Graystone Manor

34121 N. Rt 45, Grayslake Il. 60030

The Family Stress Clinic

1641 N. Milwaukee #7

Libertyville, IL 60048

224 430 9804


"We are live in the shelter of each other" Irish saying

Our joys and our hurts are embedded in family. Since 1996 I have had the privilege  of working with hundreds of families in ways known to be effective. Here I share several processes that give us a structure in which to work confidently to achieve the goals you have agreed upon.  


Discernment Counseling  (Hybrid) 

As defined by Dr. William Doherty, Founder and life-time Marriage and Family Psychologist, Discernment counseling is a process for couples to decide if they want to work more intensively on their marriage or if they believe divorce is the best option for them. Discernment counseling is a time-limited process(1-5 sessions). 

I have found this process to bring such clarity to couples, with such efficiency that I use it for all couples with mixed agendas. By mixed agendas I mean that one partner is more emotionally invested in the marriage (or partnership) than the other.   I can not promise it will be easy, but I can promise it will have a clear ending after no more than 5 sessions. It can be preventive of divorce. Like tune-ups for cars prevent total break down. :) 

The process is this:  With my support, each partner individually examines their willingness to commit to making changes that put them on a stronger path. The assumption is that the marriage needs to be more satisfying to both of them in order to be sustainable in the long run. Each partner looks at what might be their contributions to the issues between them.  Each session is divided roughly half between individual time and meeting in a joint conversation.  At the end of each session, each partner decides if they want to continue the process. If the couple decides to separate or divorce, they are offered referrals to Mediators and/or collaboratively-oriented Family Law Attorneys. 

Discernment counseling sessions are 90 minutes.  Due to the necessity of holding open 90 minutes until a decision has been made to return or end the work, this is a private pay service.  Sessions are $225 each. 

For more about Discernment counseling click here. (Northwestern Family Institute) 

Difficult Conversations (In-person only) 


There are expected transitions like becoming an empty nester, or planning for aging-in-place. Unexpected decisions can be forced on us by chronic illness or having  to fill the role of Caregiver suddenly.  Perhaps your family wants to plan preventively for eventualities that worry them. Families find that committing to intentionally exploring upcoming changes makes coping with them immeasurably better. 

Mediation provides a forum for family decision-making. It is private, confidential and completely voluntary. I facilitate a purposeful and directed conversation in which family members are encouraged to express their interests and concerns. Our meetings are informal and are held in locations that meet your family's needs, my office, your home or a group living facility. 





9:00 am-5:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 pm


9:00 am-5:00 pm