Joshua Waters, LMFT
Relationships- Dating, Marriage, Loneliness, Hookups, Breakups, Make-ups, and everything in-between
Identity Exploration- Cultural & LGBTQI+
Family patterns & childhood trauma
Anxiety & Stress management
ADHD throughout the life-span
Life purpose & Goals
Grief & Loss
Optum Behavioral Health
joshua G. waters, lmft
Licensed marriage and family therapist
I’ve always been fascinated with relationships. Even as a child I remember getting in trouble for constantly asking, “Why???" I think that my teachers and especially my mom thought I was relentlessly asking "why?" simply to be a pain in the @$$! But eventually they realized it was more about my curiosity and genuine interest in the world around me. My asking “why?” then, is more of a way for me to figure out the relationship between two or more things, ideas, or… mainly people.
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY tends to be an inviting and comfortable way for my clients to allow me into the deepest and sometimes scariest places in their minds so that we can explore their interpretation of the “problems” they carry in. With a pure attitude of compassion and non-judgmental awareness we can then start to question more about “why?” we feel the way we do...when we lose someone (romantically or through death), when we feel an enormous pressure to conform or to succeed, when we get “stuck” in the Future or the Past, or when we have strained relationships with family or friends, among other things.
In COUPLES THERAPY, things can definitely get a little spicier and more fast-paced as my approach tends to be somewhat unsettling at times...but in a, “He just called me out on my sh*t, but he’s also calling them out on their sh*t too” kind of way. I think that all relationships are beautiful because they perfectly demonstrate the different ways that joy (and conversely pain) can influence how we live and experience our lives. All too often, we just tend to have small kinks in our ability to communicate and problem-solve issues with one another, usually stemming from fears or worries that something disastrous could come of it. MOST of the time, this can be resolved quickly and effectively when both partners, in whatever kind of relationship, make an active choice to try something different…. like therapy for instance.
Unfortunately, not all relationships were meant to last…. But I think there is always an opportunity for a “successful” break-up or divorce - one where we can retain the positive memories and feelings, and ultimately grow from the experience of loving/hating each other for so long. Although I can assure you I have NO interest in judging your relationship or making recommendations for whether you should stay together or split apart, I do promise to remain balanced in how I attend to each person’s individual needs and offer any observations about the relationship as a whole to the extent that it is helpful to all parties.
I have helped many people reconcile hurts, differences, and losses together in a way that allowed them to move on with their lives graciously, respectfully, and stronger than they felt before. Sometimes individuals come in thinking “I am the problem,” but later realize that they want to involve someone else in their therapeutic journey to work on parts of that relationship. Other times, couples come in thinking, “We are dysfunctional, or broken…” and later realize that one (or two) particular individual(s) are just hurting, and the couple's “dysfunction” was a way to cover it up and/or treat that pain.
No matter where you are in your journey, I’m here to offer my mind and experiences to you and yours, and would love the chance to help you construct the life that you “NVision.”
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Joshua graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a B.S. in Psychology, and a Minor in Human Relations. He then made the “big jump” to Valdosta, Georgia, where he received his M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Valdosta State University. Before moving to Chicago, he worked as a Family Therapist and later as the Clinical Supervisor for the Functional Family Therapy program, a court-mandated program for juvenile delinquents and their families – aiming to help reduce high rates of recidivism in the state of Georgia. During this time, he also worked as an Independent Contractor for two different community agencies providing services to Individuals, Couples, Families, and Children, as referred for a wide-range of presenting problems. Joshua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Illinois and Georgia.
I have a Border Collie named Nautilus Waters, but he goes by “Nauti.” He’s fantastic, and the reason I wake up in the morning, so I’m sure you’ll see/hear about him soon.
My personal idols are: Olivia Pope (Scandal), Francis Underwood (House of Cards – minus the sex scandal stuff with Spacey), and Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy). I try to embody certain aspects of their characters into my drive to succeed. ☺
"Josh is wonderful clinically and in every other way possible!"