Psychotherapist

adamnelsonValues & Philosophy

Becoming a psychotherapist was a natural outgrowth of personal and professional exploration and experimentation. Through trying to find my place in the world I realized what I value most are healthy relationships—with oneself and others—and I wanted that to form the basis of my professional identity. An exploratory, experimental spirit continues to guide my work as I combine my genuine curiosity and desire to be of help with the problems and pains, fears and desires, and strengths and resiliencies that clients bring to therapy.

Equally important to my practice is a commitment to working with members of the LGBTQ community, which I have nurtured throughout my education, clinical training, and professional life. Stigmatized minorities of all types face unique obstacles in developing healthy self-identities and relationships, and as a gay man, I have a special interest in working with other members of the LGBTQ community. This does not preclude my working with non-LGBTQ clients, and in fact, I value and greatly enjoy the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life who have experienced feeling different in some way that is unique to them. I also enjoy working with people across the life cycle, and have specific training and experience working with both younger adults navigating careers and relationships in their 20s and 30s, and with more mature adults managing life transitions, grief and loss, and aging healthfully.

Education & Training

My education and training are in clinical social work and psychotherapy. I received a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and am committed to the values and paradigms of the social work profession. This means that I view people and problems within a larger social context: in addition to developing an understanding of you and your internal world, I also ask about what’s happening around you and how it affects you—your family and family history, cultural background and identities, work life, personal life—along with the various roles you inhabit across those spaces and the parts of yourself they engage.

During my graduate education I completed clinical training at Howard Brown Health, where I spent a year providing HIV and STI testing and counseling at a walk-in clinic for youth, and another year providing open-ended individual psychotherapy. I also participated in the Chicago LGBTQ Behavioral Health Training Consortium hosted by Center on Halsted, and after receiving my master’s, completed a yearlong postgraduate fellowship with the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Prior to joining Live Oak I worked in private practice in Chicago and as a volunteer therapist at Center on Halsted.

Psychotherapy

Therapy starts with our building a partnership based on mutual trust. The first phase of our work involves exploration of the concerns which bring you to therapy and the ways you have managed so far, along with an assessment of your background and personal history. As we identify the main areas on which our work will focus, we enter a working phase where we experiment with new ways of understanding areas of challenge. I may provide observations, suggest new behaviors or ways of approaching problems, and you may provide me with feedback about what feels helpful as we collaborate to create new ways of moving forward. Over time and with practice, change starts to solidify, and you may notice starting to experience yourself differently.

Throughout the course of our work I will provide a genuine, accepting, and supportive partnership, where I join my professional experience with your strengths and self-knowledge. I welcome feedback at any time, and may sometimes check in with you to see how you feel things are going.

Relationship Therapy:

In relationship therapy the focus is on exploring how you and your partner communicate, behave towards one another, and manage your differences. We will start by exploring current patterns and their impact, along with you and your partner’s personal histories and how they may affect your relationship now. Over the course of our work we will build on the existing strengths of your relationship as we experiment with new ways of relating and handling conflict. My role is not to invest in any particular outcome but to help guide you through exploring and identifying what feels right for you in the context of your relationship.

Range of Focus

Adults, both individual and relationship therapy
Adjustment and life transitions
Depression, anxiety, and stress
Childhood trauma and family of origin issues
Identity development
LGBTQ-affirmative practice
Relationship issues and non-traditional relationship structures
Self-esteem, assertiveness, and self-confidence
Trauma-informed practice

Degrees & Certifications

Licensed Social Worker, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Postgraduate Fellow, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, 2016–2017
Certificate, Chicago LGBTQ Behavioral Health Training Consortium
AM in Clinical Social Work, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, 2015
BA in English Literature, Macalester College, 2006

Schedule

Monday: Lakeview & Downtown
Tuesday: Lakeview
Thursday: Lakeview & Downtown
Friday: Lakeview
Saturday: Lakeview

Locations

1300 W Belmont Ave, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60657

30 N Michigan Ave, Suite 508
Chicago, IL 60602

Contact Information
Contact image

1300 W Belmont Ave, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60657

30 N Michigan Ave, Suite 508
Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago

IL

60657

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

773-880-1310x7297