Our staff is diverse, each offering various approaches to personal growth and healing. We assist you in finding the professional who will best help you and your family.
Rick Atwater: MS, LCPC, Director
Rick has been assisting people with their emotional and spiritual growth since 1972 in various settings from hospitals and agencies to private practice. He is the Co-Director of Northwest Community Counseling Services which he founded with his wife, Moe Ross in 1985. Rick is also the founder and owner of Employee Health Consultants, Inc., a company that specializes in comprehensive employee assistance services. Additionally, he lectures nationwide, has been published nationally and founded the Heroin Awareness Foundation which is dedicated to helping addicts and supporting their families. The Foundation provides educational resources and assists in increasing the awareness of the general public.
Rick has a general counseling practice and assists individuals and families with anxiety issues, men’s issues, relationship concerns and specializes in addictions issues. He is known for his extensive experience in facilitating substance abuse interventions, and he travels nationwide to assist individuals and families. His approach is direct and current behavior oriented. He supports the use of the twelve step programs where appropriate.
Rick graduated from George Williams College with an M.S. in Counseling Psychology in 1978 and was one of the earliest Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) in Illinois. He writes and responds to readers about addictions related topics in a column for the Northwest Herald called “Straight Talk” that he has been writing since 1984 (you may wish to view archived files of Straight Talk articles).
Frank has worked in the human services field since 1974 as clinician, trainer, educator, supervisor, consultant, with adults and adolescents. He has a Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in Educational Counseling Psychology. He is certified at the interstate recipical level as substance abuse counselor(CRADC).and MISA ll. Frank has been contracted with over thirty Dept. Human services agencies to provide clinical skills training. Frank has received three types of relapse prevention training and been certified in mindfulness based (DBT) dialectical behavior therapy since 2000 to reduce anxiety reactions and emotional barriers in the recovery process. He has presented workshops for the GLATTC SAMHA funded programs with the University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin on men’s trauma issues. He uses the frame of reference of stages of change and motivational interviewing to increase the successful retention of new behavior changes and motivation of clients. When the situation warrants it he will facilitate various trauma responsive processes to neutralize emotional blocks to growth and healing including (HMR) homographic memory resolution.
Many of his clients state that the cognitive restructuring approaches he presents have helped them become more responsive in challenging life situations and liberate themselves from ineffective limited perspectives or habits. In addition, clients report Frank’s lighthearted learning discovery perspective has assisted them in being more open and empowered to explore options. Frank will begin to educate couples on Compassionate Communicate skills as a foundation to reestablish trust in relationships before implementing three styles of couple counseling includes Gottman processes.
Since 1992, Frank has implemented “CARE-FRONTATION” .”Straight from The Heart” interventions. These customized interventions are designed to intervene in difficult dysfunctional behavior patterns that families are dealing with that involve mental health, substance abuse, or destructive behavior disorders. His success rate at conducting theses interventions is based on his extensive clinical background and competencies in relapse prevention, gender, cultural and trauma responsiveness. As part of the intervention process there is an ongoing sensitivity to the needs of the family members to do some emotion clearing so they too will get the healing that is needed for their recovery.
He can be contacted directly at 847-710-7012 for more information on an intervention.
Chris Atwater: CADC, DUI Director
Chris Has been working in the addiction recovery field for over 10 years. Starting with Northwest Community Counseling as the Adolescent Drug and Alcohol education provider he found his passion for helping people at crisis points change behavior regarding substance abuse. He brings this same drive to the DUI treatment field, believing that this time in a person’s life can become a powerful catalyst for change. He works providing treatment and DUI services, being the resident expert in Secretary of State evaluations and driver’s license reinstatement as well as managing a small team of dedicated providers between two offices. He is active in the recovery community, working with the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition, is a member of the Kane County DUI Coalition, speaks on addiction and recovery and produces Recovery Internet Radio, a podcast hosted by Rick Atwater focused on recovery.
Kate Van Eycke: LCSW, CADC
How to find balance, contentment, and serenity when parts of our lives/selves are out of whack – that’s my passion. Life’s too short anyway so why not figure it out and enjoy some peace and pleasure along the way? The past and the present in one’s life intertwine, creating patterns that must be acknowledged so we can learn the lesson and be free to move on. The journey to mental, physical, spiritual and relationship health is worth it.
I use cognitive behavioral techniques (linking thoughts, feelings and behavior choices,) schema therapy, parts theory, family of origin work, the latest in neuro-physiological research and the12-step approach to living from AA and AlAnon. I am open to humor, rigorous honesty and spirituality in my work with clients. I believe a non-judging, non-shaming approach is vital.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have training in the John Gottman principles of couples therapy. I am available for afternoon and evening appointments for individual and couples counseling with adolescents and adults.
Kristen Pryor: MS, LCPC
Kristen Pryor, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, is a seasoned therapist with 20+ years of counseling experience. She began her counseling career in 1994 in a non-profit agency where she spent approximately 14 years providing crisis intervention, individual & group counseling to individuals and families dealing with domestic violence, sexual abuse/ incest, and other crises. She obtained her Masters in Counseling in 2000, and her clinical licensure in 2009. She joined NWCCS later in 2009. Kristen provides counseling to adults, adolescents, couples, men and women.
In this work, Kristen deeply values getting to know and respect her clients as individuals, rather than just a diagnosis. She does not adhere to a “one size fits all approach”, rather engages in collaborative dialogue with clients to make treatment suggestions and determine what approach, or combination, to pursue in a “treatment plan”/ path toward healing.
Clinical Areas of Focus: Depression, various anxiety disorders & phobias, trauma and attachment wounds, codependency, couples/ marriage counseling (LGBTQ-friendly), grief/ bereavement, suicidal ideation, non-suicidal self- injury, domestic violence, and sexual abuse/ incest (adolescents and adults only).
Additional Clinical Interests: *The application of neuropsychology to the treatment of various clinical concerns (knowing how the brain works really can help us understand our emotions, our reactions, and our relationships). *Attachment theory (science & research tell us that we humans have an innate need to connect with and have secure attachments to others as babies/ children and as adults).
Treatment approaches/ techniques: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Mindfulness-based EFT-Emotion Focused Therapy for couples (based on the work of Dr. Sue Johnson) Gottman Method for couples – Level 1 trained EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique for anxiety, phobias and other distressing concerns DNMS-Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (an ego state therapy) for healing attachment & trauma wounds (www.DNMSInstitute.com)
Kristen works in NWCC’s West Dundee office with daytime and evening hours. Please contact her with any questions you may have about her treatment approaches or anything that will help determine if she may be a fit for your clinical concerns. (847) 551-9779, option 1, ext. 4
Maureen Beske: MA, LPC
BA and MA prepared at North Park University, I have been trained on the many theories that contribute to the practice of professional counseling. Through an eclectic approach, and the formation of a therapeutic partnership, I will help my clients effectively address personal life challenges. Whether in an individual, couples, or family setting, I aim to encourage building on strengths, and reducing unproductive thinking, so that the clients can evolve, and attain the personal growth they are seeking.
Certificates of completion of training programs obtained for working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Internship focus on substance abuse; experience with twelve step programs and recovery. Trained in providing strategic crisis stabilization counseling. Focus areas of experience: depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationship conflict, and life transitions.
Nicolette Surico: MA
Niki has been involved in the AODA Field since 1987. Over the past 30 years, she has provided services for Adults, Adolescents, Criminal Justice, and MISA Populations. Models of Care included Inpatient, Outpatient, Recovery Homes, and Prisons. Services were provided, on a contract or private basis, for Children, Families, and Seniors. Niki has a Masters Degree from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She is currently providing DUI Treatment and Education at Northwest Community DUI Counseling.
Patricia Botts: MHA
I am not a stranger to helping those in need, I am passionate when it comes to empowering individuals to overcome personal obstacles while making the necessary changes they feel are important to improve their life. I have 30+ years experience in the substance abuse field. I completed my first degree; Associates in Human Services in 1996, I also have a Bachelors in Health Care with a focus on Gerontology and a Masters in Health Care Administration. I am currently working on my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling which will be completed in December of 2017.
During my field experience I worked closely with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and CBT. I enjoy working with people who need help with behavioral management, anger management, and chemical dependency. The past 8 years I have worked closely to those dealing with death and dying, dementia - both early stages and later stages. I hope to be able to help people to overcome their struggles, embrace their fears and move forward.