Please note: I will be ending my medical leave on March 21, 2023 and will be able to accept new clients starting at that time. I will still not have any evening appointment availability, and will only be able to schedule in-person appointments in Hinsdale on Fridays and Saturdays. Other days will be tele-health appointments. Please call me at (312) 834-3491 and leave me a message.
“Overcoming difficulties leads to courage, self-respect, and knowing yourself.”
~ Alfred Adler
Paul J. Fitzgerald, PsyD, LCPC, NCC, CEAP
Welcome to the website for my clinical psychology and counseling practice. I have been working in the mental health field since 1976 and have been a licensed mental health practitioner since 1995, providing employee assistance counseling and general psychotherapy.
I believe that psychotherapy largely hinges on helping people to feel better. An understanding ear, as well as the ability to understand what a client is going through, is more important than a therapeutic model. I think that most psychological pain stems from feeling “not good enough.” Or feeling that the future is not going to be any better.
Confidential Voice Mail Number: (312) 834-3491 (Voice, no text)
- Licensed Clinical Psychologist
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
- Certified Employee Assistance Professional
- Master Addiction Counselor
COVID-19 and TELE-HEALTH SERVICES:
I will continue to provide tele-health services after resuming in-office appointments on December 1, 2022. I am only in the office on Fridays and Saturdays. I can offer tele-health appointments on other weekdays as well. Currently I don’t have any evening appointment availability.
I provide tele-health using the Simple Practice app which is secure, private, and HIPAA-compliant. Please click the “Tele-health Services” link in the site menu for more information and my consent to use tele-health services. Some insurance plans also cover phone sessions, please check with me about that option.
(For Optum members using the “Virtual Visits” website: Optum’s Virtual Visits self-scheduling function will not be available for me, due to the difficulty of trying to maintain duplicate schedules in their platform and my own schedule. Please call or e-mail to ask about available tele-health appointments).
I have one physical office, in Hinsdale, on the Cook-DuPage County line, and I am available for appointments Fridays and Saturday mornings). I am available for tele-health on other days of the week as well (except Sunday).
I no longer have a physical office in downtown Chicago.
ABOUT ME: Paul J. Fitzgerald, Psy.D.
I am a clinical psychologist, counselor, and psychotherapist with over 20 years experience working with adults, adolescents, children, couples and families. I have worked in the Employee Assistance field as a counselor and clinical director. Prior to my EAP work, I also worked in inpatient psychiatric services and community mental health.
I entered this field because I have long been intrigued by the ways we as human beings see the world, and how our perceptions of ourselves, others, and our world guide our behavior and mood.
I enjoy working with clients from all walks of life, and specialize in working with adults. I have experience working with professionals who are experiencing challenges due to substance use, relationship problems, work stress, and other issues. I have worked with laborers, tradespeople, financial services professionals, physicians, lawyers, university professors, researchers, and attorneys. I have extensive experience assisting individuals with substance use disorders through assessment and referral to treatment, monitoring, follow-up, and relapse prevention.
In my work, I make use of cognitive-behavioral and Adlerian principles to help clients understand and change the self-defeating patterns of thinking, behavior, and communication that may be contributing to their distress. I earned a certificate in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy from Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Both Adlerian and Cognitive-behavioral therapy emphasize encouragement and support, while helping people to be more aware of (and to change) their beliefs and perceptions about themselves, other people, the world, and life circumstances.
For working with couples:
I have have completed Level 1 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and use Gottman Method Couples Therapy in my work. I am scheduled to complete Level 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy in March 2023. In my past work with couples, I have also used narrative therapy, Adlerian and psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral relationship therapy (particularly as developed by David Burns, MD), and family systems therapy.
Couples therapy requires two tasks to be addressed: First is defusing immediate conflicts, starting to bridge the rifts that have developed in the relationship, stopping the worst forms of fighting, and finding hope and encouragement for the relationship. Second is fostering connection and strengthening the friendship, developing a deeper understanding of each other’s personal history and personality, and “relapse prevention,” which involves learning new ways of communicating, developing a sense of meaning and purpose in the relationship, and learning to repair the relationship without the therapist’s help when a “regrettable incident” occurs.
The Gottman Method provides extra resources and tools for addressing these tasks, but these tasks have always been integral to my approach to relationship therapy. Above all, the therapist is not there to be a judge or referee, or to decide which partner is to blame for the problems in the relationship. Neither is the therapist there to solve the clients’ problems for them. Saving arguments to bring to the therapy session for solution may feel helpful in the short term, but is not helpful in the long term. Couples must learn to carry these skills home and learn to problem-solve on their own. Defensiveness and criticism are the two main habits that need to be unlearned. I often find that when couples are using criticism and/or defensiveness, they are acting as if they were still children – that is, they are reacting to stresses using behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, and emotional reactions learned in childhood, particularly around sibling rivalries and not wanting to be “in trouble.”
Most arguments between partners are over issues that may never be resolved to both individuals’ satisfaction, so the task becomes looking past impasses to the future and to fulfilling each partner’s needs. This is what friends do, and couples must first and foremost be friends to each other.
Professional affiliations and activities:
- Certificate in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Adler University
- Certified Employee Assistance Professional (Employee Assistance Credentialing Commission)
- Master Addiction Counselor (NAADAC, The Certification Organization for Addiction Professionals)
- National Certified Counselor (National Board of Certified Counselors).
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (Illinois)
- Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Illinois)
- President, 2018-2022, Northern Illinois Chapter, Employee Assistance Professionals Association
- Commissioner, 2017-2020, Employee Assistance Credentialing Commission
- American Counseling Association
- Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors
- American Psychological Association
- Employee Assistance Professionals Association
- National Board of Certified Counselors
- NAADAC – The Certification Agency for Addiction Professionals
- Illinois Counseling Association
- Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association
- North American Society of Adlerian Psychology
- American Association of University Professors
I am an adjunct faculty member and former Training Director at Adler University’s Chicago campus, where I have taught graduate-level courses in Adlerian psychology, theories of psychotherapy and cousneling, addiction counseling, Adlerian Parenting, the Adlerian Life Style Assessment technique, ethical issues, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and research methods. I have taught courses in Sport and Performance Psychology using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. I have taught and supervised graduate students in counseling and clinical psychology programs. Adler University (formerly Adler School of Professional Psychology) is where I received my Master’s and doctoral degrees.
Once you have scheduled an appointment with me, I will direct you to fill out some intake forms either on this website or in SimplePractice. Please wait until you receive the link(s) to do so.
This website is also my blog, where I occasionally post entries for viewing by anyone who has an interest in counseling, psychotherapy, or mental health. You can access these entries by clicking on any of the categories or monthly archives lists (at the bottom of the page), or by simply clicking the “Blog” link in the main menu to view all recent entries. You can use the buttons on each blog page to share, save or print these articles if you wish. You can also leave comments on each post page.