Flourish Counseling & Wellness - New Mother / New Baby Care

1901 N. Clybourn Ave. Suite 204
Chicago, Illinois
1011 Lake St. Suite 405
Oak Park, Illinois
Services in a nutshell

Our mission at Flourish Counseling & Wellness is to provide counseling, advocacy and resources focused on perinatal mental health from fertility to pregnancy, through postpartum and parenthood. We offer individual, family and group therapy, and medication management. We envision a world where families have the information and support they need to heal, connect and flourish.

More about us
Postpartum Support

Most new moms experience “baby blues” after childbirth, which also involves mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. However, it does not last long. “Baby blues” typically begin within the first two to three days after birth and last about two weeks.

Postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders (PMADs), however, often last much longer. Onset varies, and can even show up into the first year after birth. Postpartum depression, and other PMADs, can last through two years after a baby is born. And, partners and dads can get postpartum depression too. Consider reaching out to our perinatal mental health team of experts if you’ve found yourself experiencing:

  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased irritability
  • Fear or rage
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Unexplained crying
  • Intense mood swings
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty bonding with baby
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

No matter what you are dealing with during this postpartum time, we can help. Our postpartum support specialists can help you during this time of transition. Getting the help you need is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family right now. The tools you get in therapy postpartum will help you through your parenting journey.

Support Groups

  • Healing Birth Circle Workshop
  • New Moms: An Online Support Group
  • She Flourishes: A Mind+Body Workshop
Our Team

Emily Heilman, MA, LCSW, PMH-C: Founder

I am a trauma informed Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) & Certified Perinatal Mental Health Provider (PMH-C) specializing in perinatal mental health and wellness. One of my key goals in founding Flourish Counseling & Wellness was to support women and their families navigating through their fertility journey, the pregnancy and postpartum period, and throughout motherhood.

Sara Barrera, MA, LCSW, PMH-C, EMDR-T : Staff Psychotherapist & Clinical Director

I have extensive experience and specialized training working with women and families through various stages across the lifespan. I have worked in various settings such as healthcare, early childhood, violence prevention, and immigrant services, and community mental health. For most of my career I have managed a perinatal and parenting support program for parents and families providing counseling and psychoeducation on maternal health, reproductive justice, parent-child attachment, and early childhood development.


Hadeel Elder, MA, LPC, NCC, PhD: Staff Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with experience working with children, adolescents and adults. I have worked with women of various backgrounds in both the Detroit and Chicago area, utilizing multi-cultural counseling approaches with women of various cultural backgrounds.

I completed a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University in Chicago. I am currently in my last year of studying a Ph.D. in Counseling Education and Supervision. As a researcher, I study counseling in women of collectivist cultures, specifically Middle Eastern women. My research explores mental health concerns related to women in general as well as societal concerns, such as acculturation.

Kara Peterson, M.Ed, LPC, EMDR-T: Staff Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with a Master of Education in Counseling. My career first led me into the world of higher education where I provided career counseling and academic advising to college students. It wasn’t until I experienced first hand the need for a perinatal mental health specialist that I even knew this type of work existed. Once I was introduced to this specialization, and on the other side of my own journey, I realized I had the education and personal experience to support a career shift. I am extremely passionate about the world of perinatal mental health and would be honored to join you during this season of your life.

Neila Ouldali, MS, AMFT: Staff Psychotherapist

I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) committed to working with couples, individuals, and families. In addition to perinatal care, my clinical interests include infertility, infidelity, interracial/interfaith/intercultural couples, self and identity development, journey to self-compassion, and sexual trauma.

I believe you guide our work and I’m here to collaborate with you to shape our therapeutic process to meet our goals. Therapy is challenging and unique to each person, giving me the opportunity to integrate a number of interventions, such as communication skill-building, emotional regulation, and exploration of self. As an Algerian-American, I understand how complex human identities are, so I approach our work by using a strengths-based systemic lens to identify and deepen my understanding of the intersection of your identities.

My passion for perinatal care stems from mental health’s prevalence across the holistic biopsychosocial/spiritual continua of human experience. I recognize that health, environment and cognitive factors all influence a person’s perception of themselves and their relationships. I have a deep desire to be a part of a field that brings about an opportunity to help people find physical and emotional wholeness, stability, and their truest self.

I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and my Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapist from Northwestern University’s The Family Institute spring 2021. I have received specialized training with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and integrative systemic therapy. In addition to my clinical training, I have worked with sexual assault/intimate partner violence advocacy.

Danielle Fleckenstein, ALMFT, LPC, CCLS: Staff Psychotherapist

I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (ALMFT), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) committed to working with couples, individuals and families. My first career as a child life specialist led me into the field of healthcare, where I helped infants, children, youth and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss and bereavement. While working in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), I was introduced to the world of perinatal mental health and haven’t looked back since. Whether you are experiencing challenges with fertility, pregnancy, through postpartum and parenthood, I am here for you.

Laura Castillo, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C: Staff Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Social Worker specializing in work with women and couples. I have been practicing for five years in a variety of settings including parenting support and education, pregnancy and postpartum care, adoption, and community mental health.

I provide individual, couples, and family therapy in the following areas: perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, depression, anxiety, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, adoption, relationships, parenting difficulties, life transitions, spiritual issues, and grief and loss.

Kate Lobo, MSW, LSW: Staff Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) with a Master of Arts in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. My passion for perinatal mental health has developed from my lived experience as a mother of three daughters, the first of whom was stillborn. My daughter’s life and death changed me profoundly, and I am so grateful to the therapists that bore witness to my suffering. It is my sincere hope that I will be able to do the same for my own clients. I believe that resilience is reflected through committed action and growth, making meaning of our difficult experiences, and carrying our losses forward with us.

Katie Seelinger, LPC, NCC, CCTP, PMH-C, EMDR-T: Staff Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who specializes in trauma and perinatal health. During my combined adventure in parenting within academia, I developed a true passion for women’s health. I became active in reproductive and mental healthcare advocacy to aid in facilitating change on individual and community levels. Through this I found the amazing opportunity to become a birth doula. I was truly humbled and grateful to have holistically supported my clients during such a sacred and amazing journey. While in this role I developed a particular focus on birth trauma and recovery.

I have a Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Roosevelt University, Chicago. I hold certifications in Perinatal Mental Health though Postpartum Support International, Trauma Care, and am EMDR Trained. Additionally I am a Nationally Certified Counselor. Previous training focused on mind-body connection, perinatal loss, attachment, ego state, substance use, mind-body connection, mood disorders, complex trauma, and multiculturalism.

Jen Cromer, MA, LCPC, PMH-C: Staff Psychotherapist

I am a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) specializing in working with women during the perinatal period. I have personal experience with infertility, pregnancy, postpartum depression and anxiety as well as perinatal loss. I believe it is my job to meet each client where they are uniquely and support them as they heal.I have been practicing for 15 years in a variety of settings including a family community health agency, therapeutic day school, early intervention and private practice.

I received my Masters in counseling from Roosevelt University. I have a Bachelors degree in early childhood education from Elmhurst College. I am currently in the infant and early childhood mental health program at Erikson Institute. I have since received training in perinatal mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, parent and child attachment therapies and grief and loss counseling. I am an educator of Bringing home Baby and hold advanced training in Theraplay.


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