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Our Team

We are a comprehensive diagnostic and counseling center, committed to helping children, adolescents, adults, and families find the best quality care. Our team has decades of experience helping individuals suffering from a variety of mental health issues. Our goal is to treat each individual and their unique concerns with the utmost understanding and respect, while securing a treatment plan and set of interventions to facilitate healthy emotional growth. Our team works with a multitude of approaches including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy),  Humanistic and Holistic approaches to fit the individual. Please browse our Treatment, Team members,  and News and Resources pages to learn more. We welcome you to contact us by email or phone to assist you in finding the best help for you, your child, and your family.

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Dr. Michelle Navarro, M.A., Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Center Director
Dr. Navarro's Bio

“Growth as an individual, self-understanding, finding motivation and seeking passion in one’s life; a balance to find self-acceptance while loving and caring for those around you, this is my hope for all I see. I want everyone who comes to the center to feel this is a safe, warm, and an accepting environment to explore their needs, work through their struggles, and know there is someone there by their side to assist them.”


For the past 25 years, Dr. Michelle has provided care and assistance to children, teens, adults, and families struggling with a multitude of emotional difficulties from depression, anxiety, bipolar, attention, and processing. Her belief is that each person is has their own individual identity and thus needs a treatment plan customized to fit each individual’s growth. Dr. Michelle provides parents of all ages with guidance and planning for their children; whether that be, behavioral outbursts, self-esteem issues, social skills, executive functioning, gender exploration, learning disabilities and giftedness, and divorce. For young children, Dr. Michelle utilizes play therapy to help develop real life coping skills. She feels working to develop rapport with teens and adults is a key component to developing an effective communication process that is invaluable to the therapeutic success of treatment.

 

Parenting is one of the toughest and most stressful jobs.  Dr. Michelle understands the guilt and pressure to be a “good parent” and the stress this places on the parent to find balance in their own well-being. Helping a parent find a path of their own while enhancing and nurturing their children’s lives

 

Emotional Health is the key concept behind Dr. Michelle’s center and her goal for all she sees. Dr. Michelle brings a distinct and unique perspective coming from a neuropsychological, social/emotional, and psycho-educational background. Dr. Michelle is the author of journal articles, research for intellectual and achievement testing, speaker, parent, and therapist. She provides comprehensive diagnostic testing, assessment, and support for children, adolescents, and adults.  The evaluations provide not only diagnostic information, but specific recommendations for school and home interventions and ongoing support as needed.  Further, many individuals need assistance and information with regards to navigating and developing a 504 Plan or I.E.P., and applying for extended time or other accommodations on college board ACT/SAT, GRE, LSAT, and other standardized exams.  Evaluations are done for attention disorders, Autism spectrum, executive functioning, processing difficulties, emotional disorders, learning disabilities, giftedness and/or twice exceptional children.  Dr. Michelle is an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and will provide assistance filing with other insurance providers.  

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Brooke Carson, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Individual and Family Therapist
Brooke Carson's Bio

“I have a long history of helping people make changes that lead to significant improvement in self-regard and the ability to function and thrive. One of my favorite aspects of being a therapist is the genuine, experience-based optimism that my practice history allows me to bring to meeting with clients.”


For many years, Brooke has been a primary member of a treatment team in an intensive outpatient treatment program for depression and anxiety in a teaching hospital. This has given her the benefit of collaboration with a large variety of top professionals for learning and sharing therapy techniques.

 

She is currently the therapist in charge of implementing an outpatient treatment program for Millennials. In addition to working with the young adults, she works with the parents, doing family therapy that is often such a powerful part of the process.

 

Brooke enjoys working with clients of all ages with a variety of presenting issues including self-esteem and life struggles such as relationship conflicts, grief, loss and transitions such as divorce. She also enjoys helping people with depression, various anxiety disorders (including panic disorder, phobias and PTSD), bipolar disorder and ADHD.

 

A central concept of her practice philosophy is helping each client with their relationship with their self, especially in terms of their responses to their own emotions and their beliefs about themselves. This work forms a foundation for new coping skills for navigating struggles, as well as stepping into new experiences for developing life satisfaction, connection to others and a sense of mastery.

 

Now accepting Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance

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Lauren Hallerud, M.A., LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor | Individual and Group Therapist | CBT Specialist | Marketing Manager
Lauren Hallerud's Bio

“By bringing my most authentic and honest self to the table, I hope to create an empathic and safe environment to foster the best working therapeutic relationship.”


Lauren brings clinical experience from intensive outpatient care programs for depression and anxiety to assist clients seeking long-term individual care while managing life transitions and stressors. She works with children, adolescents, and adults to aid in recognizing, understanding, and modifying reactions to life events or personal stressors that lead to anxiety, depression, and other mood-related ailments. Using an integrative therapeutic approach with cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused methods, she assists in improving communication styles to form healthier relationships with others, building supportive networks, managing mood and behavioral reactions to day to day stressors, managing school/occupational/academic stress, improving motivation and time management, increasing the creation and maintenance of boundaries, improving general stress management, increasing self-esteem, managing grief/loss, and achieving a healthy balance and symptom management.

 

Lauren believes that therapy is the process of walking next to another on the journey of discovering and increasing self-awareness, individual growth, and the ability to adapt to change. Lauren aids others in increasing their awareness of their unique patterns of thoughts and behaviors, and the purpose behind them. By guiding others in identifying distorted or unhealthy thinking patterns, Lauren’s aim is to assist in modifying those thought processes and behaviors to form healthier patterns that improve day to day functioning. She strives to empower others to further understand their past and current decisions and increase autonomy in order to create continuity between their actions, values, beliefs, and goals. Lauren aims to identify and utilize one’s individual strengths to develop realistic and achievable expectations.

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Dr. Jo Wolthusen, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Individual and Family Therapist | Clinical Supervisor | Marketing Director
Dr. Wolthusen's Bio

I understand how important it is for the client to feel comfortable and safe with their therapist – it’s essential in making therapy a successful experience. That is why I strive to provide each client with a safe, therapeutic environment. I assist clients in setting goals in the interest of achieving insight and increased self-awareness with an ultimate goal is self-empowerment and realized potential.

Dr. Wolthusen is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience within a variety of treatment settings including inpatient and outpatient psychiatric hospitals programs and private practice with adolescents, adults and families. Her leadership roles include positions at a county-wide facility for alcohol and substance abuse groups, and an intensive outpatient program for adolescents. She’s also volunteered for an emergency care shelter for adolescent girls.

Dr. Wolthusen believes that therapy is a collaborative endeavor that takes place within a supportive, empathic environment. Through the process of the client achieving insight and increased self-awareness, the ultimate goal of therapy is self-empowerment.

Dr. Wolthusen’s approach to therapy is holistic and integrative, primarily utilizing cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused techniques. She is experienced with a broad range of treatment areas and clinical populations including adolescents, adults, and families.

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Jennifer Navarro, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Individual and Group Therapist | Executive Function Coach and Aging Population Specialist
Jennifer Navarro's Bio

I have a passion for working with older adults and children. I want to bring my experience as a teacher and social worker together to provide the best possible care.

Jennifer began her career as an elementary school teacher where she taught children with a variety of needs including children with learning disabilities, special needs and gifted intellectual abilities. She tutors young children and helps train children of all ages to work and develop their executive functioning skills. After several years as a stay-at-home mother of two children, Jennifer completed her MSW in 2012. Jennifer has focused on the older adult population by working with older adults and their families to navigate through the complex matters of planning for care, chronic medical conditions including dementia related diseases and end of life decisions. Jennifer believes that the informal caregivers for older adults need to learn to manage their own self-care in order to be most helpful to their aging parents. By engaging caregivers in support groups, family meetings and individual counseling, Jennifer can assist the entire family unit with enhancing the later years of life.  

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Natalia Binkowski Kaplan, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Individual and Family Therapist | Child Specialist
Natalia Binkowski Kaplan's Bio

We are excited to have Natalia join our practice as our new child specialist. Natalia enjoys working with kids, teens, and adults of all ages struggling with a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, family stress, OCD, adjustment/life transition issues, self-esteem issues, and behavioral issues.

Natalia is excited to continue her work with kids and teens at the Long Grove Center for Emotional Health. Her main goals when working with kids and adolescents are to help them understand their emotions and be able to express themselves appropriately, manage any stressors or reactions that may come up during tough and challenging days, attain and build healthier and meaningful social skills, build better parent-child relationships and understanding of one another, and improve overall stress management both in and outside of the home.

Natalia draws from a variety of methodologies and empirically-supported treatments to help each client meet their needs and goals, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Play Therapy. She provides a warm, empathetic, and nonjudgmental therapeutic environment and wants her clients to feel welcome and supported. Natalia focuses on her client’s strengths in order to help build a better foundation for ongoing positive change.

Natalia earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Loyola University Chicago. Natalia feels that working with her clients is a privilege like none other, allowing her to be their biggest supporter as they step up to the plate to face their challenges head on.