Staff

Staff

Dr. Nikia Thompson, PhD, LCSW

It is difficult to manage the many roles in our lives. It can be challenging when handling the multiple demands of husband, wife, employer, employee, caretaker, mentor, sibling, friend, volunteer and neighbor etc. Sometimes, it is hard to breathe because our minds are constantly thinking about what we have not accomplished for the day, the week and even for the future. This anxiety can impact the way that we navigate through life and can also affect our relationships.

Through the therapeutic process, I assist you in exploring the things that are causing you the most stress, as we work through those difficulties. Together, we will focus on the past to help you explain current life struggles while addressing the present in an effort to cope and prepare for the future. My professional credentials are the following: a PhD in Psychology (Organizational Leadership) from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a Masters in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

With more than 20 years’ experience, a mother of one, who loves to travel globally, I have worked with many individuals, couples and families. I believe in utilizing a combination of therapies, and I am also passionate about utilizing holistic approaches to create balance and natural healing. I am currently in the process of working on my certification in hypnotherapy

Oren Brown II, LCPC

My name is Oren Brown II, and I am a licensed and board certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with years of experiences individual, couple, and family therapy. I provided culturally competent psychotherapy to clients. I believe that the ultimate purpose of therapy is to work with clients to identify who they are, what their strengths are, and the strategies needed to help them reach their highest potential. My ability to connect with clients and to also challenge them when necessary, aides in the process of clients reaching their life goals.

I practice from an assimilative psychodynamic integration approach that combines several treatment modalities including psychodynamics, transactional analysis, rational emotional-behavioral therapy, and reality therapy. The totality of who you are is celebrated.

Edward Bowman, LCSW

I am an Illinois Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a bachelor’s degree in History from DePaul University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver.  I have 23 years of experience in the community mental health field and 13 years in a VA hospital.  My mental health experience includes three years as director of a residential facility that specialized in the treatment of juveniles who had engaged in sexual abuse of similar-aged or younger victims.  My counseling experience includes the treatment of victims of sexual abuse, depression, grieving, marital, general adjustment disorders and adolescent adjustment disorders.  For the last three years I have a therapist with E. M. Branch & Associates, Inc. providing individual, couple and group counseling, with a strong emphasis on male concerns.

Andria Lampkin, LCPC

I received my master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. As a therapist, I believe in working with clients at a pace that meets their individual, social, spiritual and familial needs.  I strive to create a safe and open environment as clients begin to confront life’s challenges.  I have assisted individual and families of various ages, with concerns such as grief, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, domestic violence, divorce, sexual assault, personality disorders and more. My style is integrative, incorporating tools from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Adlerian, Existential-Humanistic and Family Systems.  I embrace a philosophical approach encouraging mindfulness and self-determination to gain increased control of your life’s direction.

Sarah O’Conner, LCPC

I specialize in play therapy, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and individual, couples, and family counseling. I received my BA from Argosy University in Psychology then went on to obtain my MA in Community Counseling. I interned at The Branch Family Institute during my graduate program and was asked to come aboard once graduated as a professional since 2013. Since then, I have worked in private practice, DCFS agencies, hospital behavioral health programs, TLP’s, ILO’s, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and have gained insight from an array of professionals and organizations to help individuals overcome and cope. My personality as a professional is diverse and eclectic. I believe in using a variety of practices throughout our process to find what benefits the client.

Nashawna Terrell, LCSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over twenty years of experience in working with children, adolescents and families. I have been a Social Worker for Chicago Public Schools since 2001 and I am also a contracted therapist for E.M. Branch & Associates.  I am very effective in challenging cases with complicated family dynamics.  I use a variety of modalities to ensure that the needs of her clients are addressed in the way that best supports their level of understanding and encourages improvement.  I am dedicated to providing quality therapeutic services that foster healthy social emotional interactions with others.

I strongly believe in the saying that “It is better to build a child than repair an adult.”  To that cause I am the Co-facilitator of the Chosen Generation Liturgical Dance Ministry.  I mentor several of the young ladies in this organization and provide support and assistance to their parents as well.  I am passionate about helping children navigate school and move on to higher education.  I am determined to leave a positive experience with the young men and women that I encounter professionally or through volunteerism.

Dwayne Johnson, MSW

My educational and professional background gives me a unique and effective approach to counseling.  My education background consists of a BA in psychology and a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Chicago State University. Family Centered, Strength-Based, and Trauma Informed in an urban environment. My work in the MSW program focused on the clinical aspects of mental health counseling, particularly, as it pertains to children and adolescent males with behavioral challenges, as well as family systems with a strength-based trauma informed approach.

In practice, I utilize an integrated treatment approach that affords myself and the client the ability to collaboratively tailor a treatment plan that fits the individual client’s unique needs and goals using a family system, strength-based, and trauma informed lens, always being mindful of cultural competence. The theoretical approaches I utilize most in practice are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Chess Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Trauma Informed Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Psycho-Education, and a client centered approach. I provide my clients with a warm, nonjudgmental environment, and a safe place to explore the challenges that may be preventing them from living the best quality of life they can live.

Melissa Randle El, MA

I am a clinical mental health counselor for E.M. Branch & Associates, Inc. since August 2016. I possess a passion for helping people conceptualize the interplay between environmental influences and personal experiences, and having a knack for helping individuals adjust the lens through which they view the world [and themselves] to counseling. My interests in counseling includes working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, adult survivors of sexual abuse, motivational group work, and helping individuals and families with grief and trauma. I have an eclectic background in human resources, healthcare management, benefits administration and publishing. I have worked in corporate and healthcare settings in Hollywood, Pomona, San Bernardino, and in the medical district of Chicago. I have also worked as a freelance editor and illustrator, consulting authors and publishers on writing projects in the Chicago area. I live near the Beverly area of Chicago with my youngest daughter, Miranda. My eldest daughter (Cecily) and I, enjoy working together on writing projects. I appreciate the benefits of yoga, writing, drawing and spending time with my family.

Veronica Robinson, MSW, QMHP

I am people’s advocate and with an extensive background working in the areas of substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health and sexual assault. I have been working with The Branch Family Institute, for over 5 years, I am an expert in the Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange field. Oftentimes, these are very difficult matters when parents are unable to be in the same room together to develop healthy parental bonds with their children. It is my role to make all parties feel comfortable and safe during families most tumultuous times.

Pricilla Evans, MSW

I am a recent graduate from Chicago State University with a Masters degree in Social Work. In my practice, I have expertise in working with clients from a wide variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. I work with children, young adults, individuals, and families using a diverse approach tailored to the unique needs of each client. I have over 5 years of experience in a variety of settings and with diverse clients primarily in the field of social services where I assist with connecting families to needed community resources. Additional areas of experience include: Addictions Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, Sex Offender Group Counseling and DUI Group Counseling.

 

In my spare time, I enjoy dancing and being in the company of my family. Let’s not forget that I am very competitive and love a good competition whether it’s a board game or a race to the front door. I continuously seek to gain and broaden my education and expertise. I strongly believe that change occurs when people are given the tools they need to draw on their own strengths and maximize the potential to live fulfilling, happy, and wholesome lives.

 

Martin Montoya, LPC, NBCC

I graduated from Adler University with a Masters of Arts in Counseling, with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling. I provide a non-judgmental and empathic environment for individuals to address their current or past issues, discover their inner strengths, and feel empowered to be able to cope with life’s challenges.  I have worked with individuals, couples, and families who struggle with anger, mood, and anxiety disorders, trauma, addiction, grief and loss, domestic violence and abuse, life transitions, LGBTQ challenges, low self-esteem, and acculturation issues.  I integrate person centered, cognitive-behavioral (CBT), mindfulness, adlerian, and expressive arts approaches to help my clients.

I truly appreciate music. I like spending time going to concerts and open mic nights. I love playing the guitar and going on long bike rides. Also during my spare time, I enjoy taking care of prize possession which is my foster cat, Panda.

Michelle Thomas, Office Manager

I handle most of the operations in the office from answering phones to providing you with insurance authorizations and billing. There is A LOT of work that happens behind the scenes before you even come in for your initial visit, this is handled by moi! I enjoy figuring things out at the office that do not even seem possible. I also love to laugh sing and dance when I am not working.

Steven Thompson II, Billing Manger and Intake

Michelle and I work closely together to ensure that billing and insurance is handled in an efficient manner. I am the first person that you may speak to when you call in for services. I really care about the people who call in because it is critical that they are connected to a counselor as efficiently as possible. Outside of work, I am an avid bowler, and I love spending time with my wife, children and grandchild.