Flourish Counseling & Wellness - Preparing for Pregnancy

53 W. Jackson Blvd Suite 632
Chicago, Illinois 60604
1011 Lake St. Suite 405
Oak Park, Illinois 60301

Additional locations listed below

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 envision a world where families have the information and support they need to heal, connect and flourish.

More about us
Infertility Counseling

Approximately 1 out of every 8 couples will experience infertility in some form. At Flourish, we believe that you are more than a statistic and that coping with infertility is not something you should have to do alone. Therapy for those trying to conceive is tailored to meet the emotional and mental health needs that are so unique to this phase of life. We would love to partner with you as you navigate the highs and lows of your fertility journey.

Third Party Reproduction

The therapists at Flourish have worked with prospective parents and couples for years. We understand the barriers that come up when experiencing infertility and looking for third party reproduction resources. In fact, we can help by lessening those barriers due to our ability to provide third party reproduction services.

Support Groups

At our Chicago therapy practice, we offer many support groups. Groups specific to infertility and the fertility journey are:

  • Queer Conceptions: A Fertility Support Group
  • Your Voice, Your Story: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Support Group
  • Navigating Your Fertility Journey: An Online Process Groupfertility Counseling
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, refugee 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.

Jen Kost, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C, EMDR-T : Staff Psychotherapist & Clinical Operations Manager

I am a trauma informed Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with experience working both inpatient & outpatient OB/GYN hospital settings as well as in my role as a birth doula. I discovered the world of maternal health in 2014, when I was invited to be a part of my friend’s delivery. It was the most life changing experience for me. I knew, then, that I had to
change my vocational direction, thus beginning a path towards supporting women in the perinatal period. I became a doula shortly after her birth, and quickly realized the many unique challenges women face as their families grow and change. I love being a doula, and I will always practice doula work when I can. However, I began looking into the various ways I could continue to support women and families, beyond labor work. I found social work in 2015, and I have never looked back. Throughout graduate school, I did everything I could to specialize in maternal health and work with women. In the hospital and diverse community settings, I have led groups, helped families access key resources, processed through grief and loss, and intervened in a variety of crises.

My approach to therapy is empathic, creating a judgment free zone for you to show up as you are. I utilize talk therapy, EMDR, and Internal Family Systems, to help clients recognize the ways in which their thoughts and feelings impact behaviors. You are a whole, with many parts. We will work together to make space for all the parts of you that co-exist, while exercising compassionate curiosity for yourself.

Tali Friedland, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C: Staff Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor

I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with experience helping women across the lifespan. I use a trauma-informed, relational approach to connect with you and support you as you navigate your experience as a person in this world. Together, we will discover what it means to be your authentic self and your innate capacity to live a valued and fulfilling

I hold two main beliefs in the therapeutic space: the first is that you are the expert in your own life, and the second is that we are made up of many intersecting parts and identities. I work hard to understand the layers of your experience and hold space for many truths to exist at once. This exploration can feel complex, but it also has the ability to provide great relief. We will understand where you are in this moment, and through acceptance and self-reflection, we will envision new narratives and create new ways of being. Our collaboration allows me to use a variety of frameworks and theories that guide the healing process. I find myself most often utilizing a combination of thought-reframing techniques, mindfulness and grounding, relational exploration, values work, and cultivation of a self-compassionate voice. And above all, know this: it is a privilege to sit with you and bear witness to your story and to be with you as you explore your values and your worth.

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.

Mansi Mehta, MS Ed, LSW:  Staff Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) with a Master of Arts in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago, as well as a Masters in Education. What I enjoy the most about being a therapist is being present to each person and their unique story. It is an honor to be a part of your life and journey through a time that could be filled with many complicated feelings and experiences. I look forward to understanding what it is like to be you, from moment to moment, through curiosity and compassion. I value the therapeutic relationship because it involves trust, kindness, safety and acceptance – all of which are critical for the change and/or healing you’re looking for. I hope to be a partner in your healing process, whatever that might mean for you.

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.

Amy Wasserman, PMHNP, MPH, APN, CNM, PMH-C: Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse

I am an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), dually board certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).  I am also a Certified Perinatal Mental Health provider (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International. Whether you are seeing me for a preconception consultation, experiencing new onset or worsening perinatal mood/anxiety symptoms or managing mood changes related to hormonal transitions during your lifetime (i.e. puberty, lactation weaning, fertility treatments, perimenopause or starting gender-affirming hormones); my goals are to ensure you feel safe to share your story as well as be informed and knowledgeable about all your options. I am available for diagnostic evaluation, consultation with other providers, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy services.


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