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

Jordyn Adler, MEd, LPC


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A licensed professional counselor with a Master’s degree from DePaul University, and Yoga Instructor/enthusiast. As an intern and professional counselor, she gained her initial counseling experiences working as a school counselor in elementary and high schools in Chicago Public Schools, and has experience working with children,
adolescents, and adults.

Jordyn’s passion for mental health counseling started very early, and started working with the youth as a camp counselor in high school. She has experience working with clients from a variety of backgrounds around the Chicago-land area on stress management, social skills, life transitions, anxiety, depression, loss/grief, and anger management. Through Yoga and Meditation, she also teaches mindfulness, self-acceptance/love, patience, breath control, and other tools for positive change.

In counseling, Jordyn works from a person-centered understanding that all humans are inherently good, and believes in developing an authentic, personal, client-counselor relationship. She develops a personalized counseling plan, using different strategies and
exercises, depending on the client’s needs. Overall, she uses strengths-based approaches to empower clients to take responsibility and ownership of their life to make positive change, and live their
truth.

Saba Aqel, B.A. Intern


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A clinical intern from Northwestern University. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience and the biological sciences from the Ohio State University. She worked as a research assistance for 6 years throughout her undergraduate and post graduate career. Saba is also passionate about medical research, specifically, Psychoneuroimmunology research involving the complex intricacies that exist between the psychological, neurological, and immunological responses in the body.

Saba has completed a 3 and half year long psychology internship in the surgical intensive care unit at the OSU Medical center providing emotional support and resources to the families of patients in the ICU. She is Driven to help others overcome personal obstacles through mental health education and counseling. She is interested in working with women, men, and children who have experienced trauma, depression, and anxiety.

In counseling, Saba takes a holistic, multicultural, and strengths-based approach. She utilizes techniques from modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic counseling to help her clients improve their lives.

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Cherri Booker, LCSW

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Cherri has experience providing therapy for veterans, seniors, parents, adults, adolescents, and children in private practice, school, hospital, community and military settings. Cherri has extensive experience in working with individuals and couples who have mental health and substance use disorders, case management needs, grief and loss, trauma, depression, relationships issues, transition, stress and anger management difficulties, medical conditions, pain management, work issues, suicidal ideation and occurring crisis. Her therapeutic style is collaborative and insightful, using motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems, and a holistic, multicultural approach.

Cherri works to help patients reduce obstacles in order to assist them in finding more enjoyable relationships, managing emotions in a more healthy way, and feeling satisfied and productive in life pursuits.

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Monika Breidenbach, M.S., LPC, NCC

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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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Katya Budzinski, B.A.


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Katya Budzinski, BA, is a clinical intern working towards her Master’s degree In Clinical Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University. Katya’s interest in counseling stems from her love for helping people. Her experience includes working as a QIDP with developmentally disabled individuals and their families. Katya chose to pursue the field of counseling because she wants to help provide a better and stronger voice for individuals with disabilities, as well as provide solace for families who are struggling to cope with having a family member with a disability.

Katya is a strong advocate for others. She believes in creating an environment that enables individuals to confidently express themselves in a judgment free and empathic setting. Katya strives to ensure that individuals are able to live life to their fullest potential, and she encourages them to be true unto themselves.

Upon learning about various counseling theories, Katya has found that she is interested in many different theoretical approaches. However, she is particularly interested in incorporating CBT and humanistic theory, specifically person-centered theory, into her counseling sessions.


Desarae Coley Office Administrator

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Desarae Coley has completed her Associates of Science in Psychology at Northern Illinois University. Desarae plans on going back to school to further her education and complete her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Currently, she is working as an office manager at Counseling Speaks. She hopes to use this experience to help further her career in psychology.

Desarae has always held an interest in the inner working of the mind. Understanding a person’s situation and providing advice, learned though her own experiences, to ease their personal turmoil is a passion that drives her. She decided to take her interest in psychology and passion for helping people and pursue a career path.

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Sonia Chand, BA

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A clinical intern working towards her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University. Sonia’s professional interests as a counselor stem from her experiences with the National Autism Society and Autism Speaks, both dedicated to helping individuals and families of individuals on the autism spectrum. Sonia is very involved with the autism community, and she runs marathons for Team Up with Autism Speaks.

Apart from the autism community, Sonia partook in a social justice practicum that helped underserved immigrant populations. She got to learn about and experience the wide variety of challenges immigrant populations encounter when trying to adjust to a new country and new culture. Moreover, she got to see how such challenges impacted their mental health.

Sonia is passionate about creating a safe space, as to allow for people to fully be able to express themselves in a non-judgment and empathic setting. She is passionate about helping people with various needs, and Sonia is dedicated to helping people live to their fullest potential. She has interest a variety of theoretical approaches in her clinical training and education, including CBT, REBT, Gestalt, Adlerian, and Psychodynamic Theories.

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Melody Chen, M.S.Ed, LCPC

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A Clinical Counselor with experience in working with a diverse client population in a variety of settings, including community mental health, home-based therapy, crisis intervention and residential treatment. Her clients presented with issues ranging from adjustment disorder, ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, complex trauma, autism spectrum disorders and psychosis.

Melody is culturally sensitive and believes in professional but authentic human contact. She is passionate about addressing mental health issues with a collaborative, strength-based and humanistic approach to promote problem-solving, self-awareness and resilience. She draws from her eastern cultural background the practice of mindfulness and distress tolerance, while incorporating the well-established knowledge on attachment by western psychology to help clients develop skills in symptom management, as well as healing from emotionally/psychologically damaging experiences in life.

In addition to individual work, Melody also take into consideration contextual factors that contribute to clients’ difficulties. That is why she collaborated frequently with schools, doctors, Department of Child and Family Services and probation, and explore external resources to strive for optimal treatment outcomes.

*Melody is bilingual, proficient in English and Mandarin Chinese.
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Mercedes Conus, M.A., LPC

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Mercedes is passionate about helping people find emotional, mental, and spiritual healing in their lives. With the pressures that can come from work, family and/or society in general, I make it my goal to provide people with a safe space where they can process their current life events and/or past issues that are troubling them.

Mercedes has had very intense experiences working with different cultures around the world. She has lived in France, Italy, Germany, England, and Spain before she moved to the United States in 2000. Since then she has been working with children, adolescents, adults, disabled children, the elderly, and families. Some of the fields she has worked in include physical/sexual abuse, parental neglect, life adjustment, stress management, anger management, self-esteem, grieving and school refusal. During the internship, she primarily worked with depression, anxiety, self-harm, ADHD, Bipolar, Borderline personality, Defiant personality, and post- partum depression. She has experience with individual, group, and family therapy.

Mercedes uses a holistic approach by engaging the whole person including different levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Using personal traits such as empathy and compassion, she builds a positive rapport with her clients and families to shape a successful therapeutic process. She uses dialectal behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, person-centered therapy, and action-oriented approach to empower clients to bring their life on track. Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and positive therapy is a big part of her life. She practices these techniques to help her clients heal their minds and bodies. I am fully bilingual (Spanish/English).

*Mercedes speaks English and Spanish.
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Laura Esposito, Clinical Intern

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A clinical intern from Adler University. Laura earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Elmhurst College and is now pursuing her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler. From a young age, Laura gained personal experiences with mental health issues among family and friends, and early on, she decided she wanted to be a counselor.

Laura recently completed a social justice practicum where she created “Faces of the Fox,” a project that showcases diversity in five cities in the west suburbs. The project features fifteen unique individuals, including first generation citizens, a transgender male, people with shared housing, interracial couples, and more. The project, to be exhibited throughout the cities, includes photographs of the individuals along with their biographies. Laura is passionate about appreciating diversity and creating a more culturally competent world.

Laura values a strong therapeutic relationship with all clients. She ascribes to person-centered theory, which values a collaborative relationship between the counselor and client and unconditional positive regard. Laura believes that everyone has the capacity to fulfill their potential, and she is committed to providing support and empathy throughout the counseling process. She has interest in various techniques from several theories, including cognitive behavioral therapy, existential therapy, and reality therapy. Laura understands that therapy is not one-size-fits-all and values getting to know her clients and tailoring therapy accordingly.

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Princess Gabor, MA, LCPC, NCC

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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

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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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Denise Hirsch, MSW, LCSW

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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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Lola Ladimir, LCSW, CYT

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A licensed clinical social worker and EMDR trained psychotherapist. Lola practices a client-centered strength-based approach, incorporating a focus on mindfulness to promote mental well-being and strength of Self. This approach encourages a collaborative therapeutic relationship to facilitate healing and growth.

Lola’s clinical experience includes therapy with children, adolescents, adults, and families, specializing in trauma, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, life transitions, grief and loss, and child and adolescent behavior counseling.

Informed by continuing education and experience in psychotherapy and counseling, she bases her interventions on unique presented needs, providing supportive guidance toward identified goals.

*Lola speaks English and Russian.
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Tyler Presjak, Clinical Intern

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Tyler is currently working towards his Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from DePaul University, and has a Bachelor’s in Psychology.

Tyler’s has had previous individual and group counseling experience, and has worked with a variety of demographics. Tyler’s previous work experience includes those struggling with addiction, individuals with dual diagnoses, and adolescents; however, his interests also expand towards individuals in the LGBTQ community. Working with these populations, Tyler has learned to support a broad range of individuals and hopes to continue to build communities that challenge social stigmas around mental health, and create a platform for his clients to not only grow but also feel comfortable being their most authentic self. Tyler strives to create an environment for his client where their actions and words can be met with understanding and acceptance throughout the clinical experience.

Tyler’s theoretical approach aligns closest to social-constructionist theory, and thus he has always felt comfortable helping his clients challenge societal norms, while also fully understanding the cultural backgrounds and norms of his clients. Apart from social-constructionist, Tyler has experience with other post-modern approaches such as narrative theory, and experience with person-centered theory as well.

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Kayla Reda, BA

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A clinical intern from DePaul University. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and currently uses that knowledge to better interpret individual’s unique personal stories and the details that make them. Now, she is working towards her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Kayla has experience working with adolescents and teenage clients in private and group counseling. Her areas of interest include anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, life transitions, and grief. All involve helping the client navigate through their feelings to promote change and personal empowerment.

In counseling, Kayla takes an Adlerian, humanistic, and strengths-based approach. She believes in the power of meaningful conversation and the counseling process. Kayla works as a team with her clients to foster goals, social interest, and mindfulness through encouragement and genuineness to then allow clients to get where they are hoping to go.

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Pneurissa Stamps, B.S., INTERN

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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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Nicole L. Thompson, MA, LPC

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A Licensed Professional Counselor at counseling speaks. Nicole earned her Masters of Arts in Community Counseling at Argosy University after completing her undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Nicole has experience working with children, adolescents, families, and adults through individual and group services in home, correctional, and clinical settings. Nicole’s clients have presented with a variety of concerns and issues including substance use disorders, domestic violence, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, et cetera.

Nicole is a multicultural and gestalt therapist who is committed to the process of understanding and addressing societal issues that impact clients’ emotional and psychological health. Nicole works collaboratively with clients to connect to their authentic selves, step into their power, and set goals to achieve their desired holistic needs.

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Kasia Wereszczynska, MA, LCPC, RYT

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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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Kathy Ziecik, ​MA, LPC, NCC

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A mental health counselor at counseling speaks. Kathy earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from Northwestern University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boston University. Kathy was born in Poland and is able to provide Polish speaking counseling services.

Kathy is trained in psychodynamic as well as cognitive behavior therapy and utilizes an eclectic approach to tailor her treatment strategy according to the needs of each individual client. She is dedicated to helping others develop healthy and practical coping strategies and believes in a warm and collaborative therapeutic relationship as a foundation for developing trust and achieving desired outcomes. Kathy also utilizes creative art techniques throughout the treatment process to promote wellness and healing through a variety of mediums.

Kathy has experience working with individuals who present with self-esteem issues, addiction, trauma, and mood disorders. She enjoys working with clients of all ages as well as couples and families. Her clinical interests include cultural issues, life transitions, phobias, and relationship difficulties.

*Clinician speaks English and Polish.
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