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Psychotherapy Specialist

Cheryl Hurst, PsyD

Health Psychologist located in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Dr. Cheryl Hurst, a licensed psychologist practicing in Chicago, offers diverse types of psychotherapy, including her specialty: integrating psychotherapy with yoga therapy. Whether you prefer the traditional approach and want nothing but one-on-one talk therapy, whether you’re only interested in yoga therapy, or whether you’d like to consider the holistic approach achieved by combining the two, please don’t hesitate to call for a consultation. Together we’ll determine the best approach for your individual needs.

Psychotherapy Q & A

What type of psychotherapy is offered by Dr. Hurst?

Psychotherapy includes many different types of talk therapy, which all have one goal: helping you explore thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, then learning how to change or cope with the ones that cause problems in your life. Some people may need help getting through a difficult time, like trauma or the death of a loved one, while others need to manage ongoing psychological problems like anxiety or depression.

Dr. Hurst helps clients using a variety of psychotherapy techniques — humanistic, experiential therapy, integrative, Jungian, mindfulness-based, and trauma recovery therapy as a few examples. The best techniques depend on each individual’s needs, so she will assess your most pressing needs and recommend a treatment plan after learning about your individual challenges.

While Dr. Hurst welcomes people with diverse challenges, from relationship issues to post-traumatic stress, she specializes in psychotherapy focused on addressing anxiety, spirituality and meaning and purpose in life. Many of her clients obtain the best outcomes in these areas when they integrate psychotherapy with yoga therapy.

How does yoga therapy fit with psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy and Health Psychology interspersed with sessions of traditional yoga therapy trains the mind to be less reactive and to abide in it’s own knowing, while preparing body, mind, and spirit for peak experience.

With its focus on the body, breathing, and relaxation, yoga raises your awareness of the connection between emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Through guided yoga therapy sessions, you’ll learn to become less reactive and more peaceful.

  • Become aware of how every part of your body feels
  • Use physical work to facilitate the processing of blocked emotions
  • Learn to let go of physical and emotional responses to negative feelings
  • Focus on your inward state to identify triggers, unresolved conflicts, and negative thought patterns
  • Use guided imagery and meditation to relax your body and mind
  • Develop coping strategies for stress and pain
  • Learn breathing techniques to ward off future anxiety

The physical experience of yoga therapy helps clients release emotions and begin to heal, even without talking. Yoga postures show where tension exists and how to release it; they also make it possible to better control your response to negative influences, whether they come from an outside event or from your own thoughts. Yoga is especially beneficial for learning breathing techniques and specific stretches that work to relieve anxiety.

What therapy options does Dr. Hurst offer?

Many of Dr. Hurst’s clients seeking the integrative experience combine psychotherapy and yoga therapy successively in tandem sessions. This type of complementary treatment usually begins with 1-4 sessions of 60-minute psychotherapy before moving into 75-minute yoga therapy sessions, which allows time to get comfortable with Dr. Hurst and gives her the opportunity to learn about your unique challenges and relevant history. There is time for a verbal check-in and screening before each yoga session in which Dr. Hurst is tracking the psychological issues of the clients who integrate initial psychotherapy sessions with later yoga therapy sessions. She may select yoga poses and practices for you based on the psychological issues needing the most support.

Dr. Hurst is glad to accommodate your preferences, whether that means you enroll only in talk psychotherapy, only in yoga therapy, or decide to take advantage of both in successive sessions. If you have any questions, or in case you’re not sure which path will be the best for you, please contact Dr. Hurst to schedule a brief phone consultation free of charge. She’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide your decision.