HIV Therapist Chicago
Searching for a HIV therapist in Chicago that is familiar and comfortable with issues related to being positive? If so, you are not alone. Many of the clients who come to us for counseling and psychotherapy services are living with HIV. Some are recently diagnosed. Others, however, are folks who have been positive for decades.
It’s smart to find a therapist who understand the unique issues related to HIV disease. The reasons are numerous, including a desire to work with someone who “gets” the issues and doesn’t need to be educated about the life challenge areas many who live with HIV face.
Here at 2nd Story Counseling, all of our Chicago therapists have extensive experience helping individuals living with HIV. In fact, if you look at our staff bios, you will notice that almost all of the therapists at one time or another worked at large community agencies that focused on specifically on HIV related matters with clients.
Here, we are talking about places such as Chicago House, The Center on Halsted and TPAN.
If you are looking for a therapist right now that you can talk to for help, guidance and support around HIV related issues, we encourage you to take a moment to review the 5 areas of expertise we may be able to assist you with below:
1. Dating, Relationships and Intimacy
If you are living with HIV, there is a good chance one of the many challenges you face relates to dating and romance. To keep it real, we understand that many stigmas still exist about being positive.
Here is how we can help:
- Process your feelings about dating and intimacy challenges.
- Assist you with increasing your circle of opportunities with meeting new people.
- If you happen to identify as gay, we can help you to explore different opportunities for meeting people.
- If you are in a relationship, assist you and your significant other with HIV related issues.
2. Stigma Issues
In terms of HIV, the world has truly changed. Not too many years ago, HIV/AIDS was considered to be terminal. Today, it’s considered a manageable illness that when properly treated, allows positive individuals to live a normal life span.
Sounds great, right? Well it certainly is. Sadly however, there are still many people who buy into ridiculous stigmas attached to people who are positive.
Here is how therapy can help:
- Assist you with processing your feelings about being stigmatized by family, friends or potential dating partners.
- Help you to cope with stigma related issues and explore healthy ways of working through.
- Develop strong networks of support around HIV disease.
3. Depression and Anxiety
If you are living with HIV, there is a good chance you may struggle with mood related challenges around depression and anxiety. The truth is that for a number of reasons, people who are positive are more prone to develop HIV related depression and anxiety than others population groups.
Here at 2nd Story Counseling, our therapists “get it”. Here is how we may be able to help you:
- Help you to understand some of the reasons that may be driving your depression.
- Work with you to challenge negative thinking through cognitive behavioral therapy (read our CBT page)
- Explore potential cognitive distortions that may be impacting your mood.
4. Encouraging Healthy Living
Because several of our Chicago therapists have worked with HIV related issues for decades, we understand the importance of healthy living as part of managing HIV.
Here are some areas we can assist with:
- Assisting you with creating a strong time management plan for medication purposes.
- Coaching you to remain physically active to maintain wellness and ameliorate depression and anxiety.
- Assist you with finding workable solutions that promote wellness.
5. A Safe Place to Talk
The final and perhaps most important way that our therapists may be able to help you as an HIV+ person is by offering a safe place to simply talk about all that you are feeling.
Everything that is discussed in counseling is confidential and remains between you and your therapist. Common themes that some of our clients talk about include:
- Feelings of frustration around relationships.
- Help with potential substance abuse issues you may be struggling with.
- Challenges with feeling lonely.
- Concerns about the future in the context of living with HIV.
- Coming out to family and friends.
- Concerns about discrimination.
If you are HIV+ and want to work with a therapist who is knowledgeable, understanding and empathic, we encourage you to give us a call.
We’d like to be your partner is wellness!