Mark Honzel, Rosecrance Primary Counselor, MA

January 4, 2018

Mark Honzel, a primary counselor for Rosecrance, works with uniformed service personnel — firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement officers, military, etc. — on the Florian unit. Mark provides case management and counseling, reviews client insurance, runs individual and group sessions, and helps facilitate and arrange aftercare for clients when they leave treatment.

Mark studied Law Enforcement Administration and received a Bachelor’s of Science from Western Illinois University in 1992 and spent the next 21 years as a sworn officer with the Rockford Police Department where he was a K9 handler, field training officer, housing authority officer, and a patrol officer.  Mark retired in 2014.

Because of his own personal experiences Mark took up a second career in counseling to pay it forward to those in need of assistance.  Mark received his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2018 from Argosy University in Schaumburg.  He completed his Master’s internship with the Florian Program and has been with Rosecrance since.

“I can really understand what our clients go through because I have been through the exact same thing myself. They can talk about past traumas and while all are unique, I’ve been through my own so I get it… As first responders, we often think we don’t need help and we are supposed to take care of ourselves. The way I address that with clients is letting them know the treatment team is their specialized back up. I remind them ‘You ask for back up all the time on the job. You ask for mutual aid. It’s the same thing here in treatment. You are saying I am dealing with something I am not an expert in and I need an expert to come in and help me with it.’”

He adds, “Watching clients come into treatment they are overcome with grief and tears, sadness and anxiety. Then, watching them walk out 30 days later with their head held high and with a sense of hope and purpose…It’s very satisfying. And I know that I don’t do any of that; that’s them doing the hard work; that’s God working through me to help them.”