About Us

Child Therapy Chicago, Naperville & Northbrook

Child Anxiety, Big Emotions, Behavior Problems? Call (312) 768-8746 NOW for a FREE Full Hour Session.

We are Child Play Therapists and Counselors specializing in therapy for kids of all ages.

We use Play Therapy and Talk Therapy counseling to help kids with big emotions and behaviors like anxiety, sadness, fears, tantrums, aggression, school and social issues and feelings related to divorce.

Our mission is to help children and families with difficult life situations. 

Our practice is dedicated exclusively to helping families, children and parents who are facing emotional, behavioral, relationship, family and school problems.

We specialize and focus on counseling and play therapy for kids, (even very young ages), teens and families.

Email or call us today at (312) 768-8746 to discuss how we can help, or read our information for Prospective Clients and to schedule an initial appointment.

We are experts in:

  • helping children understand their experiences
  • helping children work through what troubles them
  • helping children with issues at school or with friends
  • helping children manage their behaviors
  • helping parents better understand their children
  • helping parents support their children
  • helping parents and children have better relationships
  • helping families through divorce and other events


Pictures and Office Information

Click Here for Info and Pictures of our Chicago Lakeview Location.

Click Here for Info and Pictures of our Naperville Downtown Location.

Click Here for Info and Pictures of our North Shore Northbrook Downtown Location.

Our Psychotherapists
The therapists are very experienced in the areas of child development, play therapy, child mental health and behavior problems, family issues, parent coaching, and parent-child relationships.

Dr. Denise Duval Tsioles, PhD, LCSW -- Founder of Child Therapy Chicago

Dr. Duval Tsioles is an expert in children's issues and behavior. She is a psychodynamically oriented child psychotherapist who founded Child Therapy Chicago, Naperville & Northbrook, a private practice that focuses on understanding the meaning of children's behavior.

Dr. Duval Tsioles works with infants, toddlers and children, adolescents, young adults, parents and expecting couples‎‎. She has worked with children and families since 1994 as a clinician and researcher in child welfare, counseling agencies, educational institutions, and private practice.

Dr. Duval Tsioles has worked as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, instructor, and researcher in a variety of settings including private practice, educational institutions, child welfare services, and community counseling agencies. She has experience working with behavioral problems, mood issues, emotional regulation, school problems, ADHD, divorce, sleep difficulties, aggression, parent-child relationships, attachment and adoption, social skills, and parent coaching.

Dr. Duval Tsioles is also the Academic Dean at the Institute for Clinical Social Work (ICSW) and on faculty at Aurora University. She teaches and consults with doctoral students on their clinical cases and dissertations.  She also conducts trainings in early childhood mental health and development, is a practicing clinician, and is involved in several clinical research projects with other advanced clinical institutions. She is a published author, has presented at several conferences, and is a peer reviewer for a major clinical social work journal.

Courses Taught at ICSW and Aurora University:
  • CF 550: Development I: Infancy and Toddlerhood
  • CF 560: Development II: Early Childhood and Latency
  • RM 621: Quantitative Methods
  • RM 741: Dissertation Seminar I
  • ESRM 800: Advanced Research Seminar
  • SWK 6590 Advanced Clinical Social Work - Personality Disorders
  • SWK 6500 - Social Work Perspectives on Psychopathology
Institute for Clinical Social Work, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Chicago, M.S.W.
The Ohio State University, M.A.
Erikson Institute, Infant Mental Health Certificate Program
Cathedral Counseling Center, Clinical Fellowship

National Association of Social Workers
American Psychoanalytic Association
American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW)
(2006). Affect and Behavior Regulation Among Homeless Young Adults Formerly Involved with the Child Welfare System.
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal,Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 155-173.

Centralized Assessment of Early Developmental Delays for Children in Foster Care: A Program that Works, May 2008, Child and Family Services Review

Trainings on Clinical Assessment of Social-Emotional Development in Young Children, Positive Discipline and Guidance, and Assisting Young Children and Parents Adjust to Out-of-Home Care for the Professional Development Series at the Erikson Institute, 2007, 2008
Training on the Importance of Consultation when Treating Trauma for the Professional Enrichment Program at the Institute for Clinical Social Work, 2007
(2008). Evaluation of Services and Barriers to Delivery of Rehabilitative Services to Infants and Toddlers in the Custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Child and Family Services Review – May 2008, Volume 30, Issue 5, pages 536-545. http://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/cysrev/v30y2008i5p536-545.html

(2013). The Experience of Remarried Couples in Blended Families.
Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Volume 54, Issue 1, pages 43-55.

(2014). Psychoanalytic Training Experience and Post-Graduate Professional Development: A Survey of Six Decades of Graduate Analysts. International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Training Experience and Post-Graduate Professional Development: A Survey of Six Decades of Graduate Analysts Part 2. International Journal of Psychoanalysis.
Analytic Identity, Poster Presentations, American Psychoanalytic Association Annual Meeting, 2009, 2010

Analytic Identity, Poster Presentation, International Psychoanalytic Association Annual Meeting, 2009

Peer Reviewer for the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

Dr. Vicky Oliver, PhD, LCSW 
-- Psychotherapist (Naperville)

Dr. Vicky Oliver is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience as a psychodynamically trained therapist. Dr. Oliver has expertise in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families with a wide range of issues including attachment difficulties, issues related to adoption, behavioral problems, ADHD, anxiety, depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and other problems.

Dr. Oliver also specializes in the treatment of trauma, such as physical and sexual abuse, witnessing violence or other traumatic experiences. She has completed the first phase of training to become certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), a method used to treat trauma.

Dr. Oliver’s experience includes working as a psychotherapist in a private practice, a residential setting for adolescents and an outpatient child and family therapy clinic. She was also the Director of an outpatient therapy clinic.

Institute for Clinical Social Work. Ph.D.
University Of Chicago M.A. in Social Work
George Williams College B.S.W.


Ellia Leger, MA, LPC  — Psychotherapist (Chicago)

Ellia has a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has 9 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Ellia strives to help enhance kids’ abilities to understand and express their emotions and behaviors in healthy ways and to improve families’ capacities for communication and positive relationships. Ellia prides herself on being a supporter of kids’ and parents’ individual needs as well as having a positive impact on the family as a whole.


Using play, talked, and skills-based approaches, Ellia works with young children through teens who struggle with behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, other mood disorders, ADHD, aggression, disordered, eating, school and peer issues, and stress and trauma related disorders. Additionally, she is a Registered Behavioral Technician and has both clinical and research experience with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ellia previously worked at a pediatric hospital in the outpatient program for children and adolescents providing individual, group, and family treatment to deal with intense challenges of emotional regulation and significant behavioral struggles. She integrated various approaches to treatment based on the needs of the children and families.


Ellia has solid knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and attachment, trauma responses in children and adolescents, challenging behaviors, DBT, and parent coaching. Further, she has been a long-term, full-time nanny, gymnastics coach for club and high school programs, and a camp counselor.


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, M.A.

DePaul University, B.A. Psychology


Ariel Carter, LPC - Psychotherapist (Chicago)
Ariel Carter is a Licensed Professional Counselor trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy. They hold a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from the Institute for Clinical Social Work, where they studied psychodynamic psychotherapy, play therapy, DBT, child development, and infant mental health. They have provided therapy to young and school-age children, tweens, adolescents, and adults, as well as consultation to parents, teachers, and other mental health and wellness professionals. 
Ariel is passionate about advocating for children and helping them develop a healthy, confident and secure sense of themselves. Part of this process involves demystifying the communications that exist within everyday behaviors to make understanding these behaviors and connecting them to emotions easier. Ariel offers a balance of curiosity, exploration, and receptivity to help children and adolescents establish a sense of agency and well-being, to find more adaptive coping skills, and to help them find ways to grow and feel at home in the world. 
Ariel has worked previously in schools as an onsite clinical counselor with pre-school, elementary and middle school students, as an adolescent grief counselor, in a psychoanalytic clinic for children and adolescents, and with children and families in the LGBTQ+ communities. Ariel's clinical interests include anxiety, ADHD, emotional and self-regulation, social and school difficulties, attachment difficulties, grief and loss, depression, eating disorders, and self esteem and identity issues. 
Institute for Clinical Social Work, M.A. 
Ganesha Yoga, Certified Yoga Instructor 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA


Erik Larson, MA, LPC - Psychotherapist (Chicago)
Erik Larson is a Licensed Professional Counselor. He holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy from the Institute for Clinical Social Work, where he studied psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approaches to working with children, teens, parents and families.  

Erik has worked in a school setting observing and interacting with very young children ages 1 to 3, advising teachers on how they might best approach their work with these young children, taking into account their unique concerns and the complexity of their communications. He also worked with children, ages 4 to 12, building therapeutic relationships and dealing with behavioral issues as well as providing support for schools and consulting with teachers regarding these children’s social-emotional needs. Further, Erik has worked in a psychoanalytic clinic for children and adolescents.

Erik also has experience with teens, young adults and parents dealing with issues related to anxiety, ADHD, depression, school problems, isolation, somatic symptoms, histories of abuse, sibling rivalry and conflict between parents and children. Erik provides a safe space for young people to be able to share their feelings, process emotions and learn ways to cope with life stressors. Further, Erik listens for parents’ unique understanding of their child’s temperament and experiences as well as the larger context of those experiences through the family’s history.

Erik understands and values the depth that exists in the communications of children and adolescents and this has driven his long-held passion for psychodynamic thinking. When a child engages in play, whether or not they are producing speech, or when a teen shares feelings through abstract ideas and daily life stories, they are “speaking” to profound questions of worry, relationships, identity, self-worth, loss, trauma, and the individual ramifications of broader social inequities. In their therapeutic work, they then learn to understand and appreciate themselves, manage their emotions and behaviors using healthy coping skills and develop strong relationships.
Institute for Clinical Social Work, M.A. 
Fellow, Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis
Knox College, BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics


Veesser Aminpour, MA, LCPC - Psychotherapist (Northbrook)

Veesser Aminpour is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with expertise working with kids from toddlers through teens and supporting parents. She specializes in treating children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioral problems, feeding issues, peer relational difficulties, self-esteem and adjustment issues, as well kids who are on the autism spectrum, have developmental delays, sensory and regulatory issues.

Veesser believes that a relational, child-centered/child-led approach is the best way to promote emotional and developmental growth and well-being for kids of all ages and to develop a strong therapeutic rapport and alliance with families that brings long-lasting change. Veesser considers development and individual-differences in understanding and addressing the underlying difficulties children, adolescents and families experience throughout their lives. She also incorporates play as well as DIR/Floortime into her work with kids, when needed.

Veesser earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has extensive background evaluating and working with kids and parents in pediatric therapy clinics and practices, as a mental health therapist, as well as in-patient and partial hospitalization environments conducting assessments and evaluations. Veesser has devoted her career to treating children and adolescents and has gained additional training and certification in the SOS Approach to Feeding model.  


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, MA

University of Wisconsin-Madison, BS in Psychology

Shannon Obed, MSW, LSW - Psychotherapist (Naperville)

Shannon earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago specializing in Advanced Clinical Practice. She has dedicated years of her life to helping families with an emphasis on helping children discuss and manage their emotions, solve issues, and better cope with life’s challenges. Shannon’s work continuously highlights her commitment to healthy relationships while she strives to uncover and validate the healing factors and personal strengths unique to each child. As a developmentally grounded therapist, she has the knowledge and skills to build partnerships with families while maneuvering through complex issues and challenging behaviors in both the home and school environments.


Shannon has received specialized training in grief/loss support, play-based modalities, and generational trauma. A portion of her educational journey has been dedicated to special needs and vulnerable populations including those impacted by ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and developmental disability. She also has direct experience working with transracial and multiracial households, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. Her clinical experience includes work with children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, self-harm, aggression, impulsivity, divorce, adoption, relationship loss and bullying. She has worked in mental health practices as well as pediatric hospital settings. Ultimately, she believes that therapy is about helping children and teens to know and love themselves.


A strong advocate of attunement, Shannon believes in building therapeutic alliances. She is skilled at creating safe, nonjudgmental environments to facilitate personal wellness. She uses play-based, talk-based and skills-based approaches with children and adolescents and takes special care when working with parents through gentle coaching and consultation. Further, she integrates DIR/Floortime techniques and attachment-based therapeutic treatment modalities into her work, as needed. Shannon enjoys helping children and their grown-ups to foster the tools needed to best support healthy growth and development.



Loyola University Chicago, MSW

Purdue University Fort Wayne, BA in Communications

Jessica Herrera — Counseling Coordinator

Jessica has her Bachelor’s Degree from New York University, After many years working as a Teaching Assistant with 3-5 year old children, Jessica is currently studying Early Childhood Education. Over the past few years, she has been working as an administrative assistant in the Mental Health field. Becoming a part of the team at Child Therapy Chicago has given Jessica the opportunity to merge her interests and experience into one.