Hello, my name is Brett Zelencik and I have been working in the counseling psychology field for the last ten years. To give a bit of my educational background, I conducted research, completed a pre-practicum experience, and received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology at Loyola University Chicago. During that time, I was actively working to provide group and family intervention to at-risk youths in Illinois. I transitioned to providing substance abuse treatment in the outpatient and inpatient settings at a behavioral health hospital in the Chicagoland area, having earned my certification as an alcohol and drug counselor. At this point, my passion for the field of psychology only continued to grow and I knew I wanted to learn more. I enrolled in a master’s program at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout my master’s work, I worked full-time at a community mental health agency in Chicago. This allowed me to be exposed to diverse clientele with various clinical needs. I became certified as a co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder professional and continued to grow my experience and gain comfort in working with diverse and high-risk populations. In 2016, I graduated with my Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis on the counseling process. This led to a considerable amount of experience working with diverse clientele, ranging from individual psychotherapy to in-home family intervention and significant collaboration of care efforts with the state of Wisconsin.
Throughout my experience in the field, I have learned that not one singular approach works for every client need. This has promoted my strong desire to continue to learn and grow as a professional, gaining experience in different interventions. My formal training, as I started my career, was in cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing while maintaining a client-centered approach. This has expanded as I took additional trainings in acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, reality therapy, positive psychology, and rational-emotive behavioral therapy. I currently maintain certification as a clinical trauma professional, having recognized the impact of past traumas on current behaviors and symptoms.
My focus is to help each individual meet their own personal goals. I offer a non-judgmental and safe environment to promote personal growth. My approach does not force change but build internal insights that foster the growth and change process. I will work to establish a firm understanding of values and core beliefs (what you think about yourself and the world) to build insights, finding appropriate shifts in daily living practices to advance goal attainment. In doing this, it will allow for an increased sense of confidence with oneself and increase awareness for areas that may act as barriers to personal growth and change. I practice the implementation of coping skills with all my clients, helping them to be prepared to navigate those challenging moments that will so readily take place in our daily lives. Upon gaining skills to cope and routinely manage stress, we will work together to attain goals, putting the most appropriate clinical intervention(s) to use at that time.
To conclude, I have a mindset when I enter each session with a client. It is based on information collected from my acceptance and commitment training. It is in the form of a metaphor: The Two Mountains. In the therapeutic relationship, both the client and therapist are climbing their own mountains. From where the therapist is on the mountain, they can see some of the obstacles on the client’s mountain that the client may not be able to see. New routes in thinking and navigating can be discovered. It would be my pleasure to help you on this journey to better mental health, clearer thinking, greater confidence, self-love, mindfulness, happiness, recovery management, and goal attainment.