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.
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.
Patrick is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). He provides mental health counseling services through Braden Counseling Center. Patrick earned his M.A. degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University in 2019 and has worked in a range of treatment settings with pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult clients. Some of his areas of clinical interest include, but are not limited to, the following: anxiety, depression, life adjustment issues, LGBTQ+ specific issues, sexually problematic behaviors, court-mandated treatment, and stress management.
Patrick believes that the therapeutic relationship is an opportunity for collaboration to help one discover their strengths and ability to be vulnerable. He works together with his clients to assist them in finding solutions to any problems that they may be facing. He uses a range of therapeutic approaches derived from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Client-Centered Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but also believes in tailoring his treatment to fit the needs of the client.
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 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.
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
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.