Life transitions often create change and uncertainty, no matter the season you find yourself in. These transitions in our life can be a mix of feelings depending on the nature of the change expected or unexpected, welcomed or unwelcomed, and sudden or gradual.
Major life transitions such as moving to a new city, starting college, new job or career, becoming a parent, and retirement, can be an exciting part of life. However, life transitions, even happy ones, can also be stressful and bring up feelings of fear and doubt. Several of the therapists on our team have specialized training to help adults, adolescents, and children with these feelings of being overwhelmed, disillusioned, or angry. These worries left unchecked can lead to anxiety, depression, and stresses in your relationships.
Successfully moving through a life transition usually means moving from negative feelings such as anger, anxiety, confusion, numbness, and self-doubt to moving towards acceptance, hope, and optimism. However, what happens if you get stuck and the change seems to be a mental health issue that you feel swallowed up by?
Adjustment disorder can occur when a major life transition occurs and you experience more distress than normal in response to a stressful or unexpected event, and the stress causes significant problems in your relationships, at work or at school. Other disruptive symptoms that begin within three months of a life transition and often include a depressed or anxious mood, changes in daily habits, feelings of overwhelming stress and panic, difficulty enjoying activities, and changes in sleeping or eating.
When should I seek help?
You should consider seeking help when all of your coping strategies are no longer working and you can’t manage work or school.
- You find yourself avoiding family and friends or any social interactions
- Your moods are negatively affecting your daily functioning and seem out of control, such as anger outbursts, crying, sad or depressed mood, anxiety, and recklessness.
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or others.
- Increase use of alcohol and drugs or other unhealthy behaviors.
What kind of help is available?
A trained therapist can help assess your moods and level of functioning, encourage your strengths and reactivation of your social supports, assist with developing new effective coping and problem solving skills, monitor your progress and adapt your therapy treatment plan based on your needs.
Finding The Right Therapist
Related Therapist Profiles
The following therapists specialize in Life Transitions
Lisa LaBute, MS, LPC
Lisa LaBute earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University in 1984 and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Saint Francis College in 1996. She’s had the opportunity to work in several states as well as doing an internship in London. She’s been a licensed professional counselor in the state of Illinois since 2007.
Jennifer Thelen, MA
Jennifer works with teens, adults and couples. She is devoted to creating a safe relational environment to encourage self-exploration while supporting clients through life’s challenges.
Blair Salditch, MSW, LSW
Blair Salditch is a licensed social worker who received a MSW from the University of Chicago, where she was a Kiphart Scholar of Global Health & Social Development. She has worked both domestically and internationally, providing therapy to children and adults coping with a range of mental health concerns.
Alexis Mathews Carr, MA, LPC
Alexis strives to make her clients feel safe, welcome, and accepted through the use of empathy, genuineness, and humor. Her counseling approach is rooted in CBT, DBT, and a strengths based approach. Alexis works with clients to identify their strengths in order to find growth and healing.
Marci Etienne, Ph.D.
Dr. Marci Etienne is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience. She completed her graduate education with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Marissa Cummings, Intern Therapist
Marissa is working on her Master of Social Work degree through Rochester Wesleyan University (expected May of 2024). She has experience working with children, teens, and adults within past internships and job experiences at community centers and social service agencies. She is hoping to gain more insight and practice during her time with Cherry Hill.
Luke Bruschuk, Intern Therapist
Luke Bruschuk is an MSW intern from Western New Mexico University, set to graduate in May 2024. Specializing in emotional recognition and response therapy, he adopts a strengths-based approach with elements of cognitive therapy and mindfulness. Dedicated to promoting self-awareness, Luke works with both youth and adults. A NASW student member, he enjoys meditation and biking outdoors.
Jackie Kendall, Intern Therapist
Jackie is acquiring an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from National Louis University. Jackie is a nature and animal lover who enjoys spending her free time with friends and family. She feels that counseling picked her well before she decided to pursue a career in the helping profession. She was taught at a young age that the greatest gift in the world is helping others.
Valerie Dobrow, MSW, LSW
Valerie utilizes a strengths-based approach when working with children, adolescents, teens, and young adults. She has specialized training in Trauma-Focused CBT and play therapy techniques. She strives to empower clients to focus on reaching their goals through therapeutic techniques and skills development.
Veronica Gillen, MSW, LSW
Veronica Gillen is a licensed social worker with a Masters Degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with an emphasis on trauma informed care and strengths-based recovery support. Veronica is a bilingual therapist and provides services in both English and Spanish. Veronica enjoys working with women, children, and teens as well as families.
Cris Goodfellow, Intern Therapist
Cris is an intern therapist, seeking completion of her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University (Graduation May 2024). Cris is passionate about working with teens and adults, couples, and families, helping all people to seek individual and relational health.
John DeArvil, MSW, LSW
John studied psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and earned his master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago. He has experience working with adolescents, adults, and families in outpatient and residential treatment settings. John is motivated to work with people to help them progress towards their goals and see genuine improvement.
Joshua Flanagan, MA, LPC
Josh earned his MA in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. Josh is a compassionate and energetic individual who has a lot of passion for helping others. He loves to express himself through creative avenues such as photography, design, etc. and always will do life within community.
Shannon Landon, MS, ALMFT
Shannon is a passionate couple and family therapist who earned her M.S. in human development and family sciences at Northern Illinois University. Her background includes work with adolescents, adults, couples, and families in both outpatient and residential treatment settings. She enjoys supporting adults recovering from childhood trauma and couples looking to form more satisfying relationships.
Deb Landeene, MA
Deb is a Master’s level counseling intern from Concordia University Chicago. She provides treatment to clients of all ages, but has a passion for working with adolescents and their parents. She is a wife and a mother to 2 grown children. She enjoys her animals, gardening and making jewelry. Deb considers herself a life-long learner.
Caitie McCormack, MA, LPC-IT
Accepting clients from both IL and WI, Caitie works with individuals ages 15+ and relationships of all kinds. She particularly focuses on processing trauma (religious, medical, and relational), coping with chronic pain, navigating life transitions, and using experiential techniques in sessions to create transformative experiences. Caitie brings to therapy nearly a decade of experience as a researcher in the business world, resulting in a strong sense of duty to stay current on new treatments and techniques. She is committed equally to research and creativity and will work diligently to find the most effective strategies for your individual needs.
Kimberly Johnson, MSW, LCSW, CADC
Kimberly has a MSW, LCSW and a CADC along with over 7 years working with serious mental health diagnoses and substance abuse from Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression, substance abuse(s), etc. Additionally, the last 5 years were spent in Hospice on a multi disciplinary team working with terminal illnesses, end of life “issues” and families.
Juan Torres, MSW, LSW, CADC
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
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, LSW
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.
Clark Barshinger, Ph.D.
Practicing clinical psychology for over 50 years, Dr. Clark Barshinger has broad and deep experience counseling patients. His graduate education includes a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from DePaul University, and Master’s Degree of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary. He works mostly with adults, teens and couples.
Keith Bjorge, Psy.D.
Dr. Keith V. Bjorge is a clinical psychologist with 33+ years of experience. He has experience and passion working with troubled marriages, teen and family related problems, chemical addictions, and mood disorders. Dr. Bjorge earned the Master of Arts and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
Brendan Bell, MA, LCPC
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.
Rick Coffaro, MA, LPC
Rick Coffaro’s work experience prior to Cherry Hill includes twenty-eight years in sales, marketing, and management. The theme of his career was making, building and maintaining relationships. Rick offers first-hand knowledge of life and career transitions. He enjoys working with individuals, couples, adults, adolescents and young adults, and groups.
Gary Gruebnau, MA, LSW
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.
Leslie Scofield, MSW, LCSW, CADC
Leslie Scofield, MSW, LCSW, CADC is a Licensed Social Worker who has worked in the field of substance abuse for over 15 years. Her practice ranges from children to adults, and focuses on trauma, grief and loss, family issues, and addictions. She is passionate about working with groups. Leslie is also retired from military service, which informs her clinical perspective.
Michelle Schaefer, MA, LCPC, PMHC
Michelle Schaefer, LCPC, has experience working with adults, couples, teens, and families. Michelle has an advanced certification in Perinatal Mental Health and specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for individuals, couples, and families. Michelle strives to create a secure client-therapist alliance in order to support people as they navigate life challenges and heal relationships.
Elizabeth Haines, LCPC, FMCHC, YACEP
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.
Jack Gordon, MSW, LCSW, CCATP
Jack is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a certified clinical anxiety treatment professional. He works with adults, families, and adolescents ages 12 and up. He specializes in anxiety treatment and has a passion for work with clients with chronic pain/illness. His clinical interests include anxiety, parenting skills, life/career transitions, and family/relationship issues.
Kristine Buelow, MSW, LCSW
Kristine has had the honor and opportunity to help many individuals and families over the past 25 years as a social worker. She truly enjoys working with seniors, family caregivers, adults, families, and parents. Her approach is genuine, full of grace and with a sense of humor.
Liz Lattof, MA, LCPC, CCATP
As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Cherry Hill Liz works with a wide variety of clients, children, adolescents, families, and adults. She has additional training in play therapy and groups. She enjoys helping people with anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, and other challenges and transitions.
John Dichtl, MA, M.Div., LCPC
John Dichtl has worked as a counselor since 2012 in both agency work and private practice. He has focused experience providing couples counseling, and treating mood disorders and addictions. With graduate level training in both therapy and theology, John is uniquely equipped to help clients integrate their psychological and spiritual concerns.
John Kim, MA, LCPC
John received his MA in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University where he gained experience doing therapeutic work through the university's counseling center. John is committed to building warm, authentic, and meaningful relationships with his clients as he helps them work toward their unique goals. He works with individuals, couples, and groups.
Risa Becker, MA, LCPC
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.
Arielle Miree, MA, LPC
Arielle received her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people heal and grow in order to live a meaningful life. She values authentic relationships and creating a safe space for clients. She has experience working with those struggling with addictions and co-occurring disorders. Arielle enjoys working with a variety of clients including athletes and artists.
Alison Yu, MA, M.Div., LCPC
Alison Yu, M.Div, MA, LPC, is a bilingual (English and Mandarin Chinese) counselor who is experienced working with individuals, couples and families. She has a special heart for immigrant families. Trained in both psychology and theology, she is passionate about helping people to integrate the Christian faith in their healing process.
Justin Feinberg, MA, M.Div., LPC
Justin’s Graduate education includes both a Master’s degree in Mental Health counseling as well as a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity International University. He works with individuals, couples, and families and has a heart to see relationships flourish and people become who they were meant to be. He has training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and utilizes this toward helping marriages, families, and individuals thrive.
Jennifer Flanagan, MA, LPC
Jennifer has a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people see their strengths and potential. She believes this is accomplished through authentic relationships and support for and collaboration with others.
Rebecca Wiegman, MA, LCPC
Rebecca received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has experience working with children, individuals, families, and within groups. Rebecca is enthusiastic about working with different populations and has prior experience in the fields of education, health & fitness, and substance abuse.
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.
Jessica Pinder, MSW, LCSW
Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois with advanced practice skills serving adults with substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder in addition to traumatic brain injury of various levels of severity and co-existing mental health conditions. She is passionate about human growth and development and has strong generalist competency working with individuals with a wide range of mental health needs.
Katy Robb, MSW, LCSW
Katy Robb is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her master’s degree in social work from the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She has over a decade of training and experience treating individuals across the lifespan in community-based services, college counseling, and private practice. Katy has been recognized for her work building a community college mental health center.
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.
Georgene Manley, LCPC, CAADC
Georgene is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She has worked in a clinical setting most of her career. She has treated clients in residential, outpatient addictions and mental health treatment programs, and corporate settings. She loves helping clients tap into the resilience that is often overshadowed when anxiety, depression, or addiction surfaces.
Diann Pomeroy, M.Ed., LPC
Diann has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University. She has a passion for working with women, supporting them across the lifespan as they navigate continuous change and transition. She believes that all parents need support in the parenting journey at every stage and considers being a part of that process a great privilege.
Nicole Taylor, MS.Ed., LPC
Nicole is a licensed therapist who is passionate about working with children, adolescents, and young adults. She specializes in anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.
Julie Berry, MA
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
BeYOUtiful Women’s Group: Empowering women to embrace being their authentic selves without judgment
Women deserve the support, tools, and unity offered through our transformative therapeutic group. We meet group members where they are, not where others want them to be.
Date: 11-12:30 on Tuesdays for 6 weeks, starting soon and pending minimum enrollment
Location: Cherry Hill Counseling - Grayslake: 1100 E Washington St, Suite 100, Grayslake, IL 60030
Cost: $50/week for a total of $300 paid upfront
Contact: If interested, please contact April Wazny at april@cherryhillcounseling (847) 438-4222 x 169 OR Diann Pomeroy at email@example.com 224-662-0239,
A safe place for women, ages 18+, to become empowered through mindfulness-based meditation while also tending to our mental health and wellness.
Date: Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm in 4 week cycles - can attend continuously
Location: Cherry Hill Counseling - Deer Park, 21925 W Field Parkway, Suite 215, Deer Park, IL 60010 and via Zoom - hybrid group for accessibility
Cost: $60/session. Sliding scale available upon request.
Contact: Emily Salomon: firstname.lastname@example.org or Emily Nikfar: email@example.com,
Connections Group for Women
Our Wednesday Women’s Connections group is accepting new members. The group is led by therapists Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW and April Wazny, MA, LPC.
Date: Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00pm
Cost: $195/month. Reach out to discuss payment options
Contact: April Wazny, 847-438-4222 x169