Meet Our Therapists

The Center for Youth and Family Solutions’ Counseling Program provides community access to affordable, high-quality therapy services to empower and assist individuals, couples and families in resolving their concerns and relationship issues. Get to know our therapists by clicking on “View Bio”.

Tatenda Perry

MSW, LCSW

Brittany Shannon

Email

MSW

Demi Garcia

MA

Melissa Shanley

MS, LCPC

Carolee Coleman

MS, MA

Chunrong Zhao

MA

Rachel Bell

LPC

Renee Demierre

MSW

Lauren DiLorenzo

MSW

Yolanda Kirk

MA

Theresa Dennis

LCPC

Rebekah Johnson

MSW

Mary Beth Zelenski

LCPC

Kim Mercer

LMFT

Patrick Carlson

MSW, LCSW, AAMFT

Chris Sallee

MA LPC

Linda Williams

MSW LCSW

Annemarie Chambliss

MS

Edmund Au

LCPC, LSOTP, MA

Michelle Gaede

MA, LCPC

Penny Kain

LCSW, LISW, MSW

Jessica Wolf

LCPC, MS

Meet Our Therapists

Tatenda Perry

Designation : MSW, LCSW

Serving clients in the Peoria area, Tatenda has spent the last 14 years working in social services. She currently serves as the Peoria location Clinical Supervisor. Tatenda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned her Master’s of Social Work. Her professional interests include child welfare and foster care.  She describes her counseling approach as using an eclectic combination of Trust-Based Relational Interventions (TBRI), Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Theraplay and Play Therapy.  She is interested in studying and learning more about child welfare, systemic oppression and how poverty impacts child abuse and neglect in my community.

Meet Our Therapists

Brittany Shannon

Designation : MSW

Serving clients in the LaSalle area, Brittany has been in practice for the last four years.  She earned both a Master’s of Science in both Sociology and Social Work.  Brittany’s area of interest is working with teens, primarily suffering from peer relationships and the overall challenges of daily living. She also has experience working with adults who face challenges of substance abuse, depression, and other substantial mental health barriers. She has been trained in Problematic Sexualized Behavior and the modalities of Theraplay. She works with individuals of all ages.  Her counseling approach is to allow a client to guide their experience in my office. She finds joy in discussing life barriers that so many of us face in our day to day lives. Her goal as a counselor is to provide an overall genuine and approachable vibe for each individual that joins me in the journey of their own mental health success. She hopes to provide clients with guidance and advice, but ultimately support in any that are preventing them from living life to the fullest.  She enjoys the experiences involved with traveling, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying weekends at home with my four-legged companions.

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Demi Garcia

Designation : MA

Serving clients in the Lincoln area, Demi earned her Master’s of Art in Human Development Counseling. Her area of expertise is working with children and adults who have experienced trauma due to domestic violence, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. She would like to work with women who have experienced issues with Codependency and abusive relationships. Her dream would be to eventually open a wellness clinic uses a holistic approach to mental health.   She uses a Person-Centered theory to work with clients.  In her personal time, she enjoys doing Crossfit workouts, using essential oils, Reiki meditation, and spending time with her cat Cali.

Meet Our Therapists

Melissa Shanley

Designation : MS, LCPC

Serving clients in the Champaign and Danville areas, Melissa has been working in the field for the last twelve years.  She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and earned her Master’s of Science in Clinical Counseling.  Her areas of expertise are in emotional intelligence, mindfulness, anger management, anxiety management, relationships: communication, conflicts, and boundaries.  Melissa’s approach to counseling is eclectic drawing from long-term experience with Cognitive Behavioral, Interpersonal, Group and Dialectical Behavioral therapies. She is a big fan of Positive Psychology Interventions to enhance well-being.  In her personal time, she enjoys spending it with family/friends, listening to music, yoga practice, traveling, reading/researching and hiking. She has traveled as far as New Zealand to hike and sectioned hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail here in the US – completing the trail in its entirety is on her bucket list.

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Carolee Coleman

Designation : MS, MA

Serving clients in the Peoria area, Carolee earned her Master’s of Science in Counseling and a Master’s of Art in Teaching.  She enjoys incorporating the use of art in therapeutic ways and has extensive training/ experience working with individuals struggling with Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse, and Trauma.   Carolee has an eclectic approach that is rooted in a client-centered foundation. She enjoys emotion-focused work as well as cognitive behavioral work that incorporates mindfulness and believes it is vital for her clients to have a safe and non-judgmental environment to heal, and that through that healing, positive life-changes are able to occur.  In her personal time, she enjoys painting, walking in nature, water activities, and connect with friends and family.

Meet Our Therapists

Chunrong Zhao

Designation : MA

Serving clients in the Galesburg area, Chunrong earned her Master’s of Art in Counseling and also has a Master’s of Education.  Her professional interests include helping clients who endured childhood trauma and struggles with traumatic distress and depression.  While she works with all ages, she enjoys teenage and emerging adulthood.  Her approach to therapy is providing a genuine interest and care for her client’s life which allows her to create a safe, warm, and supportive therapeutic relationship with her clients. In addition to the humanistic approach, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Developmental Psychology, Trauma-informed Therapy, and Family systems are other approaches she often integrates into her treatment. In her personal time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and watching movies.  

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Rachel Bell

Designation : LPC

Serving clients in our Peoria location, Rachel is a Licensed Professional Counselor and she earned her Master’s of Art in Human Development Counseling and is a licensed professional counselor.  Her professional expertise is in individual, couple and family counseling; emotional and behavioral struggles; relationship concerns; parenting; communication; trauma and abuse; anxiety, depression and other mood disorders; stress; adjustment issues; Theraplay trained.  Her approach to therapy is trauma-focused and she likes to use a strength-based approach. 

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Renee Demierre

Designation : MSW

Serving clients in the Champaign and Danville areas, Renee earned a Master’s of Social Work and also has a certificate for the Social Aspects of Aging. Renee’s professional expertise is working with the aging population, specifically older adults. She also continues her education, in order to be trauma-informed when working with clients of all ages. She uses a strength-based counseling approach and wants to help her clients feel empowered as they work towards their goals.  In her personal time, Renee enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.  

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Lauren DiLorenzo

Designation : MSW

Serving clients in the Bloomington area, Lauren earned her Master’s of Social Work.  Her area of expertise is in working with children and youth involved in the foster care system but also enjoys working with adults and families as well. She also has experience in medical social work as an inpatient case manager where she assisted patients on the Intensive Care Unit, and several years of experience in substance abuse treatment, where she conducted substance use and mental health assessments for clients. She focuses on a vast array of concerns that include: anxiety, depression, trauma, abuse/neglect, grief and loss, anger management, self-esteem, stress, Parenting, Attachment, Social Skills, Conflict Resolution, and Substance Use. Her counseling approach utilizes a variety of treatment methods, including an eco-systemic family systems approach, play therapy techniques, and expressive therapy (sandplay). Her intent is to help individuals and families improve their level of functioning by becoming empowered to manage the complexities of their lives. She enjoys partnering with my clients to create the best therapeutic experience and optimal change and growth for each client. In her personal time, Lauren loves to spend her free time cooking, painting, and also enjoys playing board games with friends and relaxing while watching Netflix.

Meet Our Therapists

Yolanda Kirk

Designation : MA

Serving clients in the Rock Island area, Yolanda earned a Master’s of Arts in Human Services: Marriage and Family as well as a certificate of ministry license and ordination. Her approach to therapy is hope-focused as she teaches strategies to build love, faith and work into relationships.  She also uses a cognitive behavior approach which teaches clients to change negative, unwanted thoughts and behaviors.  In her personal time, Yolanda enjoys teaching, reading, avid movie goer; traveling and shopping

Meet Our Therapists

Theresa Dennis

Designation : LCPC

Serving clients in the Peoria location, Theresa has 35 years of experience in the counseling field.  She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and earned her Master’s in Community Counseling.  Theresa holds a professional interest in trauma-informed care, relational therapies, and working with children 5-18 years old and adults, and families involved in the child welfare system.  She views her counseling approach as client-centered, strengths-based and skill building.

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Rebekah Johnson

Designation : MSW

Serving clients in the Springfield area, Rebekah earned her Master’s of Social Work.  She uses a strength-based and trauma-informed approach in her therapy.  In her personal time, she enjoys reading, learning as well as spending time with friend and family sharing meals, laughter, and memories.

Meet Our Therapists

Mary Beth Zelenski

Designation : LCPC

Serving clients in the LaSalle area, Mary Beth has 24 years of service in the counseling field.  Mary Beth is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  She earned a Master’s in Education with a Counseling emphasis.  She has expertise in counseling birth parents, assisting with options counseling, counseling with adults experiencing depression and/or anxiety, the phase of life challenges, and parenting challenges. Her approach to therapy includes forming a positive therapeutic relationship with her clients and to utilize therapeutic strategies that will best support the clients as they work to achieve their goals. In her personal time, Mary Beth enjoys reading, spending time with family (especially grandchildren) following baseball, connecting with friends and yard work.

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Kim Mercer

Designation : LMFT

Serving clients in the LaSalle area, Kim has over 16 years’ experience in the counseling field and serves as one of our clinical supervisors. Kim is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.    Her areas of expertise include working with mental health issues, relationship issues, addiction and behavioral issues treating children, couples, individuals, and LGBTQ.  She is experienced in helping clients find their strengths and gain new tools to achieve their life goals.   She has worked with trauma, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and relationship issues. Kim has training in couples therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical borderline treatment, family systems theory, solution-focused therapy, and ARC- attachment, self-regulation, and competency.  Kim’s approach to therapy is to work with each client to find the best approach and fit for the client which is client-centered and identifying where they want to be in life and how to achieve their goals.   In her personal time, Kim enjoys practicing her own self-care by spending time in nature and with family.

Meet Our Therapists

Patrick Carlson

Designation : MSW, LCSW, AAMFT

Serving clients in the Rock Island area, Pat has 34 years of counseling experience and serves as The Center for Youth and Family Solutions Clinical Director.  Pat is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and he earned his Master’s of Social Work.  His expertise is in couples therapy; child/adolescent behavioral issues; depression; family relational issues; blended families; life cycle transitions; grief and loss.  His approach to therapy is what he refers to as collaborative therapy.  Pat feels his job is to listen to people to help them decide which direction they want to go and then help them get started in that direction. In his personal time, Pat enjoys being a “Birder” and participate in annual bird census activities such as the Christmas Bird Count and the Illinois Spring Bird Count. He also has eclectic musical tastes and attends classical and jazz concerts. Pat also volunteers with the Band and Orchestra Parents Association for his son’s high school.

Meet Our Therapists

Chris Sallee

Designation : MA LPC

Serving clients in the Peoria area, Chris has 33 years of counseling experience.  Chris is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  She earned her Master’s of Arts in counseling.  Her area of expertise is in mood disorders, trauma, addictions, sand tray, and expressive journaling.  Chris’ counseling approach is using reality therapy, person-centered, and solution focused brief therapy.  In her personal time, Chris has interests in Greyhound rescue, landscaping, traveling, and St. Louis Cardinals Baseball. 

Meet Our Therapists

Linda Williams

Designation : MSW LCSW

Serving clients in the Peoria area, Linda has over 24 years of counseling experience. Linda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and she earned her Master’s of Social Work. Linda’s area of expertise includes working primarily with adults.  Her approach to counseling includes cognitive behavioral therapy. Her primary personal interest is getting closer to Christ.

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Annemarie Chambliss

Designation : MS

Serving clients primarily in Peoria and in LaSalle on Thursdays, Ashley earned her Master’s of Science in Clinical-Counseling Psychology.  Her area of expertise is in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and enjoys using these techniques whenever possible.  She is interested in working with clients in consensual non-monogamous relationships. Ashley also is able to speak Spanish and is in the process of improving her skills to better serve my Spanish-speaking clients. She considers her counseling approach as primarily person-centered, adjusting her approach depending on her clients’ current needs.  Her primary goal is to meet her clients wherever they are without rushing change; only the client can decide when and how to change.  She feels she is simply here to guide the client on their journey to find the best path. 

Meet Our Therapists

Edmund Au

Designation : LCPC, LSOTP, MA

Serving clients in Lincoln and Springfield, Edmund has over 24 years of counseling experience.  Edmund is a Licensed Certified Professional Counselor and a Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider.  He earned his Master’s of Arts in counseling. Edmund’s primary area of expertise is working with children, adults, families, and couples on issues such as childhood trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, anger, and sexual abuse (victim/perpetrator).  He views his counseling approach as using trauma-focused and family systems to help clients and families understand the process of therapy, what it entails, and provides a safe and supportive environment where healing, recovery, and growth can take place.

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Michelle Gaede

Designation : MA, LCPC

Serving clients in the Peoria area, Michelle has over seven years of counseling experience.  She is a Licensed Certified Professional Counselor and earned her Master’s of Arts in Counseling Psychology and also has a Master’s of Arts in Human Services- Child and Family Studies.  Michelle’s area of expertise includes trauma, addiction, dual diagnosis, depression, anxiety, adjustment issues, LGBTQ population, veteran and military population, individuals, teens, young adults, groups.  Her counseling approach is done through a trauma-focused, biopsychosocial, strengths-based lens, often utilizing a mix of elements from trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness, narrative therapy, play therapy, art therapy, and solution-focused therapy for individuals, families, and group therapy.  In her personal time, Michelle enjoys kayaking, hiking, going to the gym, eating, reading, and spending time with family.

Meet Our Therapists

Penny Kain

Designation : LCSW, LISW, MSW

Serving clients in the Rock Island area, Penny has over 18 years experience in counseling.  Penny is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as a Licensed Independent Social Worker.  She earned a Master’s of Social Work.  Penny’s area of expertise is divorce/custody mediation, mood disorders, grief, trauma, family, couple and individual therapy.   Her counseling approach is to provide a safe, supportive environment, which allows clients to discover their own healing potential. I practice a variety of intervention styles (e.g. talk therapy, play therapy, mindfulness/meditation, life/health coaching), attending to the learning style of each client and ensuring that treatment goals are met. In her personal time, Penny enjoys running, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.

Meet Our Therapists

Jessica Wolf

Designation : LCPC, MS

Serving clients in the Bloomington area, Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  She earned her Master’s of Science in Clinical-Counseling Psychology.  Her area of expertise includes expectations in relationships, and conflict resolution strategies; attachment in relationships and its impact on behavior. She enjoys working with children and adults and also has experience working with clients in crisis and helping them to stabilize within the community. Her counseling approach includes viewing therapy as a collaborative process where she and her clients both have their own knowledge and strengths to bring to the table.  She utilizes a trauma-informed, cognitive-behavioral approach and incorporates services with family members when it is beneficial to the client.  In her personal time, Jessica enjoys spending time with friends and family, listening to music/attending concerts, running/working out, and binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix.