About Therapy

How I Help My Clients Create Life Masterpieces

Sharing Stories

Jim wasn’t sure what to say. He was so nervous. He just sat in my office for almost 20 minutes, hyperventilating at times, tearful at others.

In bits and pieces, his story came out.

He wasn’t used to having someone listen to him without judging. He later said that first session was the most important one of the whole counseling process.

He was heard, and he was able to tell his story.


Paul had told his story, but he had no idea what he wanted from life or how he wanted to live.

I posed him this question:

“If we meet three years from today—and you were to look back over those three years—what is it that would have had to happen during that period, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy about your progress?”

He couldn’t immediately answer the question, but over the course of a couple more sessions, he came to know what his “masterpiece” life would look like.

Doing What Works

No guessing here! Evidence-based solutions are solutions that the researchers have tested.

It feels good to know that these aren’t ideas the therapist thinks MIGHT help.

New Skills: Learning and Practice

When a sculptor chips away at a block of stone or a potter shapes a mass of clay, it takes effort.

Any sculptor needs to learn and practice day after day to create a masterpiece with which he is pleased.

Learning, practice, more learning, more practice.

In therapy, you’ll learn new information.

You’ll practice new ways to think, communicate, and act.

About Me

My Road to Becoming a Therapist

I didn’t plan to be a counselor. In fact, through most of my college years, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Both my mother and father are people helpers, though – whether as a missionaries or teachers – so it shouldn’t have surprised me that I went go into a people-helping profession myself.

When I took a number of career counseling tests after college, being a counselor was a good fit. And it turned out to be something I loved doing and learning about.

I’ve also worked at a Fortune 500 company for over 14 years.

Working in the corporate world has given me a unique appreciation for the pressures, changes, and challenges of working as a man in corporate America.

Running, Reading, Podcasting, Family, and Friends

Here are some odds and ends about me outside of the counseling office:

I’ve run four Chicago Marathons (well, I’ve walked and run) for charity organizations, and I’m currently training for my fifth.

Having grown up in northern Brazil, South America, as the son of missionary parents, I am interested in social justice and economic empowerment. Most of the marathons I run include fundraising for clean water projects across the world.

Besides running, give me a book and I’ll be happy!

I’ve also become interested in blogging and podcasting over the last few years, so this area of life keeps me learning and on my toes.

Finally, I love ‘hanging’ with my family and friends as much as possible. I’m happily married with my wife, Vicki, and proud father to David and Sarah (ages 19 and 17).

Not only that, but I am the proud owner of more than one cat (I won’t say how many!) and a cocker-spaniel poodle mix named Lucy.

Overall, Steve has that quality of all truly effective therapists; he truly enjoys helping people understand themselves better. He has an empowering approach. He helps individuals identify their strengths and coaches them on how to utilize these strengths to lessen their distress and bring more satisfaction and success in their lives.

Dr. Joel Carnazzo, Clinical Psychologist

Steve is a caring, compassionate person who brings out the best in others. He has a positive aura with an upbeat attitude. He is caring to the core. Steve is very knowledgeable and connects with people naturally. I have had the pleasure to refer several clients to him and I have always done that without any hesitation. The feedback I have received from the referrals are positive and usually filled with a thank you. I know whoever he works with that they are in good hands with Steve. I highly recommend him as an excellent professional.

Christine Pierozzi-Matusek, L.C.S.W., Licensed Clinical Social Worker