Meet the Sykes Group

  • Rhonda Sykes MHS, LCPC, BSN, RN

    Rhonda Sykes is the founder and president of The Sykes Group, LTD and has been working in the field of mental health and addictions for over 23 years. She has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor since 1996. Rhonda has vast experience working with adolescents, young adults and adults in both inpatient and outpatient mental health and addictions settings. Rhonda is a state and nationally licensed masterís level addictions counselor. Rhonda specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders, but has a vast experience in assessment and treatment of addictions and psychiatric issues. Rhonda also provides Christian Counseling and is an accredited divorce mediator having completed her training at DePaul University. Rhonda is also a trained EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) therapist.

    Rhonda provides individual, couples, marital and family and groups counseling and focuses on the following issues:

    Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders and Relapse Prevention
    Adjustment issues
    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    Anger Management and aggression
    Anxiety Disorders and Panic Disorder
    Behavioral issues- Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
    Bipolar and Related Disorders
    Christian perspectives and biblical based counseling
    Coping skills
    Depressive Disorders
    Domestic Abuse/Violence
    Executive Coaching
    Obsessive- Compulsive and Related Disorders
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    Trauma and Stress Related Disorders
    Social Skills Training
    Self Esteem Issues
    Stress Management

    Provides the following modalities in treatment:
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    Behavior Modification
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
    EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
    Christian/Biblical Counseling

  • Amy Douglass MS, LMFT

    Amy DouglassAmy Douglass is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with extensive clinical experience treating children (ages 3-17), individual adults, couples, and families. Amy received both her Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Master Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Kansas State University. With more than sixteen years of experience treating children and families, she has developed expertise in treating trauma-related issues, behavioral concerns, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. Amyís experience includes her work with Jane Addams Hull House Association as a clinical therapist for the agencyís foster care program. During this time, Amy was also a member of the National Health Services Corps, which is an organization committed to providing health care services to underserved populations. She has provided clinical treatment, parenting assessments, parent education, and substance use disorder assessments as a therapist for agencies providing home-based services to assist families in crisis to achieve reunification within the foster care system. In addition to her work as a therapist with Sykes Group, Amy is currently a Clinical Director for a home-based services program in Lake County, Indiana.

    Amy has specialized training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on the treatment of trauma-related symptoms and the development of coping mechanisms to assist with the reduction of symptoms and improvement of functioning following traumatic experiences. Additionally, she utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Relational Therapy, and Grief Therapy in her treatment of children, couples, and families. Marital therapy focuses on skills building, including the improvement of communication skills and conflict resolution skills. Additionally, any existing underlying barriers are identified and addressed to improve the overall health of the relationship.

    Amy offers a strengths-focused and compassionate approach to treatment. By focusing on the exploration, and understanding, of individual strengths of each client, her goal is to assist individuals, couples, and families with recognizing and further developing the existing strengths that are present to achieve treatment goals. Additionally, she focuses on the development of coping skills and support systems in order to create a supportive and positive environment to promote healing and growth.

  • Richard Adema M.A. LCPC

    Amy DouglassRick is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. He has a Bachelorís Degree in Psychology from Trinity College, and a Masterís Degree in Counseling Psychology from Governors State University. He also has post graduate training in clinical hypnosis from The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He has over 30 years experience as a therapist.

    Rick specializes in treating anxiety and mood disorders. His program on treating panic attacks was featured in The Chicago Tribune and The Daily Southtown. Other areas of specialty include stress problems, anger management, pain management, and menís issues. His program on anger management has been used by the Cook County Court System.

    He is the author of ten hypnosis CD programs on such topics as Relieving Anxiety, Relieving Stress, Managing Pain, Letting Go of Worry, and Sound Sleep.

    Rick has worked in a variety of settings such as community agencies, hospitals, and private practice. He brings a wealth of experience to the practice.

  • Meghan Garland, MA, LCPC

    Lesley WidmerMeghan Garland is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and holds a Type 73 School Guidance Certification. She has over 13 years experience working in multiple settings including Outpatient Mental Health, Special Education, HIV/AIDS Counselor, Foster Care Therapist and private practice. Meghan has experience working with many age groups including aduts, adolescents and children. Her work has primarily consisted of at risk youth experiencing severe emotional and behavioral difficulties and developing behavior management systems and plans to implement in multiple settings. She has vast experience with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Behavior Management and Coping Skills. A primary focus of Meghans has been assisting individuals with developing skills in an attempt at enabling better functioning socially, emotionally and behaviorally.

      Focusing on issues such as:
    • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Adjustment Disorder
    • Anger Management and Aggressive Behaviors
    • Anxiety
    • Aspergers and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
    • Behavior Modification
    • Bipolar Disorders
    • Coping Skills
    • Cutting/Self Mutilation
    • Depression
    • Developmental Disabilities
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    • Panic Attacks
    • Relapse Prevention
    • Self Esteem
    • Social Skills and Communication Skills
    • Stress Management
    • Training for Life Skills
      Therapeutic Modalities:
    • Grief Therapy
    • Behavior Therapy/Modification
    • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
    • Insight Oriented Therapy
    • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
    • Reality Therapy
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Groups
    • Individual

  • Melvin Herring, MA, LCSW

    Lesley WidmerMelvin Herring has been a therapist for 13 years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who believes in the holistic healing (mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually) of human(s) suffering, and empowering the client. He has extensive experience working with client populations such as adults, children, adolescents, families, ex-offenders, members of law enforcement, Veterans and couples. His career has allowed him to provide counseling services in government, non-profit, and academic research organizations, serving the most vulnerable clients. He has also provided in home counseling service to wards of the state, clinical assessments in correctional settings, as well as community based outpatient counseling to combat Veterans and their families. Melvin obtained his Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicagoís School of Social Service Administration, with a concentration in Clinical Social Work, in 2005. He specializes in the treatment of trauma and stress, mood, personality, substance, and disruptive behavior related disorders.

    Melvin provides individual, group, couples, and family counseling which focuses on such issues as:

    Trauma and Stress
    Acute Stress
    Adjustment issues
    Anger Management and Aggression
    Bipolar and Related Disorders
    Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Disorders
    Behavioral issues- Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
    Social Skills Training
    Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders and Relapse Prevention
    Christian perspective

    Provides the following modalities in treatment:

    CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
    EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
    EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)
    Behavior Modification
    Motivational Interviewing
    Christian Perspective
    Family Systems
    ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
    PE (Prolonged Exposure)

  • Keith LeVasseur MA, LCPC

    keith LeVassseur

    Keith LeVasseur has been a therapist for over 25 years. He has been in private practice in Naperville since 2006. He completed his graduate work from Roosevelt University in 1988.

    Keithís clinical areas of specialty include depression, oppositional/defiant disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD/ADD, anxiety, PTSD, and victims of sexual abuse. Keith has extensive experience working with severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents and their families. He also uses play therapy in his practice with children. Keith provides family therapy. He also works with adults on individual and relationship issues. He received clinical training at Tinley Park Mental Health Center. He has worked at Provena Mercy Center on an inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit providing individual and group therapy and Center for Family Services providing individual and family therapy to severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. He has provided on call crisis intervention services as part of his work at Center for Family Services. He has been a co-supervisor/therapist for an adolescent boyís group home providing individual/family/group therapy to 13 to 18 year old boys. He has also provided in home counseling to DCFS wards up to 18 years old.

    Keith has experience working with clients between the ages of 5 and 60 years old with specialty in working with children and adolescents. Keithís approach to treatment is short-term and solution focused. Cognitive behavioral principles with behavior modification are frequently used as well as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). He uses humor and a relaxed but firm demeanor to encourage clients and effect change. He believes that through the therapeutic alliance clients can learn to take responsibility for their own changes in their life and have more control over their future.

  • Priscilla Lynch, MS, RN

    Lesley WidmerPriscilla Lynch is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who has worked in the mental health field for over 30 years. Much of her career was spent at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where she was an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing as well as Unit Director over Child/Adolescent and Adult Psychiatric Services. In addition to those experiences Priscilla also did Liaison/Consultation work at Rush as well as working in the Substance Abuse area. Priscilla has presented at national conferences numerous times and has been published on several topics relevant to the psychiatric/mental health field. During her tenure at Rush she also maintained a private practice. In 2008 she left Rush to devote her time fully to doing private practice.

    Priscilla works with children and adolescents as well as adults and provides treatment in individual family, couple, or group settings. Priscilla also does crisis/debriefing work along with consulting with groups of people in the business or health care field. Therapeutic modalities include but are not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Insight Oriented Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Grief Therapy, as well as Motivational Therapy.

    Priscillaís philosophy is that counseling is based on a trusted therapeutic relationship that encourages and enhances the clients growth and empowerment.

  • Dave Sutor, MHS, CADC

    Bio Coming Soon.

  • Lawrence Tarnowski, MA, LCPC, CADC

    Lawrence TarnowskiLarry Tarnowski is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor.

    He graduated with his Masterís Degree in Counseling from Governors State University in 2007.

    Larry has extensive work with children, adolescents, and adults. He has experience helping people with a variety of issues, including:

    • Depression
    • Bi-polar Disorder
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • PTSD
    • Grief & Loss
    • Adjustment Disorders
    • Life Transitions
    • Relational Issues
    • Substance Abuse

    Larry is a passionate therapist. He is caring, nurturing, and creative. He uses a holistic approach and views each client as a unique individual. He is proficient in:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
    • Interpersonal/Psychodynamic Therapy
    • Solution-Focused Therapy
    • Expressive Therapies (art, music, and play).

    Larry has worked in community mental health agencies, hospitals (In-Patient and Out-Patient), rehabilitation facilities, and in private practice.

  • Mary Vasquez-Hansen, MA, NCC, LCPC

    Lesley WidmerExpertise: Ages 10 through Adult

    Mary is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor. She earned her Masterís degree from Governors State University in Illinois, a CACREP accredited school in counseling. She also holds a second masterís degree in Public Administration. She is a member of the Illnois Counseling Association, and the Illinois Mental Health Association for Certified Counselors. She is a certified EMDR practitioner (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). Mary received a divorce mediation certification from Northwestern University in Chicago and is a certified yoga instructor from Yoga Alliance. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and has worked with various ethnic groups and diverse populations.

    Mary has experience working in a foster care residential environment with teens and their families. She also has experience working in a domestic violence agency and an alternative school for high school students with behavioral disorders. Mary specializes in issues related to depression, anxiety, abuse, conflict in relationships and teens (e.g., suicide, self-injury, abuse and trauma). She has also worked with couples related to premarital issues, and separation/divorce. Mary has extensive experience in group work with teens, victims of domestic violence, (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, relationship and divorce recovery.

    Maryís approach is genuine, filled with compassion, and insight and action oriented. Her goal is to uncover obstacles and impediments that may be causing emotional pain, and hindering personal growth. She utilizes a client centered approach to identify and target client goals specific to the clientís issues or concerns. Her believe is that it is possible to uncover core issues that are most troubling to a new patient in order to design a treatment plan and provide a sense of hope in the first session. When appropriate, she incorporates EMDR techniques and yoga therapeutic interventions including breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation, as well as a yoga practice customized to the clientís needs in order to alleviate specific symptoms for example low back pain caused by anxiety or depression.

  • Linda Wahlen, MSW, LCSW, CADC

    linda Wahlen

    Specialties-Mood Disorders, Addictions-adolescent and adults

    Linda received her Masters Degree in Social Work from George Williams College at Aurora University. Already a licensed social worker, she obtained her Alcohol and Drug Counselor Certification in 1995 and her license in Clinical Social Work in 1997.

    Linda has 13 years combined years of hospital experience working on both the adolescent and adult inpatient psychiatric units as well as the outpatient substance abuse unit in a local hospital. Her experience includes providing social histories, discharge planning, conducting individual, marital and family therapy sessions as well as facilitating both therapeutic and educational groups. Linda also has background in conducting DUI evaluations and Risk Education classes for Level I and Level II risk groups for DUI.

    Linda has worked in a private practice setting for both a hospital and local psychiatric group generally using a Cognitive/Behavioral approach. Her experience also includes gay and lesbian issues, unresolved grief and divorce adjustment issues, all of which she welcomes in her practice.

    Linda enjoys knitting, crocheting and quilting in her spare time for her family and for charity. She and her husband enjoy dining out, going to classic car shows and spending time with their four grandchildren.

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Help is only a phone call away, Call the Sykes Group at
(815) 823-8460 to schedule an appointment.

While beginning counseling is a major step, it is a sign of strength. Today many individuals, couples and families are entering counseling to improve their quality of life.


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