Debbie Sternecky is a clinical intern receiving her Master of Social Work Degree from Aurora University. She earned a Master of Education Degree from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Debbie has been a teacher for over 30 years, at the university, college, high school, and junior high school levels. As a college adjunct professor, she taught computer and graduate-level education courses. As a high school and junior high teacher, she has taught English and content courses to English Learners (EL). Debbie has been an EL teacher in Naperville CUSD #203 for 11 years, and currently teaches EL at Naperville North High School. She will retire from teaching in 2021, after which she plans to become a Social Work Therapist in a clinical practice.
As an educator and advocate, Debbie has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families from many different cultural backgrounds. Debbie’s foundation social work internship was at Rush Hospital’s JourneyCare Hospice in Chicago, where she supported the needs of patients receiving critical end-of-life care and provided support to their families. Previously, as a hospice volunteer, Debbie visited with clients and families in their homes and in nursing homes. She has experience helping families cope with decisions regarding dementia and end-of-life care for loved ones.
As a therapist, Debbie believes her role is to empower clients to identify and achieve a more meaningful life. Debbie helps clients discover their own strengths and learn new perspectives to help them overcome obstacles. She strives to create a warm and positive environment where clients feel safe.
Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, trauma, adoption, life coaching, self-esteem, career counseling, parenting issues, dementia, end-of-life concerns, bereavement, and grief. Debbie integrates a variety of approaches into her practice, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Motivational Interviewing.