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Founder


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Founder


Pamela Elliott

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

"My philosophy towards therapy, and, being a therapist, can be put this way...You can create change in your life. You can overcome difficult and even seemingly overwhelming obstacles. The first step is to believe that you are worthy of a better life no matter what the present situation tells you. The next step is to accept that, 'Life is a Journey'. I think there is incredible wisdom and hope in those four words; a journey is on-going and life gives you the opportunity to change direction anytime you truly want to! I believe we all have the ability to make things better for ourselves. Sometimes we just need a little help figuring out how to start." 

Pamela has been a practicing therapist for 28 years and uses a holistic approach to address her client's issues. She is also a Level II EMDR facilitator.

She received her Master of Science in Education, in 1986, from Illinois State University. In 1992, she was recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC), by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Pamela holds an active Illinois State License as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (#180.004957)   

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Clinicians


Clinicians


Clara Varlese 

Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor; National Board Certified Counselor

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“Our inherent strengths, resilience, and perseverance as human beings allow us to conquer any hurdle within our lives regardless of our circumstances. I believe that through increased self-awareness, building upon internal strengths and skills, and enhancing positive relationships, every person has the ability to reach their true positive potential.”

“I am committed to creating a safe, judgment free environment. I would consider myself a compassionate, genuine, and empathetic counselor with a great sense of humor. I am available to work with individuals of any age dealing with a spectrum of concerns. My overall therapeutic framework is Person-Centered; however, I utilize an array of techniques within complimentary approaches that best suit the individual's needs including Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness Based, Solution Focused, Expressive Arts and Dialectical Behavioral therapies. I have supported individuals through diverse struggles including relational and adjustment difficulties, depression and anxiety, bereavement, divorce, domestic violence, trauma, chronic illness, and various forms of discrimination."

Clara has been with the practice for the last 4 years and in total has over 12 years experience within the mental health field working with children, adolescents, and adults, providing both individual and group therapy. Clara's specific passion is guiding adults and adolescents through transitions of all kinds, helping them overcome barriers in order to lead authentic and fulfilled lives.

Clara is originally from New York City and received her Masters of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University in 2009. Clara received her License as a Mental Health Counselor in New York (license #005165); License as a Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois (license # 180.008589); and National Board Certification as a Counselor (certification # 251906).


Bruce Boeck

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I view Life as a stream of challenges and opportunities. Many of these lead to moments that enrich us, but occasionally Life has some rather sharp edges. That’s when talking to a caring, experienced professional can be helpful.  We all have talents, and one of mine is helping people, young and old, work with these challenges and overcome them. My focus is typically upon helping clients discover the strengths that they have within them, and learning how to best apply those strengths to life problems. Thus, I see counseling as the client and I working together towards a common goal of improving their quality of life. I utilize insight, exploration of the clients 'roadblocks', and enhanced coping strategies as a substantial part of my practice. I also believe that a good sense of humor is often useful to helping people see both sides of an issue. 


Margaret anne weATHERLY

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

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My beliefs and therapy surround the idea that each life has eternal worth and each of us has a mission to live. We often get distracted, misdirected, or addicted to 'shadow pleasures" and our own thinking, resulting in losing our way, our worth, and our purpose.  This results in an empty life and problems within us and with those around us.

My approach is to explore all the aspects of a person's life and challenge his thoughts and behaviors that have become troublesome.  It is very powerful when a person realizes that he is never alone, and only responsible for his part in life's problems.

My approach is cognitive-behavioral. I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families. I have much experience in substance abuse and the process addictions and all the pain that radiates from that disease: depression, anxiety, stress, co-dependency, behavioral issues,  relational and spiritual issues.

Anne has been in the counseling field for 28 years. Her experiences include working with substance addicted individuals and families, teaching recovery skills groups, and helping clients seek refuge in God as a healer of issues that entrap them. She has experience treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, relational issues, marital concerns, OCD,  eating disorders, grief and trauma. She has recently been trained on the BrainPaint System.

She received her Masters of Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University. She has been in private practice since 2006. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. (#180-001993)


Jason reel-haas

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

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“The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.”

My road to becoming a therapist has been long and winding, which I believe has helped shape who I am today. I began professional counseling in 2010 after completing my master’s degree in Community Counseling. Before this I worked in several corporate environments, including the Systems Department of State Farm Insurance where I was a technical editor working on different projects and release teams. 

While becoming a counselor, I started working as a mental health professional at a county correctional facility where I stayed for three years, assisting in implementing their mental health services, and working towards national healthcare accreditation. I was later employed by a hospital emergency department doing psychiatric evaluations and admissions to their inpatient unit, and connecting patients with community resources for follow-up. I then went on to become a case manager at a homeless shelter where I worked with residents to achieve short- and long-term goals of independence. These experiences were formative in learning to help clients de-escalate quickly, work towards stability, and meeting people where they were at during their time of greatest need.

Before joining ECS in 2018, I worked at an employee assistance program company for several years where I provided telephonic and video counseling to clients all over the world, including providing emotional support for expatriates and their families living abroad during work assignments. I sincerely enjoyed getting to know the families and seeing them through different stages of their transitions, as well as being a familiar point of contact when rough periods occurred. 

My amazing wife and I have been married over 10 years and have two incredible children. We attend and are active in a rural Mennonite church that focuses on peace and social justice. In my free time, I enjoy reading extensively, searching for the next-greatest Netflix show, and playing guitar. 

Areas of experience include addressing stress and anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, relationships issues, career counseling, and seeing clients through significant life transitions. I strongly believe in fostering hope, using proven strategies for positive life-changing action, and the ability to build resilience in the midst of hardship. I enjoy connecting with clients of all ages, especially teens and young adults who are working to solidify their sense of self and place in the world. 


phil schertz

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor

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I believe that life does not always work out like we think it should.  Sometimes we get stuck and need direction from someone outside our situation.  In my opinion, seeking help is a sign of strength – not weakness!  My approach is people centered and I help clients attain their best life no matter what the circumstances.

I enjoy working with both kids and adults who are experiencing a variety of life situations. I'm experienced with play therapy, cognitive behavioral, and EEG bio-feedback.  BrainPaint EEG bio-feedback is a powerful evidence based treatment that is amazing.  It can help a host of different issues or can simply be about getting your brain to work at its best so you excel even further in life.  Feel free to contact me to set an appointment.

                                 

 


Caroline van aman

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

 

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Neuroscience has shown us that our brains have the ability to make new connections and heal throughout our entire lives. I love helping my clients make these new connections, so that they can heal and live a fulfilling life. I am committed to the clients that I serve. I use a structured approach and have clear plan of action when I work with my clients. I know that every client I see has taken a brave step to seek help. I have seen that once my clients have gathered the resources that they need to be successful, great positive changes can occur.

My goal is to help clients make meaningful changes in the way they think and handle life's challenges. This way they can manage or overcome life’s obstacles. I am a licensed clinical professional counselor. From 2011 to present, I worked to provide therapy to groups, adults, children, and families.

I trained in my graduate program in cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Through my work experience, I had the opportunity to be trained in Eye Movement Desentization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Theraplay Principles, BrainPaint and in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI).

 


Laurie Krolikowski

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

 

Life can sometimes be overwhelming and present challenging situations that we do not know how to deal with. There are few things that we can control in our lives but how we choose to handle overwhelming situations is our choice. Therapy can provide tools and support to assist individuals in dealing with life’s challenges.

I use a holistic, strength focused therapy approach to assist you in goal setting to address your problems or challenges.   My approach emphasizes a balanced lifestyle through a combination of nutrition/exercise and mindfulness, as well as utilizes a variety of therapeutic approaches.  I provide a safe and supportive environment empowering you to address challenges and make meaningful changes in your life. 

I have over 15 years’ experience in social services dealing with a variety of issues. I received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from Illinois State University in 2010 and have my clinical license (#149-018997).  I also utilize the Brain Paint Biofeedback system. I am currently accepting clients on a sliding fee scale.

 


Kathy Berry

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

During my 20+ years of experience in this community I have worked with children, adolescents, adults and families with a variety of issues and in a variety of settings.  No matter what the age or what the issue I have found that most people have the ability to cope with life when they have the support they need. What I love most about being a therapist is seeing how positive changes in one person have a ripple effect in their family and community. We are truly all connected.   I believe my non-threatening down -to- earth support, optimism, and problem-solving skills are my greatest therapy strengths.  I would love the opportunity to listen to you and help you uncover the strengths you need to live life to the fullest.   

Kathy received a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University in 1994 and has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois since 1996.  She has been trained in numerous techniques including play therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) and BrainPaint EEG Biofeedback. 


kjerstine maas

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

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“I believe that we all experience and have the ability to overcome challenges.  It is often through pain and adversity that we grow and create change in our lives.  My role is to provide support and guidance during this process.  Deciding to seek therapy can be difficult.  I provide a safe, comfortable environment in which to gain self-awareness and work towards goals.  I am inspired almost every day by my clients’ insight, strength, and capacity for change.”

I have been in practice for 16 years and have an Eclectic Therapy Approach, with an emphasis on Person-Centered and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies.  I have over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families on a variety of concerns related to:  Anxiety, Depression, behavioral problems, divorce, peer difficulties, ADHD, OCD, and self-esteem/self-image.  I'm experienced in working with adults on a variety of issues including:  Anxiety, Depression, Mood Disorders, relationship difficulties, life change/transitions, work difficulties, and substance abuse. Additionally, I'm trained on Brainpaint EEG Biofeedback, which can be very effective for a variety of issues, including trauma.  

I received my Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, in 2000, from Illinois State University.  I hold an active Illinois State License as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (#180.004711).


Julia Bozarth

LICENSED CLINICAL PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR

 

Before I was a therapist, I was an educator. Among other courses, I taught Crisis Communication in the Police and Fire Safety Academy and volunteered with an on-campus crisis center. My job was to teach first responders how to get important information from potentially traumatized witnesses/victims, and I often wondered what I would do if I were permitted to see the crisis through. What would I do if I were the therapist who assisted this person— start to finish—in recovering from a life-altering event? 

When I accepted a faculty position in the Department of Communication at Illinois State University, I decided to find out. I earned another Master's Degree in Psychology. I believe that it is my combination of a solid background in communication—which includes relationships, gender-speak, assertiveness and self-talk—along with my education in Clinical Psychology and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor certification that provides for a well-balanced approach to individual counseling.

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My clients—though they often have very difficult circumstances to overcome—are most often wonderful people in difficult situations. They inspire me. When I see the healing, when I see the insight, when I see the answer with the client, I am humbled and grateful for the therapeutic relationship. And, I love the "happily ever afters."

Depression | Anxiety | Bi-Polar and Mood Disorders | Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | Acute Stress Disorder | Sexual Assault Victimization | Trauma | Chronic Pain and Disease | OCD | Adolescents and Young Adults with Special Needs | Anger Management | Impulse Control | Disordered Eating | Borderline Personality Disorder | Self-Harming Behaviors