Dr. Jayne Braden
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Jayne A. Braden, has been working in the court system since 1993. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1999 and was licensed as a psychologist in 2000. Regular training with the American Academy of Forensic Psychology helps keep her skills up to date. Evaluations she completes for the court include Child Custody and Psychological, Specific Forensic Psychological, Fitness to Stand Trial, and Criminal Responsibility. FOID reinstatement evaluations as well as those for DCFS are also completed by her. She completes evaluations in several county courts including Boone, DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, and Winnebago. Pre-employment, fitness for duty, and promotional examinations are also completed for local police and fire departments. Fitness for duty evaluations are also completed for local companies. The Braden Counseling Center opened in 2002 and has been providing services to individuals with different challenges with evidence based treatments since that time.
Dr. Biana Kotlyar
Dr. Biana Kotlyar is a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in treatment of mood and anxiety disorders as well as women’s mental health, trauma-related disorders, issues related to LGBTQ and gender identity, and addiction. She is an Assistant Professor at Chicago Medical School where she provides psychiatry education and training to medical students and resident physicians. Dr. Kotlyar provides compassionate and comprehensive psychiatric services, incorporating biological, psychological, and social contributions to mental health. She is a devoted wife and mother of two children. Dr. Kotlyar’s hobbies include eating sushi, going to musicals, reading and swimming.
Chief Operating Officer & SMART Facilitator
Brenda graduated from Kishwaukee College with a degree in Office Systems in 2013, and has since worked at BCC. Brenda continues to push herself to learn and grow as the demands of her job do.
As a SMART Facilitator, Brenda is dedicated to helping people gain independence from harmful addictive behaviors through our safe, friendly, mutual support meetings, our science-based and secular SMART Recovery 4-Point Program® and our principles and tools, all of which are proven to help people overcome their addictive behavior.
Brenda is your contact for any of your SMART Recovery, financial issues or general questions. As she greets everyone with a smile you can rest assured you will be her most important client. Brenda is a valuable part of Braden Counseling Center.
CRADC, SAP, PAIP
Mallory Ludwig is a Certified Reciprocal Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CRADC), a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), and a Partner Abuse Intervention Program Facilitator (PAIP). She has been employed with Braden Counseling Center since August 2007.
She specializes in: DUI Evaluations, Alcohol and Drug Evaluations, Secretary of State Hearing documents, Substance Abuse Treatment, Partner Abuse Intervention (Domestic Violence Offenders)
Counseling is a second career for Jane Gaitskill. For ten years she worked as a market research analyst in downtown Chicago, but found that to be increasingly unrewarding. At the age of 36 she entered Loyola University’s Masters program in Social Work.
Upon graduating, Jane’s first job was in Evanston Hospital’s Outpatient Psychiatry Department/Crisis Department. Subsequent positions included doing Emergency Room psychiatric evaluations for NorthShoreUniversityHealthSystems, doing in-home counseling with senior citizens and seeing clients in her private practice. She has been at Braden Counseling since 2018.
Jane has extensive experience working with people from a variety of religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds. She has worked with adults of all ages, couples, families in crisis, and children 11 years old and older, addressing relationship issues, mood disorders and psychotic disorders.
Jane primarily uses CBT and supportive therapies, but realizes that a “one size fits all” approach to treatment simply does not work. Given this, she brainstorms with clients to determine what works best for them.
She encourages input from her clients about the therapeutic process, regardless of whether or not that input positive or negative.
James Michael Mannion
MSW, CADC, PAIP
James Michael is an MSW Counselor and Certified Alcohol and other Drug abuse Counselor (CADC) practicing psychotherapy to help individuals, couples, LGBTQ, and multicultural groups challenged with issues of anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, grief, self-harm, relationship, and career issues. James Michael is able to view a person’s struggles as opportunities within the context of their personal life story and current situation.
James Michael graduated from Aurora University with a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work, and then completed WCC’s Post-baccalaureate Addictions Counseling program, and is certified by IAODAPCA as an addictions counselor (CADC) . He has trained and worked with Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault victims and perpetrators and is a trained PAIP Facilitator. James Michael is certified in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and has worked with adolescents, teens, and adults who contemplate suicide or practice self-harm. He is an active volunteer on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and supports the NASPL as a safe place for anyone to call (800-273-8255) anytime.
James Michael leverages techniques from various therapy and non-therapy modalities to help clients achieve their goals within an integrative framework that includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), addictions counseling, compassionate inquiry, mindfulness practices, and traditional wisdom.
Dwayne Thomas is a Certified Alcohol and other Drug abuse Counselor (CADC), whose previous clinical experiences have all been within long-term inpatient treatment, or correctional settings. In helping to meet the treatment needs and goals of various mandated target-populations (DCFS, Drug-Court, IDOC, etc.), Dwayne brings years of case-management experience to the Braden team. Dwayne has successfully worked with many clients who were initially resistant to implementing change in their lives during treatment, by utilizing both Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT) treatment modalities, to help clients resolve their ambivalence to change, and engage in the treatment process.
Jessica Cash is a PAIP Facilitator and Graduate Counseling Intern completing her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Judson University. Jessica has worked with children and families for the past 15 years. She also has experience working with clients who have experienced trauma, domestic violence, involvement with the foster care system, and survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Jessica is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Child Forensic Interviewer.
Jessica utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy when working with clients to assist them with the challenges that may bring them into counseling. Jessica also believes in using the clients inner strengths to create change in their lives.
Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Geneal grew up in a small college town in North Dakota and began teaching swimming, gymnastics, and fitness classes. This led her to her passion for wellness and she graduated with a B.S. degree in Clinical Dietetics and Corporate and Community Fitness from North Dakota State University in Fargo. Geneal headed West for her career and lived and worked in Northern California until recently. Life brought her to the Greater Chicago area and to Braden Counseling Center!
Geneal loves working with people from varying backgrounds and life experiences. She plans to pursue an MSW in the near future. Her outside interests and passions are children, any activity and or sport that is outdoors, drawing and coloring, dancing, and being with her family and friends. Her greatest joys are her three grown children, two who still live in California, and her daughter who resides in Chicago.
Geneal is very excited to begin a new chapter of her life here at Braden and is grateful for the opportunity to “help those to help themselves, with compassion, empathy, non-judgment and support” in her new community.
I came to DeKalb in 1991 to attend NIU. I met my husband there and we have been married since 1997. We made our home here and have two wonderful teenagers. I rejoined the workforce in July of 2017 after an extended absence caring for my children. I am excited to land here at the Braden Center as an administrative assistant. I have drawn great inspiration from the wise words of Maya Angelou, so I share them with you, our clients, as you too begin journeys towards healing and brighter tomorrows.
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
~ Maya Angelou