Associate Director, Applied Professional Practice
- Downtown Chicago
- Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Ercoli joined The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in the Fall of 2011. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 1996 and was licensed in 1997. He has been in the mental health field since 1986 and has worked in the Chicagoland area throughout his career. He has worked and trained in adolescent and adult drug rehabs, in-patient psychiatric hospital settings, adolescent and adult jail settings, residential treatment centers for adolescents with behavior disorders and residential treatment with juvenile sex offenders. He has also overseen various pastoral care and child protection staff and services for a mega-church with a congregational size over 22,000. During this time he also functioned as the director of a counseling referral network of over 100 mental health professionals throughout the Chicagoland area. Dr. Ercoli has maintained a private practice since 2001 in the suburb of Barrington. He provides psychotherapy to adults and late adolescents. Dr. Ercoli was also an Assistant Director of Clinical Training at another graduate school in Clinical Psychology and as an Associate Director of Applied Professional Practice in the Clinical Psy.D. Department on the Chicago Campus he is closely familiar with many of the training sites in the Chicagoland area. His areas of interest include the integration of psychology and spirituality, child protection, trauma and addictions with an emphasis on sexual addictions.
- Education History
Degree Institution Year Psy.D. The Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL 1996 B.A. Judson College, Elgin, IL 1987
- Professional Memberships
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Illinois
- Areas of Expertise
Area Expertise Career/Workplace Issues Work/Life Balance Clinical Psychology / Mental Health Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Addictions Anxiety Disorders Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Mood Affective Disorders / Suicide Stress/Coping Trauma/PTSD Diversity Religion and Spirituality Marriage & Family Parenting Mood Disorders Bipolar Disorder Depression Dysthymia Psychology Subdisciplines - Clinical Psychology PTSD/Trauma Crisis Intervention Historical Trauma Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapeutic/Theoretical Orientation Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Behavioral Therapy Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Developmental Psychology
Title Location Date DSM-5 changes Lake Villa 2013 Handling Hard Issues in Child Protection South Barrington, IL 2009 Implementing a Child Protection Plan South Barrington, IL 2001
- Media Exposure
Consulted as an expert for magazine article: Reardon, L., & Liautaud, M. V. (2008 March/April). Sexual Abuse in Faith Communities: An Expert Roundtable. Your Church, 24-25.
Roundtable expert participant regarding prevention of, and response to, child abuse within the church: Christianity Today International (Producer). (2008) Reducing the Risk: Keeping your child safe from child sexual abuse. [Training DVD]. (Available from Christianity Today International 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream IL 60188)
- Question and Answer
Please describe your teaching philosophy.
I believe that the primary goal of teaching is to aid another in the learning process. Pedagogically, I believe the goal of clinical psychology training with graduate students is to aid students to become competent contributors and practitioners to the field. In teaching courses in psychology the goal of the discussion at hand is to lead to a more thorough awareness of the human experience from a psychological framework and help students to define what factors promote or interfere with mental health.
I believe it is my responsibility to foster a safe environment that promotes each student taking initiative to engage in class with the topic at hand, develop awareness of the personal perspective(s) they have developed over time, the perspective(s) of their peers and myself as the professor so that each student can comprehend the content being presented and critically analyze the context of the topic. I am a proponent of active engagement and try to use various methods to foster discussion and interaction on the course material so as to embed the learning. I often use role-plays, videos, news & journal articles, personal experiences from my life, and student experiences that they offer to the class which exemplify the topic at hand.
I believe research and clinical practice have a symbiotic relationship. It is research that facilitates new theory, program development and advancements in the world of clinical practice and through clinical practice new theories and practices are tested often leading to new questions that foster the pursuit of more research. These endeavors foster understanding and improving the lives of humanity. I believe the classroom is one of the vehicles, which fosters awareness of this symbiotic relationship.
Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
The practice of psychology, for me, begins with my understanding of how people change: Change happens when vision of what could be (desire) is linked with tangible steps and the support of the community to encourage a person to pursue that which they fear rather than function through avoidance. It is ever our human purpose to keep developing and growing into a fuller sense of self and for what we were designed to become (purpose). My use of CBT, other theoretical orientations and research helps me to identify where in that process a person is stuck (vision & beliefs, skills/steps, problem solving, support, biology and motivation) and identify what methods of intervention will be most effective towards their healing.
Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
Coming to the decision to become a psychologist is was a matter of introspection, spiritual exploration, calling and desire. As a college student I originally prepared myself to become a mechanical engineer, but as I reflected on my personality, and what provided me energy I found working with people life giving. I then had a succession of transitions in which I considered becoming an educator, then a pastor and during a time of deep spiritual reflection sensed an affirmation and calling to work with those who are hurting and to strive in the development of others. This ultimately led to my choosing a career in psychology. As I look over the decades since that decision I have found myself reaffirmed again and again in that decision. This is my career, my profession and my calling.
What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?
Do not lose yourself in the pursuit of your career, but discover who you are, where you came from and who you are becoming, as it is ever changing. This is a field in which those who seek to care for the well-being of others can forget that nothing can be given unless it is first received. Take care of yourself and embrace your humanity and your limitations. Only then will you have clarity about what you can give to others and what you cannot give and were not meant to give. There is no such thing as “fixing” anyone but yourself, so give it up. Rather, embrace how you can influence others to step towards their own healing. A wise sage once told me as I prepared for takeoff in an airplane to “put your own oxygen mask on first before you attempt to help the person next to you.” This metaphor has saved my sanity and protected my clients from my own insanity.
- Professional Skills
Addiction, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, Clinical psychology, Child Protection within non-profit & church organizations, Depression, Integration of psychology and theology, Men's Issues, Mental illness, Mood disorders, Parenting, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotherapy, Relationships/dating, Sexuality, Sexual addiction, Substance use, Trauma, Work/life balance