Jennifer Gerlach

Your Story Matters
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
6 years in practice
Accepted Insurance Plans:
  • Cigna
  • Sliding Fee Scale
  • United Healthcare
  • Optum
  • First Health
  • Beacon
  • Value Options
  • 4509 N Illinois St Suite 5
  • Swansea,IL

About Jennifer Gerlach

Do you sometimes wish you could flip a switch and change how you feel? Or at least understand it better? Living with the effects of abuse trauma or a mental health condition like depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, Autism or Borderline Personality Disorder can be confusing. I help people to manage symptoms of these and other challenges, to make sense of things, to get a better sense of who they are and where they want to go.

Answers  (15)

This is so hard. It is hard for someone to understand what depression is without having experienced it themselves. Unfortunately people without depression sometimes mistake it as feeling sorry for ourselves or just moping around, which is not what depression is at all. Sometimes I think that it is... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

I am glad that you are getting ahead of this by noticing this seasonal pattern to your depression. Winter depression (seasonal affective) is something that affects a lot of people both people who also deal with other kinds of depression that happens to get worse in the winter as well as people who... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Counseling can be very effective for OCD. In particularly, a kind of therapy called Exposure Response (Ritual) Prevention Therapy is considered the 'gold standard' for the treatment of OCD. What this is, is a specific protocol that helps you build relaxation strategies and to increase the amount of... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Self-harm has a way of becoming a go-to method of coping. When we get stuck using self-harm as a way to deal and manage emotions, when something serious happens it totally makes sense that that will be one the first things to go through the mind. It is its own kind of addiction. There is a therapy... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

You are asking a room full of counselors, and so I am going to guess that we may be a bit biased :). My answer is this: sometimes. Many people benefit from counseling and when counseling works those benefits can show up through positive improvements in your moods, making more choices that align with... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Wow, you got hit with some serious stuff all at once. Work, relationships, and housing/security are major needs for us and to lose all that at once has got to affect you. When things go wrong, it is natural for us to look for blame----and the easiest person for us to blame is ourselves. Put that... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Anxiety can absolutely make you think you heard something about you. When we are on high alert, we tend to look for threats and often the greatest threats we experience on a daily basis are social in nature. To some extent this is normal, for example, when people experience late onset deafness... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

I don't need to tell you that this is an incredible amount of serious stuff to happen in a short period. When we go through a trauma, it is natural for us to shut down as a way to protect ourselves. A kind of freeze response. Think of a possum or a gazelle. These animals go so far as to physically... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

That is intense. Depression is a liar. Sometimes depression places these glasses over our eyes, these dark sunglasses that change how we see things. Depression tells us things like "you're worthless" "no one likes you" "don't worry about doing anything." And it is so easy for us to listen and to be... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

That's intense. This person moving from a friend of yours to both a friend of yours and, in a sense, your step mom is a lot. I wonder if you have let your dad know what's going through your mind with this and how it is affecting you. I can imagine that could feel awkward and emotional. Still... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Mood swings and getting frustrated when things don't work out is totally normal. Sometimes, we get tied to one thing we really want to do and it can feel pretty intense when that gets interrupted or doesn't work out. This said, you're coming to CounselChat and so I'm guessing this is something that... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

That is awful! I am sure you are ready to start getting some rest. It's normal for us to wake a few times in the night, however, when we are dealing with high anxiety or stress, those times can turn into being up most night. Given that you are having these repeated dreams, I am wondering what might... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Hearing voices can be a very upsetting experience to have. I want you to know that a lot of people will hear a voice at some point in their lives and that there are many things that cause voices. Oftentimes, significant stress can offset us to have symptoms like this. There also mental and physical... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

I do not think there is such a thing as a psychotic seizure, however, there is something called a pseduoseizure or psychogenic non-epileptic seizure. Basically, this is when a person shows signs of a full-on seizure (such as falling and convulsing) but they are not producing brain waves consistent... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

You've already taken the first step. You want to not hate yourself. Self-acceptance is hard! And it's on a spectrum. On one side we have self-hate, on the other extreme; self-love. And then, there is all this stuff in the middle. It kind of looks like thisAnd working toward self-love often means... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.