Founded by professionals who love everything about counseling!
As highly involved and motivated counselors, presenters, authors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, educators, supervisors, and leaders; we joined forces to create a contemporary counseling clinic that offers much more than just counseling.
We offer clinical counseling, consultation, coaching, supervision, crisis intervention, and psychoeducational services and products to suit your needs as a client, consultee, or another professional looking to advance your skill set. Here we believe that everyone is capable of change, and by giving you the best of us, we hope to bring out the best in you!
We are a holistic practice with 15 therapists and a psychiatrist who serve a variety of clients. We offer individual, couple, family, and group therapy along with psychiatric services.
We also have a diverse team of multicultural therapists from a variety of backgrounds both nationally and internationally. About half of our therapists are multi-lingual.
Victoria Akhteebo, BA
Victoria Akhteebo is a Clinical Intern working toward a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University. She first entered the mental health field in 2014 by volunteering in the Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health'sVocational program.
Her clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, substance abuse, and life transitions. She utilizes a holistic approach, integrating Existential-Humanistic interventions with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution-Focused modalities. She believes that people are capable of transforming their lives. Victoria works to provide clients with a safe, supportive, and collaborative space to explore their vulnerabilities to reach their goals.
Jenna Anderson is currently a pre-medical student at the University of St. Francis. She is working towards an undergraduate degree focusing on her major in psychology with a minor in chemistry. She hopes to graduate in the spring of 2021 and then continue her education to hopefully obtain her M.D.
Jenna does not have much experience in the clinical setting, but what better place to start than Counseling Speaks? She heavily believes in the mission of Counseling Speaks and hopes to learn many things about the field of psychology during her time here and will carry those values with her in future career opportunities.
Jenna takes interest in positive psychology and believes that everyone can change to become the person that they want to be. She is an advocate for personal growth and hopes to someday make a change in people’s lives.
Lynn T. Austrheim, MSW, LCSW
Welcome to Counseling and a Better Life. Call for an Appointment.
What Lynn does when he meets with you is to carefully listen to your concerns and discomfort until you are convinced he gets it.
Next he will tell you of his proposal of a beginning treatment plan (learning new more effective ways of solving problems and easing distress. (The plan may include your spouse, children or others depending on your situation.)
When you are satisfied with the plan, sessions are scheduled to teach you new ways of looking at your situation, and learning powerful skills so you will be able to get more of what you want.
You are in control. Lynn is your guide.
When your learning goals are met and you are feeling/thinking better, and you and Lynn agree, sessions may end, unless you wish to continue.
Lynn’s Philosophy is that he believes that it is a sign of strength to seek guidance when such help is needed. Call Today for an Appointment.
Lynn’s Specialty is ADVANCED PSYCHOTHERAPY/MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING with adults, teenagers, and children over 5. Lynn serves individuals, married folks, families, various groups, and provides talks on psychological subjects. Call Today for an Appointment.
Lynn truly looks forward to the pleasure of meeting you and serving your specific life enhancement goals. Call Today for an Appointment.
Monika Piatkowska, M.S., LPC, NCC
We all experience difficulties in life at some point, and Monika like to walk along side you and build a partnership working towards personal growth and achievement. She is dedicated to helping others develop healthy and practical coping strategies and believe in a warm and collaborative therapeutic relationship as a foundation for developing trust and achieving desired outcomes.
She is a counselor with a Master’s degree from National Louis University and enjoys working with individuals in the following areas: depression, anxiety, stress management life transitions, low self-esteem, communication, and relationship concerns.
Her approach is strengths-based, and she believes therapy is an active, creative collaboration between the client and the counselor. She helps the client capitalize on existing strengths and develop a sense of self-awareness functional life skills, which empower them to develop their own vision for life while refining personal goals.
Lindsay Clark, BA, CADC
Lindsay Clark, BA, CADC, is a certified addictions counselor with a Bachelor’s in Addictions Studies from DePaul University. She is currently a clinical intern pursing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Northwestern University.
She gained her initial counseling experiences working at a private practice in Chicago with culturally diverse adolescents and adults with a spectrum of issues including: eating disorders, anxiety, depression, stress, grief, and trauma. Later, she focused upon substance abuse disorders at a nonprofit foundation, as the lead counselor for an inpatient substance abuse program for older adults with disabilities. She is an advocate for equality, mental health and well-being.
Lindsay enjoys collaborating with clients to create individualized, holistic, and integrative treatment goals. She uses a psychodynamic approach informed by client-centered and cognitive behavioral modalities to help her clients make changes that positively impact their lives. Her goal is to instill in each client that there is always hope.
Ginni Doshi M.A., LPC
Ginni Doshi is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her experience as a counselor / psychotherapist includes working with young children, adolescents, adults and families. Her focus is on Crisis Intervention and Trauma. Her counseling experience further includes working with domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors. She is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children who are in the Foster System of Illinois. Being an immigrant from India, Ginni can closely relate to the initial struggles of the immigrant family population.
Ginni’s clinical expertise includes helping people gain insight and a greater self-awareness, understand pattern of their emotional behavior. Provide them unique tools that assist them to move forward in a fulfilled life with confidence and hope.
Ginni’s integrative style, warmth and providing a safe environment allows her to build a trusting relationship with her clients. She invites clients to take interest in their own mental health and inner peace by assisting them in creating a timeline of their emotional journey to establish realistic achievable goals and a roadmap to living a sustainable confident lifestyle.
Carol Fisher, LCPC
Carol Fisher has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor for over 10 years. She has provided counseling to groups and individuals with diverse cultural and racial backgrounds. Her counseling concerns and interests are, but not limited to, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, depression, relationship concerns, low self esteem, grief counseling, adjustment disorder, and gender concerns.
Her counseling approach combines, cognitive behavioral therapy, client focused therapy, and solution focused therapy. Carol can work with you to help formulate your goals, which can always be changed if you choose. If needed she can also work to help articulate thoughts and feelings that can be difficult for you to express. Carol Looks forward to working with you to help you find the peace that you seek.
Princess Gabor, MA, LCPC, NCC
A Licensed Professional Counselor at counseling speaks. She has Master’s degree from Argosy University, Chicago and is currently still attending that university where she is working on her doctorate in counseling education and supervision. She has experience working with intellectually disabled adolescents who were survivors of physical/sexual abuse and parental neglect, which were also dually diagnosed with disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar, and anxiety. She has experience with individual, group and family therapy as well as crisis intervention.
Princess’ integrated style of counseling and creativity allows her to help her clients get an individualized treatment plan which helps accommodate the clients learning style, and perception as they go through their process at their own capacity. She has worked with culturally diverse populations including the LGBTQA community using music, art, movies, role-play and experiential therapy.
Some interesting facts about Princess is that she lived in five states, went to two high schools, and five colleges/universities which has given her the wonderful opportunity of experiencing multiculturalism and taught her that there was a purpose for everything that fell into her life. Princess believes that the life that you live is not filled with mistakes- it is filled with knowledgeable experiences that bring forth wisdom.
Matthew Glowiak, PhD, LCPC, CAADC, NCC
A Clinical Counselor and Speaker at counseling speaks with experience in working with children, adolescents, families and adults. Matt works collaboratively with clients to set practical, achievable goals that ultimately yield sought after change.
Matt has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults through individual and group services in home, clinical, outpatient, and college campus settings. Matt's clients have presented with a variety of concerns and issues including substance use disorders, dual-diagnosis, domestic violence, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, sexual trauma, bipolar disorder, et cetera.
Matt has a history of working with substance use and dual-diagnosis disorders, He has treated a wide variety of issues that range from mild to very severe in nature. In his role as case manager he has also become skilled at locating various client resources.
Denise Hirsch, MSW, LCSW
Denise takes a strength-based, eclectic approach to treatment in order to best suit the needs of her clients. Her goal is to ensure that clients feel comfortable, informed, and empowered by their experience in counseling. Clients coming with concerns related to past or current trauma, grief and loss, mood disorders, family conflict, divorce, or other life stressors will feel confident that they are being heard and that their treatment will be tailored to their specific needs.
Denise has worked in a variety of settings in the Chicagoland area including schools, non-profits, and private agencies. She has worked extensively with people of all ages to manage crises and trauma. Her goal is to help people overcome obstacles to find inner strength and balance in their lives.
Lindsay Jackson is a clinician with her Masters in Forensic Psychology from Adler University. She gained her initial counseling experiences working at a mental health institute in Chicago with culturally diverse adolescents and adults with a spectrum of issues including: anxiety, depression, grief, stress, and an assortment of traumas. Afterwards, she focused on substance abuse disorders and domestic violence as the lead counselor for an outpatient substance abuse program for adults.
Lindsay likes to begin the session by collaborating with the client to create individualized, holistic treatment plans that focus on their strengths, weaknesses, and overall needs. She primarily uses strategies and techniques used in solution-focused brief therapy which focuses on finding a solution to resolve issues of concern and improve their quality of life. Her goal is to help the client identify what needs to be improved in their life and find the best solution for them.
Reid Kahn, Clinical Intern
Reid Kahn is a Clinical Intern working towards a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University. Prior to graduate school, Reid earned a B.A. in Psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Reid first entered the mental health field in 2017 as an intern at Willow House, a counseling agency specializing in providing mental health services to individuals and families experiencing grief and loss due to the death of a loved one. Additionally, he spent four summers counseling children and adolescents at a wilderness overnight camp.
Reid’s clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, emotional concerns, and life transitions. As a counselor, Reid utilizes a holistic approach, incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered and Solution-Focused theoretical orientations. Reid uses a collaborative approach, believing that each client holds the key to their own success; and guiding them to identify solutions and implement a course of action to help achieve their goals.
Nicolette Klus is a student majoring in Business Management with the focus of Human Resources, working towards her Bachelors degree at DePaul University. She joined the counseling speaks team as an Executive Assistant and has over 5 years of office and administrative experience as well as a wide range of experience in different markets.
As an Executive Assistant Nicolette is responsible for all office procedures and ensures smooth operations within the practice, with her knowledge of management and efficient handling of client inquiries, appointments, and assisting with timely access to counselors as required.
Nicolette enjoys the ‘paperwork’ side of the business, training new employees and creating guides and templates for the practice to be able to follow. She also is fluent in Polish.
Away from work Nicolette enjoys, spending time outdoors, travelling, skiing and photography.
Maor Kramer, B.A.
Maor Kramer, B.A., is a Clinical Intern from Adler University, where he is working towards a dual degree in clinical mental health counseling as well as sport and human performance. Maor is interested in helping clients deal with challenging life transitions, depression, anxiety, phobias, and more. As a personal hobby, Maor enjoys utilizing exercise and mindfulness as a way to stay in shape physically and practice good mental health.
As a counselor, Maor utilizes cognitive-behavioral, acceptance and commitment, as well as person-centered therapies to help clients overcome their challenges. Maor believes that a true understanding of our thoughts combined with a deep yearning to live life in line with our most important values can help facilitate growth in even the most difficult of circumstances. Using these approaches, Maor works cooperatively with clients to seek out their strengths and find a unique solution to any of life’s challenges.
Jessica Juarez, M.Ed.
Jessica Juarez is currently working on her Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree from Adler University. Jessica specializes in working with youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds in schools and community based organizations across Chicago.
Jessica holds a master’s degree in Educational Psychology: Youth Development from the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC). Through her experience in direct service, Jessica has learned that life is a journey full of surprises, celebrations, transitions, and growth. Finding balance during these times may require a little assistance to reflect and process choices and next steps. Taking that step can be tough and vulnerable and because of that, Jessica comes to every encounter with an authentic respect for the courage it takes to embark on a journey of self-awareness, emotional growth, and healing.
Jessica has a personal and professional interest in diversity (cultural, ethnic, racial, gender and sexuality) and social justice issues. She is drawn to an integrative approach, tailored to everyone’s needs. Jessica aims to create a safe, trusting, and non-judgmental atmosphere to foster a therapeutic relationship that strikes a balance of support and challenge. She works collaboratively with clients to help them reconnect wit their inner strength and wisdom. Jessica is an empathic listener, but actively participates in sessions by sharing her observations, offering support and providing insight and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges and live their best life.
Joan LePontois, MA. MSW, LCSW
Joan specializes in working with children and adults coping with chronic illness, such as diabetes, kidney disease and cancer. Joan has a passion for working with elementary-age children struggling with depression, bullying, anxiety, low self-esteem and family conflicts.
Joan helps clients with issues of aging and transitions into older adulthood. She has counseled children, families and adults for more than 20 years and has worked in both children’s and adult hospitals.
Joan was Director of Counseling at a Chicago Community Center and was on the faculty of National Lewis University. She received her BA in Psychology from Miami University, her MA in Psychology from the University of Chicago and her MSW from Loyola University, she has published articles on children coping with chronic illness.
Elizabeth Martinez, LSW, CADC
Elizabeth is a Licensed Social Worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. As a mental health provider her expertise lies in working with adults who are managing mental health conditions. When meeting with Elizabeth she will initiate a therapeutic relationship that can cultivate optimism and aid with overcoming barriers. She’spracticed with treating addictive behaviors and additionally counseled for issues with anger management, support with chronic medical conditions, life transitions, domestic violence, paraphilias, substance use disorders, childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, precipitated grief, and bereavement. Elizabeth will provide a safe and supportive environment in where together you will explore and address presenting concerns.
She welcomes the opportunity to enthuse you into believing you can get better while demonstrating sensitivity toward your life experiences. Her reliance on evidenced based practices while remaining abreast of the latest clinical treatments assures that you will receive the proper care. Once you begin working on therapeutic relationship, she can construct an acceptable treatment plan, assess how you are responding to the goals, and make adjustments as needed.
Evidence based practices that inform her practice include but are not limited to: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Mindfulness based treatment, Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.
One of my Favorite quotes is by Abraham Maslow – “What is necessary to change a person is to change their awareness of themselves.”
Fluent in Spanish- También puedo realizer sesiones de terapia
en español. Por favor comuníquese con confianza.
Madeline Persanyi, Intern
Madeline Persanyi is a clinical intern working towards her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University. She spent six summers working with children and adolescents at a day-camp. Madeline uses her authentic and genuine nature to help clients become self-aware and emotionally prosper.
Her clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, relationship concerns, low self-esteem, adjustment disorder, and couples therapy. As a counselor, Madeline uses an integrative approach combining techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She believes that healthy relationships and finding individual’s strengths are essential to living a thriving lifestyle.
Cejay Roman, LCPC
Cejay Roman is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who speaks English and Spanish. She has been providing psychological services for clients undergoing the immigration application process for the past three years. Her counseling experience further includes advocating for children that were facing trauma-related issues due to abuse and neglect in the home and working with survivors of domestic violence.
Cejay strongly believes that our entire being is connected and that if we have a healthy mind, we can keep a healthy body and spirit and therefore, a more healthy life. She is dedicated in helping her clients help themselves in reaching the goals they set for their therapeutic experience. Cejay focuses on helping her clients align their actions with their mindset in efforts to reach a balance so they can move forward towards a more positive lifestyle.
Jessica Salvik, M.A. Intern
Jessica is a compassionate and thoughtful individual; her interests in her primary areas of care stem from her love of children and desire to bring out the best in people. She incorporates interventions that build from CBT and Existential/Humanistic theories. She believes it is important to search for strengths in individuals and adapt treatment to fit each unique client. Jessica enjoys exploring individuals, children, and adolescents on a variety of issues including life transitions, anxiety, self-esteem, purpose in life, and academic related problems. Her goal is to create a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere for her clients and work towards client goals to the best of her ability.
Jessica received a Bachelor’s degree in Arts at Cleveland State University. She is now pursuing an advanced degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University in Chicago.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys painting, outdoor activities, spending time with friends, and is always ready for the next adventure. Throughout her summer, she has enjoyed roller blading, being by the water, and trying the local fare at several festivals.
Chandrakant Shah, PhD, LCPC, NCC
Dr. C.K. Shah has been credentialed as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois over fifteen (15) years. He graduated with his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Psychology from The University of Baroda, Gujarat, India in 1976. He is recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and is Board-Certified as an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Specialist through the Illinois Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association.
Dr. Shah worked for fourteen (14) years for the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center as a Staff Psychotherapist where he provided individual counseling, group psychotherapy, substance abuse intervention, and case management services to a varied client population.
Dr. Shah’s career experience has given him a deep understanding of mental health and substance abuse issues. He has a great commitment to providing the highest quality of care to individual and families to help improve their quality of life. Dr. Shah has expertise working with older teenagers, adults, and geriatrics and has worked extensively with anxiety, depression, chronic mental illness, relationship problems, substance abuse, traumatic stress, and grief counseling. Dr. Shah utilizes a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, and client-center therapy.
Dr. Shah lives with his family in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago and is fluent in Hindi, Gujarati, and Urdu.
Larry Sidel, LPC
Larry values and appreciates the desire to help others. He is thankful to have returned to school and completed a B.A. in teaching at UIC and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from NEIU. While working as a school counselor, pursuing the quest for meaning and purpose to life, Larry is inspired to return to school, as a beckoning “call” suggests the prompting to achieve a variety of new career goals. Having just completed a second Master’s Degree, General Mental Health Counseling, and seeking a Doctorate in Counseling with the passion to learn and help others, career development is one perspective for the recent return to school, as well as to pursue, The Path of the Heart.” Larry is finding a sense of awe about life that encourages, “seeking more.” Fortunate for having taught at a private school near Hyde Park in Chicago, as an academic advisor at UIC, a therapist for a private agency, as well as 13 years as a middle school counselor, and teaching at the middle school, Larry views “work” not as “work” but as a “Labor of Love.” His intent is to help others, children, adolescents or adults, in a professional way regarding personal, developmental, or vocational concerns. He respects the dignity of others without judging, criticizing, or opinionating about them. He views each person as precious in his or her way. Larry finds meaning in encouraging others to actualize their potential, while identifying goals to achieve.
Pneurissa Stamps, B.S.
I have extensive experience working with all ages and populations including relationships, trauma, intellectual disabilities, psychosis, and crisis. I have worked in residential, hospitals, private practice, and in-house counseling. I facilitated parenting education, couples, groups, family, and substance use therapy. I have taught counseling courses as well as developed curriculum. I am in the dissertation process with hopes of having my doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision in the Spring of 2020.
I have an integrated style of counseling which allows me to help clients get an individualized treatment. This approach accommodates their learning style and perception as they go through their process at their own capacity. I worked with culturally diverse populations using music, art, movies, role-play and experiential therapy.
I truly believe that everything that happens in my life is there for a purpose which should not be thought of as a mistake, but rather an experience that will bring wisdom, strength, and growth as an individual.
Ben Stark MSW, LCSW
Ben is a clinical social worker with an extensive and diverse background in behavioral health. He extensive experience providing crisis intervention services, child and family services, group therapy to domestic violence offenders, treatment of serious mental illness, and general outpatient mental health counseling.
Ben uses an eclectic, client-centered, strengths based approached to create a collaborative setting with clients to help them address a wide array of presenting issues. He pulls from several diverse clinical approaches including solution focused, cognitive behavioral and family systems to help clients reach their goals. Depression, anxiety disorders, grief, and adjustment issues are areas of special interest. Additionally, Ben pulls from his long career as a competitive athlete at multiple level competition to help athletes address mental health issues in sports performance as an additional area of interest.
Wendy Van Keulen, MSW, LCSW
Wendy for more than 20 years has provided counseling services in Spanish and with other diverse populations. She has a BA from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and an MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago. She has advocated for Latino immigrants, provided counseling and after-school programming to Latino youth in underserved communities, and interpreted for Spanish-speaking families facing crisis situations in medical, court and human services settings. She has worked with youth struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Wendy brings experience in community mental health clinics, substance abuse outpatient treatment centers, domestic violence/homelessness programs, and nursing home care. As a therapist for adults, couples and families, she helps them overcome challenges with anxiety, depression, life stressors and trauma. She utilizes Theraplay training with children and Gottman assessment tools in her work with couples.
Effective counseling is a team effort, Wendy believes, best focused on the expertise clients already have about their own lives. Goal-setting is essential, and should be practical -- not overwhelming. Thoughts are powerful things, and can sway emotions and behavior, so cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques can be helpful. Trauma-informed care can guide therapy for those grieving a loved one’s loss, childhood trauma, or other life transitions.
Rebecca Welles, intern
Rebecca is currently an intern at Counseling Speaks and pursuing her Graduate Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Adler University. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and aging adults who are addressing chronic or acute disability and other health related issues.
Rebecca views the therapeutic process as a holistic experience and is constantly inspired by the courage of the clients she works with. In addition to Integrative Pragmatic approaches, Rebecca also utilizes Existential, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strength-Based, Mindfulness, Equine Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapies into her practice. She strongly believes in the mind-body connection and that change is possible in any situation.
Amber Waite, intern
Amber Waite is a Clinical Intern from Adler University. She is currently a third-year student pursuing a dual master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Sport and Human Performance. Outside of counseling, Amber is an avid ultimate frisbee athlete and spends a lot of time exploring new workouts and studying sport psychology. She has spent the past year working at Rainbows for All Children as a community outreach specialist. At Rainbows, she acquired knowledge about childhood trauma/grief and researched activities that enable children to explore their emotions and personal experiences with loss.
Amber’s clinical interests include working with individuals who express concern with anxiety, depression, life adjustment, grief, athlete performance, etc. She is also interested in working with athletes on the mental side of injury recovery and how techniques from sport psychology and mindfulness research can be utilized in therapy. Her approach to counseling interventions include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), person-centered, existential, strengths-based therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). However, she believes in adjusting her interventions specifically to meet the needs of her clients. As a counselor, she works with her clients in a compassionate and collaborative effort to promote resiliency and self-determination.