Acting-out, talk-back, and experimentation is often the language of mental health problems for teenagers. Emotional healing begins when adults not only set limits, but truly listen, respect, and show interest in them.
Adolescents are disproportionately affected during this COVID-19 pandemic––Isolated from their peers, schooling through video, and missing out on so many milestones such as athletics, prom, and new relationships. Professional counseling helps teens face the uncertainty of the pandemic, lost motivation, many upcoming transitions, and the social challenges that follow.
Teens are asking for help
Now, more than ever, teens are needing therapy and courageously asking for help. Parents are also searching for answers as conflicts increase at home, academics decline, and behavior problems increase. As a parent, you may be ready to consider counseling, and exploring your options––hoping to find a great fit for your teen.
Can therapy really work for my teenager?
You may also be wondering if therapy will work for your teen and you have questions: Can a therapist connect with my teen? Will my teen feel they can talk openly and honestly? Can the
therapist handle my teen’s problems? What if my teen doesn’t talk? Will the therapist blame me for my teen’s problems? Will I get support on parenting my teen? Can the counselor help us restore our relationship? And will my teen be ready to launch into adulthood when the time comes?
For those of us at Cherry Hill, who love working with teens, these are challenges we face on a regular basis. Go ahead and ask us the hard questions––we want to hear your concerns. But know, we truly enjoy connecting with teenagers, and are up for the challenge.
How Cherry Hill therapists work with teens
Here are a few things you can expect when we work with your teen:
- Our relationship with your teenager comes first. We want to know what they’re all about––from their hobbies, the sports they play, the art they create, and the musicians they follow.
Teens need to feel validated, heard, and respected, and this begins by knowing them well––as well as their issues that need to be addressed.
- As counselors, we are not the “third parent” in the room. You are the parent which matters to us. Our role is to support and challenge your teen, and to teach them how to respectfully
advocate for themselves. With guidance, your teen can replace acting-out with healthy self advocacy.
- You, as the parent, matter in the life of your son or daughter. We value your insight and the unique position you have to impact the life of your teen. When relationships are strained or severed, we want to support you and the whole family in rebuilding your connection with your teen.
- Expect us to tailor our therapeutic approach to best serve your teen and your family. Our clinicians employ a wide collection of therapeutic approaches that include Cognitive Behavioral, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, No-talk Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Family Systems, Emotionally Focused Family Therapy, creative and expressive therapies, Motivational Interviewing, and many more. Our interventions include rapport building, education and training, role-playing, relaxation training, and other experiential exercises. We may also encourage other supportive therapies that can enhance his or her treatment progress.
Give us a call. Tell us a little more about your family. We would love to help your son or daughter traverse these challenging times and re-discover the joy of emerging into adulthood.
Related Therapist Profiles
The following therapists specialize in Adolescent Behavior
Juan Torres, MSW, LSW, CADC
Chicago | Vernon Hills
Juan is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Illinois and can provide services in both English and Spanish. He specializes in treating substance use disorders and mood disorders. He works with adolescents and adults in both individual and group settings.
Michael Albert, MA, LCPC
Grayslake | Vernon Hills
Michael is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. He has nearly 2 decades of experience in the mental health field. He has provided services in many different settings including agency and hospital settings before private practice. Michael works well with a broad age range of clients, but has a special affinity for adolescents and young adults.
Emily Nikfar, MSW
Chicago | Deer Park
Emily is a recent graduate from the Tulane School of Social Work, where she completed her MSW and had a concentration in Mental Health, Addiction, and Family Therapy. She has a background in Theater Arts and received her BA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago.
Brendan Bell, MA, LCPC
Deer Park | Wheaton
Brendan Bell is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. He has worked in private practice for the last 20 years, with offices in both Deer Park and in Wheaton. His expertise involves working with middle schoolers, adolescents, and their families, with extensive experience addressing behavior disorders. Brendan also works with adults and particularly enjoys counseling artists.
Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW
Diane Geiser is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience working with adults, adolescents, couples and families. Diane is a highly skilled clinician who can work with clients in identifying goals and change strategies that promote growth. She also has experience conducting wellness seminars with corporations and executives.
Karen Robbins, MSW, LCSW
Karen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has experience counseling teens, adults, couples, and families. She is trained in multiple empirically supported approaches including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples. She focuses on developing rapport with clients and using strength-based approaches to facilitate healing and change.
Gary Gruebnau, MA, LSW
McHenry | Lake Zurich
Gary is a social worker with several decades of experience counseling teens, adults, and couples in secular and church settings. He enjoys working with a broad age range of clients from teens to the elderly. His background includes military service, working in the business world, and teaching in both public and private settings.
Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, LSW, CCTP
Chelsea A. Laliberte Barnes received an MS in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University with a focus in mental health for children, adolescents and families. Chelsea has nearly ten years of experience working with individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders and dual diagnosis. Chelsea is also a SMART Recovery facilitator and overdose education trainer.
Elizabeth Haines, MS, LCPC
Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She values a strong therapeutic alliance and believes that a supportive and collaborative working relationship is instrumental in helping clients improve their overall quality of life. She uses her expertise in yoga and mindfulness to assist clients in learning to calm and relax the stressed body and mind.
Patrick Kelly, MA, LCPC, CCATP
Patrick’s mission as a Licensed Professional Counselor is to utilize his diverse life experience and graduate-level education to make a positive difference in the lives of struggling and hurting people. His passion is working with troubled marriages along with helping individuals cope with and rise above anxiety and depression brought about by life’s challenges and difficulties.
Maria Statkus Ritchey, MA, LCPC, CCATP-CA
Deer Park | Wheaton | Chicago
Maria is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Maria is enthusiastic about working with different populations, including children, adolescents, young adults, and families. Maria has experience utilizing non-directive play therapy and her approach is client-centered based, while integrating client strengths within the process.
Risa Becker, MA, LPC
Risa is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has a passion for seeing people come into the fullness of what their life could be. Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn, and having someone alongside can make a difference. Other times we need to make a change and need support to make that happen. Either way, I am here for you.
Debbie Levine, MSW, LSW
Debbie has worked in both the medical and clinical fields and has amassed much experience helping people navigate their unique life journeys. Her preferred therapeutic approaches include CBT, holistic and mindfulness.
Emily Salomon, MS.Ed., LPC
Emily earned her MS.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Emily holds deep value for the safe space that exists within the therapeutic relationship. She embraces the importance of being provided with new lenses with which a client may see the world a bit differently.
Elaine Iwicki, MA, ALMFT
Elaine has an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Wheaton College. She enjoys working with adolescents, adults, families, and couples. She believes that relationship health is crucial to healing and she is passionate about being a part of that healing process.
Laura Ronkoske, MSW, LSW
Laura has been a school social worker for 23 years. Nothing brings her more joy than helping young children, adolescents, and adults through life’s most challenging times. She has recently moved to private practice to help others outside the school environment to be their best selves and help give them the tools to be able to do so.
April Wazny, MA
McHenry | Vernon Hills
April Wazny received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University. She is passionate about working with children, adolescents and families. She has over 10 years experience working with children, families, blended families, trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, special needs and special needs parental support. She has 21 years of experience with Military families.
Kristin Hunt, MSW, LCSW, MAT
Kristin Hunt, LCSW, has a passion for helping individuals, couples, and families to heal from various types of trauma. Kristin's warm, safe, and non-judgmental presence makes her a great companion for people on a journey of recovery and wellness. She works with clients of all ages including individuals, couples, and families.
Julie Berry, Intern Therapist
Julie is passionate about working with women, young adults, and individuals helping them find the power within themselves to navigate any struggle they may be facing. She loves forming a strong trusted relationship with her client. She focuses on helping people name their struggles or pains and identify ways to take action toward healing and wholeness. She believes we can learn from life’s experiences as helpful information to understanding ourselves more.
Here are some groups we recommend to get started
LGBTQ+ Teen Processing Group
A safe place for self discovery by processing, developing self-advocacy skills, and learning how to cope with identity related stressors.
Date: Saturdays from 3pm-4:00pm virtually running in 8-week cycles
Location: Cherry Hill Counseling via Zoom
Cost: $60/session, sliding scale available upon consultation
Contact: Emily Salomon or Alessa Rosati, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com