Our Staff

Karin Madsen-Lagacy, Psy.D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist


I believe that people face many challenges in their lives. I believe that with perseverance and with focus many challenges can be overcome. I believe that it is important to accept things that we may not like; and change our thinking when we cannot change our situation. That is why my approach to treatment is integrative with influences from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

I believe that people often try to avoid or suppress emotions, thoughts, or memories, which may result in unhealthy or maladaptive methods to further that avoidance. Often these symptoms, whether eating disorder behavior, self-injury, chemical dependency, etc., also serve some sort of purpose in the person's life and help them through difficult times in an unhealthy way. The purpose of treatment then becomes to replace ineffective and maladaptive behavior with functional and thoughtful responses. My approach to therapy emphasizes the acceptance and validation of your thoughts, feelings, and actions; while still challenging you to think of alternatives and practice acceptance of discomfort in the service of change.

Though I do practice using primarily the previously mentioned treatment techniques, my ultimate goal is to ensure a positive therapeutic relationship with each and every one of my clients. I am certainly flexible within my treatment approach and hope to work with you in a way that best meets your needs and helps you start living your life to the fullest.

Press: Voyage Chicago Interview of Karin Madsen-Lagacy

Nicole Miller, M.A., Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I believe that a successful therapeutic relationship is based on trust, teamwork, compassion and empathy. I work attentively to assist my clients in realizing their potential for positive change, and help to empower them to meet their therapeutic goals. I am comfortable utilizing a variety of interventions to meet each client's specific needs.

I work with individuals and groups on issues such as family problems, divorce and divorce recovery, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger management, eating disorders, parenting skills, grief and loss, physical and sexual abuse, and adolescent issues.

We all experience periods of distress in our lives that can fluctuate between intense grief and suffering to slight sadness and worry. Regardless of the stressor, I believe that most people can benefit from therapy services at one point or another. I assist my clients to feel safe and comfortable in the therapeutic process.

Nathan Lagacy, M.A., CMPC, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, and also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. I have spent the past six years working as a full time therapist dealing with a variety of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, ODD, ADHD, anger management, Bipolar Disorder, and others. I also have experience with relationship issues and issues related to children's adjustment to divorce, and stress management. I have experience as a mental performance consultant in working with various sports teams, individual athletes, and performers in a multitude of sports/performance realms to develop skills to create consistency, and optimal performance. Concentrating on areas such as goal setting, mental toughness, emotional regulation skills (anxiety, anger, etc.), relaxation, managing pressure, motivation, focus, and improving performance.

I work with individuals to meet them where they are in life in order to help them find more effective ways to cope, and to maneuver through their life. We will work to identify areas for improvement and to challenge each person in order to improve their quality of life. I work to help individuals utilize their current strengths to help them find more success in managing stressors, painful emotions, and to navigate through difficult relationships.

As a therapist with training in sport and health psychology I understand the importance of how the mind and body interact with one another. I work to help individuals look at all areas of their life in order to increase their happiness, and work to achieve their goals in life. As a youth I participated in soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and track. I played collegiate football during my undergraduate degree as well. As an adult I continue to be very involved in health and wellness, along with playing sports recreationally. I am a big believer in the impact that health, wellness, physical activity and sports can have upon increasing happiness and overall life satisfaction.

Jennifer Earnest, M.Ed., NCC, CCMHC, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


As your counselor, I am here to join along side you on your journey of growth and healing. My intention is to understand and care for your needs in therapy and for you to know that you are not alone. I believe the continual pursuit of growth is best understood as the relentless process of rediscovering and harnessing your strengths and revisiting the core aspects of your self that make you uniquely you. I am committed to being an agent of change for individuals during times of transition and personal development. During our time together, I intend for us to get to the core of your current challenges, realize and actualize your abilities, and begin moving towards optimum wellness. I am sensitive to the diverse needs of individuals/life stages and recognize that each person comes to therapy with their own story and desired outcomes. My hope is for each individual to leave with a desire to experience a more fulfilling and meaningful life; and most importantly, to feel equipped enough to do so!

I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, as well as others as needed to help you discover underlying challenges and hurts, work out past traumas, change thinking that is no longer serving you and makes gains toward inner peace and understanding. I use a variety of therapy modalities and tools, some of which include: Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused/Strength based therapy, mindfulness and visualization, art and music therapy, psychoeducation, as well as journaling. Common challenges and reasons that individuals may see me include: body image issues, eating disorders, relationship concerns, spirituality and identity, life transitions, anxiety, depression, personal growth and mindset development, self harm, obsessive compulsive disorder, anger/stress management, bullying, perfectionism, postpartum support, and overall wellness/self care. I am currently working with preteens (middle school), adolescents and adults providing individual therapy.

My educational background began at Northwestern University, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude, earning a Bachelors Degree of Science in Education and Social Policy in Human Development and Psychological Services. I continued my studies in School and Community Counseling at Loyola University, where I earned my Masters of Education, as well as my certificate as a school counselor. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), and certified by the National Board for Certified Counselor as a National Certified Counselor (NCC), as well as a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC). I have additional training in mindfulness and stress reduction for adolescents.

Molly Kanaley, M.Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor


Life brings many stressors, and we could all benefit from a safe and supportive place to sort out our feelings and process our concerns. In counseling, I aim to provide my clients with a warm and non-judgmental space to be truly heard so that they can communicate their authentic experiences in a safe place. I use a person-centered and collaborative approach, providing clients with the opportunity to identify and clarify their own goals, gifts, and qualities. 

 I obtained my M.Ed. in Counseling from DePaul University in 2018 and have worked in Higher Education for the past 6 years. I have experience with an array of students and clients from adolescents to adults, and focus on issues such as anxiety, depression, identifying and setting boundaries, relationship and social issues, grief and loss, time management, and stress management. Additionally, I have a strong background and interest in learning styles and have assisted undergraduate and graduate students in exploring their academic needs by understanding how they learn and process challenging material inside and outside the classroom.

 My treatment approach is influenced by Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy;  I enjoy working with individuals as they grow and face the challenges of life.

Kerry Hampton, M.A., NCC, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


“Mental Health is not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” –Noam Spencer, PhD. My passion in life is to help others work through difficulty, finding the strength and resources they never knew they had. As a therapist, I believe each individual is the expert in their lives and counseling helps to find the answers to their problems from within through discussions, interventions, guidance, and support.

I have years of experience working in a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatry, outpatient therapy, and working with clients recently diagnosed with cancer and those experiencing losses. Working in private practice, I have worked with young children, adolescents, teens, adults, and couples.  As a therapist, I strive to help each individual feel supported, validated, and comfortable with the counseling process.

I am a licensed professional counselor and have a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Governors State University. I operate from an integrated theoretical approach, primarily person-centered, incorporating dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, reality theory, existential theory, as well as positive psychology. I see each client as an individual and work with each client determining together the goals and areas of concern that will be focused on in therapy. 

Kimberly Fitzgerald-Amend, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor


As a Licensed Professional Counselor it has been my experience that even the strongest person can find themselves faced with challenging life events.  Whether it be relationship problems, the loss of a loved one, career stress, or caring for a family member with disabilities, life is full of hurdles and struggles. Although our lives are not always going to be optimally satisfying, never doubt they still have meaning.  As your therapist, my goal is to create a relationship in which you feel comfortable, accepted, and safe.

 I am an eclectic clinician, and rather than utilizing a “one-size fits all” therapeutic approach, I prefer to implement treatment plans based on the individual needs of my clients, which may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Writing Exposure Therapy, Art Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  I do favor a client-centered approach, in which my clients choose their own goals, and with my guidance, work toward achieving them, because…. “It is your story, and you get to write the ending” --- Brene´ Brown

 I have experience providing individual and group therapy to those struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, grief and loss, and dissociative identity disorder.  My particular passion is working with caregivers and families of individuals with disabilities in order to assist them in coping with their unique life stressors.

 I hold a Masters in Science, Clinical Psychology/Clinical Counseling degree from Capella University, and am currently working on obtaining certification as a Play Therapist as well.

Veronica Monarrez, M.A., NCC, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


Today’s world, especially for youth and young adults, is more challenging to navigate and understand than ever before. Some days, you may feel like things are pretty all right and manageable. Other days, you might feel empty, hopeless, misunderstood, mentally and physically exhausted, and confused as to how it got “this bad”. As a parent, you may notice your child spending more time alone, preferring to stay home during family outings, angry and irritable for “no reason”, losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, or getting lower grades in school. While these feelings and behaviors can appear to affect your life in some of the worst ways, they’re also your body’s way of telling you it’s time for something different.

It’s time to realize that you too are strong, smart and capable of learning, growing and becoming the version of yourself that you may have never imagined you could be. As a therapist who recognizes that therapy is not a one size fits all, I bring together techniques, beliefs and treatment modalities offered through different therapeutic approaches to create a unique, personalized experience that will work for you. You are ready to take that next step and deserve to begin working on the most important person in your life, you. I believe that the relationship we develop with ourselves is the most crucial and influential in shaping how we experience our day to day. Allow me to help you get to know yourself in ways that will allow things like joy, understanding, love, compassion, and meaning be a part of your daily life. With my extensive background in working with teens, young adults and families who have been “dealt a bad hand” at one time or another, I am ready to be by your side and support you through your journey to a happier, more fulfilled life.

Megan Foertsch, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor


Modern day life and stressors are becoming increasingly hard to handle these days. You are not alone! The unconscious mind is a mystery, but by taking a deeper look inside ourselves we can begin to understand and cope with the world around us. At our core, there are complexities to be uncovered and new freedoms to be found to regain independence and balance in our lives. I recognize that everyone has specific needs, and therefore will need an individual and unique treatment plan.

My dedicated, client-centered approach will help you to overcome negative thoughts and improve emotional regulation. I will work with you to think outside of the box and build strength within our therapeutic relationship. Collaboration is key, and establishing rapport and a good working relationship is vitally important. My goal is to help you learn coping methods to live a successful and fulfilled life! Anything is possible when you trust the process and the journey!

Alexia Newbern-Hamiter, M.A., Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor


 I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. With 7+ years in the mental health field, I have provided therapeutic services to a wide range of individuals from all walks of life. It is my passion to offer empathy and a positive perspective to those who may be processing extreme difficulties as well as everyday emotional and mental battles. 

Life can be hard! However, I believe that we are all capable of developing a mindset that promotes healing, self-love, and overall fulfillment. I specialize in working with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-injury, domestic violence, grief, life transitions, post traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. I utilize methods from Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy in my treatment approach. With a person-centered approach, I allow you to take the wheel as we journey through your individual therapeutic goals. Therapy is what you make it and it is my honor to share space with you. 

Michel Carter, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor


I am is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). I use various therapeutic techniques and interventions such as, person-centered therapy, play therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Emotion Focused Therapy and humor. I have also completed level 1 of the Gottman’s Therapy for Couples Counseling.

I have experience counseling in the school system. I work with children/adolescents, adults, and couples from diverse cultures and backgrounds. I assist clients with addressing various presenting issues such as, anxiety, stress, ADHD, LGBTQA+, depression, adjustment/ transition, school issues, self-esteem, divorce, grief/loss, and relationships issues. In life, we go through many trials and tribulations that often leads us to seek validation and support. I provide my clients with an open, genuine, and non-judgmental safe space. I meet my clients where they are and through vulnerability, healing, and growth they will be able to gain the tools to live their life how they see fit. My hope is that my clients will be able to feel free and be the best version of themselves. I believe growth begins at the end of our comfort zone.

Sarah Shebik, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor


I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I have experience working with child, adolescent, and adult clients struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and general life stressors.

I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with my clients. I understand that no two clients are the same and that it is important to work with my client to set goals and find a therapeutic approach that is best for the individual. I believe in creating a safe space for my clients to feel comfortable working with me. To build this safe space, I emphasize the importance of a positive rapport with my clients. My goal is to support my clients in the process of coping with and working through their struggles so they can achieve their goals in therapy and in life.

Julie Jensen, M.A., Licensed Social Worker


Whatever life has thrown at you lately is causing you to feel something which has led you to reading this right now. And I want you to know that I am here for you. Regardless of what you might be going through, you do not have to go through it alone. It is freeing when you can enter a non-judgemental safe space with someone who accepts all of you, even on your darkest days. If we get the opportunity to work together, my aim is for us to embrace the good days and the not so good days while practicing skills that will make everyday for you feel more enjoyable.

I am currently a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) who believes in a collaborative, trauma-informed, and person-centered approach. My therapeutic lens tends to be influenced by a variety of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Family Systems Therapy, and/or Attachment-Focused Therapy. I am more eclectic in my approach with clients to ensure that our work together is tailored to what is best for you and your particular situation. 

My experience spans a variety of settings supporting individuals and groups within schools (PreK-12), youth community centers, safety shelters, crisis hotlines, and providing on-call community mental health support after incidents of violence. Clients I work with tend to be coping with crisis, trauma, loss, separation, depression, anxiety, anger, ADHD, school issues and/or relationship issues. In addition to my work at Life to the Fullest LLC, I spend part of my days as a School Social Worker and have extensive knowledge on academic procedures, especially when it comes to special education and accommodations (IEP and 504).

I graduated from Marquette University with a BA in Psychology and later went on to get my MA in Social Work (MSW) from Loyola University of Chicago.

Kierstyn Piper, M.A., Counselor


I recently graduated from Lewis University with my Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I graduated from the University of Missouri with my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology as well as a Multicultural Certificate. I have experience working in hospital settings, in home therapy, working as a counselor in schools, and private practice. I have. experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. I am passionate about working with individuals who are struggling with anxiety, depression, life transitions, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

I often use the following therapy models: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy to help clients process how their experiences shape the quality of their lives. My goal is to help you achieve your goals and live the life you want to live. I recognize the courage it takes to ask for help and congratulate you for taking the first step.

Patricia Yadgir, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor


Taking care of your mental health is a lifelong process, and making the decision to get therapy to help with the process may be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make! Life can be overwhelming.  Maybe you’re feeling depressed or anxious. Maybe you’re experiencing grief, trauma, or body image issues. You may not even be sure what you’re feeling but just searching for a sense of inner peace. My goal as a counselor is to help you identify those feelings and help you to work on making the changes necessary to start to feel good again.  In my 25-years as a counselor, I have helped many individuals and couples take control of their lives and mental health and I love what I do.

I will approach our sessions drawing from CBT, DBT, Client Centered, and Emotionally Focused therapies. I am goal-oriented and client-centered. I want you to leave therapy with the answers and changes that you came in looking for. My strengths and passions are working with adolescents, adults, couples, and older adult clients who are dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, life transitions, relationship issues, and career issues. I am certified in eating disorders and obesity and have extensive experience with LGBTQ individuals, as well as couples of all populations.

 I received my Master of Science in Counseling from Northern Illinois University and spent many years working as a counselor in higher education.  I love private practice because I believe the therapist/client relationship is essential.  It is important to choose a therapist who makes you comfortable and safe. I want you to feel the connection in our personalities, attitudes and sense of humor that make you want work on feeling good.  If that bond is there, together we can make change happen!

Scarlet Konczyk, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor


My approach as a counselor is to create a comfortable, welcoming, and safe environment for every client. The space I strive to create is one where the client and counselor work together as a team to improve the clients mental health or causes of distress. Every client will have a different therapeutic experience based on their needs and goals. I have experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of diagnosis.  I have worked with anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, self-esteem issues, stress, issues related to life transitions, school issues, peer relationship issues, women issues, eating disorders, body image, as well as working with couples to transform and create meaningful partnerships. Also, my background in sports and as an elite gymnastics coach allows me to connect with children, teen, and young adult athletes who may be struggling with the stress and pressures of their sport. My goal is to offer an open, genuine space for you to express yourself and grow into the person you would like to be. 

Edwin Guzman, M.S., CRC, Licensed Professional Counselor


I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. I received my bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree from Illinois Institute of Technology. 

I have a passion for connecting with individuals on an emotional level and taking an eclectic approach that is best suited to your unique wants and needs. I work with adults and military veterans coping with depression, anxiety, substance use, and PTSD. My therapeutic orientation combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and mindfulness meditation. I am fluent in Spanish and offer services in both English and Spanish.  I am driven and motivated to work within the context of my clients' ethnic backgrounds as they align with their treatment goals.

Lindsey Watts, M.S.W., Licensed Social Worker


Clients have described my therapeutic approach as characterized by authenticity, warmth, empathy, and a forward-thinking perspective, complemented by a sense of humor. I firmly believe that the foundation of successful therapy lies in cultivating a strong and trusting therapist-client relationship. 

 Recognizing the unique nature of each individual, I tailor my treatment approach to align with your specific goals and needs. My repertoire typically includes Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and traditional talk therapy. My goal is to establish a safe and supportive environment that encourages you to openly discuss challenging or painful aspects of your life. Together, we collaboratively create solution-focused plans and I impart skills to help you navigate and thrive amidst distressing situations mindfully. 

 My professional journey encompasses diverse experiences, ranging from working with individuals in residential treatment centers to supporting Division 1 college athletes. I have a particular interest in addressing complex trauma, eating disorders, self-harm, and substance use. Additionally, I am a staunch LGBTQ+ ally, committed to providing affirmative counseling.

 Whether you prefer in-person or remote sessions, I am available to support you. I look forward to the possibility of working with you!

Katie Fee, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor


I hold both a Bachelor and Masters of Arts degrees in Psychology. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and have over 15 years of experience helping young adults and children struggling with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, life-transition challenges, and self-confidence. My therapeutic goal is to create a supportive, non-judgmental, and safe space, assisting my clients in realizing their potential for positive change. I work with my clients to help them find more effective ways to cope, and maneuver through life to meet their therapeutic goals. I believe in continual growth, harnessing your strengths and identifying your abilities to assist you in moving toward optimal wellness. I use a person-centered and collaborative approach, providing clients the opportunity to identify their challenges and goals. I believe the relationship between the therapist and client is of great importance, and I welcome the opportunity to work with you to lead to a more fulfilling life.

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