You and I have something in common; we are both in the process of becoming who we are. We are constantly growing and changing. And in this pursuit of becoming ourselves, there is normal ebb and flow to our happiness, our distress, our failures, and our successes. This is the natural state of things and becoming intimately connected with this process of becoming who you are is the key to your well-being. These are some of the beliefs that shape my practice.
You are uniquely you. There is no one else quite like you, and this world needs a variety of minds and hearts. What’s more is that despite your failings, you don’t have to experience yourself with the enormity of shame, doubt, and self-persecution that you are currently experiencing. I have always held dear to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s assurance that, “as long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you.”
But, you are probably looking for a counselor or an academic coach because you feel like something is wrong. Maybe you aren’t doing “good enough,” in school, or you feel like you can’t handle the endless train of stressors that confront you in your daily life. Maybe you have trouble finding meaningful connections with friends, family, or your romantic partner. I understand, because I sometimes feel this way, too. This is part of the human condition. Remember, you are constantly in the process of becoming who you are, and all these difficulties are twists and turns on that path towards yourself.
I will walk that path with you. We know that the strongest determinant in whether your counseling or coaching relationship will be successful is the therapeutic alliance that you have with your counselor or coach. Is that person truly present with you each session? Do they have genuine empathy and compassion for you? Do they have an authentic excitement for your personal growth and development? You need to be able to confidently answer these questions with a “yes,” before inviting a coach or a counselor to be a part of your life.
I use a blend of cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, insight-oriented, and solution-focused approaches in the counseling and coaching that I do. All too often, counselors and coaches take a “supportive therapy,” approach to their practice. In this method, counselors will only ask, “how was your day?” sorts of questions and be a kind and friendly person for an hour. We know that people leave supportive therapy sessions feeling liked and momentarily “better,” but this does not lead to positive, long-term growth and development. If you come to see me, expect that counseling or coaching will be challenging, encouraging, and empowering. Think of a personal trainer for your mind and heart. I will push you because you are worth it.
I invite you to schedule an appointment. I would like to meet you and we can decide together if I am the right person for your coaching and counseling needs!
-Dr. Jonathan Thomas-Stagg
Dr. Jonathan Thomas-Stagg
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified School Psychologist
Dr. Thomas-Stagg has over 10 years of professional practice experience in Illinois, working in public school systems, University settings, and in private practice. He has special expertise in working with college-age students and working professionals. He is a graduate of the School Psychology program at Illinois State University where he earned his Ph.D. in 2008. Since that time, he has worked hard to help learners of all ages maximize their academic potential while caring for their well-being and promoting psychological balance.
Counseling helps individuals gain insight into themselves as well as learn strategies and skills for coping with the inevitable stressors of life. You will find our counselors easy to talk to, nonjudgmental, and caring in a way that you may not have experienced before. Instead of only focusing on reducing the distress in your life, we will also work to increase your capacity for happiness and meaning.
Coaching helps people develop the skills to regulate and maintain their behaviors as they work towards their goals. We offer coaching services for students and professionals. This may include effective study strategies, organizational skills, conflict resolution strategies, interpersonal communication skills, performance management and time management. Improving on these skills can help you achieve the professional and educational goals that you have set for yourself.
Evaluation includes the psychological assessment of abilities, achievement, personality, and interests. Dr. Thomas-Stagg has special expertise in the evaluation of ADHD, learning disabilities, psychiatric disabilities including depression, anxiety, and autism. Evaluations are often necessarily for learners to access disability-related accommodations in K-12 schooling, Universities, and on high-stakes testing like ACT, SAT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT.