I began my work with families in 1998 when I began working for Youth Outreach Services. I started as a crisis counselor for adolescents who either ran away from home or were “locked out” of their homes. It was my job to assess the situation and support the child and the family in their struggle. It required a lot of patience and understanding of the struggles individuals and families go through each day. It was difficult work but it was often uplifting to see the resiliency of families despite being in such circumstances. It was this work with adolescents in the city that lead me to committing my life to the world of social work and therapy.
I then began at Loyola in 1999 where I started work on my MSW. I did my internship at the Josselyn Center in Northfield, and was there for two years working with clients in long-term therapy. The population I worked with included children, families, and adults, and it was here that I was exposed to a wide range of issues including mood disorders, anxiety, Asperger’s syndrome, and divorce. I was fortunate to be learning from and working alongside some very talented social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. I graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a Masters in Social Work in May of 2002.
In the fall of 2002 I took a position as a Milieu therapist at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. I worked with adolescent boys who lived at the home and were struggling with issues such as loss and abandonment, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anger, and anxiety. Working in the environment in which they lived gave me a unique opportunity to experience their challenges first hand. I value this time in my career most of all because it means I have direct experience of the symptoms often described to me in my office. I’ve witnessed first hand the effects depression has on an individual. I’ve sat with someone whose history of trauma cripples their ability to make friends or function day to day.
I began my private practice in 2004 working with adults, children, and families from the North Shore, the majority of who are struggling with Divorce. My approach is rooted in psychodynamic theory, and I also employ some cognitive behavioral techniques, and mindfulness. The most important thing to remember is that your situation can improve.
Nathaniel Hope ReachesGlenview IL