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. Braden is now offering EMDR therapy.
Dana Eason has 13 years of experience in the field of Psychiatric Nursing. She has been a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner since 2014. Dana is a graduate, Magna Cum Laude, of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Nursing, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the National Honors Society for Nursing. She achieved Board certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, specializing in treating clients across their lifespan. Additionally, she’s obtained Post-Master’s training including a Master of Psychopharmacology Certification from the Neuroscience Education Institute in July 2019.
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.
Licensed Social Worker
Chrissy is a Licensed Social Worker. She completed her Bachelors Degree in Psychology in 2018, and then went on to complete her Masters in Social Work in 2020. Throughout her graduate studies, Chrissy’s emphasis was mental health and counseling. Chrissy has had experience working in schools, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and private practice. Post grad, Chrissy worked as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services Coordinator where she assisted her residents with coping through day to day life with a severe mental health diagnosis.
Chrissy believes that the therapeutic process is a collaborative one, both client and counselor work together towards a common goal. She challenges her clients to do the work both inside and outside of sessions. She works under the notion that all things in life are fluid, it’s how we move and progress through the fluidity that will determines our outcome.
Kelsey Flynn is a Pre-Licensed Therapist. Kelsey completed her Masters of Social Work Degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, following receiving her dual Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology at Michigan State University. Kelsey has experience working in the mental health setting within the school system and the community with children, adolescents, and adults through Individual, Family, and Group Therapy. Kelsey has experience working with the Department of Human Services Child Welfare System and youth in the Juvenile Justice System through her academic experience.
It is important to Kelsey to meet her clients where they are at. Each individual begins their start at different points in their lives and no path for better days will be the same for each individual person.
Jessica Cash is a Pre-Licensed Therapist, and PAIP Facilitator. Jessica completed her Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Judson University, and Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minor in Criminal Justice from Upper Iowa University. Jessica has experience working with a wide range of clients from young children through adults. Jessica’s areas of clinical interest and experience include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, life adjustment issues, domestic violence, foster care and adoption, and trauma treatment.
Jessica utilizes a range of therapeutic approaches when working with clients to assist them with the challenges that may bring them into counseling. Jessica also believes in using the client’s inner strengths to create change in their lives. Jessica’s therapeutic approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused CBT, and Motivational Interviewing. Jessica is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and Child Forensic Interviewer.
Bridget Irioogbe is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where she obtained her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling. She has experienced working in both a mental health setting as well as in a collegiate setting where she collaborated with individuals to help them reach their personal and academic goals.
“Helping individuals with and without disabilities achieve their goals is my passion. In a counseling relationship, I believe it’s a joint effort to understand and be attentive to individuals’ needs, uniqueness and multicultural aspects.”
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.
Clinical Mental Health Intern
Amy is a counseling intern at Braden Counseling Center. She completed her bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Psychology in 2018, at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and graduated summa cum laude. Amy is in the third year of her master’s program in counseling- with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling, at NIU. Amy has prior experience working as a counselor in training at the Community Counselor Training Center (CCTC) at NIU, where she primarily worked with students.
Amy believes unconditional positive regard, empathy, and acceptance are essential to the therapeutic relationship. Amy takes an integrative approach to counseling but likes to utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and person-centered theories the most. Amy also likes to work collaboratively with the client to find an approach that best meets the needs and concerns of the client.
Clinical Mental Health Intern
Rolando is a bilingual Latinx Queer Clinical Social Work intern. Rolando’s pronouns are he/him/his and they/them/theirs. Rolando attained his Associate in Arts degree with an emphasis in Psychology at Elgin Community College in 2015, where he graduated with honors. In 2018, he graduated Cum Laude from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree where he majored in Psychology and minored in LGBTQ+ studies. He is a member of two academic international honor societies: Phi Theta Kappa, and Psi Chi. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s of Social Work at Governors State University, and plans to one day become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Rolando considers himself an eclectic social worker, he primarily utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), feminist theory and the strengths-based theory. Rolando likes to work from a trauma informed Holistic and Humanistic perspective. He is also interested in Psychodynamic therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Jacquelyn Irelumary Espinoza is a bilingual intern working towards her Certified Alcohol and other Drug abuse Counselor (CADC) certification. Currently attending Elgin Community College (ECC) for an Associates in the Art, an Associates in Applied Science and Spanish Certification. Jacquelyn plans on continuing her education in hopes of transferring to Northern Illinois University (NIU) in the Fall of the year 2022. She hopes to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis on Family Social Services.
I came to DeKalb in 1991 to attend NIU. I met my husband there and we have been happily married since 1997. We made our home and raised our children here. I rejoined the workforce in July of 2017 after an extended absence as a stay at home parent. I was excited to land here at the Braden Center as an administrative assistant, and I am very proud to now hold the position as the Office Manager. 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
Public Health Intern
Heaven Allen is a public health intern and administrative assistant for Braden Counseling. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Service Management at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She completed her bachelor’s degree at NIU in 2018 majoring in Public health with an concentration in Health Administration. Heaven has many years of experience in customer service and providing care to clients. Heaven hopes to continue to help clients and families during their intake process and provide warm services to them as they begin and continue their journey to happier days.