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Katie Lyons, LCSW - 2014 Best of Chicago Award

Psychotherapy,Mindfulness Training and Performance Enhancement

My Life

Blog

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BEHIND THE JERSEY: UNCOVERING MENTAL HEALTH AND SPORTS

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 10:36 PM Comments comments (109)
I am very excited to be part of a Panel Discussion on Mental Health in Sports, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 2-5pm at DePaul University at 1 E. Jackson.  This event will be moderated by Jon Kelley from Good Day Chicago and former Chicago Sportscaster.  For more information, check out the website
 
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Expanding My Private Practice

Posted on April 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM Comments comments (110)

I am thrilled to announce this summer I will be cutting back my hours at Northwestern Medicine to expand my private practice.  I am currently accepting referrals for new psychotherapy clients and am planning to do  more Mindfulness Training, and other work I love.  If you know anyone seeking growth and change in a supportive, warm therapeutic setting, please feel free to give them my number: 312-972-6711 or direct them to my website. 


Thank you for taking the time to read this and make it a great day!!!
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Meet "Callie"

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM Comments comments (168)
On August 11, I brought Callie, a 18 month old Lab Mix home.  I haven't posted before now because she has been keeping me very busy. 
Wright-Way Rescue found Callie (they named her) at Animal Control in Murphysboro, IL in June and she was pregnant.  One of their volunteers fostered her, where she gave birth to nine pups and nursed them for six weeks .  All her pups were adopted in Murphysboro and Callie was transferred to Wright-Way's location in Niles, IL on Aug 9.  As fate would have it, I happened to stop by W-W shortly after she arrived.  As I looked at Callie's medical record, I saw they listed her date of birth as Dec. 4 (the same birthday as my dear nephew, Tim, who loved animals and passed away 13 years ago).   I knew it was divine order  I couldn't take her home that day, but promised myself if she was still there on that Sunday I would adopt her. 
I feel so blessed to have Callie, however her chewing has cost me money I had not planned on.  Her chew toys haven't been enough to keep her from destroying a few items.  I am now using a crate when I am not home.  The other day I thought she was chewing her bone, only to discover  later it was my Blue tooth.  So much for being Miss Mindful ... always room to be more mindful.
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MINDFUL WEEKEND AT THE HEARTLAND SPA

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM Comments comments (89)
So grateful to be headed to The Heartland Spa for the weekend and to be speaking on "Mindfulness" Saturday night.  Looking forward to rejuvenation, visiting with new and old friends, sunrise walks, water aerobics, yoga, healthy meals, inspirational talks and more:))
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Grief, Support, Journaling/Blogging Social Media and Recovery

Posted on April 13, 2013 at 9:03 AM Comments comments (166)
I said good-bye to Keno last Friday, April 5, 2013 in the presence of our favorite vet, Jim Dickes at Uptown Animal Hospital (shout out to Jim).  As those of you who have read my postings/blog now, he was almost 16 years old and had an amazing life, thanks to yours truly.  In return, he gave me unconditional love, daily companionship, fun, brief moments of frustration (he was a rescue), tremendous joy and in the end sadness. He was the first pet I have had the priviledge to care for until the very end.  My dad gave our German Shepard, King away when I was a child and that was another trauma:)  However, after that childhood loss, I unknownignly closed my heart to animals.  From the first walk with Keno 12 years ago, my heart immediatey opened up to not only every other dog,  but cats, birds, bunnies, fish, squirrels, etc.  In fact, some friends call me "The Squirrel Lady."(LOL)  Keno taught me many invaluable, life-changing lessons which has given my life more meaning and JOY.
 
In the past week, I have laughed, cried, sobbed, felt hopeful ...let's just say a broad range of emotions that most expect with grief.  I have found in this process,  blogging and FB posting has allowed me not only an outlet for my grief but AMAZING support, prayers, love and hope from family, friends and people I hardly know.  I am realizing now, this is the 21st century version of "journaling" which we often suggest to our patients for many reasons... from getting our thoughts and feelings out of our head and onto paper (or now, some other tech device) to processing, which can often lead to a deeper understanding of where we are .  This can help us gain insight and sometimes form solutions. 
 
 I would love to write more now, but I start to see private clients at 8 a.m.  I will see 8 clients today and it will be the first time Keno will not be present in these sessions.  This morning I feel strong, positive and ready to be the best therapist I can be.  The last week has been quite a journey, but today I am positive and focused.
 
Thank you all for your support.  If you are grieving or in pain.  Try journaling.  Reach out to your friends.  At NMH many of our patients do not have friends.  We try to help them in the process to create healthy relationships.  I am grateful and feel blessed for the many loving, wonderful friends I have.
 
Thanks Again!!
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CLARITY AND KENO

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 11:02 PM Comments comments (86)
It is with a heavy heart I share my thoughts and feelings. 
I have had a cold for the past week and as a result have been spending more time at home, resting and trying to get rid of this bug.  I thought I was over it and yesterday I woke up with an excruciating headache, was sick to my stomach, and needed to take another day off work.  It was during this time, I  noticed Keno's difficulty getting up on his own many times throughout the day.  I found myself helping him stand repeatedly  and then he seemed fine.  I checked in with his fabulous Vet, Jim Dickes at Uptown Animal Hospital and discussed this change.  We have been "mindful" of not wanting Keno to be in pain during this journey. I brought up I felt the time was getting closer to euthanise him, but stated, "he still has such an amazing appetite."  Jim encouraged me to look at the whole picture and continue to journal about how Keno's days are.
When I got off the phone, I walked outside with Keno and we immediately encountered one of my favorite neighborhood dogs and his owner.  I shared with the fellow dog owner I had just got off the phone with my Vet and Keno's time may be drawing near.  Tears came to my eyes, as I saw Keno lay down in the grass, while the other dog wanted to play with him.  I could see Keno wanting to play (best player of all time), but his body no longer allows him to.
This morning around 4 a.m. I heard Keno try to get up and he couldn't.  I helped him up and to walk with quite a bit of effort  on both our parts.  I got him back into his comfy bed and went to work.  Once again, leaving work early to see how he was.  Again, like the last time I blogged on 2/19 he was able to get up (with help) when I arrived home this afternoon and enjoyed his walk, albeit a little unsteady at times. 
It is clear to me now...it is time to say good-bye.  It looks like I will schedule his final visit with our favorite Vet for this Friday morning.  It is hard to imagine saying good-bye to him and returning home without him here.  I am grateful for all the support I have in family, friends and, in particular, fellow animal lovers who have traveled this path many times before me.  This will be the first time I will be saying good-bye to a pet.
In the meantime, I continue to be in the moment and enjoy every moment and thank God for all the wonderful years we had together.  Also, I appreciate the clarity being home sick gave me to see the truth of Keno's decline.
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"You Will Know When it is Time"

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 5:38 PM Comments comments (62)
I first met Keno Memorial Day weekend 2001, he was four years old,  A good samaritan had boarded him for months prior to our meeting (to save him from being euthanized) and the first words out of my mouth, as he greeted me with his ferocious bark were, "I can't take this dog.  He is mean."  Within minutes he became my protector and I naively decided to take him for the weekend to give him a much needed break from the cage and expose him to the dog beach, park, etc.  Well, as most dog-lovers know, there was no bringing him back after the weekend because I was in love.  We were in love...meant to be. 
 
From the beginning, Keno's behavioral issues were obvious.  Perhaps because I am a therapist, I thought I could help him.  He had been abused, yet hard as I try, he would not talk about it (LOL).  I worked with several dog trainers and Behavioralists, but the bottom line was I needed to manage his "issues" and that I have done for the past twelve years.  I have replaced soccer balls, shoes and apologized, on his behalf, to many rollerbladers, joggers, and skateboarders for his unpredictable lunging over the years.
Some of my greatest joy has been swimming with Keno and playing with him at the beach, but he is almost sixteen now and those days are sadly over.  I have been doing the best I can to prepare myself for Keno's good-bye, while at the same time BEING IN THE MOMENT and enjoying every minute with him. His back legs have been getting progressively weaker but his Vet and I are fairly certain he is not in pain. I had been experiencing some anxietyfor a while around not wanting him to be in pain and how I will know when it is time to say good-bye.  I have heard from many dog owners who have said good-bye to their beloved pets, "you will know when it is time."  I have come to feel peace because I now feel confident I will know when it is time to euthanize him.
 
This morning Keno struggled with standing and walking for the first time.  I got him up, out and back in his bed --  thinking today could be the day.  I left work early and came home early thinking it was probable he would not be able to get upon his own, but he did.  We walked around the block and he started to speed up and gallop as we approached our home.  Today is not the day, but I do believe I will know when it is time and I am acutely aware that time is likely very near.  In the meantime, I will do my best to be in the present moment and enjoy every minute. 
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The Heartland Spa

Posted on April 24, 2011 at 6:27 PM Comments comments (76)
Reflections at The Heartland
Just returned from The Heatland Spa in Gilman, IL where I spoke on "Mindfulness" ...one of my favorite topics.  I am grateful to have been part of The Heartland's Speaker Program for several years now.  Each time I speak, I spend the weekend and am blessed to bring a guest  in exchange for my talk.  This weekend I brought my niece, Katie. We arrived there  Friday afternoon, had an excellent healthy dinner, followed by a Qi Gong class. 
 
 
Saturday began with a beautiful two-mile walk, a great breakfast, a little reading and a fabulous massage.  After lunch,  I listened to Kim Onnen talk about Motivation,  swam a mile in their pool, participated in Aqua Motion and topped it off with a yoga class.  My talk was Saturday night, "Living in the Moment...The Art of Mindfulness."  We had a wonderful group and a lively discussion which continued for hours.
 
 
This morning I took my two-mile walk with the group at 7am and had my last meal of this relaxing weekend with my new friends. 
 
I am very appreciative to have had this opportunity to rejuvenate:)
 
 
 
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