How Should I Bring It Up? Tips for raising sensitive subjects (Part 1 of 2)

A great deal of the work I do with clients are helping them 1) identify what they are feeling/needing and 2) finding ways to express what they are feeling/needing.

Feelings exist for all of us, whether we’re able to put words to the feelings or not.  Some of us are more naturally in tune with our feelings; some of us were taught to ignore our feelings or even push them down.  Feeling our feelings, naming them, and knowing what to do with them is a skill that almost all of us needs help with from time to time…Read More »

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Great Chemistry Does Not Guarantee A Great Relationship

Most of us have met potential romantic partners with whom we share great chemistry.  These connections can be thrilling and special because they’re so hard to find.  Chemistry means that almost-immediate connection with another person on many levels: great rapport, talking nonstop about anything and everything, sharing many of the same interests and hobbies, and having a fantastic physical/sexual attraction.  Great chemistry can fill you with excited hope for a future with this person – as well as feeling intensely exciting and satisfying when you’re with them in the present.

If you’re looking for a short-term or purely sexual relationship, great chemistry is great fuel for that fire.  However, if you’re looking for something more serious, and the chemistry doesn’t lead to a relationship, it can feel positively tragic.  The intensity of the connection and attraction can lead to despair and devastation if it doesn’t move forward.  Many of my clients have come in with just this very problem – feeling confused why a relationship isn’t moving forward when it’s so obvious the chemistry and connection is there.

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Workplace Trauma / Bullying

I’ve worked with several clients who have suffered lasting stress, depression, anxiety, and/or insecurity after leaving a job post with a terrible, abusive, bullying manager.  The lasting effects of such a toxic environment, especially when it comes from someone in a position of leadership or authority can cause suffering long after leaving the position, carrying trauma over into your new position or workplace in the forms of emotional distress or learned defensive behavior – potentially impacting your relationships and success in your new position….

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The Nuance of Emotion

One piece of work I do regularly with my clients is help them better understand the nuance of their feelings/emotions.  Often someone will come in and tell me they feel “bad” or “pissed off” – perfectly legit ways to feel – but a little further digging into the context of the feelings often reveals that what they are actually experiencing is disappointment, frustration, hurt, sadness, etc or some combination of any of these.  What my client often lacks in these moments is a vocabulary to describe their emotions. Further than just lacking a vocabulary, they often lack a sensitivity to the nuance of these emotions, which is needed even before you can begin to attach a vocabulary to them…

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Relationship “Work” #1: Daily Acts of Connection

Part 1 of a 3-part series

When talking about relationships, we often speak of the “work” we need to do in order to maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship.  “Work” in a relationship entails many actions, steps, and attitudes, but today I wanted to focus on relationship work #1: daily acts of connection.

Daily acts of connection

“Connecting” is at the heart of what it means to be in a relationship.  Connecting with another being – human or otherwise – expands us, broadens us, takes us out of our own individualized, separate experience and plugs us into something greater – the bond with another being.  We can say when we’re connected we feel more “at one” or “united” with another person, which brings a sense of joining and greater intimacy….

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NYT article: “How To Have A Better Relationship”

There’s a great article in the New York Times today entitled “How To Have A Better Relationship” – the article gives an overview of healthy relationship qualities, some interesting stats and figures, as well as links to some relationship quizzes you and your partner can take together.

Click here to read the article!

Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Lovers with a half moon
 – Lovers with Half Moon by Marc Chagall

What exactly does it mean to “work” on a relationship?

Many of my clients understand that relationships take work.  What is often less clear is what exactly is meant by “work” in a relationship.  Sometimes people stay in bad relationships for a long time, believing that they just need to keep “working” at it, when no amount of work is going to salvage the relationship and the smart thing to do is move on.  But what does “work” really mean?

Let’s clarify what “work” means in healthy relationships…

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Autumn

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” 

– F Scott Fitzgerald

Here in Chicago, it’s finally turned to autumn – chillier days and nights, rainy, gloomy mornings, brisk, golden afternoons, leaves falling, Halloween decorations popping up in the neighborhoods, days getting shorter and darker, and sweaters and the classic Chicago all-black uniform of jacket, hoodie, and jeans that tends to permeate Logan Square this time of year.  When September was filled with hot, sunny days my friends would complain about the lack of autumn weather, despite knowing that on the heels of autumn comes Chicago winter, a decidedly tougher time of year for the city.

But there’s something about autumn.Read More »

Conflict & Tension

Conflict is 100% natural in relationships.  Sometimes in couples’ therapy, my clients say “we never fight” to indicate the strength of their relationship.  But in fact, if you don’t ever have a conflict with your partner, that’s actually a red flag – it usually means that one or both persons are withholding their true thoughts and feelings!  

We tend to think of conflict in terms of a battle – a fight – but it’s more helpful to think of conflict as what happens when two people, thoughts, feelings, or ideas don’t match the others , causing tension in the relationship….
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Hello, and Welcome!

My name is Jessica Emelia, and I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) based in Chicago, IL.

Currently, I provide counseling services with NMK & Associates in Bucktown/Logan Square in Chicago.

Here you will find information about counseling, answers to any questions you may have about the therapeutic approach and treatment, and general information regarding the counseling process and how to go about scheduling an appointment.

To book an appointment or learn more about counseling, please contact me.

I look forward to working with you!