Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Steelberg.
Caroline, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
There are two versions of my professional story. In the resume version, I majored in Psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara, graduated with a Doctorate of Psychology from Baylor University, and worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a staff psychologist until I was able to support myself full-time in private practice. In the personal version, I allowed myself six years to complete college, taking time to travel around the world by back pack and bicycle. Then, I spent ten years building a career I love, which left little time for much else. In my late 30’s I met my husband and started a family after turning forty.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When I started private practice I was naive about several things. The first is that I was running a business. I’ve learned that it is more efficient to pay others to help me with time consuming tasks like bookkeeping and marketing than do them myself. A completely unexpected struggle has been maintaining my physical health. After a few years of full-time practice, I developed back and hip pain. As an avid runner, I assumed that the injuries were sports related. Eventually, I realized that the problem wasn’t related to physical activity, rather, it was related to the inactivity of sitting in a chair all day. Once I purchased an ergonomically correct desk chair, started practicing yoga and getting up and walking around between clients, the pain decreased. A final struggle has to do with the pursuit of fun. For me, being passionate about work is not a substitute for overall pleasure in life. After graduate school, I continued to spend several years thinking and breathing psychology. At first, everyone I knew was a psychologist, today, many of my friends have other occupations.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m a practicing Clinical Psychologist with offices in two locations, downtown Chicago and Andersonville. My clients are individual adults and couples. Most of the people I see want some type of symptom reduction. They feel sad or angry or can’t sleep. Maybe they are thinking about something that is too big and daunting to figure out themselves, like the possibility of divorce, complex issues around building a family or breaking an addiction. I try to help my clients understand themselves better by peeling back layers of defense, maladaptive coping styles and avoidance. This sets psychodynamic psychotherapy apart from other forms of therapy, the use of the therapeutic relationship to learn about oneself, become more vulnerable, access a full range of emotions and make decisions based on emotional well-being. One of my proudest moments was when I decided to take action against adolescent bullying, forming a parent group to read the book Odd Girl Out, after the suicide of a sixth grade student at our neighborhood elementary school.
What were you like growing up?
Coming from the west coast, I spent a lot of time outdoors. There is a certain freedom that comes with outdoor living in a warm climate and I embodied that. It gave me a feeling of invincibility and openness to trying new things. I was also involved in 4-H, which gave me early opportunities for leadership. I developed a lifelong love of dogs and raised a Guide Dog for the Blind through 4-H. I learned to crochet as a kid, which gave me a creative outlet and an appreciation for starting a project, ripping it apart and revising it until it looks and feels right. I’ve always felt a deep compassion for others. Fortunately, in addition to working in a field I love, I have the opportunity to explore new challenges, help people grow and achieve their full potential, and learn new things about myself, which is very rewarding.
- Individual and Couples sessions $170.00
- Address: 111 N. Wabash, Suite 1422, Chicago, IL 606025412 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
- Website: carolinesteelberg.com
- Phone: (312) 444-1133
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org