Larry Westenberg

LCSW

About me

I have been a professional counselor for over 40 years. I started out on a 'back ward' of a state mental hospital, counseling extremely mentally ill people, and helping them to access their resources, use their strengths and improve the quality of their lives. It was a tremendous challenge. At that time, I had my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and no other training. The State system allowed people to do counseling who had no training in counseling whatsoever. In fact, many of them had never been to college. I discovered the 'uneducated counselors' were usually MUCH more effective at helping their clients. They were not 'full of themselves' and their degrees. Instead, they used what they knew about helping people, did what they could, and learned to help people by figuring out what worked as they went along. They also expected the same from the people they were counseling - that they would use the resources they had, do their best, and get better at improving their lives. Meanwhile, the majority of the 'professional therapists' were lost in their long explanations and mythologies that tried to explain the patient's behavior, and they often developed bizarre theories and treatment methods they imagined would make the patients get better.

When you make a connection to another person in counseling, you offer them a safe space to "step out of themselves," and discuss their own behavior from a different perspective of detached observation. Recognizing your own skills and the tools you have can help you make meaningful changes strategically, that utilize your own abilities.

I specialize in trauma, anxiety and panic, ADD, and finding meaning in life. I have extensive training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) - which is bashed as unscientific non-sense on the internet. This criticism is thrown from an allegedly "Scientific field" that is founded on the idea of repressed urges of the id and wanting to kill your father to take possession of your mother. Not the best reference for validating your experiences of life.

I am a published author in the field of Belief Change, Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP. I enjoy helping others uncover treasure within themselves. I don't work with lab rats. I work with people. I would appreciate the opportunity to work with you. I have worked with inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization and crisis intervention treatment. I have worked with LGBTQ+ individuals since long before we had an acronym. I have supported individuals in compartmentalizing alternative lifestyles so that they don't embarrass themselves at work or in social situations. I help some people accept the fact their family may be a toxic gaggle of illnesses and it really is okay to not be in contact. I help others discover how they create anxiety in themselves, and teach a variety of skills for managing emotional states.

My passion is helping people find insights into HOW they do the behaviors they do, so they can more easily shift the behaviors to get the same results - or different results. I also like helping people discover how past negative events can "echo" into present interactions and circumstances. Rather than label this a disease, I show people how to notice these connections and respond less to the resonance in the present.

I laugh frequently and I may even tease about symptoms in an attempt to help you shift your perspective on your issues. I do not make fun of problems. I take my work seriously, but I will never take LIFE seriously - because it has this surprise ending feature. I would be delighted to meet with you and find out if I can support you in making the shifts and changes you desire.


Specialties

  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Self esteem
  • Depression
  • Coaching
Also experienced in:
Addictions , LGBT , Relationship issues , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Anger management , Career difficulties , Bipolar disorder , Coping with life changes , ADHD , BDSM, Kink, Alternative Sex Culture , Read more...

Clinical approaches:
Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Existential Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy

Years of Experience: 40

Services Offered


  • Messaging

  • Phone

  • Video

Licensing

IL LCSW 149008012


Reviews

These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for Larry Westenberg. We don’t pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

Written on Nov 20, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 5 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, and grief

Larry is the best! Started working with him in June where I really needed help getting back on track in my life. Larry is kind, funny, and always willing to listen. He has a story and advice for everything. There is never a dull or awkward moment when working with Larry. He is the first therapist that I felt I could easily talk too.

Written on Oct 13, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 6 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, depression, self esteem, relationship issues, and intimacy-related issues

Great guy all around. Helped me through a very difficult time.

Written on Oct 11, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, self esteem, career difficulties, and compassion fatigue

Most unique person I’ve had the pleasure meeting

Written on Aug 24, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 4 weeks on issues concerning depression, trauma and abuse, and self esteem

Understood exactly how I was feeling, very good

Written on Aug 16, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 5 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, lgbt, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, self esteem, career difficulties, coaching, and adhd

Larry is a great listener and was easy to talk to from session one. Sessions with Larry are like talking to an old friend that is compassionate and engaged in your life. Gentle advice and coaching he is constantly nudging things in the right direction without the pedantry of many in the field of social work and psychology. He's always quick with a story to help illustrate his perspectives and humanize and normalize your experiences.

Written on May 22, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 1 month on issues concerning parenting issues, and anger management

Larry is a compassionate therapist with a wealth of experiences to draw from. He helped me to better manage my anger and I am grateful for it.

Written on Apr 28, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, and self esteem

It has been wonderful talking with Larry. O feel these sessions have really helped me understand my problems

Written on Apr 21, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 5 days on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related issues, sleeping disorders, parenting issues, self esteem, anger management, and bipolar disorder

He's chill I dig his style

Written on Mar 26, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, depression, and coping with life changes

He is awesome for me

Written on Mar 21, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 3 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, family conflicts, intimacy-related issues, eating disorders, and self esteem

Larry was very helpful in getting me to recognize source of some of my reactions and behaviors and work through them. All with an upbeat demeanor. Strongly recommend him.

Written on Mar 06, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 2 months on issues concerning relationship issues, trauma and abuse, adhd, intimacy-related issues, addictions, and bipolar disorder

I really appreciate his expertise, advice, and sense of humor!

Written on Feb 24, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, and trauma and abuse

I have never done therapy before and so I had a very specific view of what a therapist was. In all the best ways possible Larry shattered those views. He's upbeat, interactive, and creates an environment where you feel relaxed. His tools of communication really helped me in the short time I had with him. If you're looking for someone with wit, personality, integrity, and skill then Larry is your guy.

Written on Feb 16, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, career difficulties, bipolar disorder, coping with life changes, coaching, and adhd

Larry is very inviting. He’s not like other Therapist I had. he’s really silly and I love that. life can make your serious all the time and he make you laugh and loosen up. He is what you call free spirited and accepts who you are a a individual.

Written on Feb 15, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related issues, eating disorders, parenting issues, self esteem, anger management, career difficulties, and coping with life changes

Larry is a very open minded and hilarious therapist. He listens to my concerns and gives me reasonable and achievable advice. I would highly recommend!!

Written on Jan 23, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 1 month on issues concerning stress, anxiety, depression, self esteem, relationship issues, family conflicts, coping with life changes, trauma and abuse, anger management, and intimacy-related issues

Although Larry and I have only worked with each other for a few months now, it feels like we have known each other our entire lives. It was an instant connection. Amazing listener, great conversationalist. He has a way of making you understand your thoughts so clearly without doing much but listening and BONUS he’s extremely funny. I’m so grateful for him.

Written on Jan 14, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 3 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, addictions, and career difficulties

Larry is great would recommend him to others in need.

Written on Jan 11, 2022 after therapy with Larry for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, self esteem, relationship issues, family conflicts, intimacy-related issues, parenting issues, and compassion fatigue

Listening and great and available. Offers things to intervene

Work with me!