Psychologist offers free counseling to unemployed

November 19, 2008 4:41:38 PM PST
Each week, the country's economic crisis brings more layoffs.For those who have lost their jobs, life can become filled with frustration, stress and depression. With social stereotypes, experts say out-of-work man may be particularly susceptible to depression or anxiety.

But an offer from a suburban psychologist may give some hope. This comes as the state is expected to reveal the latest unemployment numbers. They're not expected to be good.

Computers at Worknet DuPage Career Center are in such demand. Sometimes the center has had to impose time limits. With recent layoffs, more people are looking for work.

Larry Bruce has been looking for an IT management position since February. He treats his job search like work and comes to the center every day.

"There are some days that are worse than others, but you try to keep a positive mental attitude so you feel that every day you come here you're going to find an opportunity," said Bruce.

Sue Clark, the center's director of workforce development, says they offer resume assistance, tips on jobs and patience. She said they often see people at the worst point in their lives.

"If you lose a job it's your identity. Now the holidays are coming, and I have to say, that's the hardest time. People are very anxious. They're worried about their unemployment running out, worried about paying their bills," Clark said.

In nearby Geneva, Doctor Pete Temple understands how difficult losing a job or fear of losing work can be, especially for men.

Temple is a psychologist who specializes in treating men and adolescent males. He says increasingly his adult patients are concerned about the economy and their situations. So he's offering free help to out-of-work men.

"There's a sense that men feel responsible for their families and there's this added sense of, you know, 'I need to figure this out,'" Temple said.

Doctor Temple says while job loss can trigger clinical conditions, often talking about fears can help.

"With that, a little bit of hope can come back in," he said.

Doctor Temple says those out of work may not have health insurance or money to pay for counseling. His offer is designed to not add to their financial burdens. He said he is going to do this a half day each week and will do it as long as he can.


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