Many years ago, I served as a children’s pastor in Central Wisconsin. The Church was doing well and there were several new families starting to attend. As a young man with little experience, I found myself at a loss as to how to serve some people who were struggling with mental and emotional health or tension filled relationships. As a pastor, I encouraged them in their faith and prayed with them and for them. I am confident that God helped each of them with or without my involvement, but this was a moment where I felt the Church needed a greater focus on mental, emotional, and relational health.
That was a key moment in my life where the idea of Heritage Counseling Center began to form. A place to help all people, especially to partner with the Church to ‘strengthen and encourage you in the faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials, for you know quite well that we are destined for them’ (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3).
This is where we are at today. Heritage Counseling Center hopes to be that place for people as God allows. We begin with our faith in Jesus Christ as the One who has a redemption plan for anyone willing to follow Him. Heritage Counseling exists to assist everyone in their modern-day trials that might keep them from joy and health and overcoming for a higher purpose in their respective lives.
To be effective in our mission, the reason for our being, we are always intentional in growing in our counseling skills, our compassion and being oriented by the Person of Jesus Christ.
Our Core Beliefs
The therapists at Heritage Counseling Center believe (Written by the American Association of Christian Counselors):
In one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three persons: Father; Son and Holy Spirit.
The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired, inerrant, and trustworthy Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters about which it speaks.
That human nature derives from two historical persons, male and female, created in God's image. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, guilt, suffering and death.
That the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and provide the only ground for justification, forgiveness and salvation for all who believe, and only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit, are true members of the Church, and will spend eternity with Christ.
That the Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Jesus Christ, that He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and that He comforts, guides, convicts and enables believers to live in ways that honor Him.
That ministry to persons acknowledges the complexity of humans as physical, psychological, social and spiritual beings. The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability and spiritual maturity.
Meet Our Team
Scott Hendrickson, LCPC
I am a former children's pastor turned counselor to help 'strengthen and encourage' people in their own personal trials of life. My Christian faith inspires me to use my training and experience to help people in vocational ministry, marriages, those struggling with mental illness such as anxiety, depression, etc., trauma, or just trying to adjust to difficult life changes and surprises.
My style is quiet, kind and collaborative. I hope and work to help you understand yourself and how you might be maintaining your anxieties, moods, dysfunction, conflict, stress, and anger as well as develop healthier awareness and skills to overcome life's challenges. Healing from past losses and hurts either recently or going way back to childhood has long been an important work and growing skill for me. Treating the whole person—emotionally, physically, cognitively, behaviorally, relationally and spiritually, is always my focus.
I have been married for 35 years with my lovely wife, Denise. We have two adult boys (men), a wonderful daughter-in-law and now two grandchildren whom we adore. After serving in vocational ministry for ten years, I went back to school--Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for an MA in Counseling Psychology (1997).
In the year 2000, I founded Heritage Counseling Center, now located in Plainfield AND Elgin, Illinois. Heritage is a place with skilled, compassionate and Christ-oriented psychotherapists all working together on the same mission--'to strengthen and encourage you in your faith so no one would be unsettled by these trials, for you know quite well, we are destined for them' (inspired by 1 Thess. 3:2-3).
Ways to see Scott: Plainfield office & telehealth
Amanda Paben, LCPC
Amanda is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) who is passionate about providing counseling services to children and adolescents. She has experience working with children and adolescents who struggle with anxiety, behavior problems, bullying, depression, self-esteem, and adjustment to transitions such as divorce or separation. Believing that children best express themselves through play and creativity, Amanda's approach to counseling utilizes several expressive and play therapy techniques.
Amanda also provides individual counseling to adult women dealing with a variety of concerns. She has a particular interest in anxiety, depression, parenting problems, and women's self-esteem. Her goal in counseling is to provide a safe place for people to express their emotions and enhance their overall well-being. A lot of her work focuses on developing awareness of thoughts, feelings, and values.
Amanda received her Bachelor's degrees in psychology and theology from Trinity Christian College and her Master's degree in mental health counseling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Outside of the counseling office, she enjoys spending time with her husband and boys or picking flowers from her garden.
Cindy Raices, LCPC
Counselor (English & Spanish)
Cindy is passionate about working with adults, adolescents and children to provide a safe place for people to experience healing, forgiveness and peace. She has experience in counseling individuals with a variety of struggles such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem, addiction, self-blame and trauma.
Prior to Heritage, Cindy gained her clinical experience at a substance abuse counseling center and a family community agency where she conducted both individual and group therapy for families, adolescents, and adults.
Cindy received her Bachelors degree in Psychology and her Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Rider University. Cindy and her husband also pastor a church in the Chicagoland area.
Ways to see Cindy: Elgin office & telehealth
Curtis Richardson, LPC
Curtis specializes in working with children and adolescents who struggle with anxiety, ADHD, and depression. In 3 years of clinical practice, Curtis has found play therapy, bibliotherapy, and CBT effective in helping children and adolescents overcome anxiety and depression issues, while integrating key components of person-centered therapy: empathy, acceptance, and congruence. By doing so, a safe environment is created to build esteem and a healthy confidence to face internal and external challenges.
Curtis is also experienced in working with adults who struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, addictions, and marital/family issues. Using a holistic approach, he is able to help explore the cause of the problem, sometimes using the Adlerian or Narrative approach to discuss occurrences during childhood that may have resulted in unresolved issues. Curtis welcomes those who will like to discuss issues from a spiritual aspect as he realizes that all issues are not mentally based.
Curtis graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a B.A. in Pre-Counseling. He later graduated from Capella University with honors receiving a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling.
Ways to see Curtis: Plainfield office & telehealth
Jason Lowe, MA
Hi. My name is Jason Lowe. Thanks for taking time to check my bio to see if I might be a good fit for you or someone close to you. Three overarching beliefs shape my approach to the counseling process. They are, 1. People are unique, 2. Relationships are complicated, and 3. Life is hard. This naturally leads me to an approach that focuses on meeting you where you are with dignity, respect, and curiosity. I want to listen to you, sit quietly with you, and get to know you. I want to hear your story and explore together not only what is difficult in your life, but also what is beautiful and strong…as difficult as it may be to recognize.
Whether you’re 85 years old or 5 years old, dealing with anxiety or depressed feelings, having relationship issues, trying to handle grief or childhood hurts…I’d be honored to walk along-side you, meeting you where you are, and helping you identify and meet your goals as you become who you want to become. I’ve experienced the power of counseling as a client and as a young counselor, and I look forward to serving and supporting you!
Ways to see Jason: Elgin office, Plainfield office, & telehealth
Stephanie Contreras, MA
Stephanie is a compassionate clinician with six years of experience in hospital, school, community, rehabilitation, and private practice settings. Her specialties include complex trauma and crisis intervention, immigrant mental health, family therapy, and child and adolescent mental health. She offers counseling services to families and individuals in Spanish and English. She treats families and individuals of all ages. She received her graduate degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is an active parishioner in the diocese of Joliet. She currently sits on the Young Adults Ministry Counsel at her parish. She welcomes clients of all faiths and walks of life.
Ways to see Stephanie | Plainfield office & Telehealth
Abby Jeske, MA
Abby gained her clinical experience serving at a nonprofit community counseling center where she found her passion working with children and adolescents. She has experience working with relational issues, trauma, anxiety, OCD, depression, and bullying. Abby strongly believes in meeting clients where they are at when it comes to creating a safe, free, and nonjudgmental therapeutic space.
Abby graduated from Aurora University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, later receiving her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Wheaton College.
Outside of the office, Abby enjoys artwork, reading, and trying new foods with friends.
Alaina is passionate about connecting and meeting people as they begin their mental health journey. Her most important objective is making sure new or already active clients have the smoothest, shortest path to needed treatment. She does this by working closely with counselors to ensure the best possible fit. Alaina also oversees registration with the online client portal. Her goal is that every client feels reassured they are walking into a safe space of healing and peace.
Prior to Heritage, Alaina served in church ministry as well as camp ministry. Alaina received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Trinity Christian College (‘20).
Join Our Team
Currently all part-time positions are filled.
Currently Heritage Counseling Center is looking to add one or two full-time psychotherapists to its professional staff. If you consider your values to be similar to ours AND you are licensure-eligible, or already hold a minimum of an LPC license, then this might be the right culture and fit for you.
Our mission is to provide compassionate, skilled, Christ-oriented counseling. '...To strengthen and encourage... so no one would be unsettled by these trials...we are destined for." 1 Thess. 3:2-3
What we require: Christian integration experience, excellent clinical and relationship skills, and a willingness to practice exclusively at Heritage Counseling Center.
We are currently looking for full-time staff only.
What we prefer: Completed Master's program in good standing with your university, a desire to grow as a therapist and someone who wants to enjoy doing this work.
It is important to us that you want to work as a team, not only to grow individually, but build up your co-workers AND the company as well. We love new graduates, who are eligible to take their counselors exam and are looking forward to this work including all of its challenges.
This is a place to grow professionally and spiritually and establish yourself in our communities as an excellent professional counselor.
What we provide: A salary-based practice, caring commitment to your professional success, regular clinical supervision and consultation, a relaxed, comfortable, private environment conducive to effective counseling, and the integrity and professional reputation of one of the leading providers of professional Christian counseling services in Chicagoland.
Heritage Counseling Center, Inc. desires people who are comfortable working in a team atmosphere, who pay attention to details, and who are routinely working a professional and personal growth plan. We exist to help people through professional Christian counseling.