Patrick Ames, MSW, LCSW, ACC

Patrick Ames, MSW, LCSW, ACC

Trust in the LORD with all you heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Associate Certified Chaplain trained to work with adults, couples and families who struggle in a variety of situations.

My clinical training includes the Clinical Pastoral Education programs of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Advocate Lutheran General and Advocate Children's Hospital.  I also managed the development of the Spiritual Care/Chaplaincy Office to support the Level-One trauma designation for Advocate Condell Medical Center.  My 27-year corporate career includes leading global financial aid and disaster relief programs for employees and retirees of Abbott Laboratories with The Clara Abbott Foundation. 

Each therapist has a unique style.  My style is practical, reality-oriented and collaborative.  I do not sit back and say nothing.  I have no problem giving specific advice and opinions when asked, and sessions tend to be focused on solutions, not problems.  While at times it is important and useful to delve into the past, the focus tends to be more on the present and future.  Pain, stress, and difficult times provide some of the best opportunities to create meaning and hope.

My goal as a therapist is to help people get through the lousy times, not by removing the garbage, but by walking with them through it so that they can see that it is survivable. Sometimes people just need to get through the tough times; they do not need to change.  Often just having someone there to talk through things and reflect on their situation reminds them that they are not alone.  A therapist is a coach, a shoulder, a teacher, a parent, and a mentor.  My focus is communication, support and encouragement skill-building where needed, support, encouragement, and discipline.

Most of my counseling clients have some sort of faith background, although I do accept counseling clients who have no particular interest in faith.  I have found that clients who are willing to incorporate their faith into their treatment get better faster, but I also respect and enjoy working with clients who do not wish to discuss spiritual issues as part of counseling.  I tailor my psychotherapeutic interventions to each client's individual needs. 

A key concept I have learned while working with people through STRUGGLE is PRESENCE associated with COLLABORATION tailored to each client's individual needs provides the greatest opportunity for HOPE. 

As with any relationship, therapy works best when there is trust, mutual respect, and a sense of connection. If you think we may be a good fit to work with one another, call me at 224-286-1110 or email me at to set up a 15-minute complimentary phone consultation. This phone call is used to assess the goodness of fit of a therapeutic match, not for treatment or diagnosis. If we find that we are not a good fit at the end of this phone call, I will give you referrals of therapists that might be a better match for you.