Our Team

Dr. Cindi-Marie Willoughby Psy.D, CDP

Clinical Psychologist

I am the owner and founder of the Willoughby Center for Behavioral Health, LLC. I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Dementia Practitioner in the State of Illinois. I am a telehealth ceritfied provider.  I completed my Doctor of Psychology Degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2010.  I have worked in a variety of settings including community mental health centers in Skokie, Chicago, and Joliet, as well as a residential substance abuse / dependency facility in Chicago.  I have extensive training and experience working with children, adolescents, and adults.  A significant focus for clinical skills has been treating clients with mood disorders, anxiety, trauma-spectrum disorders, crisis intervention, substance abuse / dependency, relationship issues,  schizophrenia and LGBTQIA issues.  I have facilitated groups on effective communication, coping skills, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with adult populations.  

Rachel Meriwether



I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) psychotherapist specializing in Trauma-Informed Care. Using an eclectic treatment model I focus on treating the whole person, considering the causes of trauma, and taking into account past trauma and the resulting coping mechanisms when attempting to understand behaviors and treating the patient. I received my MSW from DePaul University in 2010, and have served a broad spectrum of patients in their mental health care needs in settings including the department of corrections, youth facilities, universities, inpatient healthcare facilities, intensive out-patient care, and private and group practices in Chicago and the city’s northern and western suburbs. I treat children, adolescents, adults, and seniors in individual, couples, family, and group therapy. My areas of expertise and focus include:  Trauma;  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;  Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;  Anxiety;  Depression;  Adjustment Disorders;  Anger Management;  LGBTQ youth and adults;  Personality disorders;  Symptom management;  Post-hospitalization reintegration. My approach to patient care is to employ sincere and organic empathy with each individual, and to work with my patients to identify and bolster their strengths. I consider it a true honor to be a step in a person’s journey from surviving to thriving. 

Ariel McGrew


Born and raised on Chicago’s southside, I am down to Earth and oriented towards your ultimate goal in therapeutic process. My orientation is Adlerian, but I draw from a range of treatment modalities and techniques to ensure I have met you where you are at - to take you where you wish to go. I am a published author, counselor, advocate, entrepreneur, and military veteran. I possess the ability to show up with authenticity, vulnerability, and courage. My experience runs the gamut from youth and identity development (9-19), military and transition (primarily Reservist), women’s issues and domestic violence, and coaching entrepreneurs. My unrelenting passion and commitment to empower others is one of my greatest joys being a Licensed Professional Counselor. Ariel holds a master’s in arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and is successfully pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in Business Psychology. She is also a Qualified Mental Health Professional and is certified in Workforce Trends and Equity, and Nonprofit Leadership, Non-profit Leadership Alliance ™, GrowthWheel Advisor, GrowthWheel Inc ©, High Impact Presenter, Gale Carnegie ® Certified Peer Specialist, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance ™, and Mental Health and First Aid, Mental Health First Aid England ™ Ariel is also a proud parent of a creative and independent-minded young daughter, and is a contributing member of civil rights and social actions organizations in her native Chicagoland communities.

 Monica Chovanec

 Ed.S., M.Ed., NCSP

I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. I have earned my Masters in Education - in School Psychology and Educational Specialist Degree - in School Psychology. I am able to conduct psychological evaluations for the purpose of educational planning and programming. I have been practicing for 10 years as a school psychologist working with children and adolescents (Pre-k-21). I have a certification in mindfulness practice and believe in the benefits of mindfulness for all ages. My work with clients focuses on the whole-child and incorporates family systems and dynamics to the greatest extent possible.  I utilize many techniques in my work with clients including CBT, ACT, Solution-Focused Therapy, DBT, and psychoanalytic perspectives. Working with children and adolescents is my specialty and I genuinely love it; specifically anxiety, identity issues (LGBTQIA affirming), adjustment disorders, depression, mood disorders, Autism and special needs, family systems issues, trauma, substance use, and executive functioning deficits . Personally, I enjoy my family, relaxing in the sun, gardening, reading, and trying new restaurants. I am the owner and founder of Angelbaby.Inc which focuses on products for children and adolescents to enhance creativity, mindfulness, and fun! 

April Ripley


I am a Licensed Social Worker who has a passion for working with individuals, families and groups utilizing a client-centered solutions-focused approach to build a “tool box” of resources, skills and individualized evidence-based care. 
  As a Trauma-Based Behavioral Health Fellow from the 2018-2019 cohort, I have spent significant time studying trauma and its effects, and utilizing trauma-informed, evidence based modalities to reduce the impact of trauma.
  I have worked with all ages to provide care for those who have experienced trauma, relationship issues, behavioral concerns, attachment difficulties, anxiety, depression, spiritual needs, substance use, adoption, and other psychosocial disorders. I have experience in many modalities, including EMDR, CBT, TF-CBT, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure, and others.
  I have a passion to build motivation and feelings of empowerment in working as a team together to reach goals, build strengths, and create lasting positive change. 

Danielle Wright



I received my master’s degree in social work from Aurora University (M.S.W). I have been dedicated in working with children for over ten years with personal, educational, and clinical experiences. I have a strong connection with children and adolescents stemming from my experience working with DCFS and advocating for children and families and currently pursuing my L.C.S.W licensure. I am experienced in treating: Trauma; ∙ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; ∙ Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; ∙ Anxiety; ∙ Depression; ∙ Adjustment Disorders; ∙ Anger Management; ∙ LGBTQ youth and adults; ∙ Personality disorders; Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders; couples counseling; Family Counseling.

I am committed to fostering an therapeutic relationship that enforces those cornerstones and having my clients to feel safe, trusting, and confide in me. Together, we will explore and go through the process that each person (or child) wants to change in attitude, self-esteem, behavior, problem that they are undergoing, bullying, or relationship conflict.

My approach is interactive, conversational, down-to-earth, and peppered with humor and creativity. I am dedicated to helping each client address and work through their concerns. I have a particular passion to work with children, adolescents, and young adults on emotional expressiveness, anxiety, coping skills and social skills. Additional areas of expertise include marital intimacy, parent coaching, existential quandaries, anti-bullying initiatives, IL 504/IEP advocacy, public speaking, and overall well-being. 


Denea Bialeschki


I am a Licensed Social Worker who enjoys working with individuals, families and groups in diverse cultures and populations. I have experience in grief counseling and end of life planning, training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA Therapy), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Play Therapy and in mindfulness techniques. I have extensive training providing therapy with individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities such as Autism, Attention Deficit (ADHD), Intellectual deficits, behavior disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and in memory loss such as dementia and Alzheimers Disease. I am an Illinois BHWELL scholar (a clinical certificate and scholarship program from the University of Illinois). I learned team-based models for integrating physical and mental health services in primary care settings in rural and underserved areas to treat both physical and mental health as a whole. I am also a National Certified Guardian by the Center for Guardianship to provide commitment to encouraging, supporting and fostering best practices for individuals under adult guardianship. 

Lauren Kolesin

MA, Intern, Doctoral Student 

I am a master’s level clinician and a current doctorate PsyD. student in clinical
psychology. I work with pre-adolescents, adolescents, and adults, and I strive to a safe and non-
judgmental setting for the individuals I work with. The client should feel supported, empowered,
validated. My general approach to therapy draws from psychodynamic and object-relational
theory with interventions from art and play therapy, positive psychology, mindfulness, and
cognitive behavioral therapies that are culturally sensitive to the client. My past experiences have
taught me to recognize the therapy process to be different for every client and I work to tailor
each session to every individual. I have worked in several settings that have taught me the
importance of the therapeutic relationship. I had the privilege of beginning my clinical career in a
community mental health setting where I worked with individuals experiencing severe mental
health concerns, along with a diagnostic practicum in a medical detoxification setting. I
administered neuropsychological testing for individuals dealing with substance abuse issues. I
completed my therapy externship at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections where I provided
individual and group therapy for adult offenders. I have also worked in the emergency
department for Saint Anthony Hospital on the south side of Chicago. I have experience in a
private practice setting where I worked primarily with children, adolescents, and adults. I have
worked with a
broad range of issues including substance abuse, personality and mood disorders,
grief, attachment concerns, crisis intervention, parenting from prison, adjustment disorders,
trauma, anxiety,
and depression. I also understand that therapy can feel uncomfortable at times,
and I encourage clients to move at a pace that feels comfortable to them. I strive to
a safe
environment for unprocessed traumas to
in session and help to provide recognition that
one is not defined by what they have gone through.

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