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About : About Me



Ciara Ward

My name is Ciara Ward and I am the founder of Caring Conversations Center. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio with over 8 years of clinical experience. My services are offered to adults, specializing in difficulties related to: stress, coping with life’s changes, anxiety, trauma, identity, body image, self-esteem, career challenges, and LGBTQ+. I received my undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s College majoring in Social Work, with an emphasis on Social Justice and Gerontology. Upon completion I continued my education at Dominican University, where I received my master's degree in Social Work and Conflict Resolution. My counseling approach starts with compassion, providing a warm and intimate atmosphere. I use strength-based, insight-oriented, and collaborative techniques individualized to meet the unique needs of each client. The client is always welcomed to a supportive environment; feeling accepted and understood, while also challenged and inspired to take on new perspectives and daily practices. Sessions and treatment plans will be designed to meet your unique, specific needs. It takes courage to seek an unfamiliar alternative approach to life. If you are ready to take the first step, let’s take it together.


La Juan Baines, MSW, LSW, M.ED 


Therapy is a collaborative space to improve better outcomes by meeting individuals where they are. I have diverse experience collaborating with individuals, families, children, and adolescents who experience behavioral and emotional concerns such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty with life transitions, grief/loss, and trauma. 

My approach is client-centered allowing the client to work at their own pace, while using solution-based therapy, CBT and DBT which are successful treatment approaches. I also provide a safe space for individuals to be heard while reinforcing trust. I am here to provide all the support you need by listening to your needs and establishing goals. 

I have over 10 years of experience working in mental health with women, children, and adolescents. I have also worked as a QMHP, SASS/Crisis Therapist and in Case Management.

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Claire Grigas, Pre-Licensed Professional

Works with children, adolescents, and teens

    Just like adults, many children experience anxiety, depression, difficulty adjusting to life transitions, grief, loss, trauma, and anger. I offer an empathic, supportive, and playful approach to helping children process their emotions in healthy ways- creating harmony at home and school. Using a combination of play therapy, talk therapy, and art therapy, I let your child's interests guide our sessions, creating an environment they are truly excited to come back to session after session.

Through our sessions, your child will practice breathing strategies to calm their big feelings, become more comfortable in identifying and talking about the emotions they are experiencing, and learn strategies to communicate their feelings in healthy ways.

Providing your child with these therapeutic tools is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. I welcome the opportunity to work in partnership on your child's journey to wellness! 


Allie Klappert, Pre-Licensed Professional

I am a pre-licensed professional who is accepting new client's and available to work around topics such as anxiety, depression and trauma. I have experience working with clients who have experienced traumatic events and I work from the model of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

I offer a safe and non-judgmental environment to talk about difficulties relating to stress, anxiety, depression, coping with life changes, trauma, relationships and self esteem. I use a strength-based, and client-centered techniques that is individualized to meet the needs of each client.

I welcome you to an environment that is welcoming and safe for you to process your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. I work to help provide you with skills and resources to achieve your goals. I look forward to working with you to help you grow.

Elizabeth Cortez, Pre-Licensed Professional


Children and adolescents often encounter challenging situations that are difficult to talk through with their parents, teachers, or friends. A therapist can be that source of understanding and support to help them thrive. I have experience working with children, adolescents, and individuals in young adulthood. My experience includes working with topics such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, self-esteem, life transitions and stress. I am also fluent in English and Spanish.

I offer a safe, empathic, supportive, and positive space for each client to work through their emotions and learn lifelong skills to utilize in their future. I use a client centered approach with a variety of techniques that are unique to every client and their needs.

I welcome and encourage you to take that first step in your journey!

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