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Gail Mills Bio

Gail Mills, LCSW
is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and founder of Hope Counseling Inc. Gail has worked in central Illinois as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Family Therapist since 1993. An honors graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she earned two Masters Degrees, an M.S. in Human Development & Family Studies and an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work.
"I believe it's very important for you to experience a safe, honest, accepting relationship with your therapist.  With encouragement and support, you can openly discuss your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and actions. You may learn new ways to cope, or begin the changes you have long been wanting to make in your life. I hope to help you recognize your strengths and use them to reach your goals."

Couples and family therapy:
"Undoubtedly, relationships are complicated. However it is when relationships work well that we experience life at its fullest. Consider the fact that each person in a relationship has a unique history, beliefs and generally they develop repetitive patterns of interacting with others in the family. Sometimes these interaction patterns aren't healthy or beneficial for anyone. Problems can develop that are hard to talk about, or solve.  Sometimes there's a lot of talk but no real solutions, just more-of-the-same."

"In couples or family therapy, I help family members respectfully share their feelings and beliefs. They learn to acknowledge other viewpoints, recognise unhealthy patterns of interaction and develop better patterns.  They learn to manage strong emotions and to resolve conflicts effectively. Over time, they will develop stronger, more honest and satisfying connections with one another. As relationships improve, the moments of everyday home life become less stressful and more enjoyable."

Childrens Play Therapy:
"Language is an adult's main mode of communicating, but often words are not the child's main way of expressing concerns, it's through play.  Play therapy children allows children to reveal their likes and dislikes, their fears, hopes and dreams. They can share feelings about their family and friend relationships and recent life changes. When we combine a therapist's skills in play therapy with a strong parent-child-and-therapist connection, the child's potential to grow and change is incredible!   Best of all, the child is often eager to come to counseling because "It's fun!"  

My training and specialties include: Couples therapy, family therapy. For adults and teens: adjustment to life transitions, anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, grief and loss, past trauma from physical, sexual or emotional abuse (including clinical hypnosis for clearing trauma), self-esteem and assertiveness, blended family adjustment, divorce adjustment and co-parenting, career transitions, adjustment to retirement, managing chronic pain, adult attention deficit disorder and more.  Children: Anxiety, depression, identity issues, school problems, oppositional and defiant behavior, attachment issues, divorce adjustment, children with a substance abusing parent, and trauma from child abuse/neglect.