Recommendation for a couples/family therapist in Chicago?
January 13, 2014 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I am in a near west suburb of Chicago and I need a couples/family therapist. I am currently experiencing a conflict with my 2nd husband and 21 yr old live in son, that I can't seem to negotiate or resolve. I'd like to go to a couples/family therapist who is quick and solution-oriented; my preference is female, but gender really doesn't matter. The problem is essentially my husband is shunning my son because he doesn't like him. My son is depressed and has adhd but there are no other major issues. The main problem is the perception of my husband that my son is not contributing sufficiently to chores, and my son isn't super friendly. I agree with some of his assertions but would like my husband to help resolve the situation with something other than shunning, which to me is really hurtful and non-productive. I need an objective perspective and some ways to improve the situation through better communication or whatever else. I am not really familiar with therapy so have no idea where to turn, but I'd like something that's relatively quick. Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You've got a few things wrapped up in one question here, so I'll address the ones that I can address.

Family therapy is a process. It's not really about problem solving, or blaming or being a neutral third party who will tell someone that they're wrong about an issue. To that end, it is also not "quick" or "solution-oriented."

Merging families is not an easy thing, especially with an adult child living at home.

Have both your husband and your son agreed to go to therapy to resolve their conflict? If so, then I'd be surprised that they can't work through this with some conversation. If you've not discussed therapy with either of them, then you should do so, PRIOR to making an appointment.

Does your husband have children? If not, he may not have any context or framework for dealing with family issues.

This question feels a lot like the tail wagging the dog. First the family agrees that having family therapy would help them talk to each other more productively. THEN we find a therapist who we all enjoy and can work with.

It's hard enough to mesh with a therapist one on one, it will be three times as hard to find a therapist you all can work with.

Good Luck to you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:15 AM on January 13, 2014

I have some really excellent referrals for family counseling in Chicago, please feel free to contact me directly via mefi mail.
posted by Lylo at 10:22 AM on January 13, 2014
posted by mutt.cyberspace at 11:59 AM on January 13, 2014

This question really depends on if you have insurance, public aid or self pay.

If you have public aid or self pay, most likely Catholic Charities or Lutherian Social Services are going to be your best bet to find lower cost counseling.

If you have insurance, your insurance provider will have lists of people in network.

From your description is sounds like you are looking for a Solution Focused Brief (SFBT) Therapist. Unfortunately, I personally don't know any in your area. But here a nice list.

For SFBT to work the whole family needs to come in with the goal of improving the relationship from the get go. All three of you must be willing to follow through on any 'homework' and be consistent each week.

I would like to note that family therapy isn't just about what you may want. In the worst case scenario, if the rest of the family doesn't want to work on their relationships with each other and/or feel like the relationship doesn't need improving, nothing you or a therapist does is going to help. They may never have a good relationship, and at that point it is really up to you to try and figure out how to emotionally accept that.

Good Luck.
posted by AlexiaSky at 2:47 PM on January 13, 2014

Looking over the list I linked in more detail, it looks like it probably isn't going to be much use. Sorry.
posted by AlexiaSky at 2:55 PM on January 13, 2014

Seconding the Family Institute. When we were losing our shit after the birth of our first child, Aaron Cooper basically saved our marriage. Three years later, we're still using the conflict resolution and communication techniques he taught us.
posted by R. Schlock at 3:34 PM on January 13, 2014

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