Clinicians

Psychiatry

Alfreda Grosrenaud, M.D.

Alfreda Grosrenaud, M.D.

I am a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience working with children experiencing emotional, social, behavioral, and learning challenges. I completed my residency program in Psychiatry and my fellowship program in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. Following completion of my clinical training, I spent 12 years as the Medical Director of Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Outpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program, where I continued for over 2 years as a consultant for the clinic. For the past 10 years, I have served as the Medical Director of the Inpatient Unit for adolescent girls at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center. In addition to my clinical practice, I also enjoy teaching and have had the pleasure of educating a variety of medical students, as well as, psychiatric and pediatric residents in the assessment and treatment of children with emotional and behavioral disorders.

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Birju Patel, M.D.

Dr. Birju Patel

I am a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist experienced with the treatment of emotional, interpersonal, and behavioral disturbances. These areas include: depression, anxiety, mood instability, and executive functioning dysregulation. I received my medical degree from Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School. I completed my general psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City and my child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

 

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Soo Lee, M.D.

I am a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist experienced in the assessment and treatment of social, emotional, and behavioral disturbances. I completed my general psychiatry residency at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and my child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Rush University Medical Center. Before joining AFC Guidance Center, I was an assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, the medical director of the Autism Clinic, principal investigator for industry-sponsored clinical drug trials and co-investigator for other various grants. I have also worked in a multidisciplinary treatment team at the Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment, and Services (AARTS) Center at Rush.  

Learn more about Dr. Lee


Psychologists

Kimberly A. Mula, Psy.D.

Kimberly A. Mula, Psy.D.

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have been working with many children, adolescents and their families over the course of the past 20 years. I have gained an understanding of the numerous challenges my clients face in life, but I have also grown personally and professionally as a result of these interactions. I recognize how complicated life can be and how overwhelming it can become when a child or adolescent is struggling. I understand the importance of early identification, assessment and intervention. I believe that change occurs with the assistance and support of family, friends and others. I utilize a collaborative approach striving to create a safe and supportive environment for my clients and their families where concerns can be explored, individual, strengths can be recognized and personal growth can occur. I incorporate differing modalities of treatment including the use of cognitive and behavioral interventions, art and play therapeutic interventions to achieve clients’ individual treatment goals. I advocate for my clients’ needs by working together with school systems aiding in the development of educational plans designed to meet a clients’ cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral needs.

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Yehuda Smolarcik, Psy.D.

Yehuda Smolarcik, Psy.D.

I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and have been working with children, adolescents and adults in both outpatient and inpatient treatment settings for almost 10 years. I was awarded both my Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago, and have received focused training in multiple forms of psychological assessment, including neuropsychological, psycho-educational and personality assessments. I have also received extensive training in child and adolescent therapies, and both traditional and “third-wave” models of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy. I completed my pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the United Stand Counseling Center, a not-for-profit organization that provides school-based assessment and intervention services to children and adolescents, and have also trained and worked in multiple other treatment settings, including community mental health agencies, psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and private practice.

Learn more about Dr. Smolarcik

 

Seth Preminger, Psy.D.

seth preminger psychologist

As a Clinical Psychotherapist, I have a lot of experience working with children and adolescents and their families. Even before graduate school, I worked on a college campus and volunteered with this population, which is what led me to want to pursue my degree. During my training and clinical experience, I have come to understand how children and adolescents function and what they need to succeed at a high level because that is my goal: to provide them with the tools necessary to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

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Lauren Eakin, Psy.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow

Lauren Eaken, Psy.D. 

As a Clinical Psychologist, I have dedicated my career to assisting, supporting, and guiding children, adolescents and their families advocating for their psychological, emotional and educational well-being. It was my desire to support children and families as they navigate the struggles and complications of life that led me to my doctoral training. I sought to further my knowledge and skills in the field of psychology in an effort to support children and their families in the best way possible.

Learn more about Dr. Eakin


Morgan Lasley, Psy.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow

 

Morgan Lasley, Psy.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow 

As a Clinical Psychologist, I have spent the majority of my training working with children/adolescent and young adult populations. I received both my masters and doctoral degrees from Adler University (formerly the Adler School of Professional Psychology) and trained in forensic, neuropsychological, private practice, and therapeutic day school environments. The experiences I have gained across these training experiences has prepared me for culturally-informed and evidence-based treatments.

Learn more about Dr. Lasley


Therapy

Danette Palomar, MA, LCPC, CDS

Danette Palomar, MA, LCPC, CDS

As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Child Development Specialist, I have been providing individual, family and group psychotherapy for more than 20 years.  I have enjoyed working with children, adolescents and their families helping them develop more productive coping strategies, better communication skills, and building a stronger sense of resilience. I believe that early intervention for mental health is key to preventing potential mental illness or reducing its impact, thus contributing to better mental and physical health, learning and socio-economic outcomes throughout life. I approach each family as a unique entity and utilize a variety of treatment modalities to meet their needs. I have extensive experience with issues related to developmental disorders, ADHD, depression, mood/anxiety disorders, bereavement, and trauma. My proficiency in school advocacy allows me to support parents and their children when collaborating with school personnel in the development of individualized education plans and classroom interventions. Throughout the years, I have provided both trainings and consultation to a variety professionals focusing on issues such as early childhood development, childhood anxiety, effective school advocacy, trauma and forensic interviewing.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. Immediately following graduation, I completed a 4 month internship at Children’s Memorial Hospital as a Child Life Specialist on the Oncology Unit. Following my internship, I developed and implemented apart-time Child Life Program at Lutheran General Hospital where the focus was on supporting families of children with acute and chronic medical illness. Soon after, I joined Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program as a forensic interviewer/trauma specialist and psychotherapist. In 1999, I received a Master of Arts in Counseling and Child Development with a specialization in Early Intervention from DePaul University. For the past several years I have had the opportunity to work with a wonderful team at Afg Guidance Center where I continue my work as a psychotherapist and Child Development Specialist. Additionally, as the Master’s level training director for Afg, I find great reward and pleasure in sharing my years of knowledge and experience with our interns. I perceive learning as an ongoing process and the opportunity to work with these bright young minds, provides for me, as a clinician, the ability to continue to learn and grow.

Finally, I believe that creative expression is inherent to a child’s growth, development and healing processes, and incorporate my years of formal dance/movement training and experience in the expressive arts to promote healing and well-being.

Ben Spanner, M.A., LPC, NCC

Ben Spanner

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I have received extensive training in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Prior to pursuing my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University, I was employed as a Dean of Students at a Chicago college, where I worked with adolescents and young adults in an academic support capacity. This experience spurred my love for counseling and mentoring and prompted my decision to pursue a Masters Degree in counseling to enhance my own personal growth. I completed my clinical training in an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting, and most recently worked at a community mental health agency in the Pilsen community where I performed individual and family therapy with a diverse range of children, adolescents, and adults. I have a broad range of experience working with behavioral health issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, parent/child relationship problems, and family discord, and I also have a particular interest in helping adolescents and young adults navigate the stress of transitional environments (school, college, relationships, and emerging adulthood).

Throughout my work in higher education, clinical training, and psychotherapy, I have gained much appreciation for the value of supportive empathy in helping those who are experiencing difficulties. I strongly believe that each individual desires to be the best they can be, and I see my professional role as being to help that person or family obtain their goals with clear, empathic, and open understanding. I trust in a strength-based approach to psychotherapy, which incorporates elements of Solution-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Family Systems theories, delivered through a client-centered framework that emphasizes empathy and unconditional positive regard. I believe that children and adolescents are adaptable and full of potential, yet are at times lacking in their abilities to realize and achieve their fullest level of functioning. Additionally, I believe that the family system, with all its idiosyncrasies, imprints lasting values and beliefs among its members. I strive to provide a climate that is trusting, free of judgment, and oriented toward the achievement of goals, and also see my role as a therapist to reinforce the strengths of the family system, and to families navigate the ever-changing landscape of their emotional, behavior, and emotional needs.

I am happy to have joined the team at AFG Guidance Center, as the center has a strong multi-disciplinary dynamic, with specialties designed to help both the individual and the family unit. The work being done at AFG is as inspiring to me as it is intellectually curious, and I am honored to have become a part of this team.

Somer Totheroh, M.A., LPC​

Somer Totheroh, M.A., LPC

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I have worked closely with children, adolescents, families, and young adults in various settings. My clinical experiences have been in a university-based clinic, outpatient community mental health, and private practice. During my pursuit of my Master’s Degree at Ball State University I was able to receive training in various types of therapy, as well as hone my specific interests of treating the young population. I am specifically drawn to assisting older children and adolescents form healthy identities and relationships with others. In each different setting I have worked in, I have treated individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, peer relationships, and school/family problems. I believe in the power of empathy and a healthy therapeutic relationship in my client’s treatment. My first goal in treatment is to build a strong therapeutic rapport by engaging my clients in their own personal interests, whether through arts and crafts, sports, or play/games. It is very important for me to establish a calm setting to promote a sense of peace in my clients’ lives. I practice therapy from a Cognitive Behavioral lens, and I also integrate mindfulness into my treatment. In order to understand children and adolescents’ needs, it is necessary to treat them within the context of the family unit. I find that family therapy is often necessary for many children and young adolescents.

At AFG Guidance Center, I have experienced continued training and support from a comprehensive team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. I primarily work from the Lincolnshire office but continue to feel as one team between both locations due to our shared vision for our clients.

Parfait Kanam, M.A., LPC​

As a therapist, I have provided individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and families. I have always had a passion to work with this population as I understand life’s daily challenges can be difficult to navigate. At my adolescence, I faced multiple changes including moving to the United States, navigating its unique academic system and culture while maintaining my own cultural identity. Experiencing these difficult transitions ignited a desire to pursue a career that will allow me to mentor young individuals through difficult chapters of their lives and help them find empowerment. 

I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and received my Master of Arts in Counseling from Northwestern University.  Additionally, I completed my clinical internship at AFG Guidance Center where I received extensive training with children and adolescents diagnosed with a variety of disorders including Anxiety, ADHD, and Depression. Prior to rejoining the team at AFG Guidance Center, I worked at a private practice where I continued to develop my clinical skills providing therapy to children, adolescents and their families. Throughout my academic and professional career, I have come to understand how experiences shape maladaptive behaviors, and how self-awareness is a key to making therapeutic change. I have developed a deeper clinical insight into helping families understand relationship dynamics, how these dynamics impact the family system and helping them develop strategies to move forward in developing healthy, positive relationships.

My style of therapy is based on the concept of flexibility. I use an integrative approach including the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution focused therapy, and Play Therapy. This allows me to adaptively address an individual or family’s presenting concerns and creatively design a treatment plan based on individual needs. I firmly believe that a healthy family system helps raise a healthy child and find it optimal to include all available members of the family in the treatment process. 

I perceive each child and adolescent to be resilient and full of potential regardless of their obstacles or diagnoses. As a clinician, I believe in guiding them to discovering their unique, internal strengths and finding self-efficacy. While adversities can seemingly inhibit the development of these qualities, they also can provide opportunities to achieve growth and healing. Working at AFG as an intern helped hone my skills as a clinician. I am honored to be back as part of this team that ceaselessly contributes to my development.


Neuropsychology

Elena Labkovsky, Ph.D. BCIA-EEG

Elena Labkovsky, Ph.D. BCIA-EEG

I am a passionate scholar-practitioner in the field of Clinical/Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience, investigating neuronal mechanisms of our brains and trying to understand how patterns of the brain functionality determine people’s behaviors.

For over 20 years, I divide my time between clinical practice, teaching, training, consulting, and scholarly writing and research. My clinical work is based on psychological, neuropsychological, and psychophysiological assessment and interventions.

The specific areas include disorders and conditions associated with changes in the brain functioning as a result of developmental issues, genetics, trauma, infection, poisoning, etc., and they include:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Learning Disabilities (LD)
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Autism and Asperger’s Disorders
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Tourette’s syndrome and other Tic Disorders, and others.

I also have an extensive clinical experience working with patients in minimally conscious state, vegetative state, “locked-in syndrome,” and coma after severe brain traumas. I received my Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Psychology from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. I continued my education and specialized in Clinical Neuropsychology at Moscow University and later completed my post-doctoral training at Northwestern University, Institute of Neuroscience.

My clinical philosophy could be described in two statements. First, I believe that every patient can be helped. A combination of international training and long-term experience helps me to implement this belief. It is a matter of a correct and timely diagnosis, and tailored treatment to achieve success in helping a patient to overcome a psychological/neuropsychological deficit.

Second, I believe that it is important to be open to new ideas and approaches to treatment. With new achievements in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and the expansion of scientific methods, we get advanced and promising tools for dealing with all kinds of psychological problems.

My colleagues and I have developed a comprehensive and innovative approach called “Neurobehavioral Modulation” which allows through utilization of modern advanced neuro-scientific achievements and techniques bring a patient to a new level of neurophysiological functioning and reach peak performance in various areas.

Elena Davydova, Ph.D., Certified Neurofeedback Clinician

Elena Davydova, Ph.D, Certified Neurofeedback Clinician

I have always been fascinated by the incredible potential of the human mind and body. I have made it my mission to learn about and understand human physiology and psychological development.

At an early age in Russia, I challenged myself physically, cognitively, and emotionally as a elite gymnast on the national level. This early childhood experience of pushing myself physically and mentally was the start of my educational and research journey in the areas of psychophysiology and neuropsychology. After completing my undergraduate and master’s degree in Physiology, I entered a doctoral program for Physiology at Shevchenko State University (Ukraine), where my research focused on the physical and psychological learning process of adolescents. Upon completion of my doctoral degree, I returned to my hometown and began teaching undergraduate courses on human development while coaching my first love – rhythmic gymnastics. During this time, I continued my research, expanding my knowledge and understanding of the organic nature of: attention, memory, learning, depression, anxiety and developmental delays.

As a certified neurofeedback clinician (Biofeedback Certification International Alliance, BCIA), I am thrilled to be working with the clinicians and staff at AFG Guidance Center. I believe my work at AFG is further enhanced through my research at Northwestern University and subsequent publications in peer-reviewed journals. I believe that my time spent as an educator, researcher, and clinician has enabled me to provide the highest quality of individualized care to my clients, as well as support to their parents and extended treatment team.