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Our Featured Therapist

Nicholas Guerrero, MSW, LSW, CADC

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What would you consider your main specialty?

I would have to say that Substance Abuse is my main specialty. This specialty has been my calling ever since I decided to be a therapist. I decided to specialize in addiction to aid in the treatment of the often misunderstood disease. I have seen what addiction can do to a family, and it can be truly devastating. When you or a family member deals with addiction it can influence everything and everyone. Addiction has no social biases, racial biases, or economic biases it truly can be an all-encompassing disease. In treating addiction it is of particular importance to begin treatment as early as possible so emerging adulthood is a critical time to address substance use. Treating addiction and all that comes with it is a personal calling to me; when I treat the person who is addicted I treat them not with judgement but with compassion and understanding. 

 

 

 

 

Why did you chose that specialty?

Addiction has for decades been misunderstood and demonized. “Addict” has long been a pejorative term in society.  Families hide, turn their back on those struggling, or pretend there is not a problem. While drugs have gotten stronger and more easily accessible, treatment still tends to be the same in court systems which tends to be jail time and Alcoholics Anonymous. While that modality does have its benefits it does not suit all persons struggling with addiction. While many aspects of addiction are universal, the treatment of addiction should be individualized.

 

 

 

 

 

What are some signs/symptoms that would indicate a person should see a counselor?

I would say that when you are tired of making the same mistakes, when you are tired of the same negative feelings, when you are tired of the cycle…it may be time for a change. Everyone is different, some people are able to cope with various stressors that others may not. Don’t compare yourself to others, if you think you need help try it out. I believe that everyone deserves happiness for themselves, if you are not where you want to be then give counseling a try.

 

 

 

 

I am not a Christian, so why should I see a Christian counselor?

I have had experience in therapy with those who have not identified as Christian. While it may be difficult on the surface to see a Christian counselor when you are not a Christian I can say that while in session there is a level of comfort that is easily obtained. Christian values of Compassion, Empathy, Respect, Responsibility, Self-control, Honesty, and Integrity are I would argue, universal values that anyone can connect and desire to master. These values are what connects us and makes an authentic therapeutic process possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you like to do in your off time?

In my free time I enjoy going out to experience new restaurants. I really enjoy experiencing new types of food and culture. I also enjoy practicing martial arts. I have been practicing self-defense since I was a child. I started with Aikido and continued with many of the practices venturing out trying different styles such as taekwondo and jiu-jitsu. While there is an element of practical self-defense I enjoy it more so due to the structure and meditative aspects, especially aikido. While I am not currently at a dojo practicing, I find time to practice on my own along the lakeshore or at my local gym.  

 

 

 

Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago