Northwest Community Counseling Services

We are a general practice counseling and substance abuse treatment agency located in Crystal Lake IL

We are a licensed, multidisciplinary group that practices in comfortable and easily accessible locations. We are affordable and offer payment options including insurance. Our intention is to treat each person with the dignity and individualized care that they deserve.


The way people view you.

Sometimes I think about the different characters I play in everybody’s story.
I’m a terrible person in some people's narratives and a Godsend in others.
And none of it has anything to do with the person I truly am.
The lens that others view you through is coloured by their upbringing, beliefs, and individual experiences.
Some people see your bright personality as endearing and others see it as annoying.
Some people think you’re weak and emotional and others feel safe to be themselves around you.
Some people think you’re rude and selfish and others respect the way you stand up for yourself.
Some people admire the way you take pride in the way you look and others think you’re conceited.
And none of it has to do with who you truly are as a person.
What you have to understand is that you have no authority over how people view you so never try to control the way others see you because the only thing that truly matters when the dust settles down at the end of the day is what you genuinely see in yourself.

~Cody Bret


👏 🫶🙏

🌟 Exciting News! 🌟 We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Daybreak Health, a school-based mental health company, to offer teletherapy services to our K-8 students! 🎉 These services are provided at no cost to families.

We understand that access to high-quality mental care is a significant barrier for children and their families. That's why we sought to enhance our capacity to provide additional mental health support to a greater number of students and families.

We believe that a strong social and emotional foundation is key for academic success. 📚 If you’d like to inquire about teletherapy for your student, please reach out to your school's mental health clinician. Read more here,


April is sexual assault awareness month 🩵


Please be mindful this upcoming Monday. It may seem funny to some people - but all jokes aside you don't understand what this is like unless it happens to you.

I have no doubt that those pulling the prank aren’t intending to hurt anyone, they are just having fun. The reactions from their friends and loved ones gives them a laugh and they are able to move on. What they may not see, however, are those friends and loved ones who don’t comment, don’t “like,” don’t laugh. Those friends and loved ones for whom a pregnancy announcement is no joke. Not because they don’t have a sense of humor but because there is a deep ache within them to have a real, not a joke positive pregnancy test of their own. It’s not funny, it’s painful. It isn’t necessary to understand or relate to that pain, it’s just human decency and kindness not to cause them more pain once you’re aware of it. 🫶


🩷 Journaling / self care thinking prompt:


As you set your intentions for 2024 remember it’s not about if you succeed today or this week, it’s about staying positive, setting realistic goals, going after the lifestyle or habits that will help you stay healthy happy and on track for the life you want. Practice patience, gratitude, accountability, ask for help when you need to. Change doesn’t happen overnight. You might have successful days or days where you backslide. That’s ok. Keep going 🫶


FR though, the holidays can be both happy and hard.
You are not alone 🫶

Northwest Community Counseling Services We are a general practice counseling and substance abuse treatment agency located in Crystal Lake IL


🌟 Happy New Year 🌟
What are you working towards in 2023?


Fentanyl is a scary thing. Stay educated and aware. The world needs you 🫶


Did you know swimming has been shown to improve memory, cognitive function, immune response and mood. Swimming may also help repair damage from stress and forge new neural connections in the brain. Be like Fern; get in the pool 🦎 🧠 🫶


What a great resource!


The world is full of heavy stuff right now
Make sure you’re checking in with yourself 💛



In times of crisis, nature can be healing, a respite. To support our community, admission and parking to the Garden will be free for all from 3 to 8 p.m., starting Wednesday, July 6, through Sunday, July 10.


New episodes of Recovery Internet Radio coming soon! In the meantime, check out past shows at 🎙 🤍

Rick Atwater, MS, LCPC

Photos from Northwest Community Counseling Services's post 07/01/2022

It’s hard to think of things to do that don’t cost money. Crystal Lake is full of options this summer. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. Your wallet and your brains happy chemicals will thank you ☀️ 🧡


I know alcoholism is hard to understand. Most people are normal drinkers. They don’t think about drinking all the time. They’re not obsessed. They don’t worry about being discovered or remembering where they stashed a bottle of vodka or wine. Drinking is not their hobby/lover. They don’t feel defensive about how much they drink because they just don’t think about it and they usually haven’t felt the need to quit to prove to themselves or somebody else that they can. They usually don’t drink to avoid or forget painful things and their families don’t pray fervently for them to get a DUI so they’ll finally get some help.
But some people have just crossed the line. They’re “off switch” is broken and although it can be an intermittent switch problem the intermittent switch problem inevitably becomes a “stuck on” problem. The people around the person with the “switch problem” tend to hope that the switch just sort of fixes itself or magically gets better. They focus on the times that the light comes on normally rather than the increasing percentage of the time that it flickers or doesn’t work at all.
“Dana” had her own wild times in college but when she met “Bob” and settled down the wild times came to end for her….but not for “Bob”. “Dana” kept thinking that he would settle down like she did but it just wasn’t happening. Looking back on it she would tell you she pulled some pretty crazy stunts to get him to quit drinking and pay more attention to her. Sometimes she played sick so he wouldn’t go out with his friends on Friday nights but he only resented her for it, saw through the manipulation and went out anyway. She started to use the kids against him, over-protecting them and subtly turning them against him. He pulled away further and blamed her. Since she did the grocery shopping and bought the “known about” liquor, she would purposefully buy brands he didn’t like hoping he would discard them. He only got angry and ended up buying his own plus a little extra so he wouldn’t have to go to the store that often. She screamed, she begged, she tried logic, she even tried drinking with him for a while thinking that at least they would have that in common, but nothing seemed to “work on him”.
The problem was that “Bob” had alcoholism. He was a guy with a busted switch and no amount of logic, pleading or manipulation would change that. The only real path was for “Dana” to learn about and accept his alcoholism and to begin to get better herself. She eventually went to an addictions counselor who suggested she also try Al Anon. “Dana” did get better and so, eventually, did “Bob”💛


Can you tell the difference? 🧘


Home stretch for all you high-schoolers out there; finish strong, then bring on summer!!!
Ps with the break from school and homework summer is a great time to connect with yourself and give your mental health some attention 💛

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Videos (show all)

The "ism" of alcoholism



101 N Virginia Street, Ste 115
Crystal Lake, IL

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