About Us

Counseling speaks was 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 counseling speaks—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.

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Our Clinicians

Victoria Akhteebo, BA

Victoria Akhteebo, BA, is a Clinical Intern working toward a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University. She entered the mental health field by volunteering and then was invited to become a staff member in the vocational program at the Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health. Victoria also has experience with case management, providing medical education, and socialization classes in a nursing and rehabilitation center. She also has experience working with adolescent and adult populations.

Her clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, substance abuse, and life transitions. She utilizes a holistic approach, integrating Existential-Humanistic interventions with Solution-Focused and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy modalities. She is committed solely to helping provide mental health support to people when they need it the most. She believes that people are capable of transforming their lives to better themselves. Victoria works to provide clients with a safe, supportive, and collaborative space to explore their vulnerabilities to reach their goals.

Lynn T. Austrheim, MSW, LCSW


Lynn T. Austrheim, MSW, LCSW has a broad experience as a social worker, psychotherapist/counselor that includes working on psychiatric units of two hospitals. Lynn has also provided counseling services for the US Navy and the Veterans administration. He worked for several independent treatment centers in addition to maintaining an ongoing private practice.

The first thing that Lynn examines when acquiring a new client of mental health is to screen to make sure the client has the capacity to learn and retain new learning. Medical issues and brain problems (e.g., memory) must be considered. Lynn is sensitive to the possibility that the presenting problem may be a result of defective parenting and will ask the client to describe their parent’s behavior towards them when they were about 5 years old.

Lynn has come up with the idea that perhaps most people have been compressed by their parents, schools, and society and sees his job as liberating the client so they can be who they really are. To facilitate this liberation of the spirit Lynn has developed an 18-step counseling program called “Sequence Therapy” which has been very effective in helping people have much better and happier lives. Additionally, Lynn is very open about what he is doing and wants his clients to know as much or more than he does about their situation and the world in which they function. In the last steps of sequence therapy Lynn teaches people psychological tools, and ways of relating, so the client will remain psychologically strong in the future with others.

Monika Breidenbach, M.S., LPC, NCC


A counselor with a Master’s degree from National Louis University. Her experience includes working with children, adolescents and adults in different settings including crisis intervention and community mental health.

Monika’s clinical interests include stress management and working with people with mood disorders, with a goal to help them navigate through anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, and difficulties in life adjustments.

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.

+ Clinician speaks English and Polish.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Nolan Hendrickson, B.A


Nolan Hendrickson, B.A., is a Clinical Intern from Adler University, where he is working towards a degree in clinical mental health counseling. Nolan is passionate about helping individuals overcome negative emotions, such as sadness, depression, and anxiety. In addition, Nolan is particularly passionate about helping his clients work through the difficulties of breakups, loss, and grief. As a personal hobby, Nolan actively stays up to date with emotion research and is current working on his book about emotion theory.

In working with his clients, Nolan uses his knowledge of his emotions as a foundation for helping his clients attain emotional relief and life changes. One of Nolan’s primary philosophies toward counseling is that even when life circumstances are incredibly difficult, feeling better is always still possible. As a counselor, Nolan strives to build a strong working alliance with his clients and attempts to collaboratively build goals. Using this person-centered approach with his clients, Nolan works toward understanding the unique lived experience of his clients in order to assist them in working through difficult times.

Denise Hirsch, MSW, LCSW


As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Denise strives to provide a supportive, empowering setting so that children, adolescents, adults and families can utilize their strengths to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Denise has experience working across the Chicagoland area for agencies and at schools.

Denise takes a strength based, eclectic approach in order to tailor treatment to best suit the needs of her clients. Whether seeking counseling to manage concerns such as grief; depression and anxiety; family, school, or work related crises, Denise’s goal is to ensure clients feel comfortable, informed, and empowered by the process. She has a special interest in working with those who have experienced trauma and has received specialized training in managing crises and past trauma.

In addition, due to Denise’s extensive experience in schools, she is also able to provide guidance and support for families navigating challenging school situations related to such things as bullying, learning disabilities, Autism and ADHD.

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Jessica Juarez, M.Ed.


Jessica Juarez is currently working on her Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree from Adler University. Jessica holds a master’s degree in Educational Psychology: Youth Development from the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC). Jessica has 15 years’ experience working in schools and community-based organizations across Chicago working with youth, families, and communities. Jessica often integrates visual arts and mindfulness to help navigate difficulties with emotional management, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and self-identity conflicts.

Through her experience in direct service, Jessica has learned that life is a journey full of surprises, celebrations, transitions, and growth. At times the transitions can cause stress, pain, and discomfort. 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 scary, 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 is drawn to an integrative approach, tailored to everyone’s contexts. Jessica believes that therapy should be your safe space that reflects your needs. Her aim is to join each client in processing, realizing, celebrating, and cultivating the best of what their life has to offer.

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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.

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Pneurissa Stamps, B.S., INTERN


Pneurissa is a clinical intern at Counseling Speaks. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Chicago State University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Chicago State University. She has worked as a Cosmetologist for several years and her passion grew from making women look good externally to helping them cope and heal from daily life stressors.

Pneurissa leads a group of women that teaches them to journal as a way of expressing internal conflicts and develop adaptive coping skills. Her clinical interests are in trauma, substance abuse/addictions, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Her desire is to build rapport and help her clients to achieve wellness using holistic approaches and to work collaboratively with clients to empower them to make achievable goals.

Pneurissa values many different theoretical approaches and modalities. The theoretical orientation she regularly uses include: cognitive behavior therapy, solution focused therapy, and reality therapy. These approaches help clients develop rational thought processes and to focus on the present using techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques.

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Kasia Wereszczynska, MA, LCPC, RYT


A Clinical Counselor, Speaker, and Yoga Instructor at counseling speaks with experience in working with children, adolescents, families and adults. Originally from Poland, Kasia has developed an appreciation for different cultures. She works to build a healing environment that helps facilitate personal growth and positive change. In addition, she empowers her clients by helping them set and achieve realistic goals in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.

Kasia has an extensive training and experience in crisis intervention, cognitive-behavioral therapy and positive psychology. Her areas of specialty include anxiety, depression, life transitions, addiction, trauma, self esteem concerns and stress management.

Kasia has provided counseling to a culturally diverse population serving the South Side of Chicago and the North Shore area. She has a history of working in various settings including the mental health court system, hospital emergency room, community mental health agencies, and both inpatient/outpatient psychiatric hospital settings.

*Kasia speaks English and Polish.
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Athena Zaimi, BA


Athena is pursuing her MSW at DePaul University. Athena has experience counseling victims of sexual assault and was a Victim Advocate for SAAFE (Sexual Assault Awareness for Empowerment). Athena is also a graduate assistant at DePaul University and a member of three different coalitions: Coalition for Immigrant Mental Health, Forensic Asylum Assessment Network, and The Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative.

Athena uses a psychodynamic approach inspired by Freudian and Jung principles. She has a great ability to connect events in a client’s past to the manifestation of the current events in their life that are causing them harm, worry, or anxiety. This approach allows Athena to work through client’s problems and relieve their internal turmoil. Athena also likes to cater to each client, and is open to tweaking her methods to best suit the individual’s needs.

Athena’s main goal is to empower clients to feel comfortable and able to take on life’s most challenging moments. She believes therapy is a safe space for individuals to open up and address their issues. Athena aims to instill hope, and see her clients blossom by the end of their time with her.

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