For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, please call 815-730-4891.
Bernadine Drew Howard, MSW, LCSW (Director of Counseling Services)
Individuals, Children, Adolescents, Families and Groups, Type 73 Certification
Bernadine is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with extensive therapeutic experience in working with disenfranchised individuals, children and families impacted by trauma, abuse/neglect, grief/loss, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, behavior challenges, disabilities, homelessness, and substance abuse. Bernadine received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) from Illinois State University and Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from The University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. Bernadine has been a clinical program administrator in various fields of practice including healthcare, child welfare, and domestic violence for over 16 years. Bernadine utilizes various approaches to her therapeutic work including family systems and meta-frameworks theories, her practice is strengths –based and focus on client’s support systems. Bernadine is a child and family advocate and prides herself on keeping the best interest of the children as the primary focus of all treatment. Bernadine is very passionate about celebrating diversity and working with all populations, one of her strengths is being able to build a strong rapport with all types of clients.
Mary Arbuthnot, MSW, LCSW (Counseling Supervisor)
Individuals, Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly, Couples, Groups Women’s Issues Anxiety, Bereavement
Mary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive experience working with abused and neglected children and their families. She has a BSW from Loyola University Chicago and an MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. Mary uses a strength-based, bio-psychosocial, person in environment approach in practice.
Mary believes strongly in the therapeutic process, starting where the client is and joining with the client to accomplish the goals they establish. She is exceptional at building a rapport with clients that is empathic, empowering and enables them to continue to build on their success.
Mary has devoted many years to working with the preservation of families and family systems as well as becoming involved with community organizations and agencies.
Alma Figueroa, LCSW
(School Social Worker)
Type 73 Certification
Alma Figueroa is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has a BSW and MSW from Loyola University Chicago with a specialization in School Social Work. Alma has previous experience working with children and families in the foster care system, school environment, providing individual and family therapy and crisis intervention. She believes each individual has a unique story and being able to meet them where they are is important for treatment. Alma is passionate about advocating for individuals and families and empowering them to change.
Christina M. Magaña, MSW
(Joliet and school locations)
Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly, Individuals, Couples, Family, Type 73 Certification
Christina has a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Family Concentration from Saint Louis University. Christina is currently working on her School Social Work Type 73 Certificate at Aurora University. Christina has previously worked on an inpatient Behavioral Health Unit for over 3 years and has experience working with individuals, groups, and crisis intervention. While Christina uses different approaches in the therapeutic setting she feels the best place to start is where the client is at in his/her life in order to determine the best treatment for that individual client. Christina feels the most important thing is that clients are given the tools they need to help them manage their symptoms and/or deal with their current life stressors and get back to a healthy level of functioning.
Mary Novak, MA, LCPC
Children, Adolescents and Families, Child and Trauma Treatment, Grief and Loss, Depression, Anxiety, Relationship Problems
Mary is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience working with abused and neglected children, foster parents/caregivers and biological parents. Mary is also a teacher and is able to work well with children who are struggling academically. Mary is an expert advocate with the school systems. She provides a safe and nurturing counseling setting which allows children to open up and process grief. She works to help them cope and adjust to the chaos and disruptions that occur in life. Mary specializes in helping families work through transitions and prioritize the needs of children when decision making.
Neil Wright, MS
Individual – Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly, Couples, Families, Groups, Depression, Anxiety, Grief and Loss, Transitional Issues, Relationship Problems, Mindfulness/Stress Reduction
Neil is currently finishing his final quarter of graduate school at Benedictine University where he is pursuing a Master’s Degree of Science in Clinical Psychology. As a clinician, Neil initially, and continually makes certain that he provides every one of his clients with a safe, empathic, authentic and nonjudgmental environment within each and every session. With a great deal of experience working with a wide variety of clientele, Neil has noted the significant importance of viewing each of his clients through a therapeutic lens that consistently takes in to account all of the cultural, biological, psychological, and social factors that are relevant and affecting their individual level of functioning. Neil utilizes a “scientist-practitioner” approach to therapy and employs techniques from a wide variety of therapeutic approaches (e.g., client-centered, CBT, DBT, Existential, Interpersonal, Behavioral, Psychodynamic). Neil tailors his interventions and techniques to each individual he sees so that he is able to meet the client where they are and help them get to where they want to be.
Emily Zajda, AMFT, CAMS-I
(Joliet and Daybreak locations)
Works with: Couples, families, adults, children, adolescents, parenting, anger management, individuals, groups, pre-marital counseling.
Emily has her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She obtained her Master’s Degree from The Adler School of Professional Psychology. Emily is currently working towards her Marriage and Family Therapy License. She worked with Hands of Hope for her clinical internship and is now working at the Joliet and Daybreak locations. Emily provides therapy to individuals, couples, families and groups. While Emily uses a variety of techniques and theories with clients she believes in providing a supportive and trusting environment for her clients. This safe environment allows for clients to become more self-aware in order to make adjustments to manage their life stressors and symptoms.
Adele M. Human, OP, MSW, LCSW
Individuals, Children, Adolescents, Families, Groups
Adele is a License Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with therapeutic experience working with adults, children and their families, especially in the school setting. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from St. Louis University. Adele has experience in community, hospital and educational settings. Adele practices from a generalist perspective, informed by a strength-based, family systems model, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Life’s experiences have led her to a special interest in working with children’s educational and behavioral issues and families living with chronic illness, with a sensitivity to cross-cultural and spiritual issues.
Eran Smith, MA
English- and Spanish-speaking Children, Adolescents, Adults, Families
Eran received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of St. Francis in Joliet and her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent counseling from Lewis University in Romeoville. Eran is a bilingual therapist who works with English and Spanish language clients and has experience in working with survivors of domestic violence as well as advocating for children’s and families’ rights. Eran believes in meeting clients where they are and linking them with community resources to meet other life needs as well. Eran’s goal is to provide a safe, non-judgmental and collaborative environment in which to empower clients to make the changes they want to see in their lives.