Bonnie Gershenzon
MA, MSW, LCSW

Psychotherapy and Counseling for Adults, Adolescents, and Couples

 

Glenview, Illinois Office map
phone 847-480-9671
bonnie@gershenzon.com

My Philosophy and Specialties

People often come to therapy when they are feeling stressed, stuck, or even hopeless. These feelings can stem from difficulties in personal relationships (couples/marital, parent/child, boss, aging parents), life transitions (parenthood, illness, career change), loss (of a loved one, employment), or self-destructive behaviors (abusive relationships, substance abuse, eating disorders). Many people who come to therapy thrive in many areas of their lives, yet they struggle with self-criticism and doubt.

The approaches I use are referred to as "psychodynamic" and "relational." This means that I believe that what happens to the child shapes the way we see the world, the kind of relationships we form, the way we feel about ourselves in relation to others, and the needs we seek to have fulfilled. In understanding the background themes that habitually affect our moods and our interactions with others, clients are able to recognize unfulfilling life patterns that affect their relationships, career, and sense of well-being. I work with patients in a collaborative manner and together we establish the direction and plan of our work. I also find cognitive behavioral therapy to be helpful with certain patients who tend to see things through a negative lens or experience harsh critical thinking.

My goal is to help you live the life you envision. As treatment unfolds, you will come to understand yourself and your relationships better and experience more freedom to make choices about how you want to live your life. Unique factors in my work are my focus on ending unfulfilling and unconscious intergenerational patterns that cause frustration, disappointment, and pain. When a person presents with a history of unsatisfying relationships, I often look for the repetition compulsion, which is an attempt to master an earlier relationship though a present one. I also focus on and examine the ways of coping that you have developed in your life—which may have worked well while growing up but may no longer be effective ways to respond to the challenges that you currently face. I also work extensively with dreams and value greatly the ways in which they help us to transform our lives, learn about the hidden parts of ourselves, and heal trauma.

Couples area is another area of interest. I have been trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). EFT looks at the frustrating cycles that couples find themselves in and helps each person understand that beneath the difficult impasses is the deep desire to feel securely attached to ones partner. EFT helps couples learn to see the cycle and to change it by learning to express their vulnerable feelings. This change often diffuses the painful cycles and helps the couple feel closer and more secure in their connection.

I help individuals, and couples face issues that arise throughout their life cycles—from middle school, adolescence, and adulthood. My clients come from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and spiritual backgrounds. I believe you will find my approach open, flexible, affirming, and engaging. I am kind, level headed, respectful, and interactive with the people I see in therapy.

Orientations

  • Psychodynamic / Psychoanalytic
  • Relational
  • Attachment
  • Interpersonal and Social Rhythm (for Bipolar)
  • Cognitive Behavioral
  • 12-Step

Modality

  • Individuals
  • Couples
  • Adults
  • Adolescents
  • Geriatrics
  • Parent Guidance

Clinical Expertise

  • Mood Disorders (Bipolar and Unipolar Depression)
  • Anxiety or Phobias
  • Anger or Tension Regulation
  • ADHD
  • Wounded Self-Esteem
  • Relationship Issues
  • Divorce or Infidelity
  • Parent Guidance and Family Issues
  • Loss or Grief
  • Chronic Pain or Illness
  • Trauma and Abuse
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sexuality/Inhibition, Dysfunction, Enhancement
  • Substance Abuse and Other Addictions

Conversation

It is important for you to get a sense of the therapist before you commit, so if you are looking please feel free to call me for a 10-15 minute phone consultation so that we can see if I can help.


phone

Get In Touch
phone (847) 480-9671
bonnie@gershenzon.com