Sarah Suzuki, LCSW, CRADC

Owner and Founder of Chicago Compass Counseling

Certified Motivational Interviewing Trainer

Specializing in: Alcohol Moderation Counseling and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy


Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Reciprocal AODA Counselor

Hi, I'm Sarah. I collaborate with people to find solutions through brief, focused therapy.

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 executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations create integrity with their core values. You can create the life you want to live. Whether you are wanting to remove barriers to your own success or help your organization achieve greater success, we can find a path forward, together. Book your intake consultation by clicking on this link or emailing [email protected].

On Being a Counselor

I view my role as that of a consultant. I'm not the shrink you see on TV. Instead of sitting there quietly, scribbling on a notebook, I will collaborate with you to ensure that each session helps you move towards accomplishing your goals.

I am interactive, friendly, and direct. You can expect feedback and recommendations at your very first session. You don't have to lose what you have before you transform your behavior. Together, we will map out a course to gives you lasting success.


Practitioner Background

My obsession with the art and science of change led me to study clinical social work, evidence-based practice, and substance abuse in 2007. After graduating, I worked at a variety of rehab and healthcare settings. In my early social work career, I saw how countless people who were motivated to change their drinking walked away without effective tools. In response, I developed a practice dedicated to helping people access strategies to accomplish their goals.

Today, I help entrepreneurs and executives practice emotional leadership in all areas of life. When your daily actions are aligned with your core values, life gains new meaning. Imagine waking up each morning infused with a sense of purpose, then going to bed at night feeling satisfied with a day well-lived. This life is possible when you can align your actions with your core values.

I founded our practice with the belief that all people are capable of change. Whether you are trying to optimize your life or change a self-destructive behavior pattern, I am here to help. Research shows that:

  • You don't have to "hit rock bottom" before deciding to make a change.
  • You don't even need to feel 100% committed to change in order to improve your life.

How cool is that?

I'm here to help you get where you want to go. Change is possible. To schedule your first appointment, click on this link or email [email protected] to schedule your first consultation.


More About Sarah

Key Philosophical Beliefs

  • All people are capable of change.
  • Self-destructive behavior serves a function, even if the consequences are negative.
  • Most men who engage in alcohol abuse can change their drinking without rehab or AA.
  • You are the expert of your life.
  • Every setback provides an opportunity for growth.
  • When it comes to creating the life you want to live, one-size does NOT fit all.
  • Collaboration is the key to creating a plan that works.

Counseling Training

  • Administrative Masters (AM), University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Capital Area Counseling, Post Graduate Fellow
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Basic Training
  • Motivational Interviewing Training of Trainers
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Training

Specializations and Experience

  • Alcohol moderation counseling
  • Institutional Anti-Racism
  • Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT)
  • Certified Motivational Interviewing Trainer
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW)
  • Moderation Management, Inc., Moderation Friendly Therapist
  • HAMS Harm Reduction for Alcohol Therapist

Sarah as a Person

I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago (nope - I don't claim to be "from Chicago!") and spent the early part of my career in Austin, TX. What energizes my spirit outside of work is  volunteering my time and energy in institutional anti-racism initiatives. In my spare time, I love to write, read, and share time with close friends.


If you'd like to work with Sarah or one of our therapists, contact us to schedule your appointment and find out more about how we can help.