How we started…
Founded in 2019 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Evergreen Coaching & Counseling is a growing premier group practice promoting psychological wellness and helping our clients become the best versions of themselves.
With branches in Champaign-Urbana, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and Springfield, we offer mental health counseling, academic coaching, wellness coaching, and psychological evaluation, provided by our team of licensed professionals and interns in person and via telehealth.
Dr. Thomas-Stagg has over 12 years of professional practice experience in Illinois, working in public school systems, University settings, and in private practice. He has special expertise in working with college-age students and working professionals. He is a graduate of the School Psychology program at Illinois State University where he earned his Ph.D. in 2008. Since that time, he has worked hard to help learners of all ages maximize their academic potential while caring for their well-being and promoting psychological balance.
You are uniquely you. There is no one else quite like you, and this world needs a variety of minds and hearts. What’s more is that despite your failings, you don’t have to experience yourself with the enormity of shame, doubt, and self-persecution that you are currently experiencing. I have always held dear to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s assurance that, ‘as long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you.’ I am honored to walk your path with you.—Jonathan
It is my sincere belief that we are all just trying to do the best we can to make it through this thing called life, and life is hard. Sometimes life’s hardships result in trauma to you or your child, which can negatively impact emotions and behaviors. If your child is having difficulty managing their emotions or behavior, or if you are an adult who is experiencing emotional or behavioral dysregulation, I can help. I’m here to help guide the journey towards healing, whether it’s healing for yourself, your child, or your whole family.—Brittney
Brittney has over 15 years of experience working with children and their families in Central Illinois. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a BS in Special Education in 2004 and a MS in Education in 2013. Brittney completed the MSW program at UIUC in 2019 and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Brittney has extensive training and experience in treating childhood and family-based trauma, anxiety, depression, disruptive behaviors, and other psychiatric disorders. Brittney is LBGTQ+ affirming and welcomes children and adolescents with co-occurring Autistic or cognitive disorders, as well as parents/caregivers and young adults.
Daniel has an Associate in Arts with a focus on social sciences from Parkland College, and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is now pursuing his Master of Social Work. Daniel is an Illinois native who has worked for over two decades in the retail and restaurant industries in management and training roles. His coaching uses a combination of strengths-based, task-centered, solution-focused, and cognitive strategies, with an emphasis on organization, time management, and study skills. In addition to his coaching role, he serves as Evergreen’s Director of Operations.
If you’re anything like me, the gap between where you are and where you want to be can be stressful, overwhelming, and sometimes downright scary. The thing to remember is, everyone is good at something! My job is to help you find your strengths and use them to make your life easier. If you have trouble organizing your work or getting projects done on time, I’m here to help.—Daniel
Life is full of ups and downs. It can be hard to face ourselves, our lives and our experiences, but I believe it’s even harder to continue to ignore, or delay, our own desire for change. I will meet you where you’re at and help you get to where, and who, you want to be. I’m passionate about helping people lead fulfilling, meaningful lives, and would be honored to support you on this journey. I’m here as we figure out how to help you cope, heal, and/or grow!—Ashley
Ashley has a Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a concentration in clinical mental health. She is a Licensed Social Worker with counseling experience in University settings and private practice. She is certified in Integrated Behavioral Health and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Her clinical strengths include working with adolescents, college students and young adults struggling with anxiety, stress, trauma/PTSD, depression, relational/interpersonal concerns, and life transitions. She utilizes an integrative blend of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, mindfulness, and solution-focused approaches in the counseling process.
Anna Lao is a graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling through Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. She received her Bachelors in Theatre Arts from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 2012 and her Professional Training Program Certification from Dell’arte International School of Physical Theatre in 2013. She has spent over a decade working as an instructor and artist in a mental health adjacent capacity. She also has experience as a mental health crisis worker as well as in Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS). Her clinical strengths include working with young adults, older adults, chronic illness, grief, loss, depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, relational/ interpersonal issues, and life transitions. Anna utilizes a blend of Narrative, Existential, Art, and Drama therapies in her counseling practice.
Sometimes life throws us curveballs that knock us completely off track. Sometimes we are dealt a bad hand with life-changing consequences. I speak from personal experience when I say that ignoring the problem only compounds the pain. I will meet you where you are, even if that means sitting in the dark, scary unknown alongside you. You don’t have to walk this path alone.—Anna
I believe everyone, for different reasons, could use a safe place absent of judgment to discuss their worries, anger, setbacks, and successes. I believe the client/counselor relationship is integral to the success of the client/clients. I work with my clients through communication, encouragement, learning to accept our challenges, and finding solutions or new skills to resolve the issues. I believe in meeting the client where they are emotionally, and working with them to meet their goals.—Sara
Sara has more than 10 years of experience working with individuals with learning disabilities and ADHD, and their families. Sara has more than 5 years experience with caregiver and grief counseling. Sara has extensive training and experience in treating childhood and family-based trauma, anxiety, depression, disruptive behaviors, and other psychiatric disorders. Sara is LBGTQ+ affirming, welcomes children and adolescents with co-occurring Autistic or cognitive disorders, as well as parents/caregivers and young adults. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Psychology, Sociology, and Criminology in 2013. She has been a Licensed Social Worker since 2022. Sara has worked with the aging population through nursing homes and adult protective services, and has worked with families involved in the child welfare system.
Hsin-Lien (Tina), Hu is a Licensed Social Worker in Illinois. Her experience includes working with children, teenagers, and adults in a medical setting and the public sector. Tina graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work in Taiwan and obtained her Master of Social Work from The University of Hong Kong. While she was training in Hong Kong, Tina also worked with families and provided parenting support. More recently, her work has focused on supporting individuals with traumatized experiences. Tina believes in empowering her clients to find their own answers in therapy as they journey together in this process of trust and growth. Her intervention model is anchored on respect for humanity and compassion for others.
I am so glad you’re here.
It’s often difficult to embrace and build space for all the parts of who we are, especially on our own. I believe that mere interconnectedness can encourage, heal, and promote change and growth. I am here to collaborate with you through any season that you find yourself in. You are welcome here. Let’s journey healing together.—Hadley
Hadley has a Bachelors in Psychology from Lincoln Christian University and is a Masters level intern here at Evergreen. She currently is a substitute teacher for elementary and middle school aged students and is working on her Masters in Social Work at Aurora University. Hadley enjoys working with young adults and motivated clients to address concerns regarding anxiety, depression, and current life stressors. Hadley primarily utilizes a person in environment approach and person-centered psychotherapy.
John is a licensed professional counselor in Evergreen’s Peoria office. He holds a Master of Arts from Bradley University in clinical mental health counseling and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Wisconsin. His work on the subject of brain based peak performance training has been published in Counseling Today, the monthly publication of the American Counseling Association. John works from a therapeutic style that combines behavioral activation with mindfulness, using a cognitive and behavioral therapy known as acceptance and commitment therapy. John works with clients of all ages and from all walks of life. He specializes in treating depression, anxiety, and helping people navigate changes in their life including grief, marriage, divorce, parenting, academic challenges and career changes.
I believe we all experience moments in life where living life on life’s terms presents challenges that we did not anticipate. Sometimes people get stuck while trying to navigate these challenges and find it hard to make the changes needed to live their best life. I work with clients to figure out what obstacles and challenges they face, what matters most to them, and learn what skills they will need to overcome those challenges. I focus on teaching you the emotional regulation skills you will need to tolerate the emotions that get in the way of getting where you want to go. I pride myself on honoring the uniqueness of each individual client and providing a non-judgmental and therapeutic place for you to make the changes in your life you need to be successful.—John
In today’s fast-paced world, who isn’t familiar with the feeling life is simply moving too fast to manage? I believe one of many powerful aspects of counseling is that it allows people to build space into their lives to pause, explore their inner and outer world, and embrace their own humanity. I’m passionate about helping people improve their mental health as I strongly believe it is the bedrock of a fulfilling life. As such, my priority as a counselor is to facilitate a warm, compassionate space where we can collaborate to achieve your goals. Congratulations on taking steps to find a counselor who can support you on your path to wellness!—Laura
Laura Gibbs is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who received her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Bradley University in 2013. Laura received a B.S in Psychology from Western IL University in 2007. Laura has worked in several settings and has experience with Child Welfare, Palliative Care and Pediatrics. Laura has expertise in the treatment of anxiety, depression, grief and loss/life transitions, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum related concerns. Laura is passionate about providing parent and caretaker support as she believes care for caregivers is one of the most special ways to support the lives of children. Laura practices through a trauma-informed lens with a philosophy of counseling that is humanistic and person-centered. Laura is skilled with using interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
Lourdes, aka Lou, served in the United States Navy for 14 years while continuing her studies. Lou graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services Counseling with a Minor in Addictions Treatment from The University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 2014 and continued to earn a Master of Social Work with the emphasis of Social Work Practice of Hispanic Children and Families from Our Lady of The Lake University in 2019 at San Antonio, Texas. Lou has experience providing counseling to adults of all ages with involvement in the legal system and addiction. She has worked as a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor for a Drug Court Program in Las Vegas for two years and a Case Manager for Medical Assistance Treatment Program based out of the Peoria County Jail for one year with Gateway Foundation Treatment Services. After graduating from Our Lady of the Lake in 2019, Lou was able to obtain a position as a Behavioral Health Therapist providing clients needing mental health and substance abuse services.
Where do I start? I seem to root for the underdog as I was just one myself. My desire to become a—Lou
social worker started with the passion I seem to have for Vietnam Veterans. I was intrigued and inspired
to help those reach their potential and what seemed impossible into possibilities. I love this quote
‘Never set limits. Go after your dreams. Don’t be afraid and push the boundaries and laugh a lot it’s
good for you’ by Paula Radcliffe.
Angela “Angi” Chasensky has been in the behavioral health field for over 20 years, completing her bachelor’s degree with honors in Psychology from Illinois State University in 2001. She began her advocacy for person-centered services supporting individuals with unique developmental and intellectual abilities at Marc First in 2001. In 2004, Angi became the Director of Day Programming, launching the first developmental training program in Illinois to facilitate autonomy, equality, and community inclusion for individuals with individualized cognitive and developmental abilities. Angi’s personal and professional platform promotes social justice for marginalized populations while eradicating stigma associated with behavioral and mental health. Since 2018, Angi has been leading a community coalition, Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) for Chestnut Health Systems, examining and addressing community deficits for addiction recovery in the community. Collaborating with multiple sectors to provide wraparound services when individuals transition from addiction and behavioral health treatment to their communities and families. She serves on the McLean County Recovery Court Board, LGBTQIA+ Carle Community Advisory Committee, John M. Scott Commissioner, and she was nominated for the YWCA’s 2021 “Woman of Distinction” award in the human and social services. A recent graduate (honors) with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in August 2022, Angi became a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in October 2022. Angi is an integrative clinician incorporating Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Personal Psychology, Experiential and Somatic interventions.
The golden rule is based on treating others as you want to be treated. We need to change our perspective on this adage and ask or observe how people want to be treated, so they feel seen, heard, and respected. A goal of therapy should be to facilitate awareness about how different experiences during various stages of life can cause a range of emotional and behavioral responses. Our responses are the keys to unlocking the cultivation of an authentic relationship with ourselves. How we perceive, process, and interact within our worlds; impacts our psychological, emotional, physiological, and behavioral systems. We all experience transitions and seasons that cause more disruption than others. You are not alone; I will walk this journey with you in a safe space, free from moralistic judgment. When you can process and navigate your layers of experience in a guilt and shame-free environment, motivation to replace maladaptive thoughts and feelings becomes the baseline for positive behavior change. Together, we will develop adaptive problem-solving skills to decrease the impact of your defined stressors and increase your resiliency to connect or reconnect with your authentic self.—Angi
I want to start by saying I’m proud of you. It takes a lot of bravery to seek help. It may not feel that way, and your brain may be saying ‘yeah, but…’ However, you cannot have bravery without being afraid. Courage is being scared and doing it anyway, because you believe it is the right thing to do. I believe that everyone is always doing their best with what tools they have. It’s when those tools aren’t working that it’s important to seek support from a therapist who can help you find new tools and new ways of approaching challenges. I see therapy as a tool much like GPS. In an unfamiliar city, you may know where you want to go but don’t know the best way to get there and you can’t see your options as clearly from street view. As a therapist, I can help you find routes to success, to growth, to healing. It’s okay to feel lost. You aren’t alone.—Tara
Tara (she/her/hers) graduated with a BS in psychology from Illinois State University and continued her education with a MS in psychology from Western Illinois University with a concentration in Clinical and Community Mental Health. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been practicing since 2020. Tara has a background in working in community mental health agencies working with marginalized and underinsured clients of all ages. Tara’s therapeutic approach has a foundation of person-centered therapy. She incorporates additional techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and solution-focused therapy. Tara is LGBTQ+ affirming and strongly believes in utilizing a multicultural, intersectional, perspective. Her clinical strengths include working with anxiety, gender identity, self-esteem, communication and boundaries, and domestic violence.
Sharon has over 12 years of experience working with adolescent and their families in Bloomington-Normal. She graduated from Illinois State University with her BS in Social Work in 2010 and proceeded to work in the school system with children on the Autism Spectrum. She completed her MSW at Illinois State University in 2020 and is a Licensed Social Worker. Sharon completed her internship at ABC Counseling where she worked with children and teens who had a history of sexual abuse. Sharon has training and experience in treating childhood trauma, anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideations, Autism, and other disorders. Sharon is LGBTQ+ affirming and welcomes all individuals with co-occurring developmental disorders as well as caregivers, teens and young adults.
Are you ready break free of the stress and silent struggle within so you can feel happier, shine brighter, and live life to your fullest potential? Everyone faces challenges and has difficult times in their lives. You don’t have to face them alone. I know how anxiety, depression, and past trauma can create the feelings of not being good enough and can hold many people back from living life to their fullest potential. I utilize an integrative, holistic, and strengths-based approach to therapy in which the client is an active participant in their own healing. Therapy should not just address the symptoms, but the whole person mind, body, and spirit. I provide a safe, healing space with no judgements. You will be seen. You will be heard. You will be supported. I look forward to connecting with you soon!—Sharon
I am so proud of you for taking the chance on YOU and getting the help you need and deserve! You matter and you are enough right where you are, and I am here to help you remember that, even through life’s toughest days. You deserve to work on being your absolute best self holistically (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually etc), as self care is vital to your existence. Thank you for giving me the privilege to be a part of your journey through transparency, healing and self love because you’re worth it!—T
Tashana is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a B.S. in Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master’s of Art, in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University-Belleville. She specializes in using an integrative approach to therapy and prides herself on active listening, empathy, compassion and the continued use of unconditional positive regard. Tashana has worked with children, adolescents and adults who have had challenges with behavioral and emotional disorders, learning disabilities, stress, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma/PTSD and time management (just to name a few).
Jen is a Licensed Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Human Services from Capella University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Illinois, with over 20 years of therapeutic experience working with families and individuals of all ages who have struggled with a wide range of challenges including attachment and relationship issues, complex developmental trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and the unique needs of individuals with autism. Jen has provided therapy to adoptive families for over 10 years and has a deep understanding of adoption-specific issues that individuals and families can face. Jen is a Trust-Based Relational Interventions (TBRI) Educator and Practitioner, a certified Trauma Affect Regulation Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET) facilitator, and a certified Safe and Sound Protocol provider. Jen utilizes a blend of cognitive and somatic interventions to help clients achieve their therapeutic goals and has been trained in the ARC model, Theraplay, EMDR, and nutritional and integrative interventions for mental health issues.
I approach therapy from an integrative, holistic and strengths-based perspective. I strongly believe that the best healing occurs in the presence of mutual respect, emotional safety and acceptance. I take a comprehensive approach that integrates focus on healthy lifestyle behaviors, physical health, and mental health as well as the development of healthy trusting relationships and a support network that you can rely on even when therapy has finished. A favorite of mine, Brené Brown has said that “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Reaching out for help during a time of struggle requires strength and courage. I invite you to reach out and allow me to help you feel more successful and confident in your ability to manage whatever challenges you face.—Jen
So many times in life we feel like we are alone. Whether we are experiencing grief, depression, difficulties in our everyday lives or in our family situations, we wonder if there is anyone else who can possibly understand our circumstances. Sometimes, what we really need is someone to listen to us and not feel like we are being judged. My belief in counseling is that you are already strong and brave to take the step of seeking assistance in your needs and my role is to walk alongside you in the situations life has brought your way. In a judgment-free zone, you will be valued for who you are as you seek to understand you are not alone in your situation.—Elissa
Elissa is an ordained PC(USA) clergywoman who has served the denomination for over 14 years following obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and Master’s Degree in Divinity. Currently, Elissa is a student at Capella University working towards a Master’s of Mental Health Counseling. In addition to working as a solo pastor, Elissa has worked as a chaplain in a trauma level 1 hospital, as a substitute teacher, and a youth director. Elissa has worked with individuals of all ages and has served alongside families from birth to death. Elissa has spent much of her career walking with families in the grief process. She believes that all individuals are indeed individuals and while cognitive-behavioral therapy is a primary method, Elissa believes each client’s needs come first and she caters to these needs.
Ashti is a Licensed Social Worker with a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a U.S. Army veteran, with over fifteen years of service, and she also holds a Certification in Alcoholism and Substance abuse, PAIP certified for domestic violence and is certified as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapist as of April 2023.
My approach is to focus on what brings YOU into therapy and walk with you in your personal journey of healing. Strength, courage and bravery are three great components I believe we all possess, however, sometimes life just seems too heavy, and clients have difficulty recognizing these components. Whether you are struggling with your mental health, grief & loss, military/veteran issues, substance abuse problems, depression and/or anxiety, let’s work together to get you to a better place mentally and emotionally! One main obstacle to seeking mental health treatment is the stigma surrounding “going to therapy.” With that, you are often left feeling alone or more alone than before. My goal is to assist you in understanding and managing your mental health and successfully working on your goals.—Ashti
Counseling may seem daunting at first, but it is my priority to help clients feel comfortable and safe as they move at their own pace. I strongly believe my clients are not defined by their mental health symptoms and that anyone is capable of finding the personal power to meet their goals. In therapy, I do not take a “one size fits all” approach, and I often use existential, experiential, and explorative methods to help clients create change. In every case, my office is a safe space where all are welcome to be their authentic selves without fear of judgement.—Dani
Danielle earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies, as well as a graduate degree in Human Development Counseling from University of Illinois, Springfield. She’s also a National Certified Counselor. Danielle specializes in LGBTQ+ issues, anxiety, and women’s issues, and also treats mood disorders, trauma, ADHD, OCD, substance abuse, and personality disorders. Danielle offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy(DBT), Existential Therapy, Integrative Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Therapy (MBCT), Motivational Interviewing, Multicultural Therapy, and Trauma-Focused Therapy.
Terra is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois and Indiana with over 20 years of counseling and mental health crisis experience. She has an MSW from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. She has worked with adolescents, adults, and couple in community based, office based, and most recently tele-health settings. Her areas of expertise include: depression, anxiety, suicidal and para-suicidal behavior, adjustment issues, and trauma. Terra has been trained in EMDR. She provides a multi-faceted approach which includes a solution focused blend of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfullness, EMDR trauma concepts, and a whole person approach.
I’m so happy that you reached out for help. I see myself as your tour guide through the therapy process. While I have 20 years of diverse experience, my main focus has been on depression, anxiety, and trauma. I create a judgment free safe space where you can really dive in and express your emotions and discuss what’s bothering you. I’m solution focused, supportive, and warm. I look forward to working with you!—Terra
Do you find yourself frequently overwhelmed by negative emotions? Do you find yourself trapped in an ever-repeating cycle? You are not alone. Thoreau said, ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ It does not have to stay this way. There is hope. Many times, the first step to changing your life is to say things out loud to someone you trust. I am committed to creating a safe place for you to be real with no fear of judgment. It would be my honor to come alongside you as we work through the things that have kept you ‘stuck’ for too long.—Kristyn
Kristyn has a Master of Social Work from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master of Theological Studies from Urshan Graduate School of Theology. She has experience in private practice settings. Her strengths include working with adults and young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, self-esteem and relational issues, life transitions, and stress. Her therapeutic approach is an eclectic blend including Cognitive Behavioral and Emotionally Focused Therapy. Her education also uniquely positions her to offer Biblical/Christian counseling if requested.
Liz is an EMDR and Theraplay-trained Licensed Professional Counselor, National Board Certified Counselor, and Safe and Sound Protocol certified practioner with a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Illinois at Springfield, a Master of Arts in Human Services also from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health from the University of the Cumberlands. Her clinical strengths are in trauma, adoption and attachment issues. She has experience treating children, adolescents, and adults.
Contrary to what many people believe, not all adversity is bad. Through a concentrated effort, I believe that we can change our strivings into strengths. Trauma occurs when our challenges outweigh our available resources and supports. That’s why it’s vital for us to counter the most difficult things in life by increasing our resources. I enjoy being able to come along side people who refuse to give up and push forth with resilience in spite of adversity and setbacks. I have had extensive training in trauma and attachment since entering the field in 2009. As an EMDR, Theraplay, and Safe and Sound Protocol (Polyvagal Theory) trained therapist, I understand how healing from the past to be more fully present also requires paying attention to the memories storied in our bodies. I would love to help you learn and grow from your past setbacks, trauma, or current struggles. My goal is to help you see your challenges as they were truly meant to be seen: as the catalyst that transforms you into the unique and amazing person you are.—Liz