A note from our Clinical Director: Christine Decker, PsyD
Welcome to The Tree House!
I am not only the parent of four children with varying degrees of special needs, but I have also worked with children and adolescents as clinical a psychologist in a private therapeutic setting for the past twenty years. I have seen a need in our area for unique programming to support the healthy development of all children, whether they are typically developing or have unique challenges.
Our therapists and I are really excited about our programs! As you read through this web site, you will come across different types of opportunities to support the development of your child aged eighteen months to eighteen years. We have friendship and social skills groups, camps, Friday Night Outs, volunteer opportunities for children and teens, stress busting activities and many other fun groups that strengthen the mind and body! Most of our wide range of services are covered by insurance and during convenient times for busy families like our own. Please continue to check in with us for updates to our programming and new additions to our web site!
We look forward to hearing from you!
Dr. Chris Decker
Christine Decker, Psy.D.
Dr. Chris Decker is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with children, teens and their families. Her areas of expertise include individual, group and family psychotherapy as well as offering advocate assistance for school IEP and 504 plans. Dr. Decker offers parenting support and encouragement being a Mom of children with various special needs. She specializes in the treatment of psychological and neuropsychological disorders commonly seen in children, such as anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. During therapy that focuses on the unique strengths of the client, he or she will learn individualized skills and coping skills to handle life’s disappointments and various stressors common with families and children when various degrees ofspecial needs are involved.
Caryn Goldberg, LCPC
Caryn Goldberg is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, who received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Roosevelt University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Caryn has over 12 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families within a variety of therapeutic settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and private practice. Her passion is helping children, adolescents and young adults take ownership of their behavior and make changes that will benefit them in all areas of their lives. Her experience includes working with patients struggling with life transitions, school related issues, self-esteem, anxiety, mood disorders, family issues, ADHD, behavioral problems and addiction. She works closely with parents, schools and other important entities in the child's/adolescent’s life, to facilitate the therapeutic process. Caryn uses a variety of modalities in achieving client goals, and her approach is warm, supportive, collaborative and solution focused. Caryn believes that a strong, supportive therapeutic relationship and feelings of safety and trust are very important to the therapeutic relationship.
Jillian Cohen is a Professional Certified School Counselor with a Masters Degree in School Counseling. She has over 10 years of experience working in various private Chicago area school districts as a school counselor providing services to students ages 4-13 with or without special needs. Jillian has also worked with special education summer programs for the past 15 years. Jillian works with students individually and in group settings, focusing on building self esteem, coping skills, managing self control, and developing behavioral and social skills.
Margaret Pragalz is a Certified Special Education Teacher (birth -18 years old) who has worked with the special education population for over 25 years. She is also a Certified YogaKids Teacher (CYKT), specializing in children with special needs.
Genevieve (Genny) Chesney is a certified in child and family welfare and has a masters degree in school social work. With over 10 years of experience working with pre-adolescents, Genny’s focus is on anxiety, ADHD, and social skills.
Jennifer Wagner, LCSW
Jennifer Wagner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 12 years of experience in providing individual, family, and group therapy. She has worked with a diverse population of clients (ages 2 yrs-adult) in a variety of settings. The main focus of her professional experience has been with children/adolescents, families, and young adults with a range of issues including mood disorders, anxiety, ADHD, behavioral concerns, school related difficulties, parenting struggles, self-esteem, and family/relationship issues. Jenn offers advocate assistance for school IEP and 504 plans as well. She is also experienced in directly working with military families who have children ages 6 weeks-18 years old addressing topics surrounding military family issues, child behavioral/emotional issues, deployment/reintegration and transitions. Jennifer likes to incorporate a combination of clinical approaches while collaborating with a client, their family, and outside providers/schools to reach their goals in a laid-back supportive environment.
Ameera Khan, LPC
Ameera Khan is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master's in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Children and Adolescents. Her area of expertise is children and not limited to, ADHD, anxiety, autism and depression, through both individual, and group therapy sessions. She believes that each child or teen has unique needs, therefore, her clinical approach involves collaboration and working with client and his or her family to find a treatment plan that best suits them in a supportive and friendly environment. Ameera aims to work with her clients to better their relationships and life choices using a holistic, evidence-based approach. This approach integrates cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, play therapy and mindfulness. She believes that the most important part of therapy is to work with clients towards overall wellness and better quality of life and aims to provide this through her sessions.
Julie Ludwick, MAAT, ATR-BC, LCPC
Julie Ludwick is a board certified art therapist and licensed clinical professional counselor. She received her Masters of Art in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Julie has over 12 years of experience serving children, adolescents, and adults living with a variety of special needs including mood disorders, ADD and ADHD, autism, and physical and intellectual disabilities. Practicing in a person-centered and relational-cultural framework, she offers those she supports opportunities to connect to their creative selves in a safe and respectful space. Art therapy can be therapeutically beneficial in many ways including, building self-esteem, self-identity, self-determination, problem solving skills, and relationship skills. Art therapy offers a wealth of opportunities for expression and communication, leading to greater self-awareness.
Becca Canastra, MT-BC
Becca Canastra, MT-BC is a board certified music therapist with over 18 years of experience. She works throughout area school districts as a music therapist servicing special education students ages 3-22. Becca also provides individual music therapy and piano lessons to area students with and without special needs.