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. Maria Johnson

Board-Certified Psychiatrist

Dr. Maria JohnsonDr. Johnson will see children, adults, and provide geriatric psychiatry at Braden Counseling Center.

Dr. Maria E. Johnson is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and is licensed in Georgia and Illinois. She was born in Decatur, Georgia and is a graduate of Oglethorpe University.  She obtained her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Psychiatry at The University of Arizona.  She completed a fellowship in psychopharmacology and her residency at The Medical College of Georgia.

Her practice style tends to validate the patient’s reports of their problems and then follows through to find some resolution, understanding, or meaning in that pain.  She monitors for side effects from any medications prescribed and educates her clients about the risks of them. By taking a thorough history that includes childhood experiences, life traumas, and losses, Dr. Johnson helps find insight from the patient’s story.  She reviews all biological, psychological and sociological aspects in her efforts to relieve suffering. Because of her well-rounded experience with life, as well as with medicine, she has special ability to empathize with those who have been through great pain.

She stated, “I believe in providing team-based comprehensive care to patients. I try to accomplish that by collaborating closely with my patients’ other providers and/or loved ones.”

Brenda Butz

Chief Operating Officer & SMART Facilitator

Brenda ButzAfter graduating from Kishwaukee College with a degree in Office Systems, Brenda has spent the last five years at Braden Counseling Center. Brenda is now the Chief Operating Officer and deals with Patient Account Management at BCC.

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.

Mallory Ludwig


Mallory LudwigMallory 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)

Nikki Myers

Alcohol and Drug Counselor & SMART Facilitator

Nikki MyersNikki is a substance use counselor, and mental health counseling intern, finishing her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Northern Illinois University. She has an anticipated Graduation date of December 2018. Nikki is also a SMART Recovery Facilitator, a support group that treats all addictions. Nikki’s clinical experience includes substance abuse and addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, and life stressors. Nikki believes in person-centered therapy to ensure a strong therapeutic relationship is met, and so that each client’s treatment is individualized for them. Such that, there are many therapeutic techniques that Nikki can use with a client, as she feels there is not only one technique that will fit each and every client. Nikki’s goal is to meet each client where they are at and help them reach the goals they are seeking through therapy.

Richard McCoy


Richard McCoyRichard is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and an approved SOMB (Sex Offender Management Board) provider for the state of IL. He graduated from Argosy University in Denver with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

His clinical experience includes psychological assessment, evaluations of court-mandated at-risk populations as well as treatment for individuals suffering from anxiety, depression, anger, trauma, and everyday life stressors. Richard’s experience in providing an eclectic, client-specific method to treatment allows the client to work through life’s most difficult moments in manner familiar and authentic to them.

Paul Graseman


Paul GrasemanPaul is a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC), Partner Abuse Facilitator and SMART Recovery Facilitator. He has worked with Braden Counseling Center since May of 2018 but has been working in the field of addictions since 2010. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences from National Louis University in Chicago as well as Human Services Substance Abuse Counseling classes from Elgin Community College. I currently work in the adult world of DUI. I also work with clients referred through Probation, Kane County Second Chance program, and self-referrals. I’m especially privileged to work in the PAI Program for both men and women.

Paul likes connecting with a diverse population and working with people to help them reach their goals which, previously may have been impossible. He likes seeing people grow and transition as they apply what they’ve learned is so rewarding. Paul tries to make a connection with a client where they feel safe. He wants to make sure that they have a positive experience at our treatment facility. Paul also has training in Motivational Interviewing (MI), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), goal development, being culturally sensitive, and making sure that everything is client-centered.

Beyond the suffering you’ve known, I hope you find your way. May you never be broken again. Alter Bridge~

Nicole Bowker


Nicole BowkerNicole is a Licensed Professional Counselor with an interest in trauma-informed counseling. Nicole received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Northern Illinois University. She has experience working with adolescents and adults in addressing anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use, and other life stressors. Nicole aligns herself with CBT and Gestalt theories, however, she believes in adjusting her approach to each client in order to treat each individual as their unique self.

Cyndy McDonald

Office Assistant, PAIP Facilitator

Cyndy McDonald

Sylvia Crownhart

Office Assistant

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