A clinic for psychosis & extreme states
While many mental health professionals consider “psychosis” to be a severe mental illness, we consider psychosis — and related experiences of crises or extreme states — to be a particular structure that describes an experience or a way of being in the world.
What is psychosis?
While many mental health professionals consider “psychosis” to be a severe mental illness, we consider psychosis — and related experiences of crises or extreme states — to be a particular structure that describes an experience or a way of being in the world. For the person living with this structure, social rules and what is considered to be “normal” can feel arbitrary, and they might invest themselves in a mission or project to help ground their experience, to explain the world, and/or to solve a major social problem. This can produce a lot of suffering, and it can be very helpful to have a place to speak about these experiences — dreams, voices, hallucinations or visions, delusions or frameworks, projects, life histories — without fearing punishment or rejection. We offer a space for someone to say what they haven’t yet been able to.
To avoid the stigmatization involved with the label of psychosis, some groups use terms like “voice hearers”’ or “non-conventional structure.” Sometimes, people who are what we call psychotically structured might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder according to the DSM. Other times, they might have another diagnosis, often one considered to be severe or chronic. Or, they might have no diagnosis at all. Similarly, they may see a psychiatrist to prescribe medication that can help to alleviate suffering or to quiet the voices, even if it leaves one’s experience unaddressed. Diagnoses extend only as far as the symptoms they describe. Rather than diagnoses, we work with what someone has to say about their experience, including their suffering.
What can psychoanalysis offer?
Rather than an approach that considers psychosis to be a lifelong illness only manageable with medications, psychoanalysis offers something else: an opportunity to speak about one’s experience in order to overcome the suffering it involves. We work according to what one has to say about their life, not a predetermined plan.
Psychosis can be successfully treated in an outpatient setting by inviting someone to be an agent and author in their own treatment program. Our milieu involves group activities, artistic and recreational projects, and support for attendees’ own endeavors. Attendees also work with an arts coordinator who assists in the development of artistic projects, as well as a “go-to” clinician who provides support through the experience of psychoanalysis, during crisis, and with day-to-day decisions. We can also work with the participant’s psychiatrist or recommend one, where applicable.
While this process can be difficult at times, it builds towards an opportunity for the individual to live meaningfully with others by creating connections between inner experience and the outer world. We offer a space where one’s experience is attended to in a way that is impossible in conventional treatment programs, and we welcome experiences that are often not tolerated by the society in which we live. By upholding a work of speech, we aim to support newly meaningful engagement with the world.
Interested in Depth Counseling?
We would love to hear from you. Click here if you would like to learn more about our services or schedule to begin your first therapy session! Our team of compassionate providers is dedicated to providing you with the utmost quality of care for your mental health needs.
Some of our areas of specialty include:
- Stress management
- Life transitions
- Sexuality and gender
- Eating disorders
Our offices are located in Ravenswood (2650 & 2656 West Montrose Avenue, 60618), and the Loop (122 South Michigan Avenue, 60603) in Chicago, Illinois.
We serve adults and families from all over the Chicago area and beyond, such as Evanston, Cicero, Hammond, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, and Arlington Heights. If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like help finding our offices, please let us know!
Click here to learn more about our fantastic team of mental health clinicians. Our providers offer specialty services in both individual and couples counseling. In addition to psychotherapy, we also offer the chance to engage in Psychoanalysis—a specific long-term and intensive treatment model. Our practice draws heavily from Psychodynamic theory, which has been shown to be incredibly effective through multiple research efforts (see Shedler, 2010).
It’s not just in the name—Depth Counseling is about moving beyond basic counseling techniques to understand deeper parts of your psyche. Get more out of your treatment, and experience the healing power of Depth Counseling.