Illinois Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist

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I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Taylor University, a private, liberal arts college in Upland, Indiana. After graduation, I worked with traumatized, abused, and neglected children in the foster care system for three years as a case manager. I then returned to school to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work.

While attending the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I worked as a clinical intern at the Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County. This is where I first discovered my love and passion for therapy. Providing short-term counseling to child sexual abuse victims was rewarding as I saw these children overcome their traumatic experiences.

Upon graduation, I worked as a Licensing Supervisor in foster care where I screened, approved, and licensed foster parents. I experienced the joy of placing many foster children into loving, nurturing homes.

I then moved into working with adoptive families, many of whom were adopted from foster care. My previous experience of working in the foster care system aided my new work as an Adoption Preservation therapist tremendously. Raising adopted kids from traumatized or neglectful backgrounds can be extremely difficult and stressful. These children often have been diagnosed with several mental illnesses including Reactive Attachment Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Behaviors of the children ranged from defiance, hoarding and gorging food, aggressive behaviors, running away, lying, and stealing.

I provided education and support to these families both individually and in a group setting to help them understand and respond effectively to their children. As a certified instructor of a parenting model that helps these children (Beyond Consequences), I have taught a 10-week parenting course to a group of adoptive parents and hope to continue teaching this parenting curricula to foster and adoptive parents in the near future.

Since joining Cherry Hill Center in December of 2008, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a variety of clients on many different issues and struggles. While my passion is still with adoptive families, I have had the privilege of working with children, adolescents, adults, and families on various issues including marriage and family conflicts, grief and loss, anger management, depression, anxiety, self-injury, obsessions, and addictions. I feel that my extensive background in the field of social work has provided me with many rich experiences that I regularly draw upon while working in the private practice setting.