• Verified
  • Licensed in Illinois

Bruce Koff

  • LCSW
  • MSW

Live Oak

Medication

No, I cannot prescribe

Patient Age Preferences

  • 18–64
  • 65+

Rate Per Session

$170.00 I offer a sliding scale

Call

(773) 880-1314

Specialty

Gender and Sexuality

I apply an affirmative approach to addressing issues of gender and sexuality. This means that I seek to understand these from the position of your own experience of difference. I also assess the potential impact of stigma and the strategies you may employ in response. I recognize the importance of not just providing a safe and knowledgeable relationship in which to support you, but to provide additional resources as necessary to reduce the effects of stigma and enhance your ability to fully integrate gender and sexuality into your life.

Depression

Depression can feel different to each individual: a shutting down of feeling, a longing to withdraw, a well of sadness, or a dark and narrowing path. It may be in response to life events and circumstances or come out of nowhere. It may be a new experience or one that has occurred many times before, and may lift after time or persist for weeks and months.

In working with you, we will assess the particular nature of your depression and employ a range of strategies to address them. These may include: 1) identifying and practicing specific actions or behaviors that bring relief, 2) reorienting thinking and beliefs, 3) creating opportunities for processing underlying emotions and, 4) addressing life circumstances that may contribute to feeling depressed. All of these can augment medical approaches such as the use of prescribed medication.

Identity Issues

At various points in life, we may struggle with some aspect of our identity, re-defining who we are and how we relate to the world. Becoming a parent, identifying as LGBTQ, becoming a business owner, experiencing chronic illness are just a few examples of how our identities may change.

At these points, therapy can provide a safe, non-judgmental place to explore these changes, assess their impact, and adapt. At times, it can be particularly helpful to create a "road map" or plan for this kind of personal exploration. Ultimately, we move toward consolidating that identity so that there is increasing congruence between how we see ourselves and how we present ourselves to others.

Relationship Issues

I welcome and immensely enjoy the opportunity to work with couples. The work is by necessity more active and immediate. I will attend to your needs and identities as both individuals and as a system, and work with your strengths to address your challenges. There will be times where I may ask you to engage directly with each other in my office and I will offer suggestions and guidance as you do so. At other times, I will encourage you to practice new behaviors at home, and to review with me the effects of that work. I will always work to help you resolve conflict by learning new skills and strengthening the bonds between you, and to construct new meanings for the relationship. Finally, I recognize that many of the concerns affecting same-sex couples are unique, such as the impact of homophobia. My familiarity with these insures that I bring greater understanding and skill to my work with same-sex couples.

Anxiety

Persistent anxiety and worry can all too easily become disabling. The pit in the stomach becomes sleeplessness; self-doubt becomes panic; unsteadiness becomes a wall of fear. Ameliorating anxiety begins with assessing your own experiences with it, the history of those experiences, and what if any attempts you have made to address it. We then develop a plan for reducing anxiety. This may include working to change particular thought patterns and underlying beliefs, developing ways to process experiences that may contribute to anxiety, or changing actual circumstances or conditions in your life that fuel worry, such as work and relationships. All of these can augment medical approaches such as the use of prescribed medication.

About

Bruce Koff

Psychotherapy is the art of creating change by embedding the experience, wisdom and knowledge of both the therapist and the client within the care and connection of a trusting relationship.

For over 3 decades, I have been helping individuals, couples and families find solutions to vexing challenges, including anxiety, depression, trauma, relational conflicts, loss, health problems, and various life transitions. I have also devoted much of that time to promoting the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified people. This has deepened my appreciation for both the experience of difference and the impact that various systems such as families, communities, laws, schools, and religious institutions can have on individuals. I therefore pay close attention not just to what is happening within you, but what is happening around you. I utilize many approaches to solving problems. In addition to my systems focus, I can incorporate psychodynamic, body-centered, trauma-based, cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused and narrative strategies into my work. However, no one size fits all. My work involves creating an amalgam of approaches tailored to your needs, goals and concerns. Furthermore, all of my work with you is strengths-based. I focus not just on your problems and barriers, but on your strengths, talents, and capacities.

To learn more about my background, experience, and approaches, visit my profile at: http://www.liveoakchicago.com/our-team/bruce-koff/

Bruce Koff

(773) 880-1314 OR Send a Message