Our Therapists
Alexis Siegmann

Lexie Siegmann

M.S., ALMFT Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Lexie Siegmann joined the field of Marriage and Family Therapy in 2018. Her passion is to help teens, adults, couples, and families achieve a greater sense of stability and happiness in creating better relationships with themselves and others. She enjoys aiding clients in their individual exploration of themselves as well as gaining insight into how they behave and react in relationships. Lexie uses a variety of theories in her work, for example, she uses Bowen Family Systems Theory, Gottman’s 7 principles for making marriage work, along with insight-oriented and experiential therapy.

Lexie received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Illinois State University in 2018. There she developed a passion to work with couples and families. She then proceeded to earn her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northern Illinois University in 2020. She completed level 2 training in the Gottman Method for Marriage Counseling. She is certified as a Prepare/Enrich facilitator, which is a questionnaire that allows pre-marital and married couples to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Lexie also received her Trauma Therapy certificate at NIU in 2020. She started her journey in emotional focused therapy (EFT) this year 2020.

Much like her highlighting the importance of self-care to her clients, Lexie practices self-care as well so she can balance her clients’ needs. She works hard to stay steady and available for her clients. In her time off, Lexie enjoys spending time with her husband and family, watching movies and TV series, and snuggling her Golden Retriever Simba.

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Alex Czop

Alex Czop, M.A., LCPC

M.A., LCPC Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Alex is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has extensive experience working with both adults and adolescents. Alex graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with his bachelor’s in psychology and received his master’s in clinical mental health counseling from

Wheaton College. He is originally from the surrounding area and currently resides in Naperville with his fiancé.

Prior to receiving his master’s degree Alex has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, residential, and experiential therapy. Alex began his mental health career working with adolescents on the autism spectrum performing ABA therapy and eventually transitioned into working with the Department of Juvenile Justice in the role of assisting incarcerated youth moving back into their home communities. This theme of working with the underserved can be further seen in his experience in working with women diagnosed with eating disorders and working closely with high-risk patients in a hospital setting.

Since graduating from Wheaton College, Alex has worked in the substance abuse realm in the form of working at a methadone clinic supporting individuals diagnosed with opioid use disorders. In these settings Alex has supported families and couples alike in becoming aware of their addictions and has developed within his patients a stronger sense of healthier coping and development in interpersonal relationships. In private practice, Alex is enjoying working with couples, families and adolescents, helping them find their way to greater satisfaction in their relationships and day to day life.

Alex has recently taken trainings in Emotionally Focused Therapy, The Gottman Method, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). Alex is looking to develop skills to work closer with couples and those afflicted by trauma to support the community’s needs where he practices.

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Katelyn Lukensmeyer

Katelyn Lukensmeyer MSW, LCSW, CCTP

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Therapist

Katelyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in adults and adolescents with trauma, anxiety, depression, and other chronic mental illness. Katie graduated from DePaul University with her BA in psychology in 2008 and Loyola University of Chicago, School of Social work in 2012 with her MSW. Katelyn has experience working with military veterans and their families, civilians, adolescents and adults, developmental trauma in both adolescents and adults, depression, anxiety, couples counseling, grief and loss, single parenting, and working and stay at home parents. Katelyn uses DBT techniques, mindfulness, parts work, CBT, Solution Focused Brief therapy, Client-Centered and psycho-education to address symptoms of mental illness, trauma, life cycle adjustments and various other presenting issues.

Katelyn believes the foundation of therapy begins with the therapeutic alliance. Katelyn offers a non-judgmental and safe environment for clients to feel comfortable sharing personal experiences and emotions. Katelyn understands how busy life gets and will do her best to accommodate a variety of hours as well as virtual sessions to meet her client’s needs.

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David Efken

David Efken, M.A., LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

David is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) who comes to St. Charles Counseling with a rich background of providing professional counseling services in a diversity of settings – private practice, not-for-profit, hospital, as well as hospice. David offers therapy to individuals, teenagers, couples, and families. He has an additional specialty providing grief and bereavement counseling through the work he has done in hospital and hospice settings, which give him additional insights into that particular set of issues.

David works with clients experiencing a wide variety of challenging life circumstances – anxiety, depression, academic, employment, financial, relationships, normal developmental phase of life transitions, and temporary crises caused by a multitude of situations. When providing Couples and Marital Therapy David incorporates both Gottman’s approach, as well as, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT.) David has completed an externship in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and training for the Gottman Method Couples Therapy – John Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

David graduated in 2010 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, IL with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology.

David and his wife of 25 years spend their time hiking, attending art fairs, and collecting pottery and colored glass. David especially enjoys teaching himself to play the Native American flute, crock drum, dulcimer, and mandolin!

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Crystal Villegas

Crystal Villegas, M.A., LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Crystal Villegas is a bilingual Spanish-speaking Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She has over eight years of experience in social work and counseling combined.

She has worked with clients of all ages, and has treated anxiety, depression, anger issues, life transitions, domestic violence, sexual abuse, childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, disruptive behavior disorders in children and teenagers, relationship/marital issues, and grief / bereavement. Crystal provides individual, couples, and family counseling.

Crystal is a good fit for those going to life transitions and adjusting to major life stressors. She also has experience working with couples going through relationship/marital issues, separation and/or divorce, and survivors of relationship abuse.

Crystal has experience working in private practice, outpatient settings, community mental health, juvenile detention centers, and school settings. She began her journey as a social worker in 2013 in the state of Arizona after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. As a social worker, she primarily worked in foster care, adoptions, and victim services. Crystal has extensive experience working with the Latinx communities both in Illinois and Arizona. She is also certified in

Crisis Intervention and Victimology Certifications, which allowed her the opportunity to work alongside law enforcement in the victim services department in Tucson, Arizona. Crystal transitioned into the counseling field after she graduated in 2017 from Grand Canyon University with a Master of Science in Professional Counseling.

Crystal is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for her clients to explore their experiences and emotions. Her compassionate and empathetic approach allows clients to feel heard, validated, and understood, which is essential for healing. During her free time, Crystal enjoys spending time with friends and family, Latin dancing, traveling, and trying all of the delicious restaurants that Chicago has to offer!

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Nanette Shepardson

Nanette Shepardson

Licensed Professional Counselor

Nanette is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University and a Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Soon to complete her certification in Somatic Experiencing, a body-centered approach to treating trauma-response difficulties, she specializes in helping children, families, adolescents, and adults realize their innate capacity for healing.

Before venturing into the mental health field, Nanette owned and operated an energetic business in partnership with her late husband. She brings a wealth of experience in managing challenging relationships, initiating and negotiating difficult conversations, and finding pleasure in helping and supporting others to achieve their highest potential. Most important, these experiences taught her the necessity of actively listening when spoken to; an essential quality needed for a therapist to form a productive relationship with a client.

Over the last two and half years, Nanette has incorporated active listening with her clients utilizing Person-Centered, Somatic Experience, Solution Focused, Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavior, Experiential Play, and Adventure therapies. She looks forward to learning and incorporating other modalities, including The Gottman Method, as she expands her client base to include couples.

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Alexus Lee

Alexus Lee

Marriage and Family Therapist

Hello, my name is Alexus and I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor at St. Charles Counseling. I recently graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s in clinical Mental Health Counseling. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an emphasis in developmental psychology and experience in research about attachment theory. I have additional experience in addressing substance use disorders, anxiety, and depression.

I take a strengths-based, person-centered approach to empowering my clients to define and explore what their needs and goals are. I hope to create an empathetic, non-judgmental space to do the work of self-reflection and gaining skills and tools for self-regulation. I use a mixture of strategies and theories tailored to an individual’s needs which include mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychoanalysis, art and music therapies. I take a stance of openness and creativity in working with my clients to figure out what is best for them in their healing process. The many identities we hold can affect us in many ways and I make space for open honest conversations about it. Multiculturalism and diversity are great values to me and my work.

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Courtney Van Acker

Courtney Van Acker

Licensed Professional Counselor

Courtney is a licensed professional counselor with a MA in clinical mental health counseling from Wheaton College as well as the national certified counselor certification, which demonstrates that she has met the national standards necessary for training competent, well-educated and versed counselors with the highest levels of academic and professional excellence. Courtney received her training during her clinical internship for her master’s degree in private practice, and has substantial experience working in private practice with a wide variety of populations, all the way from adolescents to adults. Courtney has worked with clients experiencing a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, self-harm, eating disorders/body image concerns, stress management, and identity exploration. She takes a key interest in working with women on developing their truest sense of self through empowering her clients to practice self-care, work on improving their self-esteem, and setting healthy boundaries in their personal relationships. She also specializes in offering faith-based counseling, based on her intrinsic belief that one’s spirituality is an intricate part of their essence and identity and should not be ignored within the work of counseling.

Courtney approaches counseling utilizing an eclectic and holistic framework, seeking to attend to the wholeness of a client’s being, including physical and spiritual health as well as mental and emotional wellness. She uses a wide variety of psychological and therapeutic interventions to attend to unique and varying needs of the clients she is working with, including client centered approaches, psychoeducation, trauma focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, and solution-focused interventions when needed. Courtney believes in adjusting and specializing her therapeutic interventions to create a treatment plan that is geared toward each individual client’s own personality type, history, and personal goals within therapy to create the outcomes that her clients are seeking to achieve in the context of their unique life circumstances.

Courtney looks forward to expanding her therapeutic expertise and client base to include counseling couples utilizing the Gottman method, and learning other treatment modalities and methods to continue showing up as the best she can be for her clients. In her free time, Courtney enjoys spending quality time with her husband, family, and friends, and taking care of her energetic and playful cockapoo pup, Ginger. She enjoys outside activities such as hiking and maintains an active lifestyle, but also values moments of peace and solace at home with her loved ones.

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Erin Olszewski

Erin Olszewski, MS, LPC

Licensed Practicing Counselor

Erin is a Licensed Practicing Counselor (LPC) specializing in adults with depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal relationship issues, life transitions, as well as other mental health concerns. Erin graduated from Loyola University Chicago and Adler University with a Master’s in Counseling with a specialization in Forensic Psychology.

Erin has worked in mental health for 7 years in both private practice and inpatient residential treatment settings. Erin has experience treating a wide variety of mental health concerns, including mood disorders, personality disorders, addiction, grief and loss, divorce, career changes, childhood and attachment trauma, and navigating interpersonal relationships.

Erin primarily utilizes trauma-informed DBT and CBT techniques, but also incorporates additional theoretical models with evidence-based interventions depending on the client’s individual needs and preferences, including existential therapy, internal family systems/parts work, somatic-based interventions, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, career counseling, attachment theory, and more. Erin has also recently been trained to utilize EMDR therapy to reprocess trauma, assist with addiction recovery, and unroot negative thinking patterns creating feelings of distress.

Erin highly values the therapeutic relationship and works to ensure all clients are met with kindness, compassion and understanding. Erin guarantees her therapeutic space to be 100% non-judgmental and safe to express thoughts and emotions freely. Erin will be a good fit for clients looking for a motivating clinician that incorporates a balance of knowledge, skills, homework assignments (and a little humor!) into sessions. Erin offers both in-person sessions as well as virtual sessions, whichever her clients are most comfortable with.

In her free time, Erin enjoys exercising, painting, brain puzzles, exploring new places, and hanging out with her senior pup, Kita! She is currently working towards obtaining her LCPC and additional certifications in a trauma specialty and the Gottman Method.

Nancy Kuhn

Nancy Kuhn

M.A., LMFT Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Nancy Kuhn has practiced Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy for almost 25 years. Nancy helps people develop more satisfying and engaged relationships. She guides people to confront and overcome long-standing patterns of conflict and emotional isolation. Growing up in a family with alcoholism, bipolar disorder and divorce along with the loss of a sister at a young age, Nancy has found a way to use her life experience along with her extensive training to support and lead her clients in and through their struggles.

Nancy trained at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where she received her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, 1994. She also completed a two year Post-Masters Certification in Marriage and Family Therapy at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1996. Nancy has worked in all levels of mental health care – inpatient, outpatient, residential and drug/alcohol treatment AND with all ages of people. Nancy completed an Externship and Core Skills training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the Level 2 training in Gottman Couples Therapy Method along with “Bringing Baby Home” facilitator training.

In addition to her work, Nancy enjoys gardening/nature, reading, watching sports and traveling. She practices yoga regularly as a way to manage life stress and stay mentally and physically strong. Nancy and her husband have enjoyed over 20 years of marriage together and have three beautiful children and are dedicated to keeping their family life healthy, balanced and fun.

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Ken Kuhn

Ken Kuhn

LMFT Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Ken Kuhn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and began practicing Marriage and Family Therapy in 1996. He has extensive experience providing individual, marriage and family therapy to his couple and individual clients. Ken regularly provides therapy to couples at St. Charles Counseling. He just as commonly provides individual therapy to people dealing with a wide range of issues including major life stressors, depression and anxiety. He has completed Level 1 & Level II of the Gottman Couple’s therapy approach. He has also completed an Externship and Core Skills training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Ken has recently completed Part 1 & 2 trainings in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR.) He also provides counseling for adolescent boys and is the father of three teenagers himself.

Ken has been licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist since 1998, maintaining all continuing education requirements for the duration. Since competing his graduate work at NIU in 1996, Ken has practiced therapy on a full time basis for a combined total of 17 years. After completing graduate school he took a position as an outpatient therapist at a Community Mental Health Center, after which he went in private practice in with a group in Door County, Wisconsin.

While attending an AAMFT conference in Chicago, he met his lovely wife Nancy, who accepted his invitation to have lunch with him at a cafe on Michigan Ave. Shortly after, he relocated to the Chicago land area to pursue their relationship. They have been married for 20 years.

Ken first practiced therapy in St. Charles, Il. in 2000 and continues in private practice, providing individual and marital therapy at St. Charles Counseling. In addition to his career in counseling as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Ken has developed four other businesses. He is now solely focused on his current position as a therapist and co-owner of the St. Charles Counseling practice which effectively combine his professional interests and talents, both in business and therapy.

Impacting people’s lives thru counseling and working alongside his clients as they strive to overcome life’s challenges has always remained a calling for Ken throughout the years. At present, he continues to serve his clients at St. Charles Counseling.

Our Approach

Our therapy orientation is a combination of Systemic,  Cognitive Behavioral,  Emotionally Focused Therapy (Sue Johnson), and the Gottman Method of couples therapy.

Systemic therapy seeks to identify stagnant patterns of behavior in groups of people such as a couple or family and address those patterns directly.  For example, a common dynamic in couples is when one spouse is over functioning and the other is under functioning- this can be a result of illness, depression, anxiety, differing levels of education, etc.  However, what brings them into counseling might be intimacy issues, an affair, trouble with an adolescent, addictive behaviors, etc.  Systemic therapy is used to help identify this pattern, re-balance the functioning level between the spouses, and improve the family’s overall functioning and satisfaction in life.

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients to understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors.  Treatment consists of tracking your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors either through journaling or self-reporting, examining how they connect, and working together to find healthier and more productive ways to think, feel and act.  Our therpists use CBT as a tool to assist the overall therapy process.

Emotionally focused therapy’s (EFT)  basic message is that much of the distress couples experience is the result of disruption in the attachment bond with our most intimate partner.  That distress gets expressed in a myriad of ways, such as angry pursuit, silent stoney withdrawal, and repetitive, apparently intractable patterns that can wear down even the most committed couples. As couples are able to slow down and get under these reactive patterns and talk about the underlying hurt and alienation, they give their partner a way back in, leading to new patterns of engagement and strong, stable bonds.  The research on using EFT in couples therapy shows that 70% of couples have lasting improvement in their relationship up to two years post treatment.

The Gottman Method is a type of couples therapy developed by John and Julie Gottman, www.gottman.com.  This is the other researched and most effective form of couples therapy apart from EFT.  It is an excellent resource for pragmatic and behavioral exercises couples can do to improve their relationship.