Meet our Team

Alcohol Counselors and Behavior Change Counselors in Chicago, Illinois

We are passionate about helping you create lasting change.

Book your complimentary phone consultation.


Laura Duening, MA, MSW, LCSW, CADC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor
From the moment I became a social worker, I was driven in my work by the belief that recovery required an integrative approach. Whether I was working in an inpatient medical setting or an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility, I always knew that healing the mind had the power to heal the body and over the years, I have had the privilege to watch this theory in practice many times over.

Because of my passion for women's health, I completed my yoga teacher's training in 2015. Today, I incorporate trauma-informed yoga in my volunteer work with survivors of intimate partner violence that helps women reconnect to their bodies and quiet their minds after experiencing significant trauma.

I understand how disruptions in the mind-body-spirit connection can manifest in addictive behaviors, particularly in women. Traumatic experiences, challenging relationships, and the stresses of life can throw us off-balance and cause us to disconnect from our true selves.

I am here to guide you towards a place of renewal and healing. You don't need to struggle alone. I am here to help illuminate your journey while we work together to find your individual path to health, peace and contentment. Call me at (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected].

Katelyn Schmitt Kemper, MSW, LCSW, CADC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor
As far back as I can remember, I have always known I would be a counselor. Growing up, it came naturally to me to be compassionate, empathetic, and to listen with a non-judgmental ear. As I got older, I was thrilled to find a career that afforded me the opportunity to put these traits to good use.

Since completing graduate school in 2012, I've been fortunate to work in multiple substance abuse outpatient treatment facilities, and each has reinforced the value in meeting an individual where they are in their journey of change.

My extensive experience in substance abuse treatment settings has shown me that recovery is more than discontinuing the use of substances , it's about finding what life looks like without substances. Recovery is about self-discovery - rediscovering the parts of yourself you might feel disconnected from or feel you have lost. I believe that it is about so much more than sobriety. Authentic recovery allows you to achieve peace and satisfaction. This starts with positive connection.

I am here to guide you in the path of healing the root cause of addictive behaviors. With positive and loving connection, we will honor your path towards fulfillment. Call me at (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected].

Matt Lawson, MA, NCC, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor
I am passionate about helping people achieve optimal health. Over the past 20 years, I have helped hundreds of individuals improve their lifestyles through my work in health and fitness. Whether I was offering nutrition counseling, lifestyle coaching, or personal training, I have always appreciated the importance of helping clients develop wholeness between mind and body. I appreciate how there are multiple pathways to health, and how each approach must be tailored. I founded a private coaching practice, iBehaviorCoach, where I provide distance coaching to people seeking optimal wellness.

I am here to help you develop a lasting strategy for wellness. Whether you are worried about someone you love or are struggling with behaviors affecting your own health, I will help you develop a strategy and skillset to achieve change. Call me at (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected].

Marcia Lutz, PhD, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor
Change can start at any time - no matter what may lie in the path. As a former nurse, I have always appreciated how people possess resilience to transform have pain into hope and recovery. My work in both inpatient and outpatient settings has given me a unique understanding of how relapses and setbacks are part of the change process. I am here to guide you through the challenge of your current circumstances.

I believe that a compassionate relationship is key to healing. With 15 years of experience counseling people who struggle with problem drinking, addiction, depression, and anxiety, I have found that resilience begins with a caring relationship. By creating a strong foundation, we will illuminate the path to having the life you deserve to live.

I am honored to begin this journey with you. Call me at (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected].

Michelle Byrd, MA, NCC, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor
am passionate about the development and holistic well-being of youth and young adults. My 20+ years of experiencing working with youth and young adults has helped me appreciate the unique development of each individual.

With all of the pressure young adults face today, it makes sense that things feel overwhelming. It can be hard to find space to hear yourself think. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed right now with all that's going on. You may be feeling fear, anxiety, worry, and uncertainty. If fear and anxiety is affecting your ability to live your life, then it may be time to get counseling.

I believe the key to change is knowledge, awareness, an avenue for healing and a positive mindset. I start by first understanding the type of change you desire, then helping you mobilize next steps. Together, we'll explore how to get to a place where your ups and downs in life are manageable instead of overwhelming.

You can create the life you want to live. Call me at (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected].

Sarah Suzuki, AM, LCSW, CADC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor
I am obsessed with the art and science of change. It wasn't always like that, though.
When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a writer in New York City. I thought psychology was a waste of time.

That's right. You might be surprised to hear that I grew up thinking that therapy was for people who wanted to complain about minor problems. I saw therapists on TV and wondered why anyone would open up to a stranger whose best response was, "But how does that make you feel?"

As an aspiring writer, I took on an assignment that inspired a dramatic shift. I happened to be interviewing a woman who abused drugs and alcohol. At the end of our interview, she looked at me pleadingly: "I want to change. I just don't know HOW."

I was surprised. After all, weren't substance abusers supposed to be people who were in denial? Like most of us who want to change, she was hardly in denial. She had the desire, but needed an effective path forward.

When I considered my own pain points, I realized that I wanted to make changes, too, but didn't know how. I needed tools. Figuring out where I could get the right ones, though, was pretty terrifying. And I knew that TV therapy wouldn't cut it for me. It was the starting point that would inspire my life's work.

For more than 10 years, the question of "how" has driven my vision of service.

Today, I help high-achieving men find effective ways to change their problem drinking. You don't have to do this alone. We can find a path forward, together. Call me at (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected].

What Makes Our Chicago Counselors Different?

We are a group of counselors helping adults and young adults challenged with self-destructive behaviors. Here are some reasons you may want to work with us:
1. We are passionate about helping you create immediate and lasting change.
Our behavior change counselors help you find solutions that lead to the life you desire. Through our research-based methods you will get tools to help you transform your behavior starting from the very first session. Together we collaborate with you to find solutions that lead to relief from concerns such as problem drinking, emotional eating, and self-destructive behaviors.
2. We use data-driven strategies to help you get the life you desire.
We stay up to date on the latest research as it emerges in the areas of both human behavior and neuroscience. To create a plan tailored to your goals, we are referencing the most recent information and techniques as they relate to helping with the challenges of alcohol abuse and problematic behaviors.
3. We focus on possibilities, not labels.
We believe you are capable of achieving change. People who struggle with problem drinking are riddled with shame and worry about being labeled an alcoholic. There is nothing helpful about calling someone an "alcoholic". Your counselor will provide a judgement-free space and work closely with you towards the life you want.
4. We support the family system.
If you are worried about a loved one, we are here to provide support and guidance while you navigate the challenges of loving someone who is challenged with self-destructive behaviors. We are here to help you understand the "why" of your loved one's behavior while designing a path forward. We offer strategies that WORK for parents and significant others who are worried about people who struggle with addictions.
The bottom line is: We are committed to serving you.
Contact us to schedule your appointment. Get started today. We are here to help you find your direction.
Our Specializations
Alcohol ModerationDepressionAnxietyAddictionComplicated GriefSelf-Destructive BehaviorTrauma
Call to book your session: (312) 715-8234
We're here for you.

Chicago Compass Counseling, LLC
333 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 704
Chicago, IL 60601



Email: [email protected]