Rev. James N. Watzke, Ph.D

Experienced Family Counselor serving Elmhurst, Lombard, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Villa Park, and Oak Forest areas.
1 South 376 Summit Ave.,, Terrace Executive Center, Court D,, Oakbrook Terrace, ILOpening at 10:00 AMOpen today until 9:00 PMOpening at 10:00 AM tomorrowOpen today until 5:00 PMOpening at 12:00 PM tomorrowOpening at 12:00 PMOpen today until 4:00 PMSorry, we're closed

Do not face difficult times alone.

Have you recently found yourself trying to cope with grief, depression, or substance abuse issues? If you or someone you love has been dealing with any of these types of problems alone, don’t be afraid to contact Rev. James Watzke Ph.D at the Notre Dame Family Center in Oakbrook Terrace. Dr Watzke is licensed, certified, and insured, and we specialize in the treatment of many problem and disorders. It is our goal to address your anxiety and stress and work together to find resolutions and coping mechanisms.

Dr. Watzke specializes in:

• Anxiety counseling
• Adolescent counseling
• Addiction counseling
• Behavioral disorders counseling
• Career assessments
• Child custody issues
• Co-Parenting Issues
• Teen therapy
• Conflict resolution
• Crisis debriefing
• Depression counseling
• Divorce and Separation counseling
• Eating disorders
• Family problems
• Grief counseling
• Marriage problems
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Psychotherapy
• Marriage Separations
• Stress
• Substance abuse

No one should have to face difficult times alone. Call us today and find out what we can do to help.

Dr. Watzke’s Approach

I see myself as a conflict analyst and resolution person, view problems from a systems perspective and within the individual person/marriage/ family/generations/institutions/workplace. Do not define everything as psychopathology, so much of the strain and stress that is fairly normal and expected over time. Deal with life cycle, transitions and boundary problems.


Problem identification, history and specifications initiate the process, where I expect the person to be fairly interactional. Symptom reduction begins with the client vocalizing their current life problems. Referred for medication, if appropriate, and medication supervision, and therapeutic counseling.


Therapy from the Greek for Healing, Psycho for mind or mental processes, but broadening out to emotional processes. The therapist looks for the critical tension in the person’s life and what can be done to alleviate and solve it. Psychiatry deals with the diseases of the mind or disorders with some primarily neurological or biochemical dimensions. More commonly, antidepressants, major or minor tranquilizers or psycho-stimulants may be recommended. Psychologists do not prescribe, but can recommend medicines, preferably through the person’s personal physician or general practitioner. This also helps that doctor to integrate that treatment into the person’s total medication regimen. Physicians are trained to focus on the single symptom: but this recommendation with the individual’s permission, allows the physician to always view the total picture as a syndrome to connect the dots, for a better understanding of what the patient is experiencing.


Some people are surprised that a religious minister or priest or rabbi can be a psychologist, probably due to outdated discussion of determinism versus free will, or to Freudian psychoanalysis, which posed as an alternative belief system. In therapy, we are not “doing religion”, not there to convert people, rather working with the positives in the person’s own belief and value system, to help mobilize the positive sources of their own motivation. Today, there is much frustration with organizations or institutionalized religion, and paradoxically yearning for a spirituality that may come from life experiences, nature, literature, music, film, the full-range of humanistic fulfillment, or the fusion of different belief systems.


Therapists try to ally themselves with the positives in the person’s value system. I talk about boundary problems. Here is a good example where beliefs and values come into play. In theology, there is a phrase: “Grace works upon nature”, meaning the natural problems have to be worked with, as in addictions, in order for Grace, or inspiration to be effective. People often want to discuss their moral or religious conflicts. They look to the therapist to respect their values and not to impose the therapist’s own values on them. This is most seen in issues of relationships, marriage, sexuality, child raising, divorce, etc.


Privacy & Confidentiality

Everything discussed in counseling sessions is confidential. What the clients discloses cannot be discussed with others, or the person’s problems be identified by name. This means that, without written permission, the information cannot be discussed. Sometimes, as with family therapy, or with children and adolescents, this presents some boundary issues. In marital therapy, spouses can limit what is to be shared with their spouses. But these need permission to discuss, and only if that permission is obtained, can that be done. Only in some extreme situations, such as danger to children, or a person’s precarious danger to themselves, can this be done. Courts respect the confidentiality of the therapeutic process; only in extreme cases would a judge issue the higher level court order. A mere subpoena for records would not obligate a therapist to report anything. In systems theory, we view the individual as part of multiple systems. Sometimes in therapy with children or adolescents, parents will feel isolated from the process. The therapist can accept information coming from the parents or family members, but the therapist is bound by confidentiality from giving information to them. Same is true if two people know that each is involved in therapy with the same therapist, the therapist is the one bound by confidentiality.  


Most clients will use their health insurance and are encouraged to do so. Some insurance plans, like HMO’s (Health Management Organizations) may require their insurees to seek therapy from an internal board of health services providers. We encourage people to use whatever health insurance coverage they may have. They are paying for it, and should certainly take advantage of their coverage. We submit claims for insurance coverage, and the information given them is restricted to established coding numbers. Some insurance plans require pre-certification before the client begins therapy: usually pre-certification is primarily for in-patient hospitalization (which we very seldom have to recommend). Medicare pays a high proportion of any cost. Medicaid pays nothing. Some insurance plans pay very little. For Medicare coverage, we submit the person’s name, diagnosis and service provided; Medicare informs the secondary insurance for their proportion of the covered cost. Normally, there is small co-pay that the individual pays, at the end of the session.



We request the client to limit phone calls to the last five minutes before the hour, so as not to interrupt the ongoing session.

Dr. Watzke’s education background: 

-  BA, University of  Notre Dame, 

-  STB, STL (theology), Gregorian University, Rome, Italy 

- MA Sociology,  University of Notre Dame 

- Ph.D. Social Relations,  Harvard University         

We served Dupage County area including Elmhurst, Lombard, Villa Park, Willowbrook, Downers Grove, Lisle, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Oakbrook, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Westmont, Darien, Clarendon Hills, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Winfield. We also serve Cook County towns of La grange, Western Springs, Westchester, Brookfield, Countryside, Oak Park, Berkeley, McCook, & Oak Forest IL.

Map showing business location.
1 South 376 Summit Ave.,
Terrace Executive Center, Court D,
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
United States
Get directions
Business Hours
10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
12:00 – 4:00 PM
This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies.