Dennis Nguyen, LCSW
Director of Operations and Therapist
Alcohol Moderation Counselor
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Hi, I'm Dennis. I help people create space in their world.
I am passionate about creating safe and supportive spaces for people to achieve their goals. My past experience in working with people from all stages of life helps me appreciate how we are the product of our histories, cultures, and societies. Change will be challenging as we have to break away from these lifelong patterns. I am here to help you discover your best self.
I believe that the key to change is learning how to honestly self-reflect without excess shame or fear. By exploring our strengths and weaknesses we can make strategies to live a healthier life. We will create our own safe and supportive spaces even in a hostile and ever evolving world.
On Being a Counselor
The world is becoming more complex every day. The demand to excel at work, school, and with family continues to grow. It's hard to focus on living life when you are trying to survive. Survival may feel like the only thing you are capable of doing. You may find yourself increasingly frustrated, isolated, and like you are losing control.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed. You feel like no one understands or cares about what makes you unique. You may feel like a number and not a name. Your job is to conform and excel, regardless of your needs. People only care about you when you make a mistake, which reasonably leads to feelings of isolation, loss of control, and loneliness. If these struggles are affecting your ability to live your life, it may be time to start counseling.
It's possible to get back in control of your life. I help people break out of survival mode and begin living again. Whether you are looking to manage anger, change self-destructive behaviors, or deal with the limitations that life places on you (including social expectations, racism, classism, etc.). I offer strategic, solution-focused therapy to help you reach your goals. The process begins with a warm and empathetic dialogue to understand where you are in your life.
Evidence-based counseling can help you quickly achieve your goals. Through open-minded presence, I provide a collaborative space where you can be yourself free of negative judgement. You can begin to replace feelings of disconnection, fear, and inadequacy with lasting satisfaction and healthy self-esteem.
You are capable of more than struggling to survive. Change is possible. Together we'll develop strategies to make your own space in the world and live on your terms.
I decided to become a counselor after my school counselor helped me feel like change was possible, even though I was in a dark place. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, but by putting emotions into words I made my own space in the world.
This led me to want to understand as much as I can about the world we live in. I was able to foster success through empathy and strategic interventions. Instead of cogs in the machine, we are individuals who are heavily influenced by our histories, race, class, culture, sexualities, and gender. To foster success means understanding my clients as much as possible.
As a counselor, I am inspired by seeing people who take the first step towards growth by deciding to make a change. In return, you can expect feedback during our collaborative counseling that adds value to your life. Evidence-based counseling helps you replace self-destructive habits that are holding you back from achieving your goals.
Let's get you where you want to be. Reach out to schedule your first appointment. When you call our scheduling line, our Intake Coordinator can answer any questions you might have. To schedule your first appointment, call (312) 715-8234, or email [email protected]cagocompasscounseling.com to schedule your first appointment. I'm here for you.
More About Dennis
Key Philosophical Beliefs
- Data-driven strategies help people achieve success.
- All people deserve a safe space to explore who they want to become.
- Counseling should be collaborative and feedback-oriented.
- Men deserve respectful spaces free of negative judgment.
- Self-destructive habits are learned behaviors to cope with stress.
- Every healing journey is unique and thus requires an individualized approach.
- Master's in Social Work (MSW) from Grand Valley State University
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Training
- Family Systems Training
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Training
- Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Training
- Motivational Interviewing Training
- Family-Focused Therapy Training
- Trauma Focused Therapy Training
Specializations and Experience
- Evidence-Based Counseling
- Men's Issues
- Polyamory or Nontraditional Relationships
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Anger Management
- Grief and Loss Counseling
- Present-Centered Therapy for PTSD
- LGBT+ Counseling
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety
- Behavioral Activation for Depression
- Gender Expression and Identity
Dennis as a Person
I was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. I studied and worked in nearby Grand Rapids, Michigan for a few years before deciding to give Chicago a try.
I love to bake/cook/eat! When I can, I like to pick a new recipe on the weekends to try out. I'm particularly known for making fun bread puddings. And there's something about sharing a meal with people I love that is particularly meaningful. I love to explore the city. There are so many nooks and crannies that are begging to be found! I like to pick a restaurant in a new area and then spend the afternoon walking around the neighborhood.