Hi, I’m Carolyn! Thanks so much for visiting my website! Love and relationships are my favorite topics to discuss! This has a couple of meanings for me, where it can be love and a relationship with yourself, such as finding fulfillment, purpose, and happiness from within you, as well as love and a relationship with others. Having the opportunity to help my clients experience happy and fulfilling relationships and lives in my work as a therapist in Chicago is something I feel incredibly grateful to experience!
You may have stopped by my website as you are curious if I can help you? Well, I have a couple of questions for you:
~Are you feeling “stuck” or at a crossroads in life, questioning past decisions and what the future holds for you?
~Are you trying to figure out your life purpose or do you know your life purpose but are unsure how to integrate that into your life?
~Do you feel like things are generally going well but something still seems like it’s missing?
~Does “self-love” feel non-existent for you?
~Are you trying to make meaning of life?
~Do you feel like you’re in a “funk” or being consumed with worry or anxiety?
~Are you struggling with self critical thoughts that are hard to turn off?
~Do you find yourself feeling lonely, are trying to figure out where you fit in, or are struggling with ongoing sadness or depression? Are these feelings affecting your relationships, your ability to have fun, your school, or work? Do the feelings feel unbearable sometimes?
~Do you have trouble living in the moment and enjoying the way life unfolds and instead find yourself becoming anxious or worried about what’s going to happen, when something is going to happen, or what an outcome will be?
~Have you been dating or in different relationships that have not worked out and are you asking yourself if you’ll ever find “the one”?
~Do you find yourself dating the same “type” or find you have great dates which never seem to turn into anything?
~Do you notice any patterns in yourself, like you tend to give more than you receive in relationships, your mood is affected by how dating or relationships are going for you, or certain things others do tend to really make you angry? Or do you have trouble sustaining healthy or fulfilling relationships?
~Are you feeling heartbroken after a break-up or wanting to make amends with your ex?
~Does something feel off with your relationship? Maybe you are fighting more often, don’t see eye to eye, or the romance, chemistry, and fun is gone? Do you feel lonely in your relationship or like your partner has become more of a roommate?
~Are you engaged or thinking about getting married and want to make sure you have a solid relationship foundation before saying “I do”?
~Are things generally going well but you want to learn how to communicate just a little bit better or get a “relationship tune up?”
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, I can help!
Counseling for Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life and for Creating Happiness from Within You!
Although a big component of my therapy work is relationship focused, I really enjoy working with individuals who are feeling stuck or feel like something just seems to be missing. You can think of it like working on the relationship you have with yourself!
I can work with you to identify what is missing, help you to find happiness from within yourself rather than seeking it from outside things (so you are not always finding yourself seeking that “thing” to make you happy), and to help heal the pains or blocks to having the life you desire. This is much different than just talking about what’s going on in your life, we are identifying and healing your blocks that are preventing the fulfillment you are seeking! I like to compare therapy to an onion, where we are uncovering things layer by layer, to see what is at your core. You can have a fulfilling life and we will work together to help you have a better sense of purpose and direction in life and figure out the steps you can take towards living a more fulfilling life and having happiness from within you!
Depression and Anxiety Counseling
If you are feeling anxious or depressed, sometimes it may be a situation that causes you to feel this way, other times it may be more of a chronic feeling that you’ve dealt with, and sometimes there is an emotional wound that is being triggered. Your feelings may be due to a relationship you currently have or have had in the past, such as with a romantic partner, sibling, parent, friend, roommate, colleague, etc, and my expertise in relationships can also help with this!
Thoughts can be very powerful and can easily affect your mood. Also, many times core wounds become triggered which also affects how you feel! So while exploring the emotions and situations that contribute to how you are feeling, I will also teach you skills to help manage your thoughts, help you explore coping strategies, and work with you to improve your mood and decrease anxious or depressive symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Relationship Counseling with Singles
In addition to couples, I also work with singles who are exploring dating and relationship patterns, who are seeking more fulfilling relationships, or who are healing from a break-up. We can explore dating patterns, identify what qualities are important for you to have in a fulfilling relationship, and how to recognize those qualities more quickly in a potential partner. Break-ups can be very painful. We will explore your hurts and work on healing them together, while also identifying what you learned about yourself or gained from that relationship. I also work with some clients who want to win their ex-partner back, and in this work we focus on strategies such as having gratitude, managing negative thoughts, releasing expectations, and focusing on yourself while finding and creating happiness from within yourself. Yes, this is more effective than chasing down an ex!
Relationship Counseling with Couples
Relationships take work. It can be easy to fall into a routine, lose that “spark” or “magic”, find yourselves fighting or frustrated with one another, or even lose that sense of friendship. External stresses, such as family or work stress, depression, or anxiety can also impact relationships. It is not a weakness to get help with this, instead it is a strength as you are taking charge of getting your relationship back on track, finding your path back to having a happy and fulfilling relationship, and reminding yourselves of why you first fell in love.
I work hard to stay on top of the research on what makes relationships work and use this research based approach to help the couples I work with to have more fulfilling relationships. As a therapist it’s important to me to use evidence based methods, so much of my couples work is informed by Gottman Method Couples Counseling, which is based on over 40 years of research on what makes relationships work! I’m also certified in Prepare-Enrich for those interested in premarital counseling.
The couples I work with are a combination of being married, engaged, or dating. Some are looking for a relationship tune up, others are receiving premarital counseling in preparation for marriage, and others are looking to fix something in the relationship.
I really look forward to hearing from you! I invite you to call me at 312.809.7017 or send me a message through the contact form below to schedule an appointment or a free 15 minute consultation.
Ingrained in my work is a belief best stated by Carl Bard: Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. I look forward to helping you take some of those steps to have the relationship and life that you desire and deserve!
**If this is a crisis or mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.**