About Nancy

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Nancy Peterson

Licensed Clinical Social Worker


Nancy Peterson is an experienced counselor, having provided individual, couple, and family therapy in the Champaign-Urbana area for over 35 years. On this page you can read more about her treatment philosophy, professional background, the counseling issues she handles, and who she is.


Who Nancy Is

Being a therapist is more than just a career for me. It’s a calling. I’ve wanted to be a therapist since I was in eighth grade. At that age I started to recognize my skills for listening to people’s problems, giving them support, and looking for ways to help them change and feel more content.

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Professional Background

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been counseling in the Champaign-Urbana area for nearly 40 years. I received my B.S. in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1976 and my Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1978.

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Treatment Philosophy

I believe in individualized care that is supportive and empowering. My philosophy and approach varies from individual to individual, because each client is unique and brings unique needs. However, I have general approaches for different types of clients–adults, children, and couples.

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Counseling Issues

I have worked extensively with individuals, couples, families, teens, and children of all ages on these and other issues:


Addictions

Adoption Issues

Anger and Conflict Management

Anxiety

Attention Deficit Disorder

Career and Workplace Issues

Child Discipline

Chronic Pain

Communication Difficulties

Depression

Divorce and Recovery

Grief and Loss

Hyperactivity

Life Transitions

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Parenting Issues

School Difficulties

Trauma


Christian Counseling

Many people come to see me specifically seeking Christian therapy. I have been a committed Christian for 45 years now, and I love to incorporate faith into therapy, but only when requested. If a client comes to see me and does not request Christian counseling, I honor and respect that.

 

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Who Nancy Is

Being a therapist is more than just a career for me. It’s a calling.


I’ve wanted to be a therapist since I was in eighth grade. At that age, I started to recognize my skills for listening to people’s problems, giving them support, and looking for ways to help them change and feel more content. I was able to understand people in their pain, despite my young age, because I had gone through the pain of losing my father to a brain tumor when I was only five years old. I had a strong drive to help people because it had been so difficult to navigate the deep fears and sadness following my father’s death without a counselor to support and guide me through the process.


Today, as a therapist, I seek to be that person for children, teens, and adults–a person who listens, shows empathy, understands, and can help people move forward. I’m invested in clients for as long as they need me, but my goal is to help them develop the skills to handle problems on their own.


I think going through pain helps a therapist to be better equipped to empathize and guide others through their journey. I also bring other life experiences that I draw upon as a therapist—and not all of them involve pain. I draw upon both the good and the bad of my life.


I have been married for 40 years, and along the way I have learned what it takes to cultivate a happy marriage, even in the midst of the ups and downs. So I love to work with couples to find ways to move from destructive to healthy patterns in their relationship.


In addition, I have spent years studying books, going to seminars, becoming certified in a couples communication program, and even creating my own marriage program.


I am the mother of two wonderful boys—well, men, actually. They are now in their upper twenties and early thirties, and it’s been a lot of work, of course, but I love being a parent and passing on what I’ve learned. I feel very fortunate to come to parenting with professional training in mental health because it helped me balance firm boundaries and nurturing support, which are important for children’s well being. My training, parenting experiences, and my understanding of the pull of parental emotions enables me to help parents and their children navigate a range of issues, including coping with divorce, separation anxiety, bullying, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and misbehavior.


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Professional Background

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been counseling in the Champaign-Urbana area for nearly 40 years.


I received my B.S. in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1976 and my Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1978. I worked as a counselor for five and a half years with the Piatt County Mental Center, five years with the Champaign County Mental Health Center, and 19 years with the Christian Counseling Center in Urbana, where I also worked as director for four years.

 

I started my private counseling practice in 1980 and then, in 2007, I expanded my private practice to full time.

 

In addition to counseling, I have conducted groups and given presentations on parenting, social skills for children, boundaries, self-esteem, depression, and time management. I have also taught child psychology at Parkland Community College in Champaign.


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Treatment Philosophy

My philosophy and approach varies from individual to individual, because each client is unique and brings unique needs. However, I have general approaches for different types of clients–adults, children, and couples.


Working With Adults: I seek to help adults feel accepted and comfortable. Many clients have told me that I am warm, encouraging, and nonjudgmental, and that is very important to me. Sometimes, people will come to see me because they have gone through a change in their life and want me to help them restore their strength and learn new coping skills. Others may want me to look at how their past could have contributed to their current issues, and I help them to unearth the underlying roots of an issue. I want to make sure we find the core cause of an issue because that enables me to teach people how to uproot the lies they might believe—lies that create distress and lead to behaviors that create repetitive problems. I want my clients to know how to change and to have the skills within themselves to cope.

 

Working With Couples: I am passionate about working with couples and helping them through the tough times. Many couples do not realize the importance of emotional safety in a relationship. Therefore, I seek to help couples realize that when they don’t listen to their partner, then their partner will not feel safe in the relationship. In addition, I seek to address the underlying issues that make it difficult for them to listen to each other. When couples do not feel safe with each other, it’s like walking through a minefield, and small issues often blow up into big ones. I am a goal-oriented therapist, so I teach couples specific action steps they can take to change their relationship. By meeting these goals, couples can see specific ways they have changed, and this gives them the hope and incentive to keep progressing, to keep growing. I also provide couples with additional resources to meet these goals, including homework (if they desire it) and reading materials.

 

Working With Children: When I work with children, I believe it is important to make the experience fun and understandable at their level. For some children, it doesn’t make sense to talk directly about pain; they do not understand the concept that talking can bring relief. Therefore, I use art, books, toys, and I allow them to use figurines, animals, puppets, and dolls to express their stories and issues. Making sessions fun helps children to temporarily distance themselves from the pain, making it easier to share. I am then able to help children reconnect with that pain in a healthy way, finding new ways to resolve the hurt and build new copping skills.

 

Among the many treatment approaches that I use when working with the different types of clients are psychodynamic, cognitive behavior therapy, play therapy, and guided imagery.


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Christian Counseling

Many people come to see me specifically seeking Christian therapy. I have been a committed Christian for 45 years now, and I love to incorporate faith into therapy, but only when requested. If a client comes to see me and does not request Christian counseling, I honor and respect that.


Any survey of Scripture demonstrates that Biblical history does not gloss over the flaws of God’s people. All of the major figures from history—David, Moses, and Solomon, to name just three—are flawed people, but God still used them in mighty ways. God also does not turn away from the pain and suffering of this world, as the book of Job so boldly shows. God drank deep from the cup of suffering when Jesus died on the cross.


We live in a fallen world East of Eden where disillusionment and conflict are inevitable. We also live in a world that can be every bit as painful as another Garden—the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed on the night before He died. Jesus was let down by His friends, who could not even stay awake with Him, and He was ultimately betrayed there.


I encourage you to work through the Gethsemane moments in your life—to be willing to drink from the same cup that Jesus did. When these painful experiences shake your world, tenaciously hold on to God.


Jesus will stay awake with you through it all.


  • Nancy consistently demonstrates the gift of discernment and the practice of empathy. Her ability to guide you to a place where you can hear your heart's voice and see a path toward peace is rooted in that practice. If you are ready to embark on a journey of self discovery, I wholeheartedly recommend Nancy.

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  • I saw Nancy as a 10-year-old child and then again as a teenager. When I became an adult, I remembered how much I liked her, so I decided to see her, which says a lot about the impact she has had on my life. I have even taken my own child to see her because I knew Nancy could help her just as she helped me when I was young. Nancy has helped me transition through various parenting issues and job difficulties, and she helped me uncover the fact that I have struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder. I also love the relaxing and comfortable home atmosphere. My daughter would have been much more uncomfortable if she had come to a sterile office environment; it would have put her on her guard. I have referred many of my friends to Nancy. She is amazing and really good at what she does.

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  • Many years ago, when my husband and I were first married, we had trouble adjusting to our new life together. We needed help as we weren’t able to constructively handle our problems alone. Nancy provided direction and clarity and helped us navigate through these issues. She helped me specifically by validating my feelings, which I had previously been unable to discuss. More recently, I had to make a decision, which left me in turmoil. I couldn’t sleep or think about this decision with clarity and carried around a heavy load of anxiety. Nancy helped me to sort through my thoughts and feelings and immediately brought light to my dark thoughts, and I was able to make a decision without regret. I highly recommend Nancy. She has been exceptional and trustworthy counselor.

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  • My husband and I started to see Nancy almost two years ago because of some serious family issues. With her help, we have learned how to deal with family conflict in a more healthy way—for us personally and for our family. It hasn’t been easy, and it’s been a lot of hard work, but very worthwhile. Nancy is always honest with us and has always offered valuable insight in how to deal with the situations that we are in. We have grown considerably in our personal lives, but also in our marriage.

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  • I have to say that Nancy has been an incredible help in our marriage and in our individual lives. We started seeing Nancy approximately 15 months ago. Our marriage has gone from OK to great, and we are continuing to work on individual and marriage issues. Although we could actually be done because we have met all of the goals we started out to accomplish, we are hooked and are so excited about improving other issues in our lives dealing with work and parenting, that we have decided to continue on. I would highly recommend Nancy to any individual or couple who wants to gain insight into their life and improve it! Our insurance does not cover counseling, and although this has been a financial investment, we feel it’s the best investment we could have ever made. It’s provided us with excitement about growing older together!

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  • Nancy is a very compassionate and insightful therapist who has helped me to work through issues from my past as well as to deal with current problems. As a Christian, I appreciate this perspective that she brings to our sessions. The emotional healing that I have experienced is a direct result of working with Nancy, and I will be forever grateful.

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  • Nancy has been tremendously helpful to my husband and me. It was the anniversary gift we gave ourselves after 11 years of marriage. We often found we were still dealing with some issues we had when we got married. She was able to guide us toward solutions and see each other for who we are and not wrong or right. She has taught us how to communicate with one another again. I appreciated that Nancy closed each session with a short prayer that re-focused us on our own relationships with God.

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  • Nancy is someone who is absolutely amazing to work with. I definitely recommend her to anyone. She goes above and beyond, and I feel strongly that she is more than capable to do what she can to help me. I continue to learn different techniques, and I feel these are tools that I will use throughout my life. They have helped me immensely.

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