Biographies of Our Team
NOVO’s clinically licensed therapists and counselors are here to assist you in working through your life issues to allow you to grow, succeed, and find the JOY in life!
Vicki Alden, Ph.D., LCSW
St. Charles & Sycamore, IL
I provide psychotherapy/counseling to individuals from 21 years of age and beyond. My specialty is working with anyone experiencing grief and loss and those dealing with life issues that make daily functioning challenging. I am part of the Novo Team on Brain Change Treatment for anyone struggling with psychological dysfunction and the Peak Performance Team for optimal performance in sports, professional and personal life. During my 30-plus years in the mental health and social service field I have had the privilege to work within family and youth service agencies, an inpatient mental health center, and three teaching hospitals.
I believe each person is a unique individual that must be treated with dignity, respect and empathic understanding. Each person's strengths need to be identified and utilized to solve problems and to achieve goals in both therapy and in daily life.
My practice is based on the holistic approach that stresses the need for mind, body, spirit to be in balance and harmony to enable each person to truly find joy in living.
Dr. Alden can be reached at (312) 305-3443 or Vicki@novocounsel.com.
Judy Thomas, LCSW
St. Charles, IL & Hartland, WI
Judy Thomas is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with extensive experience and success at working with adults and adolescents around the issues of depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, anger management, and substance abuse. She has long had an interest in understanding the biological basis of behavior, brain functioning and facilitating brain change to improve functioning. Judy offers traditional talk therapies grounded in the principles of cognitive-behavioral techniques and mindfulness as well as using neurofeedback when it would benefit.
My Interest in Neurofeedback
I first became aware of neurofeedback while researching brain-based treatments for anxiety and depression as an alternative to medication. Many individuals have difficulty taking cognitive-behavioral strategies out into the world and using them effectively. The explanation for this is frequently that these clients have less-than optimal access to their cerebral cortex (or ‘higher brain’), particularly their frontal lobes- an area in the brain responsible for executive functioning and relating to such activities as planning, judgment, emotional regulation, and memory, among others.
My experience as a practioner of meditation has taught me that conditions like anxiety and depression are not permanent, unchangeable states. Rather they are habits of the mind- and neural patterns in the brain- that become deeply entrenched. Meditation practice and discipline and long-term commitment, the very resources clients often lack. Neurofeedback has been described as meditation on steroids, which allows me to bring the long-term benefits of meditation and mindfulness to a shorter-term clinical setting. I believe that neurofeedback can be helpful to a wide range of clients, from higher functioning individuals seeking peak performance to those who were too distressed to utilize the cognitive-behavioral strategies of talk therapy.
Judy can be reached at (773) 673-8745 or Judy@novocounsel.com
Alexandria M. Shanklin, LCPC
St. Charles & Sycamore, IL
Alexandria M. Shanklin is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, GA and Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. Ms. Shanklin has been practicing for over 10 years seeing clients from ages 3 to 80. She has extensive experience in treating individuals who are dually diagnosed with addiction and mood disorders. Ms. Shanklin uses a variety of treatment modalities including client centered, cognitive, and behavioral therapy techniques. Within the umbrella of behavioral therapy techniques, Ms. Shanklin offers neurofeedback to her clients for treating a variety of mental health issues and for peak performance training.
In addition to offering individual therapy, Ms. Shanklin offers group therapy for self esteem and personal development and a variety of other topics. She conducts seminars on parenting topics including her Getting Found Fast program which teaches parents and children what to do if the child becomes lost and Keeping Kids Off of Drugs which provides parents with practical information and skills to keep their children safer from addictive substances.
For the past seven years she has been teaching assessment and diagnosis to fourth year medical students in a community hospital setting.
Alexandria can be reached at 630-494-0221 or Alex@novocounsel.com
Alyson Krahl LPC
St. Charles & Sycamore, IL
Alyson Krahl is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), in the state of Connecticut. Alyson earned her Master of Arts in Psychology, with a focus on Health Psychology from Central Connecticut State University, in 2012. She completed the Advanced Official Certificate Program in Professional Counseling, in 2013, also at Central Connecticut State University. Alyson earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. After moving to the area, Alyson is now pursuing a License in Clinical Professional Counseling (LCPC) in Illinois.
Alyson has over 2 years experience working with Substance Abuse/Dependence and Addictions, in both individual and group settings. She has completed trainings in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) focused on Eating Disorders and teaching Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation skills. She has extensive training and work with children with Autism, from ages three to 21 years old. Alyson worked as an ABA Therapist using Discrete Interval Training (DTI) to teach children with Autism for over 3 years. With a focus on Health Psychology during her master’s program, Alyson has been educated about the relationship between the mind and body, specifically in terms of terminal illness and work related stress.
Working in the Social Services field since 2008, Alyson has a passion for working with and helping others through therapy.
Alyson can be reached at 630-280-6511. or Alyson@novocounsel.com
Jessica Rojas MA, MS, LCPC
Bilingual Child Psychotherapist
Jessica Rojas is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She is a graduate of Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Mrs. Rojas specializes in child psychopathology and has extensive experience working with children, parents, and families in “mending the bond.” Mrs. Rojas is knowledgeable in assessments and treatment related to improved family dynamics and relationship functioning. Mrs. Rojas uses a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities including client-centered, dialectical-behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and play therapy to nurture positive attachment and develop lasting interpersonal skills.
Mrs. Rojas incorporates a holistic approach in addressing emotional concerns within oneself while developing lifelong habits for a healthy mind and body which in turn give way to enhanced interpersonal experiences. In developing awareness, one learns to identify ways to heal through reflection, acceptance, and obligation of personal insecurities and individual shortcomings.
Mrs. Rojas has worked in diverse settings including psychiatric inpatient, outpatient, residential, substance abuse, alternative school, private practice and child welfare. Specific issues include personality and attachment disorders, mood disorders, and trauma related to chronic medical conditions and physical and sexual abuse. In addition to be being fluent in both Spanish and English, Mrs. Rojas is also well-versed in Latino culture and acculturation topics.
Jessica can be reached at 815-745-4215 or Jessica@novocounsel.com
Krin Kramer LCSW
Krin Kramer received a Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University of Chicago in 2005. She has post graduate experience and training working in hospice, medical social work, inpatient psychiatric social work as well as outpatient psychotherapy. Krin also has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and has worked with the chronically mentally ill as well as geriatric populations. In addition to her work at Novo, she works in palliative care and is working toward palliative care certification.
Having completed her EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) specialization, Krin is uniquely qualified to work with patients coping with PTSD, complicated grief and sexual abuse. She also assists with depression and anxiety. Krin provides psychotherapy for adults in a safe, supportive and compassionate environment. Clients will explore and gain a better understanding of the repetitive patterns that block goals. Often coping strategies from our past are no longer useful. Sometimes we need help becoming mindful of old patterns and forming new patterns. Krin customizes her approach by integrating therapeutic techniques including cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, and mind connection approaches. Together you will explore ways to express your experiences in a unique, safe way while moving toward healing and growth.
Krin can be reached at 414-627-9995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna M. Rocha, M.A., CPC
St. Charles & Sycamore, IL
Donna M. Rocha is a Personal Coach trained to empower people and assist them in maximizing their skills and abilities. Ms. Rocha has a Masters degree in Counseling and Philosophy from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University, Chicago. She has been active in the education and counseling fields for over 20 years. Ms. Rocha also has her certification as a Professional Coach from Coach Training Alliance.
You might ask what is Professional Coaching?
It is a professional service providing clients with feedback, insights, and guidance from an outside vantage point.
What Makes Coaching Unique?
Coaching is an ongoing collaborative partnership built on taking action. In this powerful alliance clients find themselves taking more effective and focused actions while creating momentum and consistency in their lives. Clients become more balanced and fulfilled as they affirm their skills and capabilities. Effective coaching motivates you to discover the clarity and balance that is within you.
Imagine creating the life you want to live.
Imagine clarifying your life values and passions.
Coaching will empower and energize you toward transformation and growth.
Donna can be reached at (630) 341-5335 or Donna@novocounsel.com
J.J Wett, LMFT
J.J. received his Master’s Degree in Applied Family and Child Studies with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy in May of 2012 from Northern Illinois University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Social Services from Northern Illinois University as well. J.J. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist licensed by the State of Illinois (License #: 208.000277).
J.J. was born with spinal muscular atrophy which was supposed to kill him by the age of two. However, he is almost 30 years old and ready to bring his life and professional experience to you! He has overcome many obstacles in his life including receiving his Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University. While studying at Northern Illinois, he trained under several leading relationship therapists and now he is able to bring this knowledge into your life. J.J. also has 10+ years experience working with people in a social service setting. He has made it a priority to ensure people with disabilities receive the services needed to live a fulfilling life. In fact, he researched family dynamics relating to a child having a disability for his Master's thesis.
J.J. provides individual and family therapy to everyone no matter the age. He specializes in helping people with disabilities and their family members overcome obstacles in their life. He offers a group specifically for siblings of a person with a disability to assist the sibling in developing a positive relationship with their parent/s, a group for parents of a child with a disability to help the parents develop a positive relationship with the sibling, and a group for people with disabilities to assist them in coping with a disability.
JJ can be reached at 815-690-0645 or JJ@novocounsel.com
Jason Singer, AMFT
St Charles, IL
Jason Singer has been a licensed AMFT and MFTI (in California) since 2011. Jason received a Master of the Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in 2011, completing their Military PTSD Specialization and did a year long internship at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in 2010-2011. Jason has a Bachelor of Science in Acting from Northwestern University. In addition to his work at Novo, Jason is currently a counselor at Advanced Neurodiagnostics, working with clients suffering the emotional effects of Traumatic Brain Injury.
Having completed my school's Post-Deployment PTSD Specialization, I am uniquely qualified to work with the specific needs of our vets. But trauma and PTSD do not begin or end with our veterans. I followed up my Masters with a year of training at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center where I came face to face with many of the same issues experienced by vets, but caused by lifelong exposures to familial, societal and institutionalized homophobia. As a result, I am keenly aware of how trauma affects EVERYONE…including those who are neither gay or veterans, who have lived what they consider a "normal” or, even, mundane life.
My process comes from a combination of Narrative and Gestalt interventions...in other words, we'll endeavor to create an environment together where you can explore the story of your life and how it's been hijacked by past traumatic episodes, lowered self-esteem, family, societal constraints, and financial burdens. We'll look for exceptions to these stories - and begin to develop the skills necessary to write a new narrative...a more fulfilling way to engage in your daily existence. The goal? To be unburdened by expectation, regret, anger, depression, and that which we sometimes cannot seem to overcome. I look forward to working with you!
Jason can be reached at (312) 898-2826 or Jason@novocounsel.com
Jennifer Dowling, LCSW
St. Charles & Sycamore, IL
Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University. From 2006 to 2008 she studied Art Therapy at Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Jennifer has over 10 years experience working in social services. Certified as a school social worker, she has worked with individuals from the age of three to twenty-one, while maintaining a private practice working with children, adolescents and families. In 2006 she founded the Art of Reflection, P.C.
Her focus currently is developing the Roots Family Project at Novo. Specialties include providing support on an individual and group basis.
Jennifer can be reached at (630)297-3617 or email@example.com
Carol McIntyre, LCSW, C-ASWCM
Carol McIntyre is a graduate of Loyola University School of Social Work, has a Certificate in Geriatrics from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is nationally certified in case management. A brief therapy specialist, she is passionate about helping adults of all ages coping with stress management, anxiety and depression as well as helping families negotiate transitions due to chronic illness and sudden onset disability in all stages of life. A special interest of Carol’s is pet loss and bereavement. For many, a pet's unconditional love provides a needed sense of security and purpose.
Companion animals enrich our lives, help teach us responsibility, time management, bonding and nurturing. Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. - George Eliot
She has been a caregiver in her personal life as well as personally experienced life threatening illness. Carol understands the complexity and uniqueness of each family’s caregiving experience. She is also a disability advocate, assisting newly disabled individuals obtain Social Security Disability and SSI benefits.
When she isn’t working, Carol can be found birdwatching, crocheting, working on craft projects, or kicking back reading a good book.
Carol can be reached at (630) 251-6614 or Carol@novocounsel.com
Amanda has had over 15 years experience in Accounting and Administrative Assistance. She has been working with NOVO for over five years and is the owner of Accurate Medical Billing where she works with businesses in the Fox Valley area providing local Medical Billing, Administrative Assistance and Organization, reducing the stress involved in running your own practice.
Contact Amanda whether you have questions regarding your insurance, statements, or other billing related issues.
Amanda can be reached at (630) 220-6369 or at firstname.lastname@example.org