Who is Encompass Counseling Center?

Maria Jensen, MAT, MSW, NCC, fluent in Spanish

Maria is a bilingual therapist who loves doing counseling in both English and Spanish. She has helped clients from ages five to 65 overcome depression, anxiety, and family difficulties. With Maria’s help, individuals and families have restored important relationships and moved forward with their goals.

A Bilingual Therapist Specializing in Family and Couples Therapy

A graduate of Aurora University, Maria earned a master of social work degree, with an emphasis on solutions-focused, strengths-based therapy. This goal-directed collaborative approach to psychotherapeutic change is accomplished, as Maria said, through directly observing a person’s responses to a series of precisely constructed questions. The result helps individuals—including couples and families—break out of vicious problem-cycles and develop constructive, customized solutions.
This very effective way of doing counseling is based on:

  • Asking questions rather than “selling” answers.
  • Listening for and reinforcing evidence of the strengths, resources, and competence of the person.
  • Working with what people can do, not what they can’t.
  • Finding out what people are already doing that is helpful and exploring ways to amplify their strategies.
  • Focusing on the details of the solutions, not the problems.
  • Developing action plans which work.
  • “My goal is to listen closely to the person’s life story, helping them find the positive vein flowing through it to harness momentum for the present and future,” Maria said. “I advocate constant reflection, seeking feedback and constantly measuring results for ongoing improvement in the individual. It works!”

    Maria also holds a master of arts in teaching. In addition, she spent time at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a program of Spanish immersion while in college.

    Who is Encompass Counseling Center?

    Michael Angelo, MSJ, NCC, MSCP, LCPC

    Michael attended Benedictine University, where he received a master’s of science in clinical psychology. There, he was trained in cognitive-behavioral, family-systems, and person-centered therapeutic techniques.

    Focus on Anxiety and Depression

    In addition, he completed an intensive clinical internship at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital’s Center for Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. He was trained by an internationally recognized authority on anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, social phobia, specific phobias, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Michael specializes in treating patients using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Response Prevention techniques—individualized therapeutic approaches that yield superior outcomes with anxiety and depression.

    Concern for Marriages and Relationships 

    Michael also works closely with couples and families, addressing the dynamics between spouses as well as between parents and children. He emphasizes the misconceptions—whether consciously or unconsciously—that individuals can bring into their relationships. For couples, this includes:

  • The other person must make me happy.
  • If I can change the other person, my life would be better.
  • I’ve changed myself all that I can and things aren’t getting any better.
  • If you cared about me, you would . . .
  • If you don’t love me the way that my parents did, then you don’t love me.
  • And other misconceptions—almost always unspoken—that can sabotage the relationship, turning couples against each other. Families have their own sets of assumptions that can undermine their harmony and balance. The result is the same: hurt, brokenness, or worse.

    “It is my belief that it is not necessary to be a victim of the emotional climate of others. One of my main goals in this regard is to help couples and families work toward their own emotional calm and intellectual objectivity, enabling them to think more clearly and thus speak and act more constructively, as they learn to manage the high level of anxiety underlying the relationship.”

    WHO IS ENCOMPASS COUNSELING CENTER?

    Stephanie Bossarte, LCPC, NCC, CADC, CDVP

    Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who received her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from National Louis University. She is also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor as well as a Certified Domestic Violence Professional and certified and trained in Sexual Assault.

    Resilience Toward Addiction, Domestic Violence, and More

    Stephanie uses an eclectic approach to therapy involving many different strategies to fit a person’s needs, but she also employs specialized Strengths-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Strengths-Based CBT does not solely focus on positives while ignoring concerns. Instead, strength-Based CBT means discovering how to recognize and help individuals identify their strengths so they can identify resiliencies within themselves, as they learn new skills and to solve problems. The mindset of a resilient person helps them:

  • Feel special and appreciated, providing a sense of hope and optimism
  • Set realistic goals and expectations
  • View life as a journey that they are in control of
  • Be aware of their weaknesses and strengths
  • Embrace strong self-esteem and sense of competence
  • Know what they can and cannot control in their lives
  • Compassionate, Trusting Professional

    Stephanie’s counseling style is caring, trusting, empathetic, direct, and goal oriented with focus on empowering individuals to make positive choices that are best for them. Stephanie provides a safe, non-judgmental, compassionate space to work collaboratively to explore the challenges you are facing. It is Stephanie’s goal to facilitate a supportive therapeutic relationship in which healing, insight and growth can take place.

    “I believe that people are resilient and have the ability to overcome and rise above any struggle or situation when they learn what their own strengths and capabilities are. When you feel empowered. you can thrive especially with encouragement and support which can renew understanding of your journey.”

    WHO IS ENCOMPASS COUNSELING CENTER?

    MICHAEL J. WALTERS, MA, LPC, NCC

    Michael specializes in therapy with adolescents and young adults who struggle with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, self-esteem, or self-awareness issues. He also works with individuals, groups, and families, as well as home school co-op families and students. He received his training at Argosy University, Chicago, graduating with a master’s of arts in counseling psychology. Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate in psychology with an emphasis on neuropsychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago.

    Emphasis on ACT and Adolescents

    In counseling, Michael’s teaches mindfulness skills to help adolescents and adults live and behave in ways consistent with their personal values while also developing psychological flexibility. This approach is an integral part of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)—a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—which invites the person to open up to unpleasant feelings, and learn not to overreact to them—not avoiding situations when the feelings surface.

    ACT is particularly effective in treating anxiety, grief and loss, depression, and anger issues—areas where unpleasant feelings abound. But Michael also has expertise with substance abuse, multicultural conflicts, personality disorders, and other specialties that require the problem-solving skills that Michael possesses.

    “Whatever someone is struggling with, it is imperative for me to find the right solution for them so that they can move past their fears, as they tap into what they value most as their impetus for change. When they do that, the therapeutic effect is a positive spiral where feeling better leads to a better understanding of the things that they were previously blind to.”

    Recent Articles

    The Alarming Trend of Teen Suicide

    Anthony Bourdain. Kate Spade. Robin Williams. We know the tragic stories of their suicides. Countless other adults, mostly unknown, have […]

    Read More

    Medical Marijuana a Hit with Seniors

    Seniors are giving rave reviews for medical marijuana. In a new survey, those who turned to it for treating chronic […]

    Read More

    Confession: The Only Way to End an Addiction for Good?

    Confession. Who needs it? Criminals admitting their crimes to police? Children caught with their hand in the cookie jar? Congregants talking […]

    Read More

    Testimonials

    Eric

    Patient since 2015

    I have been counseling with Michael since January of 2015. He is not afraid to point out errors in attitudes or actions, based on biblical views. He is the most compassionate, genuine therapist I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and I would not hesitate to also call him friend.

    Sarah

    Patient since 2012

    My husband and I were referred to Michael Angelo by our pastor's wife back in 2012. Long story short, he saved our marriage. He is a very straight forward counselor and doesn't sugar coat anything. He told each of us what we were doing wrong or what we could do to help improve our marriage, and it worked. So thankful to have met him and to still be able to meet with him on occasion.

    Patrick

    Patient

    Michael is kind, caring and compassionate and has provided me with the tools and resources I need to overcome my struggles and move forward in a positive new life direction. He has given me helpful insight into my anxiety issues and has helped me to build up my confidence and self esteem. I value and appreciate the life tools Michael has provided me with.

    Lo

    Patient

    I am a mom, a wife, and a professional juggling the ins and outs of life, with a history of bipolar disorder. Recently, I came to a point that I needed help dealing with my anger and managing life. Encompass Counseling has been one of the most beneficial therapeutic services in my experience. I am in a better place now, and I am continuing to grow as a person. I would recommend this service to anyone on the journey to gain a better state of being.