“Heather comes to her consulting work having taken great care with her own professional development. That integrity is at the root of her wise and grounding presence, allowing Heather to support therapists as they deepen their skills and sustain themselves well in their own work.”
Amy Derringer Chandler, LCSW
Associate Therapist and Consultant at Womencare Counseling & Training Center
“I found myself overwhelmed and unsure of the best way to support a client with complex trauma. Heather helped me clarify what I was struggling with personally, and helped me develop an effective way of working with this client. The skills I learned from Heather continue to help me be a better therapist.”
Melanie Sivley, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker/Therapist and Owner at Melanie Sivley Counseling

About Heather


Heather Pierce is the Founder and Director of Steadfast Center, Central Illinois’s premier trauma-informed practice for healing emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Heather is an engaging speaker and published author, with more than 30 years in helping roles. She completed a two-year fellowship in the relational treatment of trauma and countless hours of immersive training and practice, restoring hope and creating lasting change in trauma survivors. Heather is best known for her authenticity, insightfulness, and a unique ability to discover the truth inside of us.

Experience Overview

  • Eleven years’ experience counseling diverse adult clients with a relational, trauma-informed approach, including career and volunteer work in college counseling, non-profit agency, and private practice

  • Completed a two-year fellowship specializing in the feminist relational treatment of trauma and more than 1,000 hours of continuing education focused on counseling adult survivors of sexual abuse, trauma, and related mental health issues

  • More than 25 years in service roles in higher education, non-profit, for-profit, and small business; published author and business writer with experience in newsletter and magazine editing, proposal writing, blogging, marketing communications, and strategy

Education and Certification

Natalie Haimowitz Postgraduate Fellowship – 2013-2015

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) – Illinois license #180.008337

ICASA-certified Sexual Assault Crisis Counselor (IL) – 2009


M.S.Ed. Mental Health Counseling, August 2009

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL (CACREP-accredited)


B.A. Journalism, June 1993

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Counseling, Leadership, and Mentoring Experience

Steadfast Center LLC - Champaign, IL

Founder, Managing Director, and Consultant

  • Created a trauma-informed group practice with the mission of healing emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and neglect through specialized counseling for individuals, consultation for people working with traumatized populations, and the creation of spaces to recognize the gifts and challenges of being a trauma survivor

Heather Pierce, LLC - Urbana, IL

Private Practice - Counseling for Individuals and Couples

  • Established individual counseling practice specializing in trauma-informed therapy for adult survivors of abuse, neglect, and complex PTSD

Womencare Counseling and Training Center - Evanston, IL

Post-Graduate Therapist - Trauma-Informed, Relational Therapy

  • Provided weekly, long-term therapy for up to eight clients with presenting issues such as childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, grief, loss, anxiety, and depression

  • Participated in weekly group supervision, receive one-on-one mentoring and professional development focused on complex trauma, countertransference, and mind-body awareness


Resurrection University - Chicago, IL

Director of Student Services - Leadership Team

  • Managed and mentored eight employees in the areas of counseling, career services, student success, academic excellence, disability services, alumni relations, and library science

  • Served as mental health and career counselor for 400+ nursing and allied health students


  • International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)

    • ISSTD, Illinois Chapter

  • American Counseling Association
  • Illinois Counseling Association

  • Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association

  • Illinois College Counseling Association