Child and Family Therapist Northshore New Trier Wilmette

Charley Smith, LCSW

Executive Director

As Haven’s Executive Director, Charley is responsible for ensuring that Haven provides quality, evidenced-based programs to youth and families in the community. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. He has over 15 years of experience as an administrator and therapist, including work as the Director of Outpatient Services in a large non-profit for adolescents in Chicago’s juvenile justice system.

Charley assess the evolving community needs and looks for solution-focused interventions to best meet the challenges families face today. Additionally, Charley provides therapy to youth and families at Haven.

Contact Charley ::


Shalu Thakral, LCSW

Clinical Director

Shalu is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Clinical Director at Haven.  She is responsible for providing supervision to our clinicians and quality therapeutic services to our youth and families.  Shalu graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University and a MSW from Catholic University of America. She then completed a post-graduate fellowship at the Yale University, School of Medicine, Child Study Center.

Shalu’s professional experience includes clinical work with individuals, groups and families in schools, (med/ psych) hospitals and community-based mental health agencies.  She also credits her work with refugees in former Yugoslavia for laying her foundation in culturally competent, trauma-informed care.  She strongly values being present with her clients, listening empathically to what their needs are and working collaboratively to address them.

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Ellen Switalski Miller, LMFT

Deputy Director of Program Operations 

Ellen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Haven and provides informal counseling and support services at area schools.  Ellen graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies from Michigan State University.  She then completed her Masters of Science in Marriage & Family Therapy from Northwestern University’s The Family Institute.

She seeks to support the individual on a social, emotional and cognitive level, as well as incorporate the family environment to explore their structure, narrative and beliefs in regards to their presenting problem.

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Jimena Escurra, LCPC

Clinician & Outreach Specialist

Jimena is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Haven. She received her MS in community counseling from University of Wisconsin-Madison and her undergraduate degree in clinical psychology from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Prior to joining Haven, Jimena’s clinical experience includes working in community counseling agencies and school settings. Her approach to therapy is strength-based, drawing on existing strengths and resilience while also providing new skills to help clients navigate life transitions, healing and growing. Jimena is bilingual/bicultural in English-Spanish, utilizing culturally competent and trauma-informed therapy techniques.

Contact Jimena ::


Nina Esshaki, LCPC

Clinician & Outreach Specialist

Nina is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Haven and coordinates outreach services at New Trier High School.  Nina received a bachelors degree in English and a masters in Marketing from Northwestern University. She then completed her masters in Community Counseling at National Louis University.  Nina is a long-time Chicagoland resident and very familiar with the community.

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Jeanne Kelso, MA, MS


Jeanne received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. Jeanne’s previous clinical experience includes supporting individuals managing depression, anxiety, substance use, PTSD and sexual identity/orientation. She is inspired by her clients and their ability to continue to strengthen and grow, as they develop an understanding of who they are. She believes in the mind-body connection and incorporates mindfulness and yoga as she finds it beneficial in the therapeutic experience.

Contact Jeanne ::


Joan Madsen, LPC

Clinician & Outreach Specialist

Joan Madsen is a Licensed Professional Counselor and coordinates outreach services at local middle schools. She completed her bachelors in Interior Design from Miami University and holds a masters in Community Counseling from National Louis University. Joan additionally has completed a certification in Spiritual Direction.

Her practice emphasizes a holistic approach to health and well-being through creative and proven therapies.  Her strengths-based work with clients includes coping with anxiety and depression, family systems, women’s issues and finding success in life transitions.

Contact Joan ::



Lauren Spehr, CCLS, MSW  


Lauren has her masters in social work from Loyola University – Chicago.  She received her bachelors at the University of Iowa.  Lauren is also a Certified Child Life Specialist. Lauren’s clinical interests include providing support for young children and their parents with concerns for behavior, social engagement, and school functioning.  Additionally, Lauren previously worked as the Crisis Intervention Manager at Haven and enjoys working with teenagers experiencing heightened conflict at home or those participating in risky behavior.  Lauren utilizes a trauma-informed approach that considers CBT and DBT strategies as well as motivational interviewing and solution-focused therapy.

Contact Lauren ::


Kate Versage, MA

Intake/Fundraising Coordinator, Outreach Specialist & Clinician

Kate completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling with Specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University.  Kate’s clinical experience and interests include LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy, gender and sexual identity development, self-image and awareness, and LGBTQ+ parent support.  Kate works from a person-centered and strengths-based therapeutic approach and utilizes a collaborative process with her clients based on trust and a non-judgmental environment.

Kate is passionate about the expressive arts, which can consist of art, music, drama, writing, and movement techniques and can provide clients an opportunity to express themselves in ways that sometimes traditional talk therapy is unable to do.  It is important to understand that an individual does not need to be an ‘artist’ or ‘writer’ in order to find the expressive arts beneficial and empowering.

Contact Kate ::



Miggie McCurry, MSW

Clinician & Outreach Specialist 

Miggie completed her Master’s of Social Work at Loyola University-Chicago and Bachelor of Arts at the University of Notre Dame.  Miggie’s clinical experience includes working with adolescents and adults living with substance use disorder, anxiety and depression, as well as grief and loss.  She enjoys partnering with parents to support their efforts to raise resilient and healthy children and teens while nurturing their own journey and well-being.  Miggie believes therapeutic support is an invaluable tool for clients seeking greater insight, support, and hope for themselves and their families.

Contact Miggie::



Rory Jeanniton

Rory is a military veteran who served 6.5 years as an aircraft maintainer in the United States Air Force. While on active duty, he was involved in a variety of mental health programs and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from the University of Maryland University College. Following his enlistment, he worked at an inpatient psychiatric hospital with children, teens, and adults who struggled with a variety of behavioral struggles ranging from extreme aggression to suicidality. While there he found that he gravitated towards troubled teens whose anger or sadness stemmed from feeling misunderstood and unheard. This motivated him to pursue a career in mental health. He is now in his second year at Northwestern University’s Masters of Counseling program and is projected to graduate May 2020 as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Rory uses an integrative therapeutic orientation that contains approaches and methods from psychodynamic, CBT, and mindfulness theories. He is exceptionally skilled with individuals who struggle to control their anger, frequently skip school, and feel socially isolated. Additionally, he specializes with multi-race individuals.


Employment Opportunities:

Full-Time Clinical Director

The primary responsibility of the Clinical Director is to provide direct clinical services and supervision for clinical programming, staff and interns. In addition, the Clinical Director works to support the mission and values of Haven Youth and Family Services by participating in and leading programs, providing community education, on-call housing coverage and accepting additional responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.

Please click here for full job description and requirements.

Internship Experience:

Haven is no longer accepting applications for Master level interns for Fall 2019.