Counseling C​enter of Arlington Heights

Our Therapists

Experienced, skilled, and eager to help you

Tamara Nowak, LCSW, CADC, JD

 Director

Tamara Nowak is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor with over fifteen years of experience in mental health and addictions. Tamara believes in helping others with their struggles in an empathic, knowledgeable and resourceful manner. Tamara has extensive experience and knowledge in working with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, addictions and ADHD with ages ranging from children five and up to mature and older adults.

Patricia M Cerenil, MA, LCPC, NCC

Clinical Supervisor

Patricia is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and CCAH Clinical Supervisor with 17 years of experience working with adolescents and young adults at various levels of care including inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization and outpatient. She began her career as a Youth Counselor/Officer in Juvenile Detention after graduating from Western Illinois University with a BS in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. Her Masters in Mental Health Counseling is from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. She is a skilled therapist in mental health and addiction, crisis assessment and response, psychiatric hospitalization, and community counseling. Patricia is well versed in the treatment of grief/loss, anxiety (including separation and social anxiety), suicidal ideation, school/social difficulties, substance use, panic disorder, family conflict, Bipolar Disorder, depression and other mood disorders, ADHD/ADD (adult and children), identity formation and complex trauma. ​Patricia specializes in working with children, adolescents, young adults and families with an emphasis on cultural competence. She uses a client centered, holistic approach to treatment in conjunction with evidenced-based psychotherapy such as DBT and CBT incorporating meditation, mindfulness, and behavioral modification techniques into assisting clients with change.

Halley Jacobs MS, LPC, NCC

Practice Manager

Halley Jacobs is a Licensed Professional Counselor and CCAH Practice Manager, experienced in working with a range of issues including depression and other mood disorders, anxiety, self-injury, suicidal ideation, executive function disorders, substance use and family conflict. Before joining CCAH, Halley ran a Partial Hospitalization Program for adolescents working with teens and their families. She now primarily sees adolescents, young adults and families utilizing an evidenced-based, empirically supported DBT foundation while incorporating other treatment modalities as appropriate for the individual client. Halley also specializes in serving LGBTQ+ populations. She sees individuals, groups and families. Halley’s style as a therapist emphasizes being open, honest and real with clients while supporting them in establishing and reaching their goals.

Erin Ryan, LCSW, PCGC, SAP

Erin has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 17 years with a Master’s degree in Social work from University of Illinois at Chicago as well as a certification as a Problem and Compulsive Gambling Counselor. She originally started a career in corporate Human Resources, enjoying helping people improve their situations in the workplace. As a therapist, she works with adults of all ages dealing with anxiety, stress, compulsive gambling, depression, self-esteem challenges, relationship issues and difficulties in the workplace. Her approach begins with building a healthy therapeutic relationship in a supportive and interactive style incorporating humor, at times, to collaborate with clients and find solutions that fit. Together, Erin and clients look at the areas of life they would like to change and create a plan for doing so. Erin considers it an honor to be that helpful other person, providing feedback, support and a collaborative place to get people back on their right path in the journey of life.

Medina Husejnovic, MA, LPC

Medina is a Licensed Professional Counselor experienced in working with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, self-injury, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, substance use and family conflict. She specializes in working with adolescents and young adults utilizing an integrative approach that is tailored to each client's needs. She is trained in Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, Acceptance and Commitment, and Solution Focused Therapy. Medinas therapeutic approach emphasizes building trust, being authentic, and using value based behaviors to help clients overcome their struggles.

Nicole Sherbert CADC, MA, QMHP

Nicole is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor with a masters in counseling from National Louis University. She has worked with substance use for 6 years and in the mental health field for a total of 8 years. Nicole primarily works with adults but is also experienced in working with adolescents and children. She specializes in treating addiction. Her primary therapeutic modalities are Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Nicole’s approach is characterized by collaboration with clients to reach the best outcome possible for them and their individual goals.

Evelia (Lia) Czarnik, MS, LPC, NCC

Evelia (Lia) Czarnik is a Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Her approach is person-centered, tailoring her process to best fit each person's needs. Her strategies include CBT, Art-based therapy, Play, Acceptance and Commitment, Solution-Focused, and Gottman Method Therapies. She has substantial international experience with culturally diverse individuals and families, especially Spanish and French speaking individuals. She believes in a genuine, trust-based, non-judgmental approach to accomplishing goals and facilitating authentic voice and self.​

Shari A. Brady, LCPC, CADC

Shari is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Drug and Addiction Counselor. Drawing on both professional and personal experience, Shari brings a unique level of depth and authenticity to her work. She approaches the therapeutic process in a holistic manner, utilizing scientifically proven methods for change, mindfulness practices, life coaching and nutritional treatments based on what’s best for each individual client. She has extensive experience working with adults treating addictions, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, grief/loss, life transitions, complex trauma, substance abuse, weight loss, and women’s issues.

Alison Spillers LCPC, Ed.S.

Alison Spillers is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a Master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has gained extensive experience in crisis stabilization inpatient settings working with individuals and groups who struggle with chronic mental health and substance use issues. Her therapeutic approach is integrative and collaborative, tailoring her treatment according to each client’s individual needs. She is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Gottman Method, and Internal Family Systems approaches. She works with individuals, families and couples on presenting issues including, depression, anxiety, trauma, self-injury, substance use, eating disorder, adjustment, relationship, divorce & separation, and communication issues.

Gregg Bagdade, MA, LPC, NCC, EMT-P

Gregg Bagdade is a Licensed Professional Counselor with his Master’s degree from Concordia University and his Bachelor’s degree from Penn State in Human Development and Family Studies and interned at the Chicago Fire Department employee assistance program. Much of his studies were dedicated to understanding trauma-related issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Gregg is also a firefighter/paramedic for the Chicago Fire Department with more than 20 years in this position. He heads the First Responder Program at CCAH helping fire/police/military/dispatchers cope with the rigors of their career. In addition, Gregg helps others that are struggling with trauma-related issues, relationship issues, addictions, self-harm behaviors, transitional life issues, anger management, and more utilizes a Person-Centered approach involving CBT, DBT, Solution-Focused Therapy, Gottman Method for couples and is an EMDR-trained therapist for trauma work. 

Siera Smith, MA, LPC

Siera Smith is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s degree from Northwestern University. She spent 4 years working at an in-patient psychiatric facility providing care for a variety of patients experiencing depression, anxiety, mania, psychosis, and substance use disorders. Siera specializes in working with adolescents and young adults in treating anxiety, aggression, adjustment issues, and mood disorders. Her philosophy revolves around tailoring communication styles, providing psychoeducation, and building a foundation of trust. Siera also utilizes the knowledge she gained from her Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience to drive treatment that is both effective and lasting. 

Joseph Basso, LSW, CADC

Joseph is a Licensed Professional Counselor and graduated from Aurora University with a clinical Master’s in Social Work degree with a concentration in addictions. He recognizes and honors that clients are the experts in their lives, and, within the structure of the therapeutic relationship, clients can uncover their inner strengths and facilitate meaningful and lasting change. Joseph’s therapeutic philosophy is trauma focused and holistic approaches to help clients with quicker healing and lasting recovery. His experience is in working with clients ranging in age from adolescent to geriatric diagnosed with various mental health and substance use diagnoses. Joseph utilizes a blend of Cognitive Behavioral, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused, and Psychodynamic modalities to help enhance clients’ quality of life. His work is dedicated to helping people overcome maladaptive coping mechanisms, in an effort to develop healthy relationships and live productive, fulfilling lives. 

Alicia M. Osborne, MA, CRC, LCPC

Alicia is a nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She received her BA in psychology from the College of St. Elizabeth (Morristown, New Jersey) and her MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University. She has more than 30 years experience in behavioral health services. Alicia’s specialties include working with vocational and educational issues, justice-involved individuals, relationship issues, adoption issues and substance use in addition to treating other mental and behavioral health needs. She works with adults, children, adolescents and families. Alicia has also been part of a non-profit center since 2004. Prior to her position there, Alicia provided both management and clinical services for a number of organizations in New York City. Her therapeutic style is solution focused using reflective listening, CBT and health realization modalities.

Carol A Fisher, MS, LCPC

Carol is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who sees clients struggling with mental illness including anxiety and depression, developmental disabilities, relationship issues and divorce, grief and loss, gender dysphoria and substance use. She has experience in private practice as well as in the court system. She utilizes an minimally directive, eclectic approach to counseling that incorporates treatments and methods based on individual need rather than adhering to one therapeutic modality. The foundation of Carol’s approach is an understanding that individuals are not an illness or a label but rather persons with extenuating factors that contribute to the reasons for seeking help. Carol’s goal is to help her clients find inner peace and their authentic selves.