Our identities influence how we perceive ourselves and navigate through life. Having an understanding of who you are and how you identify, internally and externally, will allow you to live to your full potential.
If you often find yourself questioning who you are and how you want the world to perceive you, you may be struggling with identity related issues. Struggling with your identity can leave you feeling isolated, confused, and depressed. It is essential to start answering those questions you might have about yourself.
What classifies as “identity”?
There are many ways that we as humans identify. Understanding and being at peace with ourselves is essential to becoming a complete and functioning individual, and is often modified as we gain experience and perspective through life. Some of the more common identities we see here at Cherry Hill include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Body & Self Image
If you find yourself saying “hm, I might have some questions about one of those listed or something similar”, you may be experiencing an identity concern or crisis. This can mean questioning yourself as a whole, or related to a specific identity of you, as we can identify in many ways. These concerns can arise from major life stressors, or due to other factors such as your age. Identity concerns can make you feel lost, confused, and isolated; constantly wondering if you’ll ever find your meaning and purpose in the world. Unresolved identity issues can lead to depression, anxiety, addiction, and sometimes even suicide.
How Can I Explore My Identity?
Experiencing an identity concern or crisis can be a scary and heavy experience. It will likely bring up questions or thoughts about yourself that feel uncomfortable or confusing. Who am I? What do these feelings mean? How can I express myself? What makes me, me? What does my identity or identities mean to me? How do I want to be perceived? How can I show the world who I am? I don’t understand myself. No one will ever understand me. I’m confused about myself. If you are having these thoughts, it may be time to reach out for help. You might now be wondering, “where do I even begin?”
You do not have to walk on this journey alone, and we are here to help. At Cherry Hill, our therapists are here to guide you in answering all the daunting and challenging questions you may have about yourself, while also helping you cope with any negative feelings and experiences that may come up on your self-discovery journey. There is a being inside of you wanting and waiting to be discovered and revealed to yourself, and the world around you.
If you or someone you know is struggling with identity related concerns, do not wait to reach out to one of our therapists here at Cherry Hill Counseling. We are eager to help.
Related Therapist Profiles
The following therapists specialize in Identity / Self-image
Caitie McCormack, Intern Therapist
Caitie is a Master’s level counseling intern from Concordia University Chicago. She works with individuals, ages 16+, and couples of all genders on a wide range of concerns, with a particular focus on female sexuality, coping with female sexual pain disorders, and religious and medical trauma. Coming from the male-dominated business world, Caitie strives to empower women and their choices. She embodies down-to-earth discussion where nothing is taboo.
Juan Torres, MSW, LSW, CADC
Chicago | Vernon Hills
Juan is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Illinois and can provide services in both English and Spanish. He specializes in treating substance use disorders and mood disorders. He works with adolescents and adults in both individual and group settings.
Michael Albert, MA, LCPC
Grayslake | Vernon Hills
Michael is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. He has nearly 2 decades of experience in the mental health field. He has provided services in many different settings including agency and hospital settings before private practice. Michael works well with a broad age range of clients, but has a special affinity for adolescents and young adults.
Clark Barshinger, Ph.D.
Lake Zurich | McHenry
Practicing clinical psychology for over 50 years, Dr. Clark Barshinger has broad and deep experience counseling patients. His graduate education includes a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from DePaul University, and Master’s Degree of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary. He works mostly with adults, teens and couples.
Brendan Bell, MA, LCPC
Deer Park | Wheaton
Brendan Bell is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. He has worked in private practice for the last 20 years, with offices in both Deer Park and in Wheaton. His expertise involves working with middle schoolers, adolescents, and their families, with extensive experience addressing behavior disorders. Brendan also works with adults and particularly enjoys counseling artists.
Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW
Diane Geiser is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience working with adults, adolescents, couples and families. Diane is a highly skilled clinician who can work with clients in identifying goals and change strategies that promote growth. She also has experience conducting wellness seminars with corporations and executives.
Rick Coffaro, MA, LPC
Rick Coffaro’s work experience prior to Cherry Hill includes twenty-eight years in sales, marketing, and management. The theme of his career was making, building and maintaining relationships. Rick offers first-hand knowledge of life and career transitions. He enjoys working with individuals, couples, adults, adolescents and young adults, and groups.
Michelle Schaefer, MA, LCPC, PMHC
Michelle Schaefer, LCPC, has experience working with adults, couples, teens, and families. Michelle has an advanced certification in Perinatal Mental Health and specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for individuals, couples, and families. Michelle strives to create a secure client-therapist alliance in order to support people as they navigate life challenges and heal relationships.
Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, LSW, CCTP
Chelsea A. Laliberte Barnes received an MS in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University with a focus in mental health for children, adolescents and families. Chelsea has nearly ten years of experience working with individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders and dual diagnosis. Chelsea is also a SMART Recovery facilitator and overdose education trainer.
Elizabeth Haines, MS, LCPC
Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She values a strong therapeutic alliance and believes that a supportive and collaborative working relationship is instrumental in helping clients improve their overall quality of life. She uses her expertise in yoga and mindfulness to assist clients in learning to calm and relax the stressed body and mind.
Maria Statkus Ritchey, MA, LCPC, CCATP-CA
Deer Park | Wheaton | Chicago
Maria is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Maria is enthusiastic about working with different populations, including children, adolescents, young adults, and families. Maria has experience utilizing non-directive play therapy and her approach is client-centered based, while integrating client strengths within the process.
Kristine Buelow, MSW, LCSW
Deer Park | Wheaton
Kristine has had the honor and opportunity to help many individuals and families over the past 25 years as a social worker. She truly enjoys working with seniors, family caregivers, adults, families, and parents. Her approach is genuine, full of grace and with a sense of humor.
Liz Lattof, MA, LCPC, CCATP
Deer Park | Lake Zurich
As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Cherry Hill Liz works with a wide variety of clients, children, adolescents, families, and adults. She has additional training in play therapy and groups. She enjoys helping people with anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, and other challenges and transitions.
John Kim, MA, LPC
John received his MA in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University where he gained experience doing therapeutic work through the university's counseling center. John is committed to building warm, authentic, and meaningful relationships with his clients as he helps them work toward their unique goals. He works with individuals, couples, and groups.
Risa Becker, MA, LPC
Risa is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has a passion for seeing people come into the fullness of what their life could be. Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn, and having someone alongside can make a difference. Other times we need to make a change and need support to make that happen. Either way, I am here for you.
Alessa Rosati, MA, LMFT
Alessa Rosati is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She graduated from Adler University with a Master’s Degree in Couple and Family Therapy. Along with her work in private practice, Alessa has experience working in school environments and hospital settings. She specializes in helping adolescents and adults with relationship difficulties, issues of low self-esteem, grief and loss, anxiety, and stress.
Arielle Miree, MA, LPC
Arielle received her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people heal and grow in order to live a meaningful life. She values authentic relationships and creating a safe space for clients. She has experience working with those struggling with addictions and co-occurring disorders. Arielle enjoys working with a variety of clients including athletes and artists.
Alison Yu, MA, M.Div., LCPC
Alison Yu, M.Div, MA, LPC, is a bilingual (English and Mandarin Chinese) counselor who is experienced working with individuals, couples and families. She has a special heart for immigrant families. Trained in both psychology and theology, she is passionate about helping people to integrate the Christian faith in their healing process.
Justin Feinberg, MA, M.Div., LPC
Justin’s Graduate education includes both a Master’s degree in Mental Health counseling as well as a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity International University. He works with individuals, couples, and families and has a heart to see relationships flourish and people become who they were meant to be. He has training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and utilizes this toward helping marriages, families, and individuals thrive.
Jennifer Flanagan, MA, LPC
Jennifer has a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people see their strengths and potential. She believes this is accomplished through authentic relationships and support for and collaboration with others.
Rebecca Wiegman, MA, LPC
Rebecca received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has experience working with children, individuals, families, and within groups. Rebecca is enthusiastic about working with different populations and has prior experience in the fields of education, health & fitness, and substance abuse.
Debbie Levine, MSW, LSW
Debbie has worked in both the medical and clinical fields and has amassed much experience helping people navigate their unique life journeys. Her preferred therapeutic approaches include CBT, holistic and mindfulness.
Katy Robb, MSW, LCSW
Katy Robb is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her master’s degree in social work from the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She has over a decade of training and experience treating individuals across the lifespan in community-based services, college counseling, and private practice. Katy has been recognized for her work building a community college mental health center.
Emily Salomon, MS.Ed., LPC
Emily earned her MS.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Emily holds deep value for the safe space that exists within the therapeutic relationship. She embraces the importance of being provided with new lenses with which a client may see the world a bit differently.
Elaine Iwicki, MA, ALMFT
Elaine has an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Wheaton College. She enjoys working with adolescents, adults, families, and couples. She believes that relationship health is crucial to healing and she is passionate about being a part of that healing process.
Laura Ronkoske, MSW, LSW
Laura has been a school social worker for 23 years. Nothing brings her more joy than helping young children, adolescents, and adults through life’s most challenging times. She has recently moved to private practice to help others outside the school environment to be their best selves and help give them the tools to be able to do so.
Kristin Hunt, MSW, LCSW, MAT
Kristin Hunt, LCSW, has a passion for helping individuals, couples, and families to heal from various types of trauma. Kristin's warm, safe, and non-judgmental presence makes her a great companion for people on a journey of recovery and wellness. She works with clients of all ages including individuals, couples, and families.
Anna Subich, Intern Therapist
Anna is an intern therapist completing her final year of studies on her Master of Social Work degree through University of Missouri. Anna is passionate about working with couples who are healing from relational trauma. She also supports the healing process for partners of those with sex/love addictions.
Julie Berry, Intern Therapist
Julie is passionate about working with women, young adults, and individuals helping them find the power within themselves to navigate any struggle they may be facing. She loves forming a strong trusted relationship with her client. She focuses on helping people name their struggles or pains and identify ways to take action toward healing and wholeness. She believes we can learn from life’s experiences as helpful information to understanding ourselves more.
Here are some groups we recommend to get started
“Plug in to Therapy” Groups
We are excited to offer these new groups (one for adults and one for teens) for people who are exploring therapy or looking for a way to jump start the therapy process. This supportive 4-week "Plug in to Therapy" group is designed to be educational, skill-based, and rooted in peer support.
Date: Fridays for 4 weeks: Adult group: 2-3:00pm. Teen group 4-5:00pm. Start date TBD based on enrollment.
Location: Cherry Hill Counseling - Lake Zurich, 61 S Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Cost: $60/per session ; $240 total to be paid by March 15
Contact: Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, LSW, CCTP, Phone: (847) 438-4222 x 35 or Email: email@example.com
LGBTQ+ Teen Processing Group
A safe place for self discovery by processing, developing self-advocacy skills, and learning how to cope with identity related stressors.
Date: Saturdays from 3pm-4:00pm virtually running in 8-week cycles
Location: Cherry Hill Counseling via Zoom
Cost: $60/session, sliding scale available upon consultation
Contact: Emily Salomon or Alessa Rosati, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Connections Group for Women
Our Wednesday Women’s Connections group is accepting new members. The group is led by therapists Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW and Chelsea Laliberte, MSSA.
Date: Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00pm
Cost: Reach out to discuss payment options
Contact: Chelsea Laliberte, 847-438-4222 x35