DR. KEN Fogel
licensed CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Dr. Fogel is a clinical psychologist, licensed to practice in Illinois since 2002. He completed his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2000. He also holds three bachelor’s degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada - Physiology, Education, and Psychology. He completed a postdoctoral master’s degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology at Alliant University in May 2019. This additional degree is the first part of a path that will allow him to prescribe a specific formulary of psychiatric medications.
Dr. Fogel has been working as a consulting psychologist with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) since 2005. In this role, he helps service providers determine the suitability for testing youth and adults involved in the child welfare system, as well as participating in clinical meetings for youth in care.
Dr. Fogel has offered clinical services to adults, adolescents and children in a diverse range of settings, including a long-term State mental health facility, behavioral health department in a general hospital, and HMO-based outpatient clinic. He has supervised clinical psychology students at all training levels, from beginning practicum to post-doctoral. He also practiced psychodynamic-based individual therapy with adults in a private practice setting.
Dr. Fogel began teaching graduate students at The Chicago School as an adjunct instructor in 2002. He subsequently became program faculty in 2006. He won the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009 for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Fogel's professional and clinical interests include topics in psychological assessment, ambivalence in psychotherapy and interpersonal relationships, biological bases of behavior, psychopharmacology, trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder, and prescription privileges for psychologists. Dr. Fogel is currently exploring the central role of ambivalence in human behavior beyond the therapeutic relationship.
Approach to Psychotherapy
Psychology is too often taken for granted. As a reflection of the human condition, it is easily oversimplified to its "common sense" findings and experiences. But the key to successful psychological work is a dynamic balancing act: on one end, embracing complexity, appreciating subtleties, and respecting details; on the other end, unknotting twists, clarifying murkiness, and broadening perspective.
An example of the complexity, on which I focus in particular, and which I view as central to virtually all issues and problems, is ambivalence. People frequently need or seek out therapy when they feel stuck or struggle to make decisions. Sometimes ambivalence is easier to spot, which simplifies the ongoing therapeutic work, but sometimes it is more camouflaged and requires more exploration. In any case, identifying and labeling ambivalence often provides emotional and mental relief.
One often overlooked challenge in therapy is language. This key medium for sharing internal experience is also its glaring weakness. It is hard enough to communicate typical thoughts and feelings with words. When that experience is tinged with pain and shame, the process is even more daunting, and all too frequently frustrates the speaker with its inherent limitations. In my work with people, I focus intently on the subtleties of words, and then offer my attempts at understanding through analogies and metaphors.
I would describe my therapy approach as follows: As we struggle and strive to create meaning in our lives, we weigh the costs and benefits of our chosen (and not-so-chosen) life strategies. The point where many people come to therapy is a moment of feeling “stuck,” where old patterns don’t seem to work as well, but “updating one’s system to Coping 2.0” seems too scary.
I adopt a dynamic approach that is informed by neurobiology. My years of teaching have given me a healthy respect for neuroscience, but I do not believe that the brain is the “be-all-and-end-all.” I use empathic listening to search for “reasons” under seemingly self-defeating behaviors, exploring emotions, attitudes, and beliefs, and investigating the relationship dynamics in clients’ lives. However, I blend elements of spirituality, biology, humor, and metaphor in my work, reflecting the mixture of science, art, and spirit that makes up the total human being.
In any case, I consider many aspects of psychology, whether assessment, therapy, consultation, or supervision, as being invited to take part in someone's life. I treat this invitation with the utmost respect and deference.
CONTACT ken fogel, Psy.d, mscp