Our Team

Providing a safe, caring, and supportive therapy environment to facilitate self-growth, empowerment, and understanding.

Dr. Michelle Navarro, M.A., Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Center Director

“Growth as an individual, self-understanding, finding motivation and seeking passion in one’s life; a balance to find self-acceptance while loving and caring for those around you, this is my hope for all I see. I want everyone who comes to the center to feel this is a safe, warm, and an accepting environment to explore their needs, work through their struggles, and know there is someone there by their side to assist them.”

For the past 25 years, Dr. Michelle has provided care and assistance to children, teens, adults, and families struggling with a multitude of emotional difficulties from depression, anxiety, bipolar, attention, and processing. Her belief is that each person is has their own individual identity and thus needs a treatment plan customized to fit each individual’s growth.

Dr. Michelle provides parents of all ages with guidance and planning for their children; whether that be, behavioral outbursts, self-esteem issues, social skills, executive functioning, gender exploration, learning disabilities and giftedness, and divorce. For young children, Dr. Michelle utilizes play therapy to help develop real life coping skills. She feels working to develop rapport with teens and adults is a key component to developing an effective communication process that is invaluable to the therapeutic success of treatment.

Parenting is one of the toughest and most stressful jobs. Dr. Michelle understands the guilt and pressure to be a “good parent” and the stress this places on the parent to find balance in their own well-being. Helping a parent find a path of their own while enhancing and nurturing their children’s lives is the key concept behind Dr. Michelle’s center and her goal for all she sees. She brings a distinct and unique perspective coming from a neuropsychological, social/emotional, and psycho-educational background.

Dr. Michelle is the author of journal articles, research for intellectual and achievement testing, speaker, parent, and therapist. She provides comprehensive diagnostic testing, assessment, and support for children, adolescents, and adults. The evaluations provide not only diagnostic information, but specific recommendations for school and home interventions and ongoing support as needed. Further, many individuals need assistance and information with regards to navigating and developing a 504 Plan or I.E.P., and applying for extended time or other accommodations on college board ACT/SAT, GRE, LSAT, and other standardized exams. Evaluations are done for attention disorders, Autism spectrum, executive functioning, processing difficulties, emotional disorders, learning disabilities, giftedness and/or twice exceptional children.

Dr. Michelle is an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and will provide assistance filing with other insurance providers.  

Brooke Carson, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Individual and Family Therapist

“I have a long history of helping people make changes that lead to significant improvement in self-regard and the ability to function and thrive. One of my favorite aspects of being a therapist is the genuine, experience-based optimism that my practice history allows me to bring to meeting with clients.”

For many years, Brooke has been a primary member of a treatment team in an intensive outpatient treatment program for depression and anxiety in a teaching hospital. This has given her the benefit of collaboration with a large variety of top professionals for learning and sharing therapy techniques. She is currently the therapist in charge of implementing an outpatient treatment program for Millennials.

In addition to working with the young adults, she works with the parents, doing family therapy that is often such a powerful part of the process. Brooke enjoys working with clients of all ages with a variety of presenting issues including self-esteem and life struggles such as relationship conflicts, grief, loss and transitions such as divorce. She also enjoys helping people with depression, various anxiety disorders (including panic disorder, phobias and PTSD), bipolar disorder and ADHD.

A central concept of her practice philosophy is helping each client with their relationship with themselves, especially in terms of their responses to their own emotions and their beliefs about themselves. This work forms a foundation for new coping skills for navigating struggles, as well as stepping into new experiences for developing life satisfaction, connection to others and a sense of mastery.

Brooke is now accepting Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance

Lauren Hallerud, M.A., LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor | Individual and Group Therapist | CBT Specialist

“By bringing my most authentic and honest self to the table, I hope to create an empathic and safe environment to foster the best working therapeutic relationship.”

Lauren brings clinical experience from intensive outpatient care programs for depression and anxiety to assist clients seeking long-term individual care while managing life transitions and stressors. She works with children, adolescents, and adults to aid in recognizing, understanding, and modifying reactions to life events or personal stressors that lead to anxiety, depression, and other mood-related ailments.

Using an integrative therapeutic approach with cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused methods, she assists in improving communication styles to form healthier relationships with others, building supportive networks, managing mood and behavioral reactions to day to day stressors, managing school/occupational/academic stress, improving motivation and time management, increasing the creation and maintenance of boundaries, improving general stress management, increasing self-esteem, managing grief/loss, and achieving a healthy balance and symptom management. 

Lauren believes that therapy is the process of walking next to another on the journey of discovering and increasing self-awareness, individual growth, and the ability to adapt to change. Lauren aids others in increasing their awareness of their unique patterns of thoughts and behaviors, and the purpose behind them.

By guiding others in identifying distorted or unhealthy thinking patterns, Lauren’s aim is to assist in modifying those thought processes and behaviors to form healthier patterns that improve day to day functioning. She strives to empower others to further understand their past and current decisions and increase autonomy in order to create continuity between their actions, values, beliefs, and goals. Lauren aims to identify and utilize one’s individual strengths to develop realistic and achievable expectations.

Vanessa Rae De Leon, LCPC, R-DMT, RYT

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor | Registered Dance Movement TherapistLife Coach  

Vanessa De Leon has a clinical history of working with people with developmental disabilities, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and adults with posttraumatic stress disorder, sexual trauma, severe mental illnesses, psychotic disorders, chronic homelessness, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Throughout all of her clinical experience, Vanessa works at empowering people through a model of survivorship.  Through a strength based, holistic approach with an emphasis on the body-mind connection, Vanessa firmly believes that bio-psycho-social-spiritual healing is not only generated but sustained for a long period of time.

Dr. Jo Wolthusen, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Individual and Family Therapist | Clinical Supervisor | Marketing Director

I understand how important it is for the client to feel comfortable and safe with their therapist – it’s essential in making therapy a successful experience. That is why I strive to provide each client with a safe, therapeutic environment. I assist clients in setting goals in the interest of achieving insight and increased self-awareness with an ultimate goal is self-empowerment and realized potential.

Dr. Wolthusen is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience within a variety of treatment settings including inpatient and outpatient psychiatric hospitals programs and private practice with adolescents, adults and families. Her leadership roles include positions at a county-wide facility for alcohol and substance abuse groups, and an intensive outpatient program for adolescents. She’s also volunteered for an emergency care shelter for adolescent girls.

Dr. Wolthusen believes that therapy is a collaborative endeavor that takes place within a supportive, empathic environment. Through the process of the client achieving insight and increased self-awareness, the ultimate goal of therapy is self-empowerment. Dr. Wolthusen’s approach to therapy is holistic and integrative, primarily utilizing cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused techniques. She is experienced with a broad range of treatment areas and clinical populations including adolescents, adults, and families.

Jennifer Navarro, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Individual and Group Therapist | Executive Function Coach and Aging Population Specialist

I have a passion for working with older adults and children. I want to bring my experience as a teacher and social worker together to provide the best possible care.

Jennifer began her career as an elementary school teacher where she taught children with a variety of needs including children with learning disabilities, special needs and gifted intellectual abilities. She tutors young children and helps train children of all ages to work and develop their executive functioning skills. After several years as a stay-at-home mother of two children, Jennifer completed her MSW in 2012.

Jennifer has focused on the older adult population by working with older adults and their families to navigate through the complex matters of planning for care, chronic medical conditions including dementia related diseases and end of life decisions. Jennifer believes that the informal caregivers for older adults need to learn to manage their own self-care in order to be most helpful to their aging parents. By engaging caregivers in support groups, family meetings and individual counseling, Jennifer can assist the entire family unit with enhancing the later years of life.  

Vicki Custer, M.A., LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor | Board Certified Life Coach | Individual and Group Therapist

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear”. I believe it takes courage to begin the process of self-examination. Trust that you are making the right decision and that things can get better in your life once you find the courage to take the first step.

Vicki has been providing therapy to adolescents, young adults and adults for over 14 years. She has a passion working with people with all anxiety related issues. She works with people to manage their anxiety and worry so they are able to expand their world, and get out of comfort zones to become the person they always wanted to be.

She has a special affinity working with adolescents and young adults who may be having a difficult time figuring out critical decisions that have lasting impacts on their lives; such as college/career decisions, managing social anxiety, and navigating relationships both with family members and significant others. She really enjoys helping people with career and life transitions.

This is close to her heart, as she left a career in Corporate America after 18 years to become a therapist. In addition, Vicki works with people to develop effective stress management and mindfulness strategies, as well as parenting skills, and self-esteem enhancement.

Vicki’s counseling style is warm and welcoming. She enjoys using humor and does her best to create an environment where you will feel comfortable, understood and not judged. She believes in being an active participant in therapy sessions, providing psycho education and feedback when appropriate. She believes that every person deserves to be happy and overcome obstacles that are in the way of living the life they want to live.

Eve Gottesman, MSW


Eve has spent many years working with young children and families to help strengthen family dynamics, problem solving skills and emotional well-being. She has had the opportunity to work in hospitals, therapeutic nurseries, and elementary schools, working with children, adolescents and families, drawing heavily from cognitive behavioral interventions.

Eve has always had a strong passion for emotional health. Her love for working with children developed when she was a preschool teacher and has continued to grow with her work with children, adolescents and families working on addressing emotional or behavioral issues. Eve is certified in Executive Functioning strategies /ADHD therapy, as well as play therapy. Eve believes in providing a warm and safe space for her clients in order for them to grow and be in a healthier place.

Pippin, Therapy Dog


Therapy Dog In Training


We hope to be introducing our first furry team member to the Long Grove Center in 2021!


Meet Pippin, therapy dog in training and our certified Emotional Support Animal. Pippin is a six month old Golden Aussie mix, a smart and silly combination as a half Golden Retriever and half Australian Shepard.
Pippin loves working hard on new tricks in exchange for treats, staying hydrated in his puppy pool, carrying water bottles (and really anything involving playing in water), is a sucker for belly rubs, new toys, and tennis balls, making new friends with every human, dog, and cat he encounters (although the feeling isn’t typically mutual from the felines), wearing an impressive assortment of bow ties, enjoys impressing the neighborhood dogs by carrying the largest stick he can possibly find on walks, loves pretending to be your shadow, appreciates giving and receiving cuddles, hugs, pets, and kisses, and conveniently loves the loudest squeaky toys when his mom begins a phone call.
So far at the Long Grove Center, Pippin loves attending our young adult group outside every Saturday afternoon and has had some great trial runs joining individual sessions.
We anxiously await Pippin’s training to be complete and his schedule to be in place to work with individuals and groups at the Long Grove Center!
To work with Pippin and dog mom/therapist, Lauren Hallerud, please email Lauren directly at lhallerud@gmail.com or contact our practice. Pippin would love to meet you and assist you in brightening your day and offering some laughs, his belly for some pets, additional emotional support, and his endless puppy love.

Get In Touch

We offer daytime, afternoon, and evening hours.

Now accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Medicare, and Medicare supplemental insurance.

Our office will assist with checking benefits and billing out of network providers.






4180 Route 83 Suite 10 and 11, Long Grove, IL 60047


Mon – Sat: 9am – 9pm
Sunday: closed