Call us at: (312) 573-8860
1111 N. Wells St. | Ste 400 | Chicago, IL. 60610 | Map

Menu

CCOCC’s professional staff are made up of a culturally and ethnically diverse group of Master’s and Doctoral level therapists who are committed to offering high-quality counseling services. While we each operate from a solid Christian perspective, we are also respectful and sensitive to clients’ varying beliefs and worldviews. All therapists have experience and expertise in working with a wide variety of clinical settings, client concerns and spiritual, cultural, ethnic and diversity issues.

Each therapist also has training and expertise in dealing with depression, anxiety, loneliness, singleness, life transitions, relationship concerns, and traditionally under served populations. As a whole, the therapists at the Center provide individual, couples and family therapy, consulting, seminars and assessments.

All interested parties are directed to our main phone number (312) 573-8860, and the intake coordinators match the appropriate therapist with the client’s needs and desires. The following list provides an idea of the therapist you may be working with.

Also Meet Our Support Team

 


Our Clinical Team

Rev. Dr. Peonita Harris, Psy.D., LMFT, CSAT

Executive Director / Marriage & Family Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Couples, Sex Addiction & Spiritual Integration

Locations: Main Office & Vernon Hills

Dr. Harris is the Executive Director of Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago. Dr. Harris has practiced in the field for over 15 years and received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Adler University. Dr. Harris has been an ordained minister for over 15 years. She has experience in leading women ministries and pastoral counseling ministry. She has also trained women for leadership in ministry and spearheaded training for lay-ministers in pastoral care.

Dr. Harris’ goal is to embrace the uniqueness of all individuals as she assists them to discover and live out their divine purpose. She is committed to the movement of de-stigmatizing mental illness and to the integration of faith and practice. She has many years of experience in working with conflicted couples, couples recovering from infidelity and betrayal, survivors of sexual trauma, and working with couples and partners recovering from the impact of sexual addiction.

Dr. Harris has a Bachelor’s degree from Moody Bible Institute. She has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. Dr. Harris is also a clinical fellow of AAMFT and a candidate to become an approved AAMFT supervisor.

Additionally, Dr. Harris is an alumna of the Chicago area Christian Training Consortium where she received specialized clinical training in the integration of faith-based practice and psychology.

 

Articles by Dr. Peonita

Deceived - Hope for Healing after an Affair

Letting Go To Grow

The Four "Cs" of Intimacy

What is your parenting style?


 

Christine Collins, M.A., LCPC, NCC, CADC

Interim Clinical Director / Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Addiction, Mood Disorders & Life Transitions 

Chris specializes in anxiety and depression concerns, mood disorders and life transitions. Her experience ranges from working in outpatient hospital settings, community mental health centers and private practice. She has a depth of knowledge in addressing our current national crisis of opioid addiction.

Her approach is collaborative and focuses on a client’s strengths to find solutions to their problems. She addresses clients' emotional, behavioral and interpersonal issues using evidenced based cognitive-behavioral therapy. Chris integrates spirituality and Christian perspectives when requested.

Chris received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Addictions. Her passion for helping others led to her vocation of becoming a clinical therapist. Her belief is that each of us has unique gifts and our life journey is to discover them, this leads to true happiness.


Martina Sancen, M.A., LCPC

Director of Academic Counseling Programs/Bilingual Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Children, Adolescents, Families, ADHD, Anxiety & Depression

Martina specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families whose functioning is being impacted by ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other emotional or behavioral challenges. She believes that children have a strong desire to learn and stresses that learning can be fun; her therapeutic approaches include teaching skills, practicing them in session, and encouraging implementation in other environments.  Martina also enjoys working with adolescents, giving them a space to express their voice and individuality.

Martina’s approach to therapy is to establish a safe and professional relationship with her client and creatively tailor interventions based on the client’s strengths and likes; incorporating evidence based treatment practices with music, poetry, and art. She has experience working with individuals suffering domestic violence and has strived to be an agent of change through her work by teaching and empowering adolescents both individually and in groups about healthy relationships and how to create change in their environment. Martina has completed a 40-hour Domestic Violence training program that enables her to address the complex experience of victims and survivors.

Martina believes God has been guiding her path and is passionate about assisting others in finding comfort in his mercy, grace, and rest during times of struggle and pain. She began preparation for her work with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University. She then continued her education, going on to earn a Master’s degree in Clinical Professional Psychology from Roosevelt University.

In her free time Martina enjoys spending time with her friends, exploring new restaurants and revisiting all time favorites; she would indeed consider herself a "foodie." Her guilty pleasure and something her friends laugh about is her love for reality TV. She also loves serving at her church and building on her relationships.

 

Articles by Martina

Back-to-School Season


 

Dr. Grace Ahn-Im, Psy.D. - Currently Not Accepting New Clients

Doctoral Fellow

Primary Areas of Care: Children, Adults, Couples, Life Transitions, Depression, Anxiety & Identity Concerns

As a therapist, Dr. Grace strives to create a safe and supportive environment in which a collaborative and goal-oriented relationship can develop. Through this safe and supportive relationship Dr. Grace assists people in increasing awareness of themselves and begin the journey of healing, growth, and change.



Dr. Grace is passionate about working with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing life transitions (e.g. immigration, job loss, new parent, etc.), symptoms of depression, anxiety, and identity concerns. Dr. Grace enjoys working with individuals in various life stages and come from different backgrounds. Dr. Grace also enjoys working with couples preparing for marriage.



Dr. Grace utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and evidence based practices in her treatment of clients and considers each client's unique context and cultural (e.g., race, gender, SES, community, spirituality) background and integrates these constructs in her treatment.

Dr. Grace received her Master’s and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College. She is trained in Prepare and Enrich and has over four years of experience working in community mental health and hospital settings. Dr. Grace has led multiple groups for children, adolescents, and adults with topics including social skills, healthy living, stress management, behavior management, and mindfulness.


I. Ivory Badea, M.A.

Therapist / Academic Coach

Primary Areas of Care: Spiritual Integration, Church Leadership, Sexual Trauma, & Issues Related to Sexual Addiction

Ivory has a heart to see people healed through the therapeutic relationship that provides an environment of respect, honor, and empathy to explore personal growth in all aspects of one’s life. She believes that God has called her to this work, and if this work matters to the Lord, then so does de-stigmatizing the therapy process, especially for church leadership.

In facing any of life’s challenges, it is important to address the body, soul, and spirit. For those wanting integration of faith in therapy, Ivory will incorporate scripture and rely on Holy Spirit to lead one to encounter personal breakthrough. Ivory uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy to aid in “the renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:2).

Ivory has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from North Park University, and her Bachelor’s from Dominican University.

Ivory currently serves on the leadership team at her home church. She loves public speaking and teaching the word of God, while also enjoying drawing and painting.

 

Articles by Ivory

Summertime Stress Got You Down?

 


Tillary Blackman, M.A.

Doctoral Intern

Primary Areas of Care: Children, Adolescents, Adults, Complex Trauma & Mood Disorders

Tillary specializes in working with children, adolescents, complex trauma, and mood disorders. When working with children and adolescents, Tillary works within the family system to encourage unity and familial support. He also has experience using evidence-based play therapy as a developmentally appropriate intervention.

Within the counseling space, Tillary believes that collaboration and emphasizing individual strengths are essential for meaningful progress. His counseling style uses the existential perspective to develop insight into an individual’s life purpose and meaning. In this framework, faith and spirituality are essential elements of belonging and identity. Tillary integrates elements of emotion-focused therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy in his practice.

Tillary earned his B.A. of Arts in English and B.A. of Science in Psychology from Erskine University. He completed his M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Adler University and is finishing his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Adler. Tillary is currently an intern with the Chicago Area Christian Training Consortium.

In his free time Tillary enjoys reading, writing, and choral singing.


 

Becca Fonville, M.A.

Doctoral Intern

Primary Areas of Care: Gender Issues, Mood Dysregulation, Relational Distress & Trauma

Locations: Main Office & Andersonville

Becca is passionate about working with survivors of trauma, the intersectionality of identities, and individuals who experience relational conflict. She has experience working with sexual trauma survivors, and a special interest in assisting clients on their way to healing from painful pasts and unhealthy ways of relating to others.

In treatment, one can expect Becca to work collaboratively with clients through relational and empowerment approaches as they explore past issues that may still be causing difficulty. Becca believes that change occurs through increased awareness, and works with clients to facilitate awareness of themselves and the world around them. She is also ardent in her work with clients to assist them in their lives relationally, including spiritual relationships.

Becca obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harding University. She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago. She is currently working to finish her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology also from the Illinois School, and plans to graduate in late 2018. Becca is also a candidate to graduate from the Chicago area Christian Training consortium.

Becca loves adventuring outdoors during all seasons, spending time with friends and family, and exploring new places and cultures.


 

Monique Gardner, M.A., LPC

Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Depression, Anxiety, Adjustment & Relational Issues 

Monique specializes in working with children, adolescents, and young adults affected by depression, anxiety, adjustment and relational issues. She has experience working with various populations, including adults with severe mental illnesses. Monique believes therapy is a collaborative relationship, in which effort is put forth by both parties to affect a more meaningful change.

Monique earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Sciences with a specialization of Psychology at Western Michigan University, and went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a concentration in children and adolescent development.

Monique advocates for an integrated approach designed to maximize each individual’s personal growth. She has a passion for helping others initiate and continue a lifelong journey of healing. Monique places a great importance on the holistic well-being of each and every individual.

Monique enjoys spending time exploring and photographing the city, as well as spending time with loved ones.

 

Articles by Monique

Reading between the Lines: Why You Should Pay Attention to 13 Reasons Why 


Shannon Krabill, M.S.W., LCSW

Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Grief/Loss, Domestic Violence, Gender Issues, Depression & Anxiety

Shannon specializes in providing therapy individually with adults and emerging adults. She has over eight years of experience working with grief and loss, specifically, and is also trained in domestic violence and gender issues.

Shannon obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Dominican University.  As a therapist, she is dedicated to creating a safe and calming space for people to explore their needs on a journey to healing and wellness. She has a relational style of therapy that looks to client’s goals, experiences and strengths in order to meet the unique needs of each individual. She works collaboratively out of strengths-based, trauma informed, solutions-focused approach, utilizing evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

Clients can expect Shannon to meet them where they are with empathy and intuition. She has experience working with clients across gender, ethnic, generational or religious differences. Her practice is informed by her faith and she believes spirituality can be a vital piece of the therapeutic process when a client is open to the concept.

Shannon loves spending time outside, reading and exploring Chicago with her family.


Jennifer Mejia, M.S.W.

Bilingual Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Couples, Families, Adults, Adolescents, & Domestic Violence

Jennifer has experience working with couples, families, adults, children and adolescents. She has spent her career working with individuals from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Jennifer has enjoyed working with at-risk families, tackling issues stemming from depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Jennifer utilizes a non-judgmental, supportive, and empathetic approach when interacting with clients. She is passionate about her client’s success, and promotes a positive clinician-client relationship where each client knows that therapy is a place where personal growth is possible. Jennifer creates treatment plans that are tailored to the specific needs of each individual client, and she enjoys learning about the personal histories of each client she is privileged to work with.

Jennifer is a firm believer that therapy can allow individuals to gain an increased sense of self-worth and dignity. She views therapy as a healing process that begins with getting to the root of the problem through open dialogue. Jennifer is passionate about faith integration and social justice. Additionally, she has completed over 40 hours of domestic violence training. Jennifer is bilingual and speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Jennifer earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social work from Northeastern University in Chicago, Illinois and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jennifer enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.


Nicholas Piechotte, M.S.W., LCSW, CADC

Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Trauma, Addiction, Depression, Anxiety & Challenging Familial Patterns

Nick is a skilled clinician who approaches therapy with positivity, mindfulness and goals. He is a certified substance abuse counselor and an EMDR trained clinician. He incorporates spirituality to holistically treat his clients mind, body and soul.  With his strong clinical skills rooted in CBT, DBT, Psychodynamic and Motivational Interviewing his added certification only enhances the overall therapeutic process.

Nick enjoys working with people from all walks of life. He feels strongly connected with emerging adults. This population is often misunderstood, goes through significant life changes and transitions. Nick believes it’s crucial for individuals to not wait for the “rock bottom.” He also knows that during these years of life it can be difficult and challenging. With continued support and therapy you can avoid the “rock bottom” and strive to your potential. 

Nick is a Licensed Clinical Social worker who has obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Nick is a certified alcohol and drug counselor and is trained in EMDR.

Nick enjoys spending time watching movies, listening to music, exploring new restaurants and playing sports.


Jessica Lynn Spigner, PhD

Assessment Coordinator / Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Parent-Child Relationships, Trauma, Mood Disorders, Psychological Assessments & Adults

Dr. Jessica is a passionate advocate for social justice and healing in her community and in the lives of her clients. She believes change and recovery will happen in the context of a trusting, accepting therapeutic relationship. In therapy, she walks alongside each individual and family to apply a customized, effective plan of care that allows individuals to find peace in stressful situations, and joy as they achieve new levels of emotional wellness.  She works with clients from all faith backgrounds by tailoring therapy to their values and spiritual beliefs.

Dr. Jessica welcomes new clients of all ages who are seeking real relief from emotional pain especially in the context of relationships. Jessica is a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist, and uses scientifically proven techniques to bring peace to parent-child relationships strained by challenging child behavior. She has particular expertise in treating survivors of child, interpersonal and betrayal trauma and helps each individual understand and resolve the spiritual, physical and emotional effects. She partners with each client to ensure that therapy has measurable, lasting results in his, her or their life.

Dr. Jessica received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida, where she was trained in child, adult and geriatric neuropsychological assessment. She applies a comprehensive testing protocol to answer diagnostic questions about ADHD, Learning Disorders, giftedness, dementia, early childhood developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, disability, anxiety, or anger problems. Her goal in assessment is to equip individuals and families with the necessary information to best advocate for the academic support, services, and treatments they need. She is proud to be a member of the team at CCOC and is a strong believer in their faith-based mission and impact.


 

Dr. Jermaine Thomas, Psy.D.

Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Early Relational Trauma, Depression, Parent-Child Relational Issues & Couples

Locations: Main Office & Fuller Park

Dr. Thomas specializes in working with individuals struggling with early relational trauma, depression, parent-child relational issues, and couple issues. His treatment approach is integrative, as he incorporates perspectives from psychodynamic theory, emotion-focused therapy, the Gottman method, Adlerian therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Dr. Thomas believes that our early experiences, particularly our early relational experiences, lay the foundation for how we view others, the world, and ourselves. He strives to help individuals recover from the pain of their past and he has a passion for working with individuals who seek to learn more about themselves, and desire to grow emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. Dr. Thomas is especially passionate about helping clients form a better relationship with God and fully experience His grace. 

Dr. Thomas obtained his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University and his Doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Adler University.

His style of therapy is relational and clients can expect that he will explore their issues with them without judgment. It is his aim to create a safe space in which clients feel comfortable working through difficult private issues as he provides support along the road to healing.

A fun fact about Dr. Thomas is that he really enjoys playing basketball and participating in obstacle course runs.

 

Articles by Dr. Jermaine

Demystifying Your Child’s Misbehavior

Health & Wellness: Mind, Body, Spirit

Why Do I Need a Therapist if I’ve Got Jesus?


 

Stephanie Rose Torres, M.A.

Bilingual Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Trauma, Women's Issues & Depression

As an inner-City Chicago native, Stephanie has had much experience with youth and women who have suffered loss and trauma. She has a deep value for connecting the hurting to healing, and sharing hope in moments when hope seems lost.

As such, Stephanie is passionate about working alongside under-resourced adults and adolescents who struggle with regulating emotion, including anger, sadness, uncertainty, anxiety, effects of trauma, women’s issues, and depression.  Stephanie also is passionate about addressing issues within relationships, as well as spiritual concerns. Stephanie views connectedness and spirituality as essential aspects of a human development and healing. Stephanie also has an interest for working with life and work transitions.

Clients can expect that Stephanie will meet them where they are emotionally and spiritually. They can expect that Stephanie will guide them to think critically and holistically about concerns to increase self- and other-awareness and implement strategies for a healthier well-being.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from DePaul University and her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Trinity Christian College.

Stephanie loves writing and performing poetry and was the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award of 2012.

 

Articles by Stephanie

13 Reasons Why: Glorifying Suicide, Increasing the Risk

Going Fishing


Dr. Frances Tung, PhD, LPC, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Part-Time Clinical Supervisor / Clinical Psychologist

Primary Areas of Care: ADHD, Anxiety & Depression

Dr. Tung specializes in working with individuals who are experiencing ADHD, anxiety, and depression. She seeks to create a safe environment for her clients and to help them make positive and meaningful choices. She enjoys working with clients of all ages on a variety of issues. She has a particular interest in providing psychological assessments to children and adults for issues including attention difficulties, learning disabilities, emotional and social concerns.

Dr. Tung also has expertise in working with child and adolescent development. She specializes in helping children overcome emotional and behavioral difficulties, and offers tools for parents to set their child up for success. She also conducts academic counseling groups that focus on social and emotional learning in elementary schools. Additionally, she is involved in researching and evaluating the effectiveness of academic counseling groups.

Dr. Tung earned her Doctorate degree from Suffolk University. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, and learning new things.

 

Articles by Dr. Frances

 


 

Jillian Villegas

Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Families, Couples & Children

Jillian is a firm believer that positive change happens in the context of healthy relationships. As such, she specializes in working with families and couples using a strength-based, solution-focused theoretical framework. Jillian believes that all people have the inner resources to create solutions to their problems, and therapy involves increasing their awareness of, and capacity to tap into, those resources.

A firm believer in Cornerstone’s main tenets of social justice, multicultural competence, and faith-based practice, Jillian enjoys working with families of diverse cultural backgrounds, immigrants, and underserved populations. Spirituality is integral to Jillian’s life, and it carries over into her work. Serving others is her way of living with gratitude.

Jillian earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is completing her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Counseling at Northeastern Illinois University this year. When not wearing her therapist hat, Jillian enjoys spending time with her own family or curling up with a good novel.

 


 

Dr. Kara White, Psy.D.

Therapist

Primary Areas of Care: Anxiety, Depression, Vulnerability & Shame/Guilt

Locations: Main Office & River Forest

Dr. White is passionate to work with issues related to grief, life changes, identity and self-esteem, spiritual crisis, self-awareness, assertiveness, relational conflict, communication, anxiety, depression, vulnerability, shame/guilt, and other everyday life difficulties.  She works with adults and teens, and provides pre-marital counseling that utilizes the Prepare/Enrich assessment. She has conducted educational seminars related to stress, social pressures to succeed, and developing healthy relationships.

Dr. White’s approach to counseling involves exploring and understanding one’s difficulty and, with that understanding, finding appropriate changes that will help improve one’s lived experience or situation. Kara strives to develop an empathic and encouraging partnership and embodies a patient, direct, and transparent stance in the relationship. She also utilizes creativity to assist with mental and emotional processing or as a tool for self-care.  She is trained to include one’s faith perspective uniquely to each person's preference. 

Dr. White earned her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and concentrated her graduate studies on integrating faith and psychology. Her dissertation displayed this interest by looking at healthy and unhealthy motives for spiritual fasting. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Pastoral Care from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.  Dr. White is also an alumna of the Chicago area Christian Training Consortium where she received specialized clinical training in the integration of faith-based practice and training.

She loves to spend time with her family, practice creativity, read non-fiction, enjoy nature, and bond with animals.

 

Articles by Dr. Kara

All my single ladies…Caring for the heart of a woman

Assertiveness: Be All of You in Your Relationship

Cyber-bullying: What it is, what to do, and how to prevent it

Overcoming Shame From Failure

Socially Obese? Keep social media use healthy.

The Power of the Creative Process

Will Success Bring Happiness?

Our Externs

 

Luisa Adame, M.S.

Luisa has a heart for serving those who are affected by anxiety, sex addiction, and trauma. She has experience providing recreational therapy for clients with chronic mental illness. Upon request, Luisa is joyous to integrate Christian faith into counseling sessions. The healing that comes from God’s Word and soaking in His presence, is what motivates her to come alongside clients on their journey towards holistic wellbeing. She enjoys incorporating diverse techniques such as: Scripture-based disciplines, art, play, recreational and exposure therapy.

Luisa is pursuing her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Moody Theological Seminary and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from DePaul University.

Luisa is happy to provide services in Spanish. She enjoys exploring diverse Chicago neighborhoods and eating spicy foods.  Her favorite winter meal includes churros with café de olla Mexican-style coffee.

 

 

Christine Carr

Christine looks forward to furthering her experience in counseling psychology as an extern at CCCOC. Areas of particular interest include attachment, trauma, grief and PTSD. She has experience working with children and emerging adults struggling with anxiety, self-regulation and self-confidence. Her experience teaching mindfulness meditation to children is one of her greatest joys.

Her counseling style is collaborative with a focus on meeting her clients where they are and using self-discovery as a tool toward forward motion and empowerment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) are tools used in the therapeutic process.

Christine earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from North Park University and she is currently pursing her master’s in Counseling Psychology. Christine enjoys spending time with her sons exploring Chicago and anything lakefront related.

 

 

T. Reneè Causay, M.Ed

T. Renee` Causay is a third year graduate student pursuing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University Chicago. Reneè has experience working with adults, children and adolescents dealing with trauma, anger management, and substance abuse providing individual/group therapy, and diagnostic clinical assessments. She has also worked as a college and career counselor and is a part-time adjunct teaching career development to undergraduate students.

Renee`s approach to therapy is acknowledging that everyone’s experience is unique and she meets them where they are in the process. She is passionate about giving back and being an advocate for social justice.

Renee` has a background in theater and dance and has performed Improv at Chicago's Second City. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, music, and playing the bass guitar.

 

 

Samiha Jallouqa

Samiha is passionate about working with children, adolescents, emerging adults, couples, and families. She is especially interested in treating individuals of all ages from diverse backgrounds seeking to resolve conflicts related to their cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, gender, and/or sexual identities. Samiha is also driven to help those struggling with major life transitions, self-esteem, anxiety and depression, relationship issues, and trauma. Samiha works to help clients seeking to learn more about themselves reach their ultimate potential. Samiha is bilingual in Arabic and English, and is skilled in working with clients from Arab/Middle Eastern and Muslim heritages.

Samiha received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2015. She earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Midwestern University in 2017, and is expected to graduate with her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology also from Midwestern University in 2020.

Samiha loves traveling, adventuring outdoors, and spending times with her family and loved ones.

 

 

Kristin Nelessen - Currently Not Accepting New Clients

Kristin specializes in working with children and families particularly in the areas of domestic violence, sexual abuse, grief and loss, and trauma.

Kristin believes that safety in therapeutic environment is of the highest importance and uses relational means to create this. Additionally, Kristin is passionate about empowering individuals and families to holistically improve well-being and meet their identified goals.

Kristin obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Taylor University and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Illinois at Chicago. She values using an integrated approach of evidence based practices, including The ARC Model (Attachment, Regulation, and Competency), trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to beautiful places and engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking or biking.

 

 

Alex Parlette

Alex’s goal is to provide a well-rounded counseling and personal development service for everyone.  He is currently in training to be a Clinical Mental Health Counselor at Moody Theological Seminary. Alex has earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Religious Studies from North Central College.

His goal is provide effective treatment of anxiety and issues surrounding aggression. Alex is a current member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and he follows a more eclectic approach to therapy that combines Cognitive Behavioral and Psychoanalytical counseling.

Alex likes working with all ages, and he is very interested in working with adolescents and emerging adults. Alex enjoys going for runs in his free time, as well as training for his next race and he looks forward to vacationing with family every year.   

 

 

La'Teisha Sawyer

La’Teisha completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude from Argosy University.  She is currently a Master’s in Counseling Student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and works as an Extern at Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago.  Her work history also includes working in diverse clinical settings such as outpatient centers, hospitals and universities. 

La’Teisha’s areas of interest include, although not limited to, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), community mental health, family/individual therapy and addictions along with lifespan development and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  She is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA).  Her therapy techniques include mindfulness meditation.  A fun fact about La’Teisha is that she enjoys crosswords puzzles and sailing.

 

 

Zach Seifert

Zach is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Chicago State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas.

Zach enjoys working with a diverse population and tailors the therapeutic environment to meet each client where they are and address their specific and unique needs. Client’s working with Zach can expect a holistic model of therapy which aims to acknowledge the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. Clients can expect to be challenged to discover their full potential individually, relationally, and spiritually.

Zach specializes in anxieties, depression, sexual addictions, relationships, and family systems. He utilizes evidenced based interventions to support client welfare and drive improvement and relief from symptoms.

Zach enjoys spending meaningful time with loved ones, listening to music, watching great television, exploring the world, and playing sports.

 

 

Francesca Wehr - Currently Not Accepting New Clients

Francesca is an Extern at Cornerstone. She holds a Bachelors degree in Social Work from Seton Hall University and is currently perusing her Masters in Social Work at Rutgers University.

Her training has allowed her to work directly with the population impacted by domestic abuse through her work as an advocate at the YWCA Domestic Abuse Shelter. In this position, she earned an educational certificate in family domestic violence.

Francesca also has experience with children and family violence and has conducted group therapy sessions geared towards building skills and coping techniques. Her therapeutic techniques range from motivational interviewing to person-centered theory.

Francesca feels those particular methods are highly effective and really capture the aspect of client empowerment that is so vital to the social work profession. Francesca would describe herself as a charismatic, dedicated individual who strives to truly help those in need.

 

 

Ling-Chun Yeh

Ling embraces family system theories and is interested in working with children and adults to work through family conflicts, anxiety and depression and provide Christian pre-marital counseling. She believes by God’s power anyone can start the process of changing and grow.

Ling was born in Taiwan and gained her Master’s degree in Medicine from Capital Medicine School in Beijing, China, specializing in Pediatrics. Shortly after, Ling moved to United States to peruse her interests in mental health counseling and is working to obtain a second master’s at Moody Theology Seminary. Ling can speak English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese fluently and is interested in working with the Asian population.

Ling enjoys cooking, gardening, and helping people to grow. Ling also fosters 3 cats.

 

 

 

 

Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago