Helen Fylstra, MA, LSW
WE CAN DO MORE THAN WE THINK
It is my passion to help children and adolescents manage the unrelenting demands of school and activities and learn how to manage their feelings so they can become more confident and grounded. This will set them up for success. My background in special education taught me about the stressors and struggles that kids face each day. Working in special education has given me insight into what kids and parents need both emotionally and behaviorally. After five years in the school, I felt I could have a bigger impact in the lives of kids and their families by working one on one with them in a therapeutic setting.
Cultural expectations around gender and gender-role expectations are another passion of mine. Men are just as likely to struggle with mental health issues including depression, suicidal thinking, and addictions, but they often are far less likely to seek help than women. This is partially because men are often raised to brush off or bottle up difficult emotions rather than process them. I work with men to help them break through the rigid boundaries of traditional cultural ideas of masculinity to learn to have better relationships with their friends and loved ones and a better quality of life. Women also have their own set of struggles, which can sometimes be complicated by gender expectations. Women are taught to make themselves small and undervalue their abilities. I work with women to help them recognize their own power and talents and learn to trust themselves more.
My Education and Experience:
I have a Master's degree in Education from National Louis University and a Master's degree in Social Work from University of Illinois at Chicago. Both of these perspectives inform my approach to therapy. I work with my clients to learn the tools they need to manage their emotions, reduce stress, feel more confident, understand their personalities, and trust that they have the ability to create the life they want.