Elizabeth Schaefer, LCPC, CADC
Psychotherapist & Addiction Specialist
It’s been rough lately, hasn’t it? So many ups and downs, so much struggle and suffering, so many changes, so much upheaval. And you may be thinking right now, “What do you mean, lately? I’ve been dealing with this for years!” Or even longer. If this is you – I hear you. Way too many of us have had to deal with way too much for way too long, and some of us have had to deal with it from childhood on. If you’re like me, you tried to handle it all yourself, and eventually things got to the point where you couldn’t take it anymore and something had to change.
Let’s start there. You’re here, doing what you’re doing right now, for a reason. Maybe you’ve been noticing that your familiar old ways of dealing with stress haven’t been working as well as they used to. Maybe you had some negative behaviors or thought patterns that you hoped you’d managed to get rid of for good, and surprise, here they are again. Maybe you’ve been feeling a lot worse than usual. Maybe someone in your life is concerned about you. You might even be feeling like your whole life is unmanageable, like you want to give up because it’s all too much. Or maybe you would just really like to have someone to talk to.
Just possibly, you came here to look for help for someone you love, and now you’re thinking, “Wow, I can relate to more of that than I thought. Maybe I could stand to talk to somebody, too.”
Number one, you are not alone in any of that. Number two, you’ve come to a good place.
I became a therapist because I received high-quality help for my own mental health when I was a teenager, and I wanted to pay that forward. I’ve been in therapy for 20 years now, and I know the value of having a long-standing positive relationship with someone who isn’t a family member or a friend. This isn’t to knock family or friends; rather, it can be tremendously freeing to have someone in your corner who’s there for you no matter what, regardless of who else comes in or out of your life as you grow and change. My therapist has accepted me unconditionally throughout three different coming-out processes – as a queer woman, as a person in a polyamorous relationship, and as a member of the kink community – and I can’t tell you how much of a difference that has made for me in being able to know and love myself in all my parts.
I was born and raised in Chicago, got my Masters degree in Clinical Professional Psychology at Roosevelt University, and then added a certificate in Addictions Studies from Harold Washington College. I’m a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC), and a proud member of Kink and Poly Aware Chicago Therapists (KPACT). For the last 8 years, I’ve been doing a mix of psychotherapy and addictions counseling. This has ranged from once-a-month individual therapy to daily sessions on inpatient detox units, so I’ve been around awhile and I’ve seen a fair bit. I’ve also had years of experience in working with trauma and helping people get to a point where their past doesn’t run their lives anymore. I am currently working towards my certification in EMDR Therapy and am currently healing trauma through EMDR with my clients. I would be honored to walk with you on your journey toward whatever your goals might be.
Pronouns – She/Her/Hers
Read my contributions to The MBC Connection below: