Intern Staff

Nicole Maxwell, MA

My current therapy focus is working with adults in various seasons of life who desire change,  greater joy, or are looking to make sense of life circumstances. I use cognitive-behavioral and acceptance-commitment therapies to help clients identify and understand how negative thinking patterns affect behaviors and shape world views.  Often these patterns can be altered through mindfulness observation leading to a healthier, happier lifestyle. My role as therapist is to facilitate this kind of personal growth in a safe and compassionate space.

Previously, I worked in a group home for children with autism, teaching life-skills towards the goal of functioning independently. I have also worked in an inpatient hospital-setting helping adolescents and adults struggling with suicide, homicide, and other serious mental health issues,  to stabilize their crisis.

I joined the Center in 2016 for an advanced therapy practicum and continue through summer 2018 for a second year Intership under the CACTCChicago Area Christian Training Consortium program and the supervision of Dr. Nancy Cochran.  I am currently in my final year of the clinical psychology doctoral program at Midwestern University, anticipating a summer of 2018 graduation.



PsyD. candidate, Midwestern University
MA in clinical psychology, Midwestern University
BA in psychology, University of Iowa


630-752-9750 ext 20


I enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults to provide individual and group therapy, and psychological testing.  I treat a variety of clinical problems including adjustment issues, identity problems, depression, anxiety, complex trauma, personality issues, drug abuse and severe psychiatric illness. As a psychotherapist, I operate primarily from an attachment based psycho-dynamic perspective, which focuses on how early attachment relationships influence current behavior, and how past experiences, unconscious factors, current circumstances, and biological factors, continue to influence our mental health.  Within this framework I also incorporate a variety of techniques, depending on the presenting issue, including mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral and dialectical behavior therapy techniques.

I approach therapy holistically, considering mind, body, and spirit.  My clinical interests are in the area of the integration of psychology and faith/spirituality in treating spiritual and religious issues, treating multicultural and cross cultural issues, personality and relational problems, trauma, and severe mental illness.

I have had the privilege of providing in-home therapeutic services for children who are on the Autism spectrum, and have worked in a variety of hospitals including an inpatient behavioral health center hospital, main hospital, rehabilitation hospital, state forensic hospital, community mental health clinic, university counseling center, several outpatient private practice facilities and most recently in intensive outpatient and partialized hospitalization programs.

As a former youth director, I developed and led an application-based Biblical group ministry that focused on teen issues.  The group was developed to encourage healthy decision-making and provide assertiveness skills when facing peer pressure, which included role-playing, modeling, and psycho-education.

I join the Center as a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Francis, OP.  I am in the final year of the clinical psychology program at Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University, California.  I received a master’s degree from Biola University in 2014 and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas Pan American in 2010.



PhD candidate, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University
MA in clinical psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology,Biola University
MA in psychology, University of Texas Pan American

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Grace Schuler Spencer, MA

I enjoy supporting clients on their journeys through both pain and joy in the pursuit of the fulfilled and enriched life. I draw from several therapeutic theories and am primarily anchored in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I invite clients into developing values-guided behaviors that promote hope and meaning in the face of life’s challenges. For those interested, I also utilize the integration of spirituality and therapy by incorporating spiritually informed interventions. As a therapist, I see my role as fostering a warm and creative shared working alliance that mindfully engages the here and now.

I approach the work of therapy from a holistic perspective as I appreciate the multiple components of life, including those that are biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. My clinical interests include women’s issues, trauma, mood concerns, anxiety concerns, identity development, multicultural and cross-cultural issues, relationship concerns, and developmental concerns. Formative past training experiences include working in settings such as community mental health, college and university counseling, therapeutic day school, and acute inpatient hospital programs.

I am delighted to join the Center as a member of the Chicago Area Christian Training Consortium (CACTC) internship cohort under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Cochran for the 2018-2019 training year.


PsyD Candidate, Wheaton College
MA in Counseling, Regent University

LPC (licensed professional counselor), State of IL
NCC (nationally certified counselor), National Board for Certified Counselors


630-752-9750 ext 26