Counseling and Psychotherapy

NOVO: Renewing Joy in Life counselors and therapists have attained advanced degrees (MA, MSW, and/or Ph.D.) and are state of Illinois licensed professionals (LCSW or LCPC). Each professional provider has the expertise and experience to assist you in working through your life’s challenges and difficulties. We help you grow as a person, identify & reach your ambitions, and renew joy in your life. Joy in life is, of course, a necessity not a luxury!

Our services include individual, couple, family, and group counseling/therapy. Each counselor/therapist specializes in specific populations from children through older adults, from varying lifestyles and socioeconomic situations.

Each provider utilizes specific treatment modalities that range from cognitive/behavioral, psychodynamic, family systems, and strengths perspective to name just some of our modalities. We have expertise in DBT, and many other specific techniques that help you succeed in your sessions at NOVO and in your life.

Please visit the "Biographies" page to view our counselor / therapist biographies and their specialties.

Did You Know?
  • Data from the AMA shows that psychotherapy / counseling increases life satisfaction and job performance. Further, it reduces overall use of medical services!
  • Psychotherapy/counseling is relatively inexpensive. For over three decades, the cost of our services has remained at 3-4 cents of each healthcare dollar spent.
  • We cut many ‘costs’ to society when we deal with peoples’ hurts – which means increased worker productivity, less violence, and fewer accidents.
  • When we lessen psychological and emotional pain, we become healthier, happier, and more successful in life – we experience joy in living!


Adolescence is a time of immense change and confusion. At Novo, we are here to help you navigate these changes. We take a collaborative approach in teaming up with your child and the family to achieve desired change. A number of things happen developmentally in an adolescent’s brain. It is an exciting but overwhelming time in brain development. It can also be overwhelming for the whole family. We work with a variety of presenting issues: depression, anxiety, social problems, anger, inattention, hyperactivity, family conflict, behavior problems, and much more. If you have any questions or want to see if we could be a good fit for your family give us a call.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is an therapeutic approach in which clients, facilitated by the therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.

During individual and/or group sessions art therapists elicit their clients’ inherent capacity for art making to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Research supports the use of art therapy within a professional relationship for the therapeutic benefits gained through artistic self- expression and reflection for individuals who experience illness, trauma, and mental health problems and those seeking personal growth.

Child Therapy (Ages 3 and Older)

At NOVO: Renewing Joy in Life we understand that your child is one of the most cherished part of your family. We handle child therapy with the utmost importance. Our team strives to be on the cutting edge of research that supports long lasting change. Much of this focus is on the brain and how we can change. We want to help children and their parent’s work as a team to tap into this change.

Play therapy, art therapy, and other forms of expressive therapy are utilized to help children whose verbal skills may not be developed enough to allow them to put their thoughts and feelings into words.

Whole Brain Child

Whole Brain Child is an approach developed by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Panye Bryson, Ph.D. It centers around using research on how our brains operate to help children and their parents gain peace and integration. The research provides practical skills for children and their parent’s. These skills teach connecting left and right brain (to balance between chaos and rigidity), top and bottom brain (to balance survival instinct vs. higher thinking), and memory integration (for growth and healing).

Nurtured Heart Approach

Nurtured Heart Approach is an approach developed by Howard Glasser. This approach aims at creating a system of positive feedback for our children. Children are very intelligent and need structure. Many times, in the busy lives we lead, the focus becomes putting out the fires of misbehavior while we miss the positives that our children show. If we genuinely look for and praise the positive behavior (no matter how small the behavior) children will strive to get this feedback with more positive behavior.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. By exploring patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive actions and the beliefs that direct these thoughts, people with mental illness can modify their patterns of thinking to improve coping. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is different from traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy in that the therapist and the patient will actively work together to help the patient recover from their mental illness. People who seek CBT can expect their therapist to be problem-focused, and goal-directed in addressing the challenging symptoms of mental illnesses. Because CBT is an active intervention, one can also expect to do homework or practice outside of sessions. (From

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

In standard DBT, different types of psychosocial therapies (e.g., individual psychotherapy, group skills training and even phone consultations) may be used as part of treatment. DBT differs from traditional CBT in its emphasis on validation—a powerful tool whereby the therapist and the patient work on “accepting” uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors rather than struggling with them. Once an identified thought, emotion or behavior has been validated, the process of change no longer appears impossible, and the goals of gradual transformation become reality. The term dialectics refers to the therapist’s goal of establishing a balance between acceptance and change and effectively integrating these two fundamental principles of successful therapy. DBT also focuses on the development of coping skills—specific behavioral techniques used to combat the disabling symptoms of mental illness. (From

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts that is usually provided by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. It is often short term and may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Your specific treatment plan will depend on your family's situation.

Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you're done going to therapy sessions. It can help you improve troubled relationships with your spouse, children, or other family members. You may address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, conflict between parents and children, or the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness on the entire family. Family therapy can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict. It can help you and your family members understand one another better and bring you closer together.


Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a secular practice of mindfulness has entered the American mainstream in recent years, in part through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Since that time, thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in general and MBSR in particular, inspiring countless programs to adapt the MBSR model for schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and beyond.

Videos on Mindfulness

Group Therapy

Group therapy provides psychotherapy treatment in a format where there is typically one therapist and six to twelve participants with related problems. Sometimes a therapist may recommend group therapy over individual psychotherapy for a variety of reasons. It may be that the group format is better suited for the person or the concern they are dealing with, or that the specific type of treatment has a group therapy component (such as dialectical behavior therapy).

People in group therapy improve not only from the interventions of the therapist, but also from observing others in the group and receiving feedback from group members. The group format, while not providing the one-on-one attention of individual formats, has several advantages.

Similar to family therapy, group therapy is a style that can incorporate any of the psychotherapy schools. The advantages of group therapy include:

Improve social skills

Since so much of our daily interaction is with other people, many people learn to improve their social skills in group therapy (even though such an issue may not be the focus of the group).

Unlike individual therapy sessions, group therapy offers participants the opportunity to interact with others with similar issues in a safe, supportive environment. Participants can try out new behaviors, role play, and engage with others in not only receiving valuable feedback and insight from other members, but also in giving it.


By seeing how others handle similar problems, the patient can rapidly add new coping methods to his or her behaviors. This is beneficial in that it can give the patient a variety of perspectives on what seem to work and when. Example:

Mary listens to Joan talk about how telling her husband that he hurt her feelings was more productive than simply getting angry at him and not speaking. As she listens, Mary thinks of how she might try this same strategy with her husband. She can then try out this new behavior by practicing with the men in the group.

Increased Feedback

Group therapy can provide the patient with feedback from other people. Getting different perspectives is often helpful in promoting growth and change.

Less Expensive

By treating several patients simultaneously, the therapist can reduce the usual fee. In most cases the cost of group therapy is about ⅓ that of individual therapy.

For more information about our services, contact us today.