I have been working in the mental health field since 1995. I’m a graduate of the Social Work Program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and have a Master’s of Social Work from St. Louis University as well as continuing counseling certification from Lindenwood University. I have a professional license to practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of Illinois, dating back to 2001. I have spent her career working with adolescents and adults in a variety of treatment settings. I have experience and skill treating a variety of mental health issues. I work in collaboration with other treatment providers and healers as appropriate and provides a positive, comfortable environment to promote healing. I provide an approach that is compassionate, nonjudgmental and my goal is to help you feel at ease and live life to your fullest potential. I help you to feel understood, respected and hopeful. I am passionate and enthusiastic about my work to help others achieve wellness.
I see people for a variety of issues, although I have a special interest in stress management, emotional and stress eating as well as chronic pain. As an integrative psychotherapist I utilize efficient and cutting-edge techniques, working from a strengths based wellness perspective. One of my areas of interest and focus is women’s issues, specifically with anxiety, burnout, chronic pain, maternal mental health and most specifically with an interest in resolving emotional and psychological barriers around eating issues. This process complements any diet plan that women are currently engaging in and it can increase long term success as they learn about and release the emotional and psychological blocks to their eating concerns as they learn to truly care for themselves and be comfortable in their own body.
We all have a measure of uncertainty, disbelief, fear and resistance in life, myself included. We also have the ability to identify, address and overcome the very obstacles that lead to unhappiness and a lack of balance. We often don’t realize that we can learn to change these beliefs and live fearlessly, rather than being stuck by limiting beliefs of shame, guilt, unworthiness and unhappiness. I would love to help you learn ways to adjust limiting and unhelpful thoughts and handle life stress, move from only seeing the wrongness in yourself to the amazingness that you are! I believe our thoughts have a big role in how healthy we truly are. We can learn to listen to what our bodies are telling us. Doing this helps us master the necessary tasks and skills for improving physical and emotional health, including maintaining ideal body weight.
I’ve personally discovered ways to care for myself, and in focusing on myself first, I’ve become an even better care taker for others. I’d love to share these ideas with you. My goal is to help you make yourself the priority in your life and make the helpful changes that feel right for you.
Here’s a little about my journey to where I am today. I know first-hand what it’s like to feel miserable physically and emotionally. Aside from being overweight, I had physical symptoms that continued to exacerbate, until in the summer of 2013, I truly felt like I might not be around for much longer. I was miserable and continued to get worse. I had ever-increasing physical symptoms, ranging from chronic fatigue, edema, irritability, joint pain and stiffness, symptoms of congestive heart failure and headaches. I was in rough shape and felt despair because what I was doing, wasn’t working.
I found support in integrative medicine from a functional doctor, only after my general practitioner was unable to determine a diagnosis, after several traditional tests were inconclusive. I eventually joined a gym and through much anguish, have learned to accept this as a necessary and positive lifestyle practice. I went from not knowing how I could fit in exercise and barely being able to physically participate, to now working out almost daily. Skipping over more details of my “perfect storm” of deteriorating health and my road to recovery to health and wellness, which I’ll write about later on, I discovered life changing programs. I feel so strongly about the benefit of these programs that I have pursued extended study to share these methods of life improvement with others.
I am a counselor or LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) by professional training. These credentials afford me the in depth education to teach others what I have learned and apply every day. Although my professional education is invaluable, my life experiences are equally if not more important in my ability to understand and educate others on the processes that can set us free and start living life to our most fulfilling potential.
The programs I offer are about more than and different than traditional counseling. We acknowledge the past and recognize what we can learn from our experiences. We learn to care for ourselves in ways that we are comfortable with and apply them to our everyday lives. We learn to move from over analyzing to letting go and letting God or whatever it is that calls you.
Chris’s personal thoughts:
I know first-hand what it’s like to be in pain, have health issues, and be incapable of losing weight. I often felt that I was able to manage most things in life. However, as I struggled with these issues, I tried many diets and was successful at losing weight on some of them, but the weight always found me back. When I discovered how to truly take care of myself, it allowed me to make the needed changes to heal my mind and body. My professional counseling background afforded me the knowledge to know that many of the strategies I discovered and learned about do make a difference, for those who are willing to do the work. Even more important to me was the success that others who participate with these strategies and techniques have had in making a difference in their lives. Prior to utilizing the new habits I’ve learned, I found it next to impossible to exercise and feel good about myself. Now these things come very naturally. I have to agree with my clients as they say, utilizing these techniques are what many of clients when they say this is life changing and liberating!
More than anything, I have learned to take care of myself. I thought life was good before, but I had no idea how amazing it can be. I’m continuing to grow, but it’s such an amazing journey to let go of the frustration of being overweight and miserable. I’ve learned how to hold myself accountable so I can live without restraint. I feel like I’m no longer hiding, but free to express myself and be who it is I’ve always been meant to be.
I’m passionate about making the world a better place and I believe that begins with self-care. I want to help others learn the necessary information to feel successful and more confident, so they too can pursue their dreams. I feel that you should share what you get and I can’t help but feel the need to pass on this life changing information to others. I love that my job is helps people realize the power within themselves, whether it is losing weight or finding inner healing..
I’m looking forward to helping you learn to manage your weight and your health, and I can’t wait for you to use what you’ll create!”
I will encourage and support you on your journey.
Let’s learn to make you a priority.
As your Wellness Counselor, I will support, guide, help and teach you:
- Stress relief
- To find answers to your questions, so you can get “unstuck”
- To be happy with and truly care for yourself
- To hold yourself accountable, while learning to live
Chris currently sees clients at locations in Illinois at:
4977 Old US Route 50, Aviston in Clinton County
4230 Linconshire, Suite E, Mt. Vernon in Jefferson County
You can get started by calling (618) 322-6424.
Leave a message if Chris is unavailable. She returns calls within one business day.