Meet The Team

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Leah Stewart

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Elizabeth Dufur

Cassandra Wimberly

Marianne Vranek

 
Patty Dirilten

I am Patty Dirilten, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC). I am also EMDR certified which I have found to be an extremely effective type of treatment for many of my clients.   I have been partnering with people to help move them out of struggle for over half of my adult life.  Advocating for people started when I was a child.  As early as second grade, I was sticking up for people on the playground and standing up for what was right.  In middle school my friends would find me very easy to talk to and laugh with.  In high school I realized that I had to choose a career that involved helping others.  I have worked with children, teens, adults and families.  I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois Chicago. I feel like having received education in these two areas and the experiences I have had helping others form the foundation of my work. My education and experience have both helped me to see how problems are created, how to come up with effective solutions and how to connect effectively with others. My specialties are addiction, trauma/PTSD, and first responder behavioral health. I love the work that I do and believe that this shows in the connection that develops between my clients and I. I believe in really getting to know my clients as a whole and meeting them where they are without judgement to help them get to where they want to go. I use several psychological approaches to help, but believe that it is the partnership that is the catalyst to change.

Jessica McCormack

Hi all, my name is Jessica McCormack, and I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I pull from Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and methods from the Gottman Institute to help couples fall back in love. Below you’ll learn a little bit about me, how I came down the couple’s therapy road, and what topics I really like to work on with couples.


When I was a kid my dad would take me to the library on Sunday mornings after making pancakes for us; by far one of my favorite traditions and memories from my childhood. One Sunday stands out in particular. I was 14 perusing the Young Adult section while he went off to the non-fiction section to read about gardening. I stumbled across a book called "Kissing Doorknobs" by Terry Spencer Hesser. In short, it's about a teenage girl who gets diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was hooked. Every Sunday we would go to the library, and every Sunday I would read more novels about disorders, self-help books, and academic journal articles about psychology. I had decided at 14 years old to become someone who helps people overcome their emotional pain.


Oddly enough, I stuck by those convictions. I went to Edgewood College in Madison Wisconsin for both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees. In 2009 I received my Bachelor's of Clinical Psychology and in 2011 I received my Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. The day immediately following graduation, I moved down to the Chicago Suburbs to pursue a career as a therapist.

 
Alison Graft

I am Alison Graft, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). I create a therapeutic environment that is nurturing and non-judgmental. My philosophy of psychotherapy is grounded in the importance of safe, compassionate and non-judgmental relationships with ourselves and others for emotional well being. My clinical efforts are driven by a genuine interest in helping people feel and function better. I work with individuals, couples, and families to challenge old belief systems and behaviors that have impacted their quality of life. I use a Mindfulness-based approach, believing each person thrives when they experience a non-judgmental and compassionate acceptance as they work through the challenges they face. I am an EMDR trained clinician, which I have found to be an extremely effective form of treatment for many of my clients.

 

My work with individuals focuses on helping people to better manage and cope with issues related to depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic illness, grief/loss, postpartum adjustment, LGBTQ challenges, poor self-esteem and life transitions. My work with couples includes Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

 
Kenna De Fina

Hi, I’m Kenna De Fina and I’m a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CRADC), and National Certified Counselor (NCC).

I have over 5 years of experience helping adolescents and adults on their unique journey to healing, such as helping teens in a PHP/IOP setting find stability, assisting adults with taking powerful steps in recovery from trauma and addiction, and witnessing both teens and adults achieve peace and start living the life they value. I specialize in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders and trauma. My passion is helping anyone who struggles with feeling overwhelmed with stress, worry, or panic. Is pain from your past making it hard to enjoy your life? Sometimes the impact of trauma or anxiety are subtle. What started as a small fear can get more intense as time goes on. Sometimes it takes deep roots, growing until it starts getting in the way of everything– keeping you stuck – from truly living your life and connecting with others. Together, we will work on strategies that allow you to address the root causes of that stress and get you back to having meaningful connections with loved ones again. My approach provides you with a safe and non-judgmental space using a variety of techniques that are tailored to fit your individual needs, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, DBT, ACT, mindfulness, and motivational interviewing. 

 
Dr. Mary Anastasi
Ph.D.

Hello, I am Mary Anastasi.  I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have a PhD in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies, specializing in early childhood development and care.  I have worked for many years as a school social worker and therapist with children, adolescents and adults. 

For as long as I remember, I have been drawn to helping people.  Throughout my childhood, I loved learning people’s unique stories and figuring out ways to support anyone experiencing difficulties and helping them to find resources and resolution to their challenges.  I have learned that we can navigate our own life best when we understand our unique set of strengths and our valuable purpose.  When life becomes challenging, we need support and guidance to attend to any pain and trauma we have experienced and to help us take charge of the narrative that defines our lives. 

 

I am grateful to have learned a variety of tools and skills to help support and guide people throughout my career (e.g. CBT, Narrative Therapy, Solution-focused, EMDR) and have been awed to watch these modalities and the therapeutic process transform people, supporting them in overcoming adversity, building resilience and living their life to the fullest. 

 
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Leah Stewart

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who works closely with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in adolescents and adults. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have worked in a variety of settings including crisis counseling, with the criminal justice population and homeless support. I have worked in the inpatient and outpatient treatment settings as well as from the community in clinics and the home. I have participated in program development and outreach to help increase mental health awareness. 

 

I began working in this field because I am passionate about increasing awareness in the self and preventing personal struggles from escalating to continued cycles. I believe in challenging others as well as myself to utilize potential and avoid self-doubt. Overall, I believe in doing what you think is right regardless of who is watching, having persistence and tenacity. I value authenticity and strive to walk with clients down the path of discovering their self-worth and purpose. 

 

My clinical work focuses on using approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral and EMDR therapies. These work to provide validation and general active listening while treating depression, anxiety, adjustment, substance use, behavioral problems, trauma, grief, family and relationship concerns

 
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Elizabeth Dufur

“Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: getting out of bed.” – Mason Cooley Hi my name is Elizabeth Dufur & thank you for reaching out. It is not always easy asking for help & that is okay, but you are taking the first steps & I am here to help guide you along your journey. There are things that can happen in our lives in which we were not prepared for & have no control over & that can leave us feeling overwhelmed & afraid. I’m here to provide a safe pathway for you as you cope with & overcome these issues in a judgment free & inclusive environment. Never underestimate the power of your own resilience

 

Trauma is something many people have to deal with in some form. It can cause us to feel anxious, depressed, angry & affect aspects of our lives including our relationships, performances at school or work & even how we just think & process our feelings. The thought of addressing & processing trauma can be an uncomfortable and scary venture but it can done.

 

I have a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology & am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. I've worked with clients who ranged from children to elderly adults with mental health & substance abuse issues. I've specialize in the use of CBT therapy & EMDR. If you think I could be the counselor to help, please feel free to give me a call.

 
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Cassandra
Wimberly

Hi, I’m Cassandra Wimberly, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).  I have over 18 years of experience helping children, adolescents, and adults navigate a pathway towards healing and success. I am well versed in a variety of counseling techniques that have proven to be effective over the years. My theoretical approach is strength-based, relational, and trauma-sensitive. My approach draws on skills from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectal Behavior Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing as well as mindfulness practices. In addition, I am thrilled to be an EMDR trained therapist, realizing the power and effectiveness of this technique.

 I began my career as an elementary educator. I later became a high school counselor and subsequently an elementary and middle school counselor.  Additionally, I have served as a case manager for the past 5 years, advocating for children with special needs and their families, including gifted students, ensuring that accommodations are put in place to help them reach their full potential.

I am here to partner with my clients in creating an optimal life by recognizing and overcoming a variety of obstacles. I believe that everyone has the power within to bring about meaningful, positive, life-altering changes.

 
Marianne
Vranek

Hello, my name is Marianne Vranek, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker/therapist. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. I have been in the field of social work for 6 years and practicing therapy for 4 years. My professional experience has included a diverse population, children, adolescents, and young/older adults. I have also had the experience of working in a variety of treatment modalities such as inpatient, outpatient (PHP) and residential centers. With this professional experience I have been allowed to experience all levels of care. My background includes working with mental illness, anxiety disorders, Bi-Polar, Mood Disorders, Depression, Eating disorders and addictions.

My philosophy in practicing is to see the whole person and not just their diagnosis, struggles or their behaviors. I will help them understand that their behaviors, struggles maybe a coping mechanism to trauma, abandonment, or their illness. By learning to understand their symptoms, behaviors and/or addictions this will help them become more engaged in their life’s, relationships, and their professional careers.

I bring into my practice the Holistic approach in treatment (mind, body, health, spirit) to build on their strengths, resilience and how they have used these to help themselves. Having a well-rounded healthy lifestyle environment supports a person mentally.

With my education in Social Work, I consider the influence of the family dynamics has on an individual and their family. My approach with therapy is to take into account a child’s upbringing, attachment theory, childhood experiences, relationships, and how they impact us as adults.

I believe everyone has their own journey, threw life with many different paths. I will work alongside the person with CBT,DBT,Mindfulness, Poly Vagel theory, and trauma informed care and allow them the space to grow.

I am a mother of 4 children ages 30-18yrs. I enjoy traveling, biking, hiking, kayaking just being outside but also a good book, and a movie. I have volunteered in Puerto Rico, different mission experiences to Haiti, which I also still am involved in. I look forward in meeting with you.