December 16, 2017

About Jeff

Jeff Hickey, LCSW Evanston, ILFor over 25 years, I have been helping couples develop more satisfying and engaged relationships and it’s  been a rewarding privilege to see so many couples confront and overcome their long-standing patterns of conflict and emotional isolation. After completing an MSW at Loyola University in Chicago, I attended the Family Institute, now affiliated with Northwestern University , where I did post graduate training in couple and family therapy.  After learning of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy over 10 years ago, I was immediately drawn to its basic message: much of the distress couples experience is the result of disruption in the  attachment bond with our most intimate partner. And that distress gets expressed in myriad ways, such as angry pursuit, silent stoney wthdrawal and repetitive, apparently intractable patterns that can wear down even the most committed couples. As couples are able to slow down and get under these reactive patterns and talk about the underlying hurt and alienation, they give their partner a way back in, leading to new pattens of engagement and strong, stabile bonds.  On a personal level, having grown up in a family where emotions were not easily discussed or dealt with directly I could immediately recognize the benefit of working with emotions as a way to resolve both internal struggles and the inevitable interpersonal ones.

There are dozens of couple therapy models in existence and the differences in approach can be subtle or huge, but in the end, I believe most therapists settle on a model that makes sense to them and fits with their own personal style. The research validation and peer regard for EFT also added greatly to its appeal to me. But most importantly, I have seen this approach be more effective with the couples I see, couples who are seeking deep and lasting emotional connection. I am certified as a therapist and trainer by the International Centre for Excellence in EFT and actively engaged in training other therapists to learn this effective model of therapy.

In working with individuals, I utilize EFT to efficiently help clients resolve depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, significant life transitions, occupational concerns and unresolved losses. I frequently work with men who are working on ways of engaging more deeply with themselves and those closest to them.

I’ve been fortunate to train with Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg, the principal developers of Emotionally Focused Therapy. Sue Johnson has created a clear model of couple therapy that relies on attachment theory as the basis for understanding adult love relationships, the nature of couple conflict and the change processes that help couples create strong. lasting connections. Les Greenberg, better known for his work with individuals, developed EFT as a way of accessing, working with and changing the difficult emotions that can keep us locked in problematic or even destructive ways of relating to ourselves and those around us.

I am certified by AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) as a sex therapist and work with couples and individuals with a wide variety of sex concerns, including low desire and functional issues.

For location, fees and other practice information, visit the Counseling and Fees & Policies pages.

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