Kathy Hicks, M.S., Ed., Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

About Me

Kathy is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who believes that the simple act of talking about a problem is valuable. Her role as a counselor is to help the people she works with to clarify, understand and come to terms with issues that cause concern. Kathy provides a nurturing, non-judgemental approach in counseling geared towards assisting children, adolescents, young adults and their families in forming and achieving goals. Her passion is to help people increase their happiness by creating rich and meaningful lives. 

I was born in Wisconsin and moved to Illinois when I was in middle school.  By the time I started high school my family had moved multiple times and I attended 5 different schools.  Because of that, I had a lot of different educational experiences when I was younger.  I attended Northern Illinois University where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics.  After I graduated, I realized I loved the community and wanted to stay local, so I put down some roots and settled down.  I eventually went on to focus on mental health and completed my Master of Science degree in Counseling.  I furthered my specialty by completing my Certification in Eating Disorders and Obesity, both earned at Northern Illinois University. 

I have been working with children, adolescents, young adults and their families in DeKalb County for over 25 years.  I first worked as a Licensed Dietician and enjoyed working with people using a holistic approach to nutrition where the whole person, including lifestyle is important.  Over time, I found my attention was more and more on the psychological needs of the people I worked with and began to pursue an educational and career course where I specialized in counseling.  My professional status is a mental health professional, although my experience in dietetics certainly helps in working with people suffering from an eating disorder.  My overall focus is working with people who are overcoming psychological difficulties in life.  I am currently a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  My passion is helping people explore concerns, identify goals and achieve solutions.

Prevention and mental health in the community have been key areas in my professional development.  Prior to joining LivingRite, I led a multidisciplinary staff in the administration and delivery of an intensive mental health program for local families.  In addition, I coordinated a mental health promotion and education program where I had the opportunity to work in 8 different DeKalb County schools.  Before that, my extensive experience with managing mentoring programs in DeKalb County has allowed me to genuinely understand what barriers families are facing.

Areas of Specialty

I have special training in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders and have advanced my training by completing the Certificate of Graduate Study in Eating Disorders and Obesity, the only 12 credit program in the nation.  This program utilizes the study of psychology, behavior, family studies, body image and nutrition to advance the skill set of professionals in the prevention and management of eating disorders and obesity.  Disordered Eating is a complex issue involving human development, family systems, stress, exercise, nutrition, society norms and culture.  I value mindfulness and believe in an intuitive approach to eating.  Recovery from an eating disorder is about rediscovering who you are by creating a rich and meaningful life.

Other Areas of Clinical Focus 

In addition to the previous issues, I also have preparation and experience in working with clients who are dealing with self-injury, domestic violence, anxiety and socialization problems in the adolescent and young adult population.  My training and expertise in infant-child mental health enables me to work with parents of young children in establishing a secure, healthy bond.

My specialization and training include the completion of the Illinois Certified Domestic Violence 40 hour training course, the Happiest Baby Train the Trainer program, the Protective Factors Family Stress Evaluation Training Program, the 4 P's Plus Training for Substance Abuse Assessment, the Partners in Parenting Education Curriculum Training, and finally, I have received extensive training from the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership where I focused on developing the emotional and social competence of children to help them mature appropriately according to biology, social relationships and culture.

I use a combination of cognitive behavioral and existential concepts with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  I provide a nurturing non-judgmental approach to support the people I work with via mindfulness, emotional recognition and emotional regulation.  I aspire to help people figure out what their goals are and how to best reach them.  In addition to being caring and compassionate, I believe that a sense of humor is vital to life and there are many benefits to its use in therapy.

Special Populations 

Parents / Infants 

-     Prenatal and Postnatal Depression
-     Infant Mental Health age 0 to 3 (failure to thrive, developmental delays, infant trauma,
psychosocial result of health concerns)
-     Parent Bonding and Adjustment
-     Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention (caretaker focused)
-     Infant / Early Childhood Development Assessment

Child, Adolescent and Young Adult (age 10-30)

-     Eating Disorders and Obesity
-     Anxiety
-     Depression
-     Self-Injury
-     Socialization Issues

Adult

-     Eating Disorders and Obesity
-     Intimate Partner Abuse and Relationship Violence (victim/survivor)

Professional Affiliations

- International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals

- Illinois Counseling Association

 

DeKalb Office • Sycamore OfficePingree Grove Office • Ph: 779.777.7335 • F: 815.758.8441 • Contact.Us@LivingRite.org