Brenda Snyder, LCSW

Peoria Illinois 61615


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Contact Information

Practice Details

  • Work With

  • adolescents, adults, adults, Coaching, couples, families, Office Visit, Telephone/Online Video Counseling
  • Message from Therapist

  • You deserve to feel better!  It is my responsibility and privilege to help you find your way back to HOPE. You probably know why you feel bad, but you might not  know how to live without your issues negatively affecting your daily moods and reactions.  

    My Catholic faith informs every part of my life, and nowhere is this more true than in my counseling practice. I treat people just like you with anxiety, depression or in the midst of relationship issues or crisis. Together, we can allow the Holy Spirit to direct our work so that you are able to identify your options, make good choices and feel better.

    In addition, I specialize in family and relationship issues, and pre-marital and marital counseling to those in blended family situations. I  provide services in coaching stepmoms and their families locally in Peoria, Ill., and remotely on the web. (I write for an online magazine for stepmothers and have a website for them at

    I believe that no person finds their way to my office by accident, and view every new client as a person whom I am privileged to help find the way back to HOPE.

  • Other Office Info

    Practice Info

  • Bio:
    I completed my Master's Degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1995. With a specialization in mental health, I began my career with the Family Counseling Program at Catholic Charities in Peoria, IL.

    Having developed into a competent therapist, I spent several years working in and supervising various programs in the Agency. Eventually wishing for more direct client contact, I worked as a therapist for 6 years in the behavioral health service line at a local hospital, before finally going into private practice in order to return to my first love - counseling individuals, couples and families.

    I currently enjoy the benefit of a sacramental marriage to my husband of 19 years, but I have been through the annulment process and have personally experienced the painful separation and joyous reunion with the Sacraments that my choices have wrought. I am a stepmother to his four children, and I have developed expertise in helping stepfamilies and especially stepmothers. I write for an online magazine for stepmothers and have a website for them at

    I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in the treatment of:
    depression and anxiety, couples issues and pre-marital counseling, stepfamily issues, grief and loss, social anxiety, crisis situations, self-improvement or growth.
    I also work with adolescents.

    "Hope" is the idea that things will get better eventually, no matter how dismal life seems right now. My clients learn to notice that light at the end of the tunnel, and together we figure out how to keep them moving towards it.I am passionate about helping people find the understanding and self-acceptance that comes from a willingness to experience, explore and feel emotions, all of which are vital to the healing process. Unexamined or unresolved feelings can often lead to painful symptoms or poor decisions and judgment. The process of understanding your own emotions allows you to mindfully make choices instead of passively accepting circumstances or using the same unconscious behaviors that created your current situation.

  • Credentials, Training, Qualifications:
  • What licenses do you currently hold?:
  • Licensed Clinical Social Work
  • Are you in private practice?:
  • Yes
  • Are you available to provide supervision services?:
  • Yes
  • Do you participate in any insurance plans?:
  • Yes
  • If yes, please list:
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Health Alliance, HealthLink, Caterpillar Health plans, Medicare, United Healthcare, many others
  • Telephone/Video counseling:
  • In certain circumstances
  • Please list all languages that you speak:
  • English
  • I treat the following:
  • Individuals, Married Couples, Adolescents, Families, Chemically Dependent/Mentally Ill, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Sexual Abuse Victims, Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Child Bearing Loss, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Scrupulosity
  • Other Specialties:
  • stepmothers and blended families
  • I use the following methods:
  • Prayer, Behavior Techniques, Cognitive Techniques
  • Catholic Commitment Of Therapist


    Artificial Contraception:

    "For just reasons spouses may wish to space the birth of their children."… "Periodic continence that is the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality."… " 'every action which whether in anticipation of the conjugal act or in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences proposes whether as an end or as a means to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil'." (Catechism 2368 2370) Please indicate if you agree or disagree.

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • Agree
  • Living Together/Cohabitation:

    In a so-called free union a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other in himself or in the future? The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage rejection of marriage as such or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion. Some today claim a "right to trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman nor especially can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and a woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another." (Catechism 2390 2391)

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • Agree
  • Infertility:

    "Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum surrogate uterus) are gravely immoral. … Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another but one that 'entrust the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children'. … Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person." (Catechism 2376 2377)

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • Agree
  • Abortion:

    "From its conception the child has the right to life. Direct abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means is a "criminal" practice gravely contrary to the moral law. … Because it should be treated as a person from conception the embryo must be defended in its integrity cared for and healed like every other human being. (Catechism 2322 2324)

  • Do you agree or disagree?:
  • Agree
  • Divorce and Marriage:

    The church recognizes a validly contracted sacramental marriage as indissoluble. In therapeutic practice we are to presume the validity of a sacramental marriage "unless after examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal [the marriage is declared null i.e. that the marriage never existed in which case ] the contracting parties are free to [re]marry provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged." (Catechism 1629) "The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law." (Catechism 1649) "The remarriage of persons divorced from a living lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion." (Catechism 1665)

  • Do you agree or disagree? :
  • Agree
  • Euthanasia:

    "Intentional euthanasia whatever its forms or motives is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God his Creator." (Catechism 2324)

  • Do you agree or disagree? :
  • Agree
  • Homosexuality:

    "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarily. Under no circumstances can they be approved. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom at times by the support of disinterested friendship by prayer and sacramental grace they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." (Catechism 2357 2358 2359)

  • Do you agree or disagree?:
  • Agree
  • New Age Practice and Spirituality:

    New Age involves a fundamental belief in the perfectibility of the human person by means of a wide variety of techniques and therapies (as opposed to the Christian view of cooperation with divine grace). (

    It is difficult to separate the individual elements of New Age religiosity – innocent though they may appear – from the overarching framework which permeates the whole thought-world on the New Age movement. The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians while rejecting others.

    The New Age concept of God is rather diffuse whereas the Christian concept is a very clear one. The New Age god is an impersonal energy really a particular extension or component of the cosmos; god in this sense is the life force or soul of the world. … Even when “God” is something outside myself it is there to be manipulated.

    This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life… God is not identified with the Life-principle understood as the “Spirit” or “basic energy” of the cosmos but is that love which is absolutely different from the world and yet creatively present in everything and leading human beings to salvation. (Excerpted from “Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the “New Age”. (Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)).

    Common New Age practices include the use of enneagrams labyrinths reiki healing yoga transcendental meditation healing by crystals psychic healing reflexolgoy tarot cards palm reading recourse to mediums and psychics fortune telling and contacting the dead. There are many other practices and techniques that go by various names that are variations of these basic practices and are similarly at odds with Christian faith and are therefore to be rejected.

  • Do you agree or disagree?:
  • Agree
  • How often do you attend Mass?
  • Every Sunday and Holy Days
  • Are You A Practicing Catholic?
  • Yes

More About Brenda Snyder, LCSW

God has abundantly blessed me with the privilege of having my own counseling office.  I have worked with and for various others in the field of mental health for over 20 years, but it is with great pleasure that I open my own office door and use hours spent with clients just like you to invite the Holy Spirit into a healing space. I firmly believe that HOPE is the opposite of whatever ails you, and my goal is to help you find it. HOPE is the ability to see the light, and have some idea that you are moving towards it. Stress, depression, and anxiety come from obstacles that we put between ourselves and that LIGHT.  Together, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will identify your specific obstacles, and disempower them so that you can live your life as God intended. Blog Archive - Articles on site written by: Brenda Synder, LCSW

Healthy Boundaries: What They Are and How They Save Stepfamilies 

The Marriage Needs to be Main Focus in Stepfamilies

How Stepmoms Can Prepare for the Mother of All Holidays

Brenda Snyder, LCSW Events

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