About Us

Dr. Paul Smiley

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Paul Smiley is a board-certified clinical psychologist. He specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma, and concerns related to health and wellness. Dr. Smiley received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then attended Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, where he received his doctorate in 2007. Dr. Smiley has been licensed in Illinois since 2008. He was awarded the rare distinction of board certification in clinical psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology in 2012.

Dr. Smiley completed an APA-accredited internship at Bay Pines Veterans’ Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2007. He continued his work with veterans as a staff psychologist at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, Dr. Smiley returned to his roots in Chicago, where he worked at the James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center (FHCC; formerly the North Chicago VA).

Dr. Smiley is affiliated with Northwestern Medicine and is on staff at Lake Forest Hospital. Dr. Smiley is a member of the American Board of Clinical Psychology, a fellow within the American Academy of Clinical Psychology. He actively serves on national oral examination committees evaluating candidates applying for board certification in clinical psychology.

Chris Blakely

Chris Blakely

Therapist

Dr. Christopher Blakley is a postdoctoral therapist. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Montana, a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, and his doctorate in psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

As a strengths-based therapist, Dr. Blakley is experienced in understanding how anxiety, depression, shame, trauma, personality disorders, and problematic behaviors can interfere with an individual’s day-to-day life. His open-minded and compassionate approach will help clients make adjustments using their existing skill set while incorporating CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing, and psychodynamic theories to improve wellbeing. Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship and Dr. Blakley excels in helping those who have a difficult time expressing themselves in an assertive manner so their feelings are understood and taken seriously by family members, coworkers, and other important people in his client’s lives.

Rachel Califf

Social Worker

Rachel Califf has been a licensed clinical social worker since 2011. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and sociology and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her career began in the elementary school system where she provided therapy to children and their families while also working closely with teachers and administration. She is experienced with issues including anxiety, ADHD, divorce, grief and loss, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral difficulties, and relationship concerns. She has worked with students with mental health and social skills needs, as well as provided support to children, with disabilities.

Rachel works closely with children, families, and adults, giving them the tools to express themselves constructively and to help them develop the confidence that enables them to be their best selves. Rachel believes that therapy is a powerful tool to help people evolve and reach their full potential. She uses therapy to guide her clients through everyday life stress, anxiety, relationship issues, health concerns, and more.

By creating a safe space for people to bring in all aspects of their own selves, her goal as a therapist is to collaboratively help people navigate their path toward personal growth, self-awareness, and increased well-being.

Abby Goldberg

Professional Counselor

Abby Goldberg is a licensed professional counselor. Her treatment background includes working with children, adolescents, and adults suffering from mental health issues ranging from anxiety and depression to personality disorders and trauma. Abby earned her bachelor of science from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Abby started her work in crisis intervention with Crisis Text Line, which lead her to earning her LPC. She creates a personalized approach to support clients using a variety of modalities, such as CBT, DBT, ACT, play, and art therapy. During semi-structured sessions, Abby will help you connect your experiences with who you are today, in order to learn how to enjoy life as your best self.

Heather Hymes

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Heather Hymes is a licensed clinical professional counselor. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois in Springfield, followed by a master of science degree in education in clinical mental health counseling from Quincy University.

Heather is skilled in working with clients experiencing the effects of relationship issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, and personality disorders. Heather has deep experience working with clients who have complicated histories, where multiple areas of life are affected. She is passionate about offering a person-centered and strengths-based collaborative approach to therapy. Heather supports her clients, whether individuals or couples, on their journey to goal attainment and life satisfaction using a variety of modalities, including CBT, EFT, DBT, and mindfulness practices. Heather believes in the power of personal change; through a collaborative effort, she strives to help clients reach their self-identified therapeutic goals and full potential. Heather knows that creating a safe and accepting space allows individuals the opportunity to explore issues without fear, shame, or embarrassment. Every journey begins with a single step…

Dr. Riddhi Joshi

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Riddhi Joshi is a licensed clinical psychologist. Her treatment background includes working with mood disorders, trauma, relationship issues, personality disorders, suicidal ideation, and grief and loss. Dr. Joshi earned her bachelor’s degree in applied psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Joshi completed an APA-accredited internship at Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, Texas in 2019. She has experience working in an inpatient forensic hospital, outpatient community mental health, and juvenile detention center. Dr. Joshi’s therapeutic approach is integrative and strength-based in nature. She views clients through a multicultural lens and provides treatment that is primarily behavioral based. Dr. Joshi uses cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, systemic therapy, play therapy, and mindfulness practices. Dr. Joshi believes that healing occurs through a strong therapeutic alliance and compassion.

Dr. Ed Neumann

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Ed Neumann is a licensed clinical psychologist. His areas of specialty are depression, loss and mourning, identity development, trauma, crisis, and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Neumann works from a client-centered framework, meaning he feels his primary role is to create a safe and genuine relationship that allows his clients to feel validated and able to move through the obstacles in their lives more effectively. He also focuses on helping clients to find meaning in their lives and struggles. As a part of this approach, Dr. Neumann is sensitive to each person’s unique blend of multiple social identities, including race, ethnic background, gender, sexual identity, ability, socioeconomic status, and religious background.  Ed’s pronouns are he/him/his.

Dr. Neumann received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University, then spent several years working in a psychiatric hospital with children, adolescents, and young adults. He attained his doctorate in clinical psychology in 2012 from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and has been licensed in the state of Illinois since 2014.  

Dr. Neumann has worked with people across the life span, but has extensive experience with adolescents and young adults, having worked in various college counseling centers since 2009. He completed an APA-accredited internship at Butler University in 2012 and a postdoctoral fellowship at Northeastern Illinois University in 2014. He is currently on staff at the Lake Forest College Health and Wellness Center as the assistant director and staff psychologist.  

Stacey Nitka

Social Worker

Stacey Nitka is a licensed clinical social worker. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and her master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Chicago. Stacey started her career in the school system; her background includes working with children and adolescents ranging in ages from 3–18 along with their families. She is experienced with concerns related to anxiety, depression, ADHD, social skills, emotional regulation, relationship concerns, family dynamics, grief and loss, and autism spectrum disorder. She has considerable experience working with children, families, and educators to support children with significant behavior difficulties that present at school, home and within the community. Stacey has worked with children with disabilities as well as supporting and providing resources to their families. 

One of Stacey’s core beliefs—and what drives her therapeutic approach—is that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources and skills available to them. Stacey primarily uses CBT and a strengths-based approach, helping clients identify their strengths and learn new skills to empower them to manage current and future challenges.

Stacey believes the therapeutic relationship is extremely important and works to build a safe and supportive space for her clients to reach their goals.

Olivia Orwitz

Clinical Professional Counselor

Olivia Orwitz is a licensed clinical professional counselor. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical community mental health from Western Illinois University.

Olivia is skilled in working with clients experiencing the effects of relationship issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, intimacy deficits, sexual deviancy, personality disorders, and LGBTQ issues. Olivia has deep experience working with clients who have complicated histories, where multiple areas of life are affected. She is passionate about offering a person-centered and strengths-based collaborative approach to therapy. Olivia supports her clients, whether individuals or couples, on their journey to goal attainment and life satisfaction using a variety of modalities, including CBT, EFT, DBT, and mindfulness practices. Olivia believes in the power of personal change; through a collaborative effort, she strives to help clients reach their self-identified therapeutic goals and full potential. Olivia knows that creating a safe and accepting space allows individuals the opportunity to explore issues without fear, shame, or embarrassment. The ability to accept self and have a desire to change can coexist without negative emotionality. 

Dr. Anthony Peterson

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Anthony Peterson is a licensed clinical psychologist. He specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma-related disorders, and substance use. Dr. Peterson earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1995. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago in 1999 and 2003, respectively. Dr. Peterson earned a commission with the United States Navy and completed an APA-accredited internship at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Dr. Peterson works with clients across the life span, but focuses his practice primarily on individuals from young adulthood to the elderly. He is skilled in working with individuals dealing with mental health issues resulting from major life transitions and highly competitive situations. He is skilled in the treatment of issues related to trauma. Dr. Peterson utilizes a patient-centered, collaborative, and individualized approach that focuses on cognitive-behavioral principles.

Carrie Podolsky

Social Worker

Carrie Podolsky is a licensed clinical social worker. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana University and her master’s in social work from Loyola University Chicago. 

She has worked in the field for more than thirteen years, providing treatment to adults with complex medical, mental health, and relationship issues. She has worked at an outpatient substance abuse program providing individual and group therapy, in a transitional shelter with women who suffer from co-occurring disorders, and as the director of an employment program at a local nonprofit organization.  

Carrie specializes in women’s mental and emotional health, specifically focused on issues related to depression, anxiety, relationships, career changes, parenting, infertility, postpartum depression.

Carrie takes a strength-based approach in therapy. She believes that it is a collaborative and supportive process where the therapist and client work together to help improve outcomes that draw on the client’s strengths.

Shira Schwartz

Social Worker

Shira Schwartz is a licensed social worker. She received her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her master’s degree in child development from the Erikson Institute of Chicago. Shira worked as a developmental therapist in Early Intervention with children from birth to age three, where she ran social skills groups, group therapy, and individual sessions. She also worked as a child development specialist in a preschool setting before deciding to become a social worker. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she interned first with the Wings Program, where she ran groups for children and saw children individually who experienced domestic violence in their families, and then at Rush University Medical Center, where she helped new mothers on the mother and baby unit. 

Shira has always had a passion for working with children and their families. She believes in play-based therapy and using a strength-based approach. Shira has experience working with children in groups and individually and believes in always meeting the client where they are. She encourages and welcomes families to be a part of the process. 

Ellie Seyfert

Clinical Social Worker

Ellie Seyfert provides a welcoming, supportive, and empathetic environment for her clients. She received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Valparaiso University and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her treatment background includes working with children and adolescents with a variety of challenges, including depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ellie also has experience working with nonbinary and LGBTQ clients. She has worked with special education students in a public education setting and is able to assist in advocating, navigating, and coordinating Individualized Educational Plans and 504 plans to help meet your child’s academic needs.

Ellie uses a strength-based perspective with aspects of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to help her clients build on their existing strengths and gain skills in growth areas. Ellie strives to empower each of her clients to develop appropriate coping skills to manage everyday feelings, thoughts, and behaviors allowing them to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Tonya Shaw

Board Certified Clinical Social Worker

Tonya Shaw has been providing therapeutic services as a licensed clinical social worker for more than 17 years. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work from Carthage College, Tonya went on to earn her master’s degree in social work from Loyola University. She has supported individuals and families across the lifespan, addressing events that challenge the concepts of change, adaptation, and resiliency. Her most valued experiences have come from providing a space for children of all ages that promotes self-discovery and coping with age-related stressors.

Tonya believes that the most important aspect of therapy is establishing a safe, trusting environment that highlights the value of the therapeutic alliance. Her clinical focus has been providing strengths-based, system-focused approaches to address depression, anxiety, trauma, significant lifestyle decisions related to gender identification and sexual preferences, intimacy challenges, and pandemic-related stressors. She believes there is utility in processing our “human moments” to channel our own capacity for change.

Tonya has worked in a variety of settings, including Early Intervention, juvenile justice, patient communities with chronic mental illness, hospitals, military bases, and veteran treatment facilities for combat-related trauma. As a clinical social worker, she has been successful in developing approaches that allow individuals to thrive. She looks forward to the opportunity you deserve to tell your unique story.

Dr. Sharon Song

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Sharon Song is board certified in clinical psychology and takes the approach that human beings are adaptive and capable although emotional setbacks sometimes get in the way. She specializes in treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, adjustment to major medical illnesses, and life disruptions in general. She strives to have others understand behaviors contextually working with individuals, couples, and families.

She earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Northwestern University, her master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees in clinical psychology from DePaul University, became licensed in Wisconsin and Illinois in 2003 and 2004, and was board certified in 2007. Clinical affiliations have included Advocate Resurrection Medical Center, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. She has an academic background and also remains involved in research and advancing the scientific literature. She is a member of the American Board of Professional Psychology and a fellow with the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, serving on their national oral examination committees. She looks forward to serving you!

Tome Travers

Marriage & Family Therapist

Tome Travers is a marriage and family therapist. Her treatment background includes working with depression and anxiety related to trauma and abuse in families, individuals, and groups. Tome earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2014, she received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from what is now known as Adler University.

Tome is also an experienced preschool teacher, working with children ages 4 and 5 in a play-based environment using the Reggio Emilia approach. This approach focuses on student-centered and experiential learning. By using the environment and relationships, learning happens seamlessly through the children’s interests and ideas. This teaching approach fits in well with Tome’s approach to therapy, and works well with children, adolescents, and young adults, allowing Tome to create strong and trusting relationships with her clients.

Dr. Jeffery Vergo

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jeffery Vergo is a licensed clinical psychologist. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety, trauma, depression, and substance use. Dr. Vergo earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Indianapolis in 2016. Dr. Vergo completed an APA-accredited internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center (formerly the North Chicago VA). 

As a psychologist, Dr. Vergo seeks to confront and resolve the circumstances keeping his clients from living the lives they want. He is particularly passionate about fostering a warm and safe environment for those who may be on the fence about counseling. Dr. Vergo has worked with a variety of clients from all walks of life and is committed to inclusion and expanding services to those from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Vergo’s therapeutic approach is rooted in the belief that an authentic bond between clients and therapists is an essential component to progress. As such, Dr. Vergo uses an integrative style that is tailored to the specific circumstances and needs of his clients.

Telephone: 847-420-5088
Fax: 847-235-2138
paul.smiley@parksidepsych.com
840 S. Waukegan Road
Suite 203
Lake Forest, IL 60045