About Robert Aber, PhD
My Approach: The aim of counseling is to help you make meaningful changes that will improve your life. An effective therapist should, as a first priority, help to alleviate the often considerable acute distress that pushes clients to look to start therapy. After this initial relief is achieved, the way is then cleared to focus in counseling on the bigger-picture of your psychological life. This includes examining your beliefs and feelings about yourself and others, your interpersonal style, the usual ways in which you protect yourself from getting hurt, the influence of your childhood experiences, and many other factors, including highlighting and bringing to bear your hard-won strengths. This search for insight and understanding is aimed at bringing about changes that will lead to lasting improvements in the quality of your emotional life. Psychotherapy offers a wonderful opportunity to discover more about who we are and what it is that we want and need from life and can help us feel compassion for ourselves and the courage to live more fully in the moment. Counseling also offers us the opportunity to grow in and improve our relationships.
My experience has shown me that psychotherapy is most effective when it is tailored to the unique individual needs and life experience of each client. There are many modern approaches to psychotherapy; each has strengths when used selectively and in combination by an experienced therapist. Faster and longer-lasting results can be obtained by applying techniques from several disciplines, including psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral, and that is how I prefer to work. I do not practice from a cookie-cutter, 'one size fits all' perspective. This places me in a surprisingly small minority of psychotherapists. In my career I have treated, and helped, people from all walks of life, stages of life, gender identities, education levels, sexual orientations, diagnoses, personality styles and presenting problems, and most religions, ethnicities, and races. As of 2018 I have conducted more than 32,000 therapy sessions and I can say with confidence that my deep experience will be of benefit to you if you decide to take me on as your therapist.
My Background: I attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and the University of Florida for graduate school. I came to Chicago in 1986 for a Residency in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and in 1989 completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Northwestern University School of Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry. For several years following the completion of my formal schooling I was fortunate to be invited to join a group of psychologists who met weekly with an eminent psychoanalyst, Merton Gill, MD., to learn from him through the presentation of our clinical work to the group.
From 1989 to 2012 I was an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center and split my professional time between my private practice and a position as a Staff Psychologist at the Rush University Student Counseling Center. At the Student Counseling Center I gained unique expertise in conducting therapy with medical students, medical residents, nursing students, and graduate students from a variety of healthcare-related programs. At Rush I also served as the Director of the Outpatient Psychotherapy Service and taught medical students and residents on a wide range of subjects: personality theory, psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalysis, interpretation of objective and projective personality measures, etc. In addition, and most enjoyably, I supervised the clinical work of Behavioral Sciences Residents and Fellows eager to improve their skills as psychotherapists. Since 2012 I have been in full-time private practice.
Undergraduate: Cornell University
Graduate: University of Florida
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
granted in 1988
Florence Shafer Memorial Award
for Excellence in Psychotherapeutic
Counseling (U. of Florida)
Northwestern Univ. Medical School
Northwestern Institute of Psychiatry
Years in Practice as a Clinical Psychologist: 25+
Asst. Professor, Rush U. Med. Ctr.
American Psychological Assoc.
Illinois Psychological Assoc.
Chicago Assoc. for Psychoanalytic
Ages Treated: 16+
Treatment Approaches Used
Expert Witness Consultation
in Malpractice Litigation