An Announcement


It is with great sadness that we share Gurnee Counseling Center’s co-founder, Nancy Flaherty, has died. Nancy founded GCC with her dear friend Phil Kirschbaum in 1986. Nancy was a vibrant soul, passionate and loving towards all her clients as well as the clinicians she worked alongside for decades. Her legacy will live on in the hundreds of families she has supported through the years.

If you feel moved to honor her, her family asks that donations be made to Warren Township Youth Services. Please make checks out to Warren Township Youth Services and include “Nancy F.” in the memo section; mail them to 100 S. Greenleaf St., Gurnee, IL 60031.

Phil Kirschbaum has written the following beautiful tribute:

I want to take just a few minutes to tell you some things about Nancy that I know, that you may not. 10 years at WTYS, 30 years together at GCC. 1978-2018. Co-created this amazing body of work. With Dan, she designed our building, making it beautiful, private, professional and homey. Some combination! We received 20 years of rave reviews of the building and our counseling center. She picked out every piece of furniture, artwork, wallpaper, rug. We met for three hours a week for 40 years. Discussed our work, our families, our hopes and dreams. 

Contract with the NFLPA 

Our annual walk around the lake to revise our plans for practice. 

We wrote fliers, designed posters and post-cards for marketing. 

She corrected my ramblings into something that could easily be consumed by the public 

We built great teams at GCC. 

She Supervised and mentored dozens of young therapists. 

She was an amazing resource for her church, St. Pats, providing countless hours of free consultation to the clergy and the parish schools’ principal and faculty. She provided comparable services for the faculty and students at Carmel High School. 

She was a constant force in her home town, working with schools, clergy, lawyers, law enforcement, civic and business groups. 

She was a constant presence at WTHS, providing help to students, faculty and administrators for decades. 

We contracted with counselors, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. 

She made me look good. 

She loved her marriage to Dan, she cherished Becky and Molly, and glowed endlessly about her sisters, brothers in law, nieces and nephews. 

Meanwhile, she raised two amazing kids, was a great wife, kept a great home, while building a business and being an invaluable resource in her community. No small accomplishment! 

Workshops we designed and facilitated over 40 years in our community: 

  1. keeping the romance alive 
  2. Making marriage work 
  3. Beginning Anew 
  4. Building a lasting friendship 
  5. Single parenting 
  6. Caring for ourselves during the holidays 
  7. Careers in counseling for High School students 
  8. Holiday stress management for educators 
  9. Yoga for our clients and trauma survivors 
  10. Self Care for medical professionals 
  11. Mindfulness 
  12. CISD 
  13. Feeling good about me 
  14. Stress Management 
  15. Organizational development for the Waukegan Public Library 
  16. Training for parents 
  17. Training for Librarians at Warren Newport Library
  18. Dealing with the angry public
  19. Dealing with Childrens problems
  20. Training for cops 
  21. Training for counselors 
  22. Anger Management 
  23. Improving communication for couples and families 
  24. Keeping the love alive 
  25. Staying together for the sake of the kids
  26. Secrets of a lasting Marriage
  27. Getting through Dark passages 
  28. Trainings for teachers and students at WTHS, LHS, GCHS, Stevenson, LFHS, NTHS, Antioch HS, Woodland, Viking
  29. Trainings for staff and volunteers at Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center 
  30. Stop, Breathe, Reflect and Choose 
  31. Keeping our kids safe 
  32. Balancing work and personal life 
  33. Understanding Adolescents 
  34. Not all families have a mom and dad 
  35. Managing the Rat-Race 
  36. Training volunteers at Zacharias sexual abuse center 
  37. Self-Esteem through Mindful Choices 
  38. Crisis Planning for schools 
  39. Adolescent Depression 
  40. Transition to High School 
  41. Parenting Teenagers 
  42. Grieving and Coping with the loss of a loved one 

Now we all have the enormous challenge of moving on. Moving on does not mean letting go of, or forgetting about Nancy. It does mean developing this new relationship with Nancy. We’ll all be consulting Nancy, leaning on her newfound wisdom and strength. And she’ll be leaning on us, to keep her story alive, and look out for her precious Dan, Becky and Molly. 


Anonymous Legacy, by John Schuler 

The day will come 

when your name is spoken 

for the last time, 

and all that is left 

is the silent, 

gently expanding ripple 

of your contribution. 

This will be the reason 

for your existence: 

the advancement 

of someone you touched – 

who touched 

someone else – 

who as a result 

made the critical difference 

in a time beyond 

your imagination. 

This is how it works, 

and it could not proceed 

without you.