Anna Matyja, Ph.D.

Dr. Anna Matyja is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois.  She completed her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Northern Illinois University in 2005.  Dr. Matyja went on to earn her Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in 2014.  She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech where she received extensive training in psychological testing, individual, and group psychotherapy with young adults.

Dr. Matyja works with adolescent and adult populations on a wide array of issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD, and learning disorders.  She has an extensive background in psychological evaluation of ADHD and learning disabilities, working with women’s issues, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy approaches.  She joined the outpatient staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2017 where she provides professional services to outpatient clients.  Dr. Matyja is fluent in Polish and is an active member of the American Psychological Association.

Keri Downs, Psy.D.

Keri Downs, Psy.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at Dartmouth College in 2003.  Keri went on to earn her Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston University and Doctor of Psychology Degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago.  Keri has experience working with various populations in a variety of settings, including residential treatment centers, therapeutic day schools, public school systems, inpatient hospitals, and outpatient clinics throughout the Chicagoland and Metro Boston areas.

Keri has special interest in working with children and adolescents, trauma, and diversity issues and is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).  Through her doctoral dissertation, Keri explored racial identification in black-white biracial children.  Keri’s approach to psychotherapy encompasses a wide range of interventions that typically rooted in strengths-based, relationship-based, and cognitive-behavioral theories.  She is aware of the strengths of her clients and their families and, whenever possible, incorporates creative approaches into all modalities of therapy.  Keri also believes that the therapeutic relationship is a powerful tool to help individuals gain deeper awareness and insight into their emotions, behaviors, and relationships.

Keri joined Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2017 and works as an outpatient psychotherapist in his Chicago office providing psychological testing and counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults.  Keri has a passion for playing basketball and boxing and she is an avid fan of hometown teams (DISCLAIMER:  Since moving here, Keri has opened up her heart to the Chicago teams as well!! 😀 ).

Joan Erenberg, LCPC, BC-DMT, RYT

Ms. Joan Erenberg received her Master of Arts Degree from Columbia College of Chicago with specialization in the creative arts therapies and has been practicing in the Chicago area for over ten years with a wide array of cultural backgrounds.  Joan helps her clients tap into their inner resources to cultivate psychological balance and well-being and is interested in working with mood, anxiety, grief and loss, body image issues, and Post-Traumatic Stress and emotional trauma.  Joan collaborates with her clients to better manage emotional challenges and psychological symptoms that are interfering with daily functioning as well as to address life transitions, existential issues or guide those who are feeling stuck in old patterns and beliefs.  Joan believes that growth and healing occur when individuals are empowered to integrate the psychological, social, emotional, creative, and physical aspects of self and invites her clients to explore coping strategies to better manage both interpersonal stressors and internal conflict.  Joan integrates a variety of treatment modalities into her helping approach including cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, relational, humanistic / client-centered, existential, mindfulness, yoga, and creative arts / expressive therapies.

Joan joined Dr. Parisi and Associates, P.C. as a psychotherapist focusing mostly on adolescents and adults in his Chicago office.  She lives in Chicago and also facilitates special groups and workshops to promote interpersonal learning.

Kathleen Alberts, LCPC, CCSOTS

kathleen_albertsMs. Kathleen Alberts, LCPC, CCSOTS is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois and a Clinically Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist (CCSOTS).  Kathleen earned her Bachelors of Social Worker (BSW) and Masters of Social Work (MSW) Degrees Summa Cum Laude from George Williams College of Social Work at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.

Kathleen’s career in behavioral healthcare spans over two decades where she has worked in nearly every capacity imaginable.  She has served as Clinical Director of the Adolescent Sex Offender Treatment Unit with the Friends of Children under Supervision Program in Illinois.  She also worked at the non-defunct UHS, Streamwood Behavioral Health Systems Residential Program and has worked in private practice since 1993 serving all age groups with an emphasis on treating children and adolescents, self-harming behaviors, victims of crime / abuse, PTSD, bullying, domestic violence, sexual harassment, families, parenting, marriage counseling, court-approved divorce and family mediation, court-appointed child custody evaluation, court-appointed expert on child behavior and emotional disorders and families, Sex Offender Treatment and Assessment (SOMB Approved), supervision, and psychiatric assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders.  Kathleen’s treatment style is eclectic and borrows from CBT, DBT,  family systems, trauma-focused psychotherapy, solution-focused psychotherapy, mindfulness, and play therapy.

Kathleen lives in the Western suburbs and joined the staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. as an outpatient psychotherapist at his Mount Prospect office in 2015.

Michael Juhasz, LCPC, CADC

mike_juhasz picMichael (Mike) Juhasz, LCPC, CADC is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois and received his Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Springfield in 1980.  He is also a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC) in the State of Illinois.  He has spent many years working in the mental health / substance abuse field utilizing a wide range of cognitive-behavioral interventions to focus on relapse prevention and mental health wellness.  His clinical orientation is eclectic – meaning he is able to provide specific counseling strategies to meet the needs of his clients.

Mike believes in a wellness-based approach to behavioral healthcare – advocating that his clients take care of themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually to live a balanced lifestyle for optimal psychological well-being.  His professional interests include treating self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, life-transition issues, and substance abuse related disorders.  Mike has extensive experience working in an outpatient community mental health clinic as well as an inpatient settings.  He joined the staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2015 and works in the Mount Prospect office location.

Mike has been married to his lovely wife for 31 years and lives in the Northwest suburbs.  He enjoys barbecuing on the grill, visiting with friends, exercising, and is a Chicago sports fan.  His peers tell him that he has a warm personality and is easy to talk to.

Melissa Colon, Psy.D.

dr_melissa_colonMelissa Colon, Psy.D. completed her Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) from Roosevelt University of Chicago and her Doctor of Psychology Degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Adler University in Chicago.

Dr. Colon is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Illinois specialized in Clinical Neuropsychology and Psychophysiology.  She is also a certified parent educator.  She has extensive experience in brain-mapping (QEEG) techniques, neurofeedback treatments and technologies, neuropsychological assessment, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Dr. Colon works with both pediatric and adult populations on an array of issues, including:  Autism, ADD / ADHD, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), Pain Management, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), Parenting Techniques, Dementia, Anxiety, Depression, and Learning Disorders.

Dr. Colon joined the staff of Dr. Parisi & Associates, P.C. in 2016 and works in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Her passion lies in the neuroscience field.  Dr. Colon enjoys keeping up with the latest research and technologies in the field of Clinical Neuropsychology and neurofeedback techniques.

Dr. Colon enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

The First 3 Steps to Changing Unhealthy Behavior

Change BehaviorsUnhealthy behavior can include bad habits such as smoking, drinking, poor diet choices, and lack of physical activity. These behaviors can cause greater health risks, especially in middle-aged people. Statistics show that over 20% of people smoke or drink (or both), over 40% of people are physically inactive, and over 30% of people are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control (1).

However, these people are not the only ones affected by the poor behavior – approximately 25% of health care costs is spent on treating the effects of this voluntary unhealthy behavior (2). So what can be done about this increasing problem? If you or someone you know is making poor choices, a change needs to take place.

1. Determine the cause. There are many things that can cause a person to make poor choices.  These causes can vary for people of different ages, genders, and races.  In young people, habits such as smoking or drinking can be a result of peer pressure; poor diet and exercise choices can come from a lack of education regarding these issues.

In adults, however, the most common cause for unhealthy behavior is stress (3).  Turning to comfort food can cause obesity and inactivity while having a drink to relax after work can easily cause a drinking problem.  Recognizing the cause of your unhealthy behavior is the first step to changing it.

2. Make a plan. Once you have determined why you make the poor choices, you need to determine that you want to make a change.  It must come from you, not others, and you must put a plan of action in place to achieve it.  There are some people who know they have a problem but don’t do anything about it; there are others who know they need to change but continually put it off (4).  In order to accomplish a lifestyle change, a firm decision and commitment must be made.  One way to reach your goals is to find motivation.  Whether it is your health or that of someone that you love, find a reason for the change.

3. Seek support from others. There are support groups created to help people cope with dependency, disease, and social issues (5).  These support groups allow you to share with and learn from others in a face-to-face setting.  When making a change, it is very easy to relapse into your old habits.

A support group will provide the accountability you need to stay on track.  If you are unable to find a good support group, you can start one in your area.  This may provide you with even more motivation since others will be relying on you to lead by example.

Changing is hard – there is no doubt about that. However, it is possible. It simply takes determination and a conscious effort on a daily basis to make better choices in your life. Changing your unhealthy habits will be beneficial to you as well as your family and friends, and in the end your only regret will be not doing it sooner.

Mark D. Parisi, Psy.D. & Associates, P.C. provides counseling, psychological testing, and psychotropic medication management in Mount Prospect and Chicago – serving surrounding Cook, Lake, DuPage, and Will Counties. They accept most insurance and offer extremely affordable sliding scale rates. Call (847) 909-9858 for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation.

 

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Sources:

  1. Prevalence of Selected Unhealthy Behavior Characteristics, Statistics of unhealthy behavior, 2007, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5916a7.htm
  2. Voluntary Health Risks: Who Should Pay? Cost of unhealthy behavior, 2015, http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v6n1/voluntary.html
  1. Americans Engage in Unhealthy Behavior to Manage Stress, Causes of unhealthy behavior, 2015, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/01/stress-management.aspx
  2. Why It’s Hard to Change Unhealthy Behavior, How to change, 2009, http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-its-hard-to-change-unhealthy-behavior
  3. Receiving Social Support Online, Importance of support groups, 2001, http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/6/693.full

 

Why Men Don’t Want Help

Even though they may not like to admit it, men suffer from mental illness almost as much as women. However, the general characteristics of a man often leads to his handling mental illness in a way that is detrimental to his health.

Men and mental illness

man and depressionThe most common mental illness in men is depression. While this is often caused by post-traumatic stress disorder after serving time in the armed forces, many men suffer from depression for genetic, psychological, and stress related reasons (1). In fact, studies showed that over 6 million men in America suffer from depression. Their reaction to depression is usually substance or alcohol abuse, anger (sometimes abusive), and even suicide (2).

Men and Suicide

Only about half as many men suffer from depression as women do, and yet the suicide rate for men is four times that of women. How can this be true? There are a few reasons to consider (3).

  1. Men have a higher attempt to suicide ratio, meaning that they are more likely to succeed in killing themselves than women.
  2. Females are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, but men are more likely to follow through on theirs.
  3. Men most often use firearms when attempting suicide while women usually try to take something orally – it is much easier to save women in an attempt like this.

Men and Seeking Treatment

When it comes to mental illness, men are much less likely to get help for the following reasons (among others):

  1. Pride. It is very hard for most men to admit that something is wrong. They like to pretend that they have everything under control and don’t need help from anyone. Sometimes their pride causes them to overlook the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist or that it is just a coincidence. Other times, men are aware that something is wrong with them but their pride convinces them that they can hand it on their own (1).
  2. Responsibility. The majority of men have innate desire to provide and care for a family. If they are unable to do so because of a mental impairment, it can lead to a feeling of worthlessness and therefore worsen the condition. Because they feel this overwhelming responsibility, they tend to ignore the problem or even immerse themselves in more work.
  3. Selfishness. A man plays many roles in life, but he most likely still enjoys hobbies like working out, fishing, building cars, playing games, etc. If he is spending time and money on getting treated for a mental condition, he may have to give up certain things that he enjoys in life. This selfishness can negatively affect not only the man himself, but also his family and friends.

If a man is honest with himself, he knows whether or not there is something wrong with him. If he is able to get over his pride and selfishness and get help, he can use his overall competitive and determined nature to succeed in overcoming the effects of mental illness.

Mark D. Parisi, Psy.D. & Associates, P.C. provides counseling, psychological testing, and psychotropic medication management in Mount Prospect and Chicago – serving surrounding Cook, Lake, DuPage, and Will Counties. They accept most insurance and offer extremely affordable sliding scale rates. Call (847) 909-9858 for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation.

 

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Sources:

  1. Men and Mental Illness, Mental disorders common in men, 2015, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4565
  2. Men: A Different Depression, Depression in men, 2015, http://www.apa.org/research/action/men.aspx

Suicide: Facts at a Glance, Men and suicide, 2012, http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/Suicide_DataSheet-a.pdf