You are a person, not a diagnosis.
I believe that most of us struggle and “do what we do” because we are in some form of emotional pain. You may feel depressed or anxious, have difficulty forming and sustaining relationships, repeat past mistakes despite “knowing better”, or feel incapable of achieving goals you’ve set out for yourself. Talking with friends or family might help in the moment, but you find yourself unable to make lasting change.
How you feel about yourself, relate with others, and make your way in the world (or not) is significantly influenced by your earliest attachment relationships. When parents / caregivers struggle with their own psychological and emotional health, their ability to form secure attachments and be emotionally available to their children may be impaired. Children may experience such insecure relationships as invalidating, abandoning, attacking or impinging, if not outright abusive and traumatizing. Since children have no choice but to attach to the caregivers they have, in order to feel some security they will form maladaptive relational patterns that no longer work as adults.
These experiences become internalized as personality develops. These experiences also affect brain development. In essence, we become “hard-wired” through the types of attachments (secure or insecure, healthy or traumatizing) we form in childhood. So, you learned to adapt to and survive the circumstances over which you had no control. It is no wonder that it can be so difficult to change: those patterns of relating “worked” in an environment that didn’t.
Psychotherapy is a process that creates new relational patterns and actually re-wires you to think and feel differently about yourself. It is different than advice giving or one person telling another what to do. It is a process that helps you gain awareness and understanding so that you are free to try out new ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world.
As a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, I am trained to recognize the underlying thoughts, feelings, and patterns that keep you stuck in emotional pain. Rather than viewing you as a diagnosis or problem to be solved, I am most interested in understanding and helping you work through what is troubling you. An effective psychotherapeutic process can result in greater freedom, strength, and vitality, leading to a more satisfying and connected life.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, I’ve provided psychotherapy and clinical supervision services since 2001, working with adolescents, adults, and couples. While I work with a broad range of issues, I have a particular interest and expertise in the areas of depression and anxiety, relationships, men’s issues, self-esteem, adolescent development, attachment, blocks to creativity, and the intersection of psychoanalysis, psychology, and spirituality.
In addition to my work as a therapist, I am a classically trained musician and certified educator, with extensive experience working with adolescents and university students. I’ve taught and supervised in Graduate Mental Health Counseling Programs at St. Xavier University Chicago, Viterbo University, Stetson University, and The Institute for Clinical Social Work of Chicago. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, I worked as a high school choral director and music teacher.
Get in touch
I know that finding the right therapist is a daunting endeavor and a choice not to be taken lightly. It is important that you feel listened to, heard, and understood. Getting the right fit is important. I typically utilize the first few sessions as an assessment to hear what you are needing, how I may help, as well as give you a sense of what it’s like to work with me. Please feel free to contact me to have an initial phone conversation.
Education & Training
Owner, independent practice
Kurt Michael Hanus, M.A., M.A., Ed., L.C.P.C
Licensed Psychotherapist & Certified Educator
CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
Psy.D. (ABD), 2019
OBJECT RELATIONS INSTITUTE FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY & PSYCHOANALYSIS / NEW YORK CITY
2-Year Certificate, 2017
THE CENTER FOR RELIGION & PSYCHOTHERAPY / CHICAGO
NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
M.A.Ed. (Counseling), 2001
NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
M.A.(Music: Vocal Pedagogy), 2001
NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY
B.A. (Psychology), 1989
Activities & Affiliations
• American Psychological Association, Div. 39 Member
• Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology, Member
• Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association, Member
Licensed to practice
• Illinois, Michigan