Rory Gilbert

Rory Gilbert, LCSW, CADC

Northbrook, Oak Brook (847) 272-7089 website
Women, are you tired of feeling like all you do is give and you don’t get anything in return? Men, are you tired of being labeled and told ‘you just don’t get it’? For over thirty years I have been helping individuals and couples who are struggling with these issues find a way to make their relationships and overall lives more satisfying.


Services and products

Describe your services:
I am a psychotherapist/counselor who works with individuals and couples. Most of my work is with adults although I do see the occasional adolescent. I pay particularly close attention to relationships but see people with a wide range of problems such as depression and anxiety as well as alcoholism and other addictive disorders.
I help individuals and couples who are experiencing difficulties in their personal lives identify exactly what is going on that is causing the problems to continue. Some people tend to place the needs of others in front of their own needs to an unhealthy degree, while others are too focused on themselves . Both of these patterns lead to unhappiness for the individual and problematic relationships.
So, I assist some people to become more self-assertive and to take better care of their own emotional well being, while I work with others to become more sensitive to the needs of others.

How does your healing modality work?
When people experience difficulties in their personal lives, they tend to get their needs met in one of two dysfunctional ways that represent opposite ends of a continuum. On one end of the continuum are those individuals, particularly women, who place the needs of others in front of their own. They fall into the trap of believing that, if their loved ones are happy, then they will find happiness themselves and that their partners will reciprocate the love and attention that was bestowed upon them. The problem is that this love and attention is often not reciprocated. They are often taken advantage of in their relationships and in the extreme become victims.
The other end of the continuum, which is comprised mostly of men, contains those individuals who see to it that their needs and wishes are met regardless of the consequences this has on others. These people will take advantage of others in order to get their way. This selfishness and self-centeredness can become abusive in the extreme.
My goal is to assist people at both ends of this continuum find a happy medium. I help the ones who have the potential of being victimized develop better ways of getting their own needs met and to become equipped to protect themselves from the selfishness of others. Concerning the individuals who operate in a self-centered or abusive manner, I help them develop a more sensitive and respectful way of interacting with others and learn more self-control and patience in response to their own needs.

How do you see your services evolving over the next three years?
I believe that I will be seeing more and more people who have become disenchanted with the limitations of antidepressant medication. Although there have been significant advances made during the last ten years with psychotropic medication, I believe that the pharmaceutical companies have gone overboard with their promises regarding the effectiveness of these drugs.
I also believe that many psychiatrists have played into this. A common complaint that I hear from clients is that they went to a psychiatrist who saw them for only fifteen minutes and gave them a prescription. I foresee that I will continue to see an increasing number of people who want, and deserve, more than this.

Issues / Benefits

Presenting issues and problems or types of clients

Why do people come to see you?
People come to see me when they are hurting emotionally. They may be feeling lonely and depressed or overly anxious. They may be having difficulties in relationships or have recently experienced a break up. They may find that their drinking is getting out of control or the drinking of a loved one is getting out of control. In short, I work with normal, everyday people who are at a low point in their lives.

Who is an ideal client?
Ideal clients come in all shapes and sizes. Basically, an ideal client is anyone who is able to take a critical look at both themselves and their loved ones and who are willing to address problems and make the changes that are necessary in order to find happiness.
An ideal client also understands that, ultimately, they are the ones who have to do the work and that the therapist can only be the guide.

Benefits and results people see

The goal for everyone that I see is to develop a better sense of self and a greater sense of satisfaction in their lives. They feel better about themselves and see improvement in the quality of their relationships. My clients develop the skills to be able to interact with others in such a way that they are more respectful to their own needs while being respectful to the needs of their partners.
Although miracles do not always occur, I have helped innumerable couples save their relationships when one or both of them were initially certain that their love could not be restored.
In other cases, I have helped many individuals who have a history of being victimized in their relationships develop the skills to become self-protective and the self-esteem necessary to find happiness and satisfaction in their lives.


Healing philosophy or mission

I believe that everyone has a right to happiness and satisfaction. A sense of fulfillment is obtained when an individual is fully accepting of his/her self and is respectful of the needs of others.
Ideally each individual is raised to believe that he/she is special just by virtue of being themselves. In less than ideal situations, the person's experiences lead them to negative self-perceptions and a sense of shame about who they are. I help people overcome these negative self-images and gain a sense of acceptance of their true selves.

Uniqueness and what makes you good

Describe your style or approach:
I take a commonsense, practical approach to counseling. I pay particularly close attention to relationships and family dynamics. My major focus is on what is going on in the individual's life in the present. Sometimes it can be useful to look at one's childhood, however , because as children we develop patterns of interaction and roles that served us well with our circumstances growing up, but can lead to dysfunctional patterns as adults.

What makes you different/good at what you do?
I have a reputation for being someone who is able to work with individuals who are taken advantage of in relationships, and their partners who are taking advantage of them. I am the founder of a not for profit agency that provides individual and marriage counseling to police officers and their families. By working for twenty-five years with the police, I have become particularly effective with working with men who are resistant to counseling and their spouses. I believe my ability to make a positive connection with authoritarian men as well as their wives and girlfriends sets me apart from most therapists.
I also believe that the fact that I genuinely like my clients gives me a leg up. To a greater or lesser degree I can relate to every person who I have ever seen in counseling . My natural empathy that arises from this makes me feel a true investment in whether or not my clients' problems are resolved.

Why do you do what you do?
I have always wanted to be a therapist. My heroes as a child were always the teacher or camp counselor who others turned to for help. When someone allows me to help them with their personal struggles, I find it tremendously gratifying and, at the risk of sounding corny, a true honor.


Education and training

I graduated from the University of Chicago-School of Social Service Administration in 1979 with a concentration on work with families, individuals, and groups. The next four years I received extensive training in family therapy while working for Metropolitan Family Services. Then, in 1983 I started counseling police officers for the Chicago Police Department and became certified in alcohol and other drug counseling. Finally, from 1991 to 1994 I received advanced training in Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy at the Milton H. Erickson Institute of Northern Illinois.

I have written papers on both alcoholism and domestic violence. I have taught classes on alcoholism at the University of Chicago-Professional Development Program and Harold Washington College . I have also been a consultant to local hospitals on working with alcoholic police officers.


Appointment length and fee range

How long is a typical session?
One hour.

Fee Range
My fee is generally in the range of $135 per session. But the actual amount varies based on people's circumstances and insurance requirements

Typical session and how to prepare:

Describe a typical session:
In a relatively unstructured way, I ask the client to present his/her concerns. We look at how he/she has tried to deal with these issues and what has gotten in the way of their resolution. The concentration is on what is going on in the person's current life, but we look at how the patterns that emerge connect to experiences throughout the individual's life.

How should someone prepare for a session?
No preparation is necessary.

Insurance, cancellation policy, office hours and other logistics

Take Insurance?
Yes, I take most of the major insurance plans and I am happy to submit the claims to the insurance company. Although the client is responsible for the bill, I only expect to receive the co-payment from the client. Some people make a payment after each session and others prefer to be billed on a monthly basis.

Cancellation Policy?

Office hours/days of the week:
Currently, I am seeing people in Northbrook on Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday; and I am in Oak Brook on Tuesday and Thursdays, but this is subject to change. I work at least two evenings per week.

Articles By Rory Gilbert