stage 1 is denial and isolation. This stage is the first reaction to the news that serves as a buffer from the pain. A person may deny the facts of the situation and may withdraw from others in response to learning of their loved one’s passing or terminal illness.
Stage 2 is anger. When the protective effects of denial and isolation begin to wear and the pain resurfaces, one may experience angry outbursts due to their lack of control of the situation. The anger can be directed at inanimate objects or people, including strangers, family, friends, doctors or even the deceased or ill loved one.
Stage 3 is bargaining. This stage is an attempt to regain control by reflecting on how one could have prevented the situation in the first place. For example, thoughts such as “If only he or she were diagnosed sooner…” or “If only I spent more time with him or her before this happened…” are common in the third stage of grief.
Stage 4 is depression. This stage is when the person allows themselves to feel the pain of the situation fully, which results in experiencing symptoms of depression, such as sadness and regret.
Stage 5 is acceptance. Some may not reach this stage, however it characterized by accepting the reality of the situation and feeling calm about it. It does not necessarily mean that the person is happy about it, but they have accepted that it has happened and have allowed the grief process to take its course.
As mentioned, these stages may occur in a different order, intensity, and may overlap depending on the individual and their type of loss. Also, a mix of emotions such as anger, confusion, fear, guilt, and hopelessness may occur throughout the grieving process.
It is important to remember that:
  • you will survive the loss despite the pain,
  • that allowing yourself to go through the process at the natural pace (without trying to speed through it) will allow for proper healing, 
  • it is important express your emotions and seek support when needed.
“Should I seek counseling for grief?”
Some find it comforting to speak to a therapist during the grieving process.
If you would like to seek counseling with a UB therapist who specializes in grief & loss counseling, contact us.

What you need to know about: Addiction

by Meaghan Diaz

Addiction

A common form of an addiction is alcohol/substance abuse. It is common for people to have a beer to unwind after a long day of work occasionally. However, a person with a substance abuse disorder is dependent on alcohol or drugs and continues to use them despite the negative impact it may have on his or her day-to-day life, such as worsening physical and mental health as well as damaging social relationships. The severity of the addiction disorder may vary, but common symptoms include the individual consuming more than originally planned, experiencing anxiety due to unsuccessful control of consumption, and spending a lot of time to use, obtain, or recover from the substance. Those who abuse alcohol/substances experience cravings and withdrawals, making it difficult to control the addiction. They may also develop a tolerance over time, thereby requiring larger doses of consumption in order to feel the effects.

“Should I seek treatment for addiction?” If an addiction is interfering with your normal daily functioning or if you are experiencing distress due to an addiction disorder, contact a therapist for a clinical evaluation to determine a recovery plan.

“What are common addiction treatment options?” Treatment involves a clinical assessment/evaluation to determine a recovery plan, detoxification, active treatment (medication, programs, support groups, residential treatment, etc.), and relapse prevention plan. The type of treatment is unique to the individual’s situation.

Discover more addiction resources in UB’s Wellness Directory.

If you would like to seek counseling with a UB therapist who specializes in addiction counseling, contact us. Browse Urban Balance therapists who specialize in addiction treatment here.

What you need to know about: Eating Disorders

by Meaghan Diaz
Eating Disorders
Millions of people are affected by eating disorders, with 90% of them being adolescent and young females. Adolescent and young women are more susceptible to developing an eating disorder because it is during that time in their lives that they try dieting. They may feel the pressure to stay slim due to sport involvement or a modelling career choice. The three types most common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.
Anorexia (also known as anorexia nervosa) is characterized by the person starving themselves because they believe they are overweight. If the person is 15% below the normal body weight and is losing weight by starvation, he or she may be anorexic.
Bulimia (also known as bulimia nervosa) is when a person overeats and then rids his or her body of the food by vomiting, excessive exercise, or taking laxatives. Ridding the body of food in this manner is called “purging”. This common eating disorder may go not be noticeable to others because most of the time, the person does not appear to be gaining or losing a significant amount of weight.
Binge eating disorder is like bulimia in that the people with the disorder eat excessively, however they do not attempt to rid their body of the food. They eat more than the normal, healthy serving and they feel out of the control of their eating in that they cannot control their frequent urges or the amount they consume in a sitting. A binge eating episode includes 3 or more of the following symptoms: eating more rapidly than normal, eating beyond feeling full, consuming large amounts of food despite not feeling hungry, eating alone due to embarrassment about the excessive food consumption, and feeling guilty after a binge eating episode.
“Should I seek treatment for an eating disorder?” If you (or a loved one) are experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder, it is important to seek treatment to prevent medical complications in the future as a result of an eating disorder.
“What are common treatment options for eating disorders?”
Common treatment options include:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medications
  • Psychotherapy
If you would like to seek counseling with a UB therapist who specializes in eating disorder counseling, contact us. Browse Urban Balance therapists who specialize in eating disorder treatment here.

What you need to know about: Depression

by Meaghan Diaz

Depression

Depression is characterized by symptoms such as feeling pessimistic, hopeless, worthless, anxious or guilty. People with with depression may lose interest in activities that they once found pleasurable, such as spending time with friends or family. They may experience unintentional changes in appetite, weight, and sleep patterns (such as insomnia or oversleeping). They may feel easily fatigued or experience a decline in overall energy level despite receiving a full night’s sleep. Other symptoms that are common include irritability, restlessness, and suicidal thoughts. Physical symptoms include headaches, chronic pain, and digestive issues. A person with depression may also have difficulty getting motivated, focusing on tasks and making decisions. It is normal for one to experience these symptoms occasionally, however if these symptoms occur more often than not, for a period of 2 weeks or longer, it may be a form of clinical depression. Types of depression have varying and overlapping symptoms. Depression is a complex disorder and is may be caused by a multitude of unique life factors.

“Should I seek counseling for depression?” If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek help by speaking with a therapist.

“What are common depression treatment options?” Common depression treatment options include:

  • Psychotherapy (types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, behavioral, and rational-emotive)
  • Antidepressant medication

Discover more depression resources in UB’s Wellness Directory.

If you would like to seek counseling with a UB therapist who specializes in depression counseling, contact us. Browse Urban Balance therapists who specialize in depression treatment here.
couples counseling and marriage counselor chicago

You’re Invited to UB’s Love & Relationship Event 10/09/14

Please join Urban Balance at our Love & Relationship Event! Featuring a panel of experts offering insight and advice about a variety of relationship issues.
ub love & relationship event
The Love & Relationship Event
Open to the public • $40.00 per ticket UB clients & friends • Early Bird Discount: $20.00 w/promo code – Love
RSVP to blevy@urbanbalance.com

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at
Urban Balance Chicago
180 N. Michigan Avenue
Suite 805

Official Event Flyer

Press Inquiries

UB First Friday, Chicago Mental Health Professional Networking

UB First Fridays: Mental Health Professional Networking Event, October 3rd

Urban Balance First Fridays Speaker Series and Networking

A free monthly professional networking event designed to bring together mental health and wellness professionals in the Chicago area for learning and networking purposes.

October’s Featured Speaker & Sponsor: Gwendolyn J. Sterk and the Family Law Group

“The Divorce Process: The Basics and How it Affects Your Clients”

Gwendolyn J. Sterk is an attorney and Team Leader of the Family Law Group at Goldstine, Skrodzkl, Russian, Nemec and Hoff Ltd. She handles all types of family
law cases through negotiations, discovery, settlements, trials and appeals with the ultimate goal of assisting clients to move forward with integrity and dignity.

UB First Friday (every first Friday of the month)
From 5:00-6:00 pm at Urban Balance office in River West
935 W. Chestnut St. Suite 204
RSVP to Bridget Levy at blevy@urbanbalance.com

Official Event Page

Press Inquiry