Our Therapists

Jennifer Smith, M.Ed, LPC, NCC

I believe that successful therapy starts with a therapeutic counselor-client relationship that is respectful, honest, and authentic.  My counseling approach is Person-Centered and focused on the client and their well-being.  I believe that with the right support, clients have the ability to set and achieve goals, as well as, discover solutions to the problems they may face.  Since the needs of my clients can vary, I also incorporate techniques from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Therapy, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy to help them master their goals.  As a therapist, I strive to work with my clients to develop healthy ways to cope with daily life struggles and psychological trauma.

Clinical Areas of Interest/Training

Clinically, I have experience working with Major Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, and Substance Abuse.  I have a background of working in a behavioral health hospital and residential facilities.  Through my previous counseling positions, I was able to gain experience conducting individual, group, and family therapy.  I received training in crisis intervention, clinical documentation, case management, and treatment planning.

I have also worked closely with children as a teacher of special education.  In that capacity, I worked directly with children who had behavioral and learning disabilities, autism, and cognitive impairments.  I bring this experience to my counseling practice and have a strong interest in helping young children and adolescents work through the challenges they face.  I am committed to providing positive support to children, families, and adults.

Education

I earned my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University and Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education from the University of Central Florida.  I completed my counseling internship at Chicago Children’s Center for Behavioral Health where I was able to provide individual and group therapy to children and adolescents who suffered from suicidal or homicidal ideation.  During my counseling internship, I worked with children who had struggles with depression, anxiety, self-harm, anger management, and impulse control.

License

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois.  My license number is 178.015327.

 

 

Brittany Arrington, MSW, LCSW

I believe that the foundation of a therapeutic relationship comes from trust, consistency and comfort. I view therapy as a means of helping you identify and more effectively utilize strengths that you may have lost sight of, particularly at times of stress. Additionally, I believe that pain is an inevitable part of life, however through counseling we can reduce our suffering and become who we are meant to be. I incorporate fundamentals from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Strength-Based Therapy Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy,  Mindfulness, Family Therapy and Play Therapy to assist clients in reaching their goals. I strive to provide a therapeutic experience of genuine connection and relatedness that supports each individual’s unique development of self-awareness, insight, and effective strategies for change.

Through our work together, I hope to facilitate opportunities to enhance your sense of self, support your relationships, and promote your overall growth.

Clinical Areas of Interest/Training

Clinically, I have experience working with Trauma, Family Crisis, Depression, Mood Disorders, Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Injury, Trauma, and Parenting Support. I previously worked in a residential facility providing services to children and families whom were working towards family reunification. Additionally, I have worked for a hospital as well as therapeutic day and public schools.
I enjoy working with Children, Teenagers, Families, and Individuals.

Education

I earned my Masters Degree in Social Work at University of Saint Francis in Joliet, IL. My internship was completed at Joliet Township High School providing students with individual and group counseling services. During my internship, I worked with students suffering from PTSD, co-morbid diagnosis’ (anxiety, depression, ADHD,mood disorders) homelessness, self-injurious behaviors and substance abuse. I view therapy as a means of helping you identify and more effectively utilize strengths and resources that you may have lost sight of, particularly during times of stress.

License

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Illinois. My license number is 149.020709.

 

 

Marko Sipka, MA, LPC

I believe a client-counselor relationship founded on trust, honesty, and mutual respect can help you make powerful changes in your life. As a therapist, I value your unique experience and seek to provide a nonjudgmental space for you to explore the challenges you face. As you start to develop self-understanding, I believe you will gain confidence in your ability to approach familiar patterns with a fresh perspective. Whether or not you have specific goals in mind, I look forward to walking alongside you to determine how our work together can lead to a richer, more fulfilling life.
My approach is fundamentally Person-Centered; however, I often integrate Psychodynamic Therapy, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques based on the needs and strengths of my clients. As a therapist who believes in considering the person as a whole, I am open to exploring ways in which your physical and spiritual health might affect your mental well-being.

Clinical Areas of Interest/Training

I enjoy working with individuals, couples, early adults, and adults. I have experience helping clients navigate depression, anxiety, grief and loss, anger management, life transitions, men’s issues, self-esteem, and trauma. I am currently an Adjunct Counselor at Moraine Valley Community College and have previous experience in acute inpatient psychiatric treatment at Norwegian American Hospital, Kindred Hospital, and Chicago Children’s Center for Behavioral Health.

Education

I received my Bachelor’s Degree at DePaul University and my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University. I completed my clinical internship at North Park University, where I provided individual and group counseling to early adult and adult students. The various issues I encountered here include depression, anxiety, grief and loss, anger management, trauma, life transitions, and career discernment.

License

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois. My license number is 178.013871.

 

 

Kierra Pickens, MA, LPC

I believe in creating a comfortable, safe and genuine atmosphere in an effort to assist clients with progression towards therapeutic goals. My eclectic style allows me to provide therapy focused on integrating clients’ morals, values, and personal history. Clients and I are able to collaborate to discover and determine the most effective goals and treatments. I provide psycho-education to allow clients to better understand symptoms, diagnoses and therapeutic interventions encompassed in treatment. I believe helping clients understand these processes will lead to personal growth and achievement.

I understand that we hold different roles throughout our everyday lives, which might evoke a range of emotions. Events, situations and other circumstances while enacting multiple roles can at times become stressful, depressing and even traumatic. I am here to assist with addressing and processing questions, comments and concerns in order to facilitate clients with living healthy, stable and prosperous lives.

With my diverse clinical background, clients benefit from learning and utilizing techniques from a wide range of modalities including: Anger Management, Stress Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Art Therapy, Mindfulness, Family Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Play Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Person Centered Therapy. I am always researching and striving to continue my education and training towards providing the most efficient and effective forms of therapy for each of my clients.

Clinical Areas of Interest/ Training

I have experience working with Anxiety, Anger and Aggression, Depression, Family Conflict, Self-Injurious Behaviors, Trauma, Self-Esteem, Grief/Loss, Chemical Dependency, Sexuality, Couples and Women’s Issues. I also have training in crisis intervention: I have working with individuals suffering from suicidal ideation, psychosis, homicidal ideation, and psychosis.

I have a background in residential counseling, SASS (Screening Assessment and Support Services), and mental health therapy in a clinical setting. From my previous positions and training, I was able to gain experience with conducting individual therapy, group and family therapy. I also became well versed with diagnosing, case management, treatment planning, administering assessments, and clinical documentation. I have a certification in School Counseling which allows me to assist with skills related to academic planning, time management and goal setting.

I appreciate working with children, pre-adolescents, adolescents, couples, families, adults and focus groups. I admire my clients allowing me to step in their worlds in an effort to provide any assistance I am able to. Witnessing the improvements and positive transitions of my clients never ceases to amaze me.

Education

I received my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. I completed my counseling internship at Hartgrove Hospital in Chicago, IL where I received training in working with various populations including: adolescents, children, preadolescents, adults and older adults with a variety of diagnosis and symptoms. I was able to conduct individual and group therapy focused on depression, anxiety, anger management and self injury.
I administered and composed assessments related to trauma. Through the internship, I was able to obtain hands on experience with all populations, diagnoses and clinical documentation.

License

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois. My license number is 178.012844.

 

 

Shannon Bidlo, M.Ed, LPC

Regardless of the reason one may seek therapy, I believe creating a warm, welcoming, and supportive environment is the first step in helping a client move towards their goals. I approach counseling from a Person-Centered perspective, but pull from a variety of different theories, depending on my clients needs and goals. I most commonly integrate techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy, Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques, and Motivational Interviewing.

Whether you are going through a difficult transition, have experienced a loss of some sort, want to improve communication skills/relationships, or are looking to do some self – exploration, I look forward to collaborating with you to determine which type of therapy/treatment would be most beneficial in helping you achieve your desired therapeutic goals.

Clinical Areas of Interest/Training

I have previously worked in a residential/clinical setting and currently work in schools. While working at Albany Care in Evanston, IL, I counseled individuals on techniques for managing and coping with symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Through individual and group counseling I helped residents develop positive behaviors and coping skills that would allow them to successfully reintegrate back into the community and live a more independent life. I currently work with an alternative education program within 3 high schools throughout west Cook County. I work with adolescents who are considered “at- risk” youth and who for various circumstances did not graduate high school on time. Clinically, I have experience working with Anxiety, Depression, Self – Esteem, Family Conflict, Anger Management, and Trauma. I enjoy working with Adolescents, Adults, Couples and Individuals.

Education

I received my Master’s Degree in Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Through this program I received both my LPC and a School Counseling endorsement. I completed my internship at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, IL. During my internship I gained experience counseling adolescents through a number of obstacles including: Family Crisis, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse, Peer Pressure, Self-Esteem, Self-Harm, Eating Disorders and Bullying

License

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Illinois. My license number is 178.014154.

 

 

Jennifer Crumb Perez, MA, LCPC, NCC (owner)

When working with clients, I believe that collaboration and understanding is necessary to move forward in attaining the goals envisioned by the client. The work I do is Person-Centered and based upon the notion that many of us desire to move towards personal growth, improvement and change.
I believe that people come to therapy with a myriad of strengths that can be harnessed for one’s ultimate improvement. I will provide you with support and skills to address whatever concerns you may have.
Additionally, I understand that needs of my clients vary. Due to these variations, I incorporate techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Play Therapy, Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques, Solution Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and several variations of Family Therapy.

Clinical Areas of Interest/Training

Clinically, I have experience working with Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Anger Management, Self-Injury, Family Conflict, Intimate Partner Relational Problems, Trauma, and Parenting Support.
I have previously worked in domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, community health agencies and in private practice.
I enjoy working with Children, Teenagers, Families, Couples and Individuals.

Education

I earned my Masters Degree in Clinical Professional Psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. My internship was completed at Will County Health Department in the Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program. During my internship, I worked with children, adolescents and their families who were in crisis and dealing with suicidal and/or homicidal ideations, extreme anger and self harm to the point that their ability to keep themselves and others safe was in question. I made evaluations for possible hospitalization and then provided crisis stabilization therapy as follow-up.

License

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois. My license number is 180.010128.



support@thrivinglivescounseling.com
708-963-0333



Send a Message