Attend the Selective Mutism Association's Annual Conference!
On this page you will find the list of counselors selected to participate in ATS's Adventure Camp 2018 intensive SM training. Each counselor participated in an intensive SM training held at ATS and led by Dr. Carmen Lynas. All counselors participate in supervised lead-in sessions to ensure intervention fidelity. You will notice that many counselors request to return for another summer, or two, or six! These are truly passionate people wanting to make a difference in the lives of children.
Samantha Awada, B.A., is a third year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. program at Northern Illinois University, with a focus in children and families. Prior to beginning graduate school, Samantha worked in a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents who displayed a wide range of psychological symptoms (e.g., conduct problems, oppositional behaviors, depressive disorders). Further, she has been providing therapeutic and assessment services to college students with a variety of diagnoses (e.g., anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, anger problems) for the past year in the Psychological Services Center at NIU. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of contextual factors (e.g., poverty, trauma exposure) on the development of conduct problems in childhood and adolescence. Samantha is excited to apply her skills in exposure therapy and learn unique skills to support children with selective mutism!
Kelly Clark, M.A., is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in school psychology at Northern Illinois University. She graduated from the University of South Florida with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and earned her Master of Arts in Psychology from Northern Illinois University. Kelly has had applied school psychological experiences in several school districts in the Chicago suburbs as part of her training. Kelly enjoys working with a team of school professionals to prevent and address academic, social-emotional, and behavioral difficulties among youth. She is particularly interested in school-wide intervention programs to facilitate students' well-being, and Kelly is passionate about conducting research that promotes student happiness and academic success. Kelly is excited about working with children and families who are affected by selective mutism.
Zena Dadouch, B.A., spent most of her life in Damascus, Syria, and moved to the US in 2011. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University, with a focus on trauma and PTSD. She is mostly interested in working with refugees and conducting research on resilience post-trauma. Zena has worked with both adults and children in a clinical setting, with a variety of different clinical concerns. This is Zena’s second summer as an Adventure Camp counselor, and she is so excited to come back! She’s returning because, in her own words, “Adventure Camp was such a unique and amazing learning experience that one year was not enough; I had to come back for more! I cannot wait to meet the new campers and to see the returning campers and to grow from this experience as a clinician.”
America Davila, B.A., is a third-year Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology program at Northern Illinois University with a focus on trauma. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminology & law studies from Marquette University. America is currently a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault at NIU and was a former research intern at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University. Her research experiences include the mental health effects of discrimination and microaggressions against ethnic minorities, factors associated with teen dating violence, economic abuse against Latinas, and child physical abuse risk. America has experience working with children with histories of trauma and adults with anxiety and depression disorders. She is also fluent in Spanish and hopes to utilize her bilingualism during her time at Adventure Camp. America is looking forward to being an Adventure Camp Counselor this summer and views it as an excellent opportunity to learn more about selective mutism, enhance her skills in evidence-based exposure techniques, and strengthen her teamwork abilities.
Abigail Fehr, B.A., is a second-grade bilingual teacher in Romeoville, Illinois. Abigail has 11 years of experience teaching children in kindergarten through fifth grade as a Spanish/English bilingual educator. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis on Bilingual and ESL Education through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Abigail hopes to continue to incorporate the skills learned in Adventure Camp in her interactions with current and future students! Abigail explains that her motivation to join Adventure Camp began with a past student who exhibited characteristics of selective mutism (SM). Abigail went over and beyond to research SM so she could better cater to the learning needs of her student. It was during this research that she found Advanced Therapeutic Solutions’ Adventure Camp. Abigail integrates her love for work with children with her passion for helping others to inform her work at Adventure Camp. She is thankful and excited for the opportunity to help children overcome their fears and use their brave talk during Adventure Camp again this year!
Andrew Flannery, M.A., is a rising fifth year student in Northern Illinois University’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He received his master’s degree in clinical psychology from NIU in the fall of 2017. Andrew previously worked as a mental health counselor at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin, IL. He has experience conducting assessments and therapy with children, adults, and families at the Psychological Services Center at NIU. He recently worked as a behavioral consultant at Opportunity House, Inc. in Sycamore, IL, where he provided therapy and assessment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His clinical practicum experiences also included conducting comprehensive multidisciplinary psychodiagnostic assessments and providing individual and group therapy for children and adolescents at Florissa Pediatric Development Center in Dixon, IL. Andrew currently works as a practicum clinician at Susan Myket, Ph.D., & Associates, a private family psychology practice in Naperville, IL. In the summer of 2017, Andrew served as a counselor for the ATS Adventure Camp and he is thrilled to return to camp this summer! During his free time, Andrew loves to cook, watch sports, and explore Chicago with his fiancée and friends!
Hannah Hunter, B.A., earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in applied statistics from Grand Valley State University. She worked for three years in the Behavioral Research Emotional Lab at her university, where she focused on understanding cross-cultural differences in the emotion socialization of toddlers. Her current research focuses on mothers’ proactive parenting strategies in difficult situations. Hannah has plans to work as an applied behavior technician and focus on aiding children on the autism spectrum in behavior therapy before pursuing a graduate degree in psychology. She has worked with children in the school setting through volunteering at a local elementary school and through her work as a nanny. Hannah was an undergraduate intern at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for the summer of 2017, where she had the opportunity to serve as a counselor for Adventure Camp. Interning for ATS has fostered Hannah’s desire to work with children of all abilities and implement evidence-based treatments to address various conditions, which is why she has plans to pursue a graduate degree in psychology in the future. . Having already experienced the amazing impact of Adventure Camp as a counselor in 2017, Hannah is excited to return to Adventure Camp again in 2018 and looks forward to making a difference in the lives of children affected by selective mutism.
Meghan Kanya, M.A., graduated from Michigan State with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and families at Northern Illinois University. Prior to beginning her work at Northern Illinois University, Meghan had the pleasure of working with hundreds of children and adolescents of all ages while teaching swim lessons and coaching a summer swim team. Additionally, Meghan interacted closely with children and families while conducting research at Michigan State on children's development of cognition, emotion regulation, and temperament characteristics. Within her graduate school work, Meghan has worked clinically with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties (e.g., anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct issues, depression, developmental disorders, and general adjustment issues) both in outpatient clinics and in elementary and junior high schools. This is Meghan's second time as a counselor at Adventure Camp and she is excited to continue to be a part of the AC team and to provide evidence-based care to the children and families involved!
Kristina Kochanova, M.A., graduated from Elmhurst College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northern Illinois Univeristy (NIU), and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Child Focus, at NIU. Kristina moved to the United States from the Ukraine at age 12. Through this experience, she gained the value of working hard for what you want in life, which motivates her passion to work with low-income children and families. Kristina heard about Adventure Camp through her colleagues at NIU, and she felt it would be an ideal training to prepare her to work with children as a future clinician, especially for low-income populations and at-risk youth who may not have access to private specialized care. Kristina has experience working with at-risk children and adolescents by assisting clinical psychologists who utilize evidence-based techniques to treat youth behavioral problems. She has also actively provided support, modeled beneficial behaviors, and taught coping strategies to at-risk youth dealing with academic, personal, and community issues. Kristina has pursued research experience with families and children with various emotional and behavioral concerns such as anxiety and ADHD., She served as a behavioral consultant at Opportunity House providing assessment and therapeutic services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, she is excited to start her rotation at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions in July 2018 to work with children, adolescents, families, and adults with anxiety and related conditions. This summer, Kristina looks forward to meeting all of the campers, receiving training that facilitates the development of her clinical skills with child anxiety, and furthering her knowledge of selective mutism, as well as spreading the word about selective mutism to her colleagues and professors.
Robin Kondrat, M.S., CCLS earned her master’s degree in Family and Child Studies from Texas State University; additionally, she holds a Child Life Specialist Certificate. During an internship at Rockford Memorial Hospital’s pediatric and pediatric intensive care units, she provided distraction techniques, medical-play therapy, and assisted families in coping with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability. Upon completing her studies, Robin worked in the non-profit sector in the Head Start Program, providing services to children and families living in poverty. She has experience in the classroom as a teacher as well as out of the classroom working with the parents of young children--both valuable skills for assisting as a counselor at Adventure Camp! Robin served as an advocate for families and provided them with developmentally centered parenting skills to support the growth of their children. Robin joined the ATS team in November 2017 as an Intake Coordinator, and continues to follow her passion of helping children and families. Robin is the caring voice you hear when you call ATS to conduct a phone intake! She trained for and participated in Winter Adventure 2018, and she’s so excited for her first Adventure Camp this summer! She says, “I already get to witness the progress that our patients make every day and I am thrilled to be a part of their journey” at Adventure Camp! Click here to read more about Robin Kondrat and her take on how selective mutism training has impacted her professional development.
Erin McKay, B.S., is a third year graduate student working towards her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University with a specialization in developmental psychopathology. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University (TCU) in child development. While at TCU, Erin gained significant experience working with children with Down syndrome as well as autism spectrum disorder. Clinically, Erin works with both children and adults on a variety of difficulties (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and social anxiety disorder). She is also interested in working with parents to assist them in helping their children. Erin is looking forward to joining the Adventure Camp team this summer!
Lauren McNeela, B.A., graduated from Saint Mary's College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and is currently a rising third-year student at the Clinical Psychology Program, Child Track at Northern Illinois University (NIU). Prior to beginning her graduate training at NIU, she worked with at-risk children and adolescents in Chicago, facilitating evidence-based techniques to work with externalizing (e.g., conduct issues, attention-deficit/hyperactivity) and internalizing (e.g., anxiety, depressive symptoms, adjustment issues) behaviors. Lauren also has studied the development of psychopathology among at-risk youth after graduating with her bachelor's degree and has worked as clinical student therapist at Northern Illinois University’s psychological services center. Currently, Lauren is conducting research that is focused on adolescent stress and mental health outcomes. In the future, she hopes to develop her child clinical training and expand her clinical experiences to prepare her for treating childhood anxiety disorders. This is Lauren’s first year as a counselor at Adventure Camp and she is looking forward to joining the team and meeting the campers!
Lindsay Miller, M.A., graduated from the University of Wyoming with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and Spanish. After earning her master’s in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University, Lindsay is pursuing her Ph.D in clinical psychology from the same institution and is currently a Practicum Clinician at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions (ATS). Lindsay has a variety of diverse experiences working with children, adolescents, and adults to evaluate and treat a variety of concerns, including anxiety. Her research experiences include examining exposure therapy and panic disorder, while utilizing her bilingualism to extend to Spanish-speaking participants. Lindsay’s previous clinical work focused on court- and probation-mandated psychological services. Throughout her training, Lindsay emphasizes her focus on psychopathology and evidence-based practices, such as Adventure Camp Intensive Group Treatment for Selective Mutism. In addition to Adventure Camp, Lindsay will continue with ATS for a year rotation to work with children, adolescents, and parents coping with anxiety. She is eager to use her passion for evidence-based practices and helping others in her work this summer at Adventure Camp and this year at ATS!
Laura A. Multer, M.S.Ed., earned her Master of Education in school psychology and completed advanced graduate study in school psychology at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. While working as a school psychologist in rural, western Wisconsin, she earned her certification in school counseling by completing a post-master’s graduate study in school counseling at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. Currently practicing as a professional school counselor at the elementary and middle school levels in Kohler, WI, Laura is committed to continuously improving her own practice and contributing to her profession. She regularly presents at regional and state professional conferences and serves as a board member of the Wisconsin School Counselor Association. For over twenty years, Laura has worked with students 4K- 12th grade to provide them with social-emotional, academic, and career support to promote success in the school setting and beyond. She has extensive experience working with students who struggle with anxiety. In fact, Laura pursued the opportunity to become a counselor at Adventure Camp in order to become better equipped to serve her students with selective mutism, communication apprehension, and other anxiety disorders. She is looking forward to using her experience as a school counselor to support the students at Adventure Camp in reaching their goals, as well as learning additional skills that she can bring to her practice and share with others in the education and counseling fields. As a pupil services professional and a mom of two boys ages 17 and 14, Laura is a committed child advocate and is passionate about teaching children and adolescents the skills needed to be resilient, independent and content individuals. Outside of work, Laura enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, traveling, spending time with family, and improving her yoga practice.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Pabis, B.A., is currently a rising second year in Northern Illinois University's doctoral clinical psychology program with a focus on children and families. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology as well as a minor in human development & family studies with a multicultural certificate. Prior to beginning at NIU, Jackie spent time over the past four years working with children at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions. She initially served as an intern and volunteer, and then worked as the Research Project Manager of a longitudinal study focused on the efficacy of intensive exposure therapy for children with selective mutism. In addition to her focus on research at ATS, she has served as a counselor and facilitator for both Winter Adventure and Adventure Camp, as well as co-facilitated groups. Within her graduate work, she is focused on conducting developmental research to better understand parenting behaviors' contribution to child anxiety. Jackie looks forward to returning to Adventure Camp for the fourth time to continue her passion of practicing evidence-based skills with children and families!
Anton Petrenko, M.A., is a fourth year graduate student in the clinical psychology program at Northern Illinois University (NIU). His research focuses on children’s temperament and emotion regulation development. Anton graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. He also obtained a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from California State University, East Bay in 2011. Anton has worked with children in clinical settings for the past ten years, ranging from providing in-home behavioral therapy for toddlers with autism to conducting family therapy sessions involving parents and children. Prior to coming to NIU, Anton worked as a classroom therapist in an elementary school in Oakland, California. While at NIU, Anton continued to gain clinical and assessment experience with children, adults, and families as a clinician in the Psychological Services Center. During the 2018-2019 school year, Anton will be working as an extern at the Joliet Public School District. His favorite part of working with children has been seeing kids push themselves outside their comfort zone, and being rewarded with good memories of new experiences! Anton has been a counselor for winter Adventure Camp for the past two years, and is looking forward to his first summer Adventure Camp. His favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, his favorite summer activity is swimming, and he owns two cats.
Saddaf Raheel, Ed.S., earned her Education Specialist degree in school psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She now works as a school psychologist at Lincoln Early Learning Center and Hawthorn School of Dual Language, where she encounters at least one student with selective mutism (SM) every year. In her search for ways to support these students, Saddaf realized a lack of understanding and resources for children with SM in the schools. In attempts to fill this gap, Saddaf began researching and learning about SM. It was through her self-guided research that she found Advanced Therapeutic Solutions and the opportunity to participate in Adventure Camp. She is so excited to learn about how to help students with selective mutism and bring that knowledge back to her school district. In her position as a school psychologist, Saddaf facilitates problem-solving meetings and consults with both parents and teachers. She assists in the development and implementation of behavioral, social-emotional, and academic interventions. Saddaf wants to build her knowledge regarding the optimum treatment, tools and strategies to support children with selective mutism to lead them on the path to success. Saddaf is eager to bring her experience working with children and families, as well as her knowledge of behavioral treatment and school settings, into her role as a Counselor at Adventure Camp!
Anna Rakowski, MS.CCC-SLP, earned her Master of Science in speech language pathology from St. Xavier University. For the past nine years, she has worked with children of varying ages in a public school setting, as well as adults in a hospital setting. She has experience with students who struggled socially and academically because of a wide range of communication disorders due to autism spectrum disorders, articulation disorders, language delays, apraxia of speech, stuttering, selective mutism, learning disabilities, and many others. Anna has also worked with patients affected by neurogenic disorders such as aphasia and dysarthria, as well as patients with voice and cognitive communication disorders. In addition to being ASHA certified, Anna also holds a bilingual (Polish) approval through the State of Illinois Board of Education which allows her to provide evaluations and treatment in the Polish language for individuals with communication disorders. Currently, she is providing bilingual and monolingual assessments and treatment for clients ranging from toddlers to adults. In the future, Anna hopes to become a resource for other speech language pathologists and families whose lives are affected by selective mutism especially within the Polish community.
Leanna Rosinksi, B.A., received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Northern Illinois University (NIU). During her undergraduate training, she was a research assistant in the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab at NIU and worked with child and parent participants. Her undergraduate research focused on the development of anxiety, and how temperament and contextual factors pose risk or foster resilience. Currently, she is a rising third year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at NIU and is continuing her research in the Emotion Regulation and Temperament lab. Leanna first learned about Adventure Camp as a research assistant in Dr. that lab, as many graduate students in the lab have participated and spoke highly of their experiences with Adventure Camp! As a graduate student, she learned more about Adventure Camp via brown bag presentations, and was drawn to participate because of how the program applies evidence-based strategies to help children overcome selective mutism. She is a clinician for the Psychological Services Center at NIU and conducts assessment and therapy with adults, children, and families. Through that experience, she has gained particular experience in the treatment of anxiety and parent training. She loves working with children and families and is very excited to be a part of the Adventure Camp team. She looks forward to learning from the team and all the campers to be an advocate for individuals affected by selective mutism. Hear from her about why she’s so excited in the short Q&A below!
Anna Snyder, B.A., graduated from Hope College with a bachelor of arts in psychology and secondary mathematics education. She is currently in the clinical psychology graduate program pursuing her Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She has worked with children who experience behavioral and emotional difficulties at the Psychological Services Center at NIU. Anna has also had experience working with a variety of children and adolescents through her experiences as a trained educator. She is passionate about working with children, particularly children who have anxiety. She enjoys working with children and adolescents one-on-one until each child or adolescent has reached his or her full potential. Anna is excited to be joining Advanced Therapeutic Solutions this summer as an Adventure Camp counselor!
Meet Our Facilitators!
Dr. Amrhein is returning to complete her second Adventure Camp experience! She is a licensed clinical psychologist, and this is the second year of her postdoctoral fellowship with Advanced Therapeutic Solutions (ATS). She has enjoyed working with ATS children and families, and is looking forward to camp this year. Prior to ATS, Dr. Amrhein earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Hawthorn Center, in Northville, Michigan, which is the only state-funded inpatient psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents in the state. At Hawthorn Center, Dr. Amrhein provided a variety of services, including psychological assessments, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and coordination of aftercare services for her patients. Prior to her pre-doctoral internship, Dr. Amrhein provided therapy and assessment services to families, children, adolescents, and adults at both the university clinic and a community mental health center in Ohio. These experiences included working with children diagnosed with selective mutism and teaching social skills in group therapy. Dr. Amrhein utilizes a third-wave cognitive behavioral therapy approach in therapy, and integrates other therapeutic modalities to tailor her treatment to the individual child and family. She is an avid reader and enjoys learning about current research developments in psychology. Dr. Amrhein’s research has broadly focused on the impact of communities and parents on the development of problematic behaviors (such as delinquency and depression/anxiety) in children who experienced trauma.
Cathleen ("Cate") O'Leary earned her Master of Arts in counseling from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her practicum and internship at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois where she worked as a school counselor helping students who struggled academically due to social and emotional issues. Her professional experience also includes working as a hospice counselor where she provided anticipatory grief and loss counseling for patients, families, and caregivers. Cathleen has been with Adventure Camp (AC) since 2013, serving as an AC Counselor from 2013-2015, and as an AC Classroom Facilitator since 2016. She also joined ATS' clinical team in 2015 as a part-time therapist accruing her licensure hours to turn her provisional LPC license into a full LCPC license. In addition to providing part-time hours at ATS, Cathleen continues her role as a job coach for both high school and adult transition students with developmental and emotional disabilities at a nearby school district. She provides on-site vocational training and counseling for students who may also have co-existing issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder or selective mutism. As a professional counselor and also a mom of two girls ages 22 and 16, Cathleen feels passionate about providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and adolescents so they may grow and develop to their full potential.
Emily Padgett, M.A. graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois with a bachelor's degree in psychology and Spanish. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a specialization in working with children and families. Emily has been fortunate to work with children, families, and adults across multiple clinical settings, including clinical practice at the Psychological Services at NIU, Joliet Public School District #86, a community mental health center providing multidisciplinary comprehensive evaluations for autism spectrum disorder, and a local private practice. At these sites she had the opportunity to conduct individual therapy, multiple neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents, and work as a leader for group therapy sessions for children ages 6-17, providing empirically-supported interventions to children coping with a variety of difficulties. This summer, Emily will begin an externship at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions! Emily was a counselor for Adventure Camp (AC) 2015 and 2016 and a Classroom Facilitator for AC 2017. Emily looks forward to helping children and families impacted by selective mutism.