Meet Us

About Us

Our therapists use an eclectic range of modern psychotherapy techniques including, but not limited to cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure, interpersonal, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, cognitive processing therapy, and solution focused therapies.

Many of our couple’s therapists are trained in Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy.

Man and woman claspe all their hands together on a wooden table

“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves”

– Galileo Galilei

Therapist

Jessica M. Dergance, LCSW, ACSW

I believe that therapy provides an opportunity for healing and growth. I focus on cultivating a nonjudgmental and supportive environment that opens the door to self-discovery. We will work together to understand what might be getting you “stuck” in reaching your goals. We will draw upon your strengths to develop a healthier way of coping with the challenges that you are facing. We will focus on a balance of relieving specific symptoms that you are experiencing as well as finding the root causes of those symptoms to empower you with lasting insight. Many times the challenges that you are facing are rooted in the complexities of the relationships in your life. We will work together to identify these issues and resolve them to promote lasting change.

I have experience in working with clients deal with a variety of issues including depression, mood disorders, anxiety, difficult relationships, addiction, loss and grief, career concerns and life transitions.I also have extensive training in trauma and can use supportive practices as well as evidence based interventions to help you overcome traumas that you have experienced in your life.I have a passion and commitment to using mindfulness based skills as well to help individuals find relief in current symptoms that they are dealing with. Mindfulness can also be a path to giving you space to slow down and evaluate what your goals are that you plan on pursuing. Above all, I hold a deep respect for client’s individuality and recognize that each therapeutic relationship will evolve in its own unique way.

Danielle Stoddard, LCPC

I believe that we are all worthy to pursue a life of fulfillment and happiness. Of course, there are bumps in the road. That is where I come in . I enjoy working with my clients and assisting them overcome their obstacles. I began my journey 15 years ago as a crisis worker. I helped people at their lowest feel safe and hopeful. I enjoy working with my clients as they gain an understanding of their problems and the causes. I then help them develop an action plan to eliminate this problem, and give support along the way.

I use a variety of treatments in my sessions based on my client’s needs. I am trained through the BECK Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Institute. I am also trained in Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Tic Disorders, supported by the Tourette Association of America. My career has led me in many directions and has provided me with experience and knowledge in a variety of fields. My special interests include Mood Disorders, anxiety, grief, divorce, parenting, Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD, and college/career planning.

Tammy Thieme, LCSW

I have had the privilege of serving the Illinois Valley for 35 years. I have had the honor of joining my clients in their pursuit of change and personal growth. I work with my clients on problem solving skills, improving communication skills and developing coping skills to improve overall functioning. I use evidence-based treatment modalities to ensure the desired results for my clients. My approach is encouraging, supportive and informative.

I enjoy working with families focusing on divorce, blended families, adoption and relationship issues.I have worked in the fields of chemical dependency, sexual abuse treatment and as a mental health therapist addressing mood disorders

From working in the addictions, child welfare and mental health fields, I bring an experienced and eclectic background to aid in my client’s growth. I am holistic in viewing the physical, mental and spiritual needs of my clients and the diversity of each person.

Stephanie Thomas, LCPC

I am a licensed clinical professional counselor with experience working with clients dealing with a wide range of barriers including addiction, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, career and life transitions. I have extensive training in disability and assisting clients to overcome or manage personal, social, or psychological barriers to achieve their goals.

I strongly believe that a holistic approach is critical in providing therapy. I utilize evidence- based interventions. I have a passion for utilizing mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral therapy to allow for self-discovery and growth.  Every individual is diverse and unique in their therapeutic needs therefore I understand that each process will develop in its own way. I strive to help others gain positive coping skills and techniques to get them through life’s challenges. Therapy allows for the opportunity to process thoughts and emotions to work towards personal growth and life balance.

Traci Midnight, LCSW

I am a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years experience working with couples, teens, adults and families. My compassionate and direct communication style helps develop a collaborative therapeutic relationship. I offer a non-judgmental, supportive environment, which facilitates growth and change. I believe in every person’s right to determine his or her future. I work with each person, couple and family on an individual basis to develop goals to work toward. I believe that helping people enhance their self worth, improve coping skills, develop insight and practice mindfulness skills will help move toward balance and will build a foundation for a less conflicted and more authentic life.

I have experience in working with clients deal with a variety of issues including depression, mood disorders, anxiety, difficult relationships, addiction, loss and grief, career concerns and life transitions.I also have extensive training in trauma and can use supportive practices as well as evidence based interventions to help you overcome traumas that you have experienced in your life.I have a passion and commitment to using mindfulness based skills as well to help individuals find relief in current symptoms that they are dealing with. Mindfulness can also be a path to giving you space to slow down and evaluate what your goals are that you plan on pursuing. Above all, I hold a deep respect for client’s individuality and recognize that each therapeutic relationship will evolve in its own unique way.

Lauren Holt, LCPC

I believe therapy can help a person work through any life problem they may be experiencing. I believe that therapy can help a person relieve current symptoms that are being experienced. It is also important to get to the core root of the problem causing those symptoms in order to heal. I consider it best to help a person work through different avenues in their life to find happiness by utilizing effective coping skills to diminish future symptoms. Through a therapeutic alliance, we will work together to find you a healthy life balance.

I have been working as a therapist since 2008. I have experience working in an outpatient setting and inside of a correctional facility. I am trained in crisis intervention, marital therapy with emphasis in conflict resolution, verbal de-escalation, substance abuse counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. I am trained in Clinical Hypnosis, which can be utilized along with other treatment modalities for problems with decision making, treatment of some phobias, some addictions, anger, and anxiety. I have experience with trauma informed therapy.

I enjoy working with adults who may need help with addiction, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, relationship/marital problems, career conflict, and grief and loss issues. I am a firm believer that how we perceive and look at things in life guides our behavior and attitude. Therefore, I have a passion in helping you find an alternative to your current thought process to grow and achieve your goals. A lot of therapy is about self-realization and finding your own inner peace.

Kim Mercer, LMFT

When life gets out of balance, and the pain is robbing you of joy and happiness, counseling can help find some solutions. I am a calm, empathetic and nonjudgmental therapist that will collaborate with you on the best way to achieve your fullest potential. My passion is to help you work through the immediate problems that are causing you hurt and distress, and then utilize this pain to discover new possibilities for growth and personal fulfillment. Traumas, big or small, often cause depression, anxiety, strained relationships, occupational and academic obstacles, which interfere with achieving life goals. With guidance and support, clients learn to make connections between past traumas, current stressors, and triggers to employ new and more adaptive ways to cope.

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 19 years of experience providing mental health counseling to all ages, including individuals, couples, and families. I use a strength based, holistic, person-centered approach pulling from many modalities such as CBT, DBT, solution focused, narrative therapy, attachment systems and trauma informed. I’m confident that we can find the right approach to help you find the balance and joy in life again.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Victoria (Tori) Brueggert, APRN, PMH-C

Victoria (Tori) Brueggert is a Nurse Practitioner board certified in Adult Primary Care along with Psychiatric Mental Health. After initially working in medicine, she has found a love of psychiatry which in part pushed her to pursue her certification in mental health. She has been working in psychiatry as a nurse practitioner for the last 3 years in multiple settings but primarily in outpatient private practice. She treats ages 14 & up. Tori has a laid back and holistic approach with her patients. “There are a multitude of factors that bring patients in to see me and we need to assess them all.” Tori often refers her patients to participate in psychotherapy to get the best long-lasting results for her patients. “Of course life is not linear, therefore treatment may not be as well”. Tori volunteers on the board of Postpartum International – Illinois as the Vice Chair. The love of PMADs (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders) comes after her own battles. While she is not with patients, Tori likes to enjoy her young family, loves the outdoors and is a Peloton enthusiast.

  • Women’s Health
  • Pregnancy & Postpartum
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Postpartum Support International: Certified in Perinatal Mental Health
  • University of St. Francis: Post Masters Certification in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Lewis University: Masters Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Olivet Nazarene University: Bachelors in Nursing Science

Staff

Sara Troccoli BSW, Office Manager

Sara Troccoli holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and has worked in the mental health field for 10 years.  Sara has joined our team as our Office Manager.  When you call Life Balance, Sara will assist you in getting set up for your initial appointment.  She can answer any questions and make sure this is an easy process for you. Not only does Sara have a caring personality but she is very knowledgeable in managing any scheduling, payment or insurance questions. Our business office is typically open Mondays through Thursdays, 9am-2pm.