Rick Coffaro, MA, LPC

Lake Zurich

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Personal Statement

Life is difficult. At times, we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, or with feeling afraid, alienated and alone. Sometimes we carry a secret that we are unable to speak. Or we find ourselves searching for meaning and purpose in life that seems to elude us. Others may have hit an impasse in one or more of their significant relationships: with a spouse, family member, partner, friend, or business relationship…sad, angry, and/or scared, we may need a professional to help us restore what has been broken. In other cases we may need help to grieve what has been lost and move forward.

It takes courage to come into therapy. However, when the client and therapist are committed to the process the outcome can be transformational; deep personal and spiritual growth is possible. Freedom and peace are possible. Real change takes place when truth is presented in relationship, sometimes starting with the safety and confidentiality of the therapeutic relationship.

Throughout my adult life I have pursued personal and spiritual growth through church, individual, marital and group therapy, addiction and twelve-step work, and various seminars. My gifts of empathy, mercy, and relational connectedness are fueled by my passion for people and relationships of all kinds; marriage and family, friendship, and business.

My journey of personal and spiritual growth work, my previous profession, my life experience, and my graduate school training prepared me to fulfill my calling to a career in counseling.

My personal mission statement is, “to speak the truth with grace, mercy and wisdom.”

Who I Serve

Addictions Most addicts are past the point of being able to stop on their own and at some point must come to realize that they can’t do it alone. If they haven’t come to this realization yet chances are that their loved ones have. I have both a passion and compassion for the addict and their loved ones.

Men – Statistically, men are less likely to seek or ask for help when they are struggling although studies show that men have equal or greater levels of depression, anxiety and stress. A man’s reluctance or unwillingness to get help can harm his own mental and physical health, and can make life more difficult in one or more of his significant relationships; with family, friends, or co-workers. Addictions, emotions, marriage, money, sex, career, meaning and purpose, relationships, isolation, etc…are some of the reasons men seek individual and/or group therapy.

Adolescents – and Young Adults Adolescence and young adulthood is a time of extraordinary challenge and change. Parental and peer relationships, parental divorce, substance use, behavioral issues, experimentation, sexual identity, direction, … are some of the reasons adolescents and young adults and/or their families seek therapy. Some adolescents may have an absent father and need a positive strong male influence in their life; others simply need an objective professional to help them navigate this important stage of growth and change.

Women – There are times when a woman, young or old, may be best served with a male therapist particularly when she has had negative experiences with significant male relationships in her life; fathers, husbands, partners, employers, etc… Some women, in fear of another bad experience with a man, avoid a male therapist when a male therapist might be exactly what they need; and may prove to be more beneficial. For many women, a male therapist can assist in healing as she experiences acceptance, empathy, and understanding from a man.

Emotions – We are both thinking and feeling beings; our emotions can reveal the truth of what is going on with us and can cause problems when they are denied or when they are out-of-control. Therapy can provide awareness and insight into emotions in a safe understanding environment.

Grief and Loss – We all suffer loss in life. The loss of a loved one, separation or divorce, illness or injury, job or career loss, retirement and phase-of-life changes, are all life events that can result in a broad range of reactions. The tragedy of suicide and the fear of death and dying can be especially difficult to cope with. Often times we need a professional to help us adapt and cope more effectively.

Families Coping with Serious Mental Illness – Denial, fear, confusion, anger, guilt, sadness, paralysis of action, “what do we do?” When a loved one suffers from a serious mental illness all family members are affected requiring help for both the mentally ill and their family.

Group Therapy – Because most of our hurts come from relationships so can our healing come from relationships. Group work is a powerful and safe place to increase awareness and insight of how we relate with others as well as learn, practice, and grow in interpersonal relationship skills.

Treatment Specialties and Competencies

Addictions: Alcohol, Marijuana, Narcotics, Sex Addiction, Co-Dependency, …
Men’s Issues: Marriage, Sex, Money, Work, Purpose and Calling, …
Adolescents: Addictions, Peer Relationships, Parental Divorce, …
Women: Relationships; Marriage, Men, Partners, Family, Friends, …
Emotions: Sadness & Depression; Anger & Verbal-Physical Abuse; Fear, Anxiety, & Phobias, …
Grief and Loss: Grief, Bereavement, Mourning, Suicide, Divorce, Job & Career Loss, etc
Families coping with Mental Illness: Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, Major Depression, etc
Group Work: Mens Groups, Addiction Recovery, Interpersonal Skills, Co-ed Groups, etc

Theoretical Approach

My approach to therapy is eclectic, based on the needs of the client. Research in the area of successful therapy confirms that the most important factor in helping the client heal is thetherapeutic alliance, that is, the relationship of client and therapist. As the client-therapist relationship is made, built, maintained and deepened, the client experiences growth and healing.


I earned my undergraduate degree at Roosevelt University with a Major in General Studies and a Minor in Psychology. I earned my Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. I chose Trinity because of its integration of mental health healing and spirituality.


Individual Therapy I have been fortunate to work with a broad variety of clients and issues, including; males of all ages from children to senior citizens; families; alcohol, drug, and sex addicts; sex offenders; co-dependency and boundary issues; gender and sexual identity issues; anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias; depression and grief; anger management; suicidal thoughts and non-suicidal self injury; and multi-cultural clients both male and female.

Marriage and Family Therapy I have worked with married couples, and with a variety of two parent and single parent families.

Group Therapy I have led and/or co-led the following groups: men’s groups, anger management groups, addiction recovery groups, sexual addiction groups, young adult male groups, and children’s groups (ages 5-12) whose parent or parents were in addiction recovery.