Lives Changed

The greatest risk of all is the risk of going unnoticed. – Bill Bernbach

Our client’s are the heart of what we do

We strive to provide the best care in the most comfortable, friendly, and compassionate atmosphere possible. We continue to receive many compliments and written notes from our clients. We’ve included some of the feedback we have received here for you to review and gain a feeling of how our clients feel about our services and provide you with confidence that we can help you with whatever your particular needs may be.

If you have feedback, whether positive or suggestive, we are always interested in hearing it! As we continue to build our online experience, we will provide surveys on our website if you would like to participate in evaluating us.

Oral-Motor / Feeding Therapy

We have been taking my 7 year old son to The Therapy Tree in Lake Villa for about two years now and I cannot begin to tell you how lucky we are to have found such a wonderful and capable feeding therapist in Laura Houston. We found Laura by chance back in 2012 after my son started going to school full time and we had to change our therapy times to late afternoon (which are VERY difficult spots to find available). We see her weekly and it has changed my son’s entire world of eating.

Two years ago, my son was eating only mashed or pureed foods and was still drinking milk out of a bottle. Yes I know how strange that sounds for a then 5 year old, but he has a brain injury, is non-verbal and had a significant amount of trouble progressing to the next level, until we found Laura that is.

Laura has such a great technique and develops such a great rapport, there are things only she can work on that my son won’t even allow me to do! She has such a sense of calm which is important when you’re challenging a young child to go outside of their comfort zone. My son can also get aggressive or have meltdowns and Laura always keeps her cool and somehow manages to get him to calm down. Not an easy task, even for mom!

What is so impressive is the fact that in the last 6 months or so, my son has hit the ground running out of the gate. Not only is he starting to feed himself now, he’s even eating textures and other food items I would never have thought safe to try with him. He eats crunchy items, large items ALL without any mashing or pureeing and best of all he drinks a multitude of liquids now out of an open-face cup. Yes, completely unbelievable which would not ever be achievable without Laura’s help. I used to have helpless aspirations that maybe by the age of 10 he would be at this point, but within months she as well as my son’s very capable nanny have changed his world. Where food used to be just a means to an end, now he goes into the pantry and refrigerator and helps himself or points to what he wants.

While my son is still a special needs little guy, it’s nothing short of incredible the accomplishments made to date in my son’s feeding. I can now actually take him to restaurants and order something off the menu.

Previously, I’d be terrified to take him anywhere without feeding him lunch first in fears I wouldn’t be able to get the right texture.

We’ve been on the therapy scene for about as long as my son’s been alive. I’ve been in search of someone like Laura to help with feeding and give us solid strategies for 5 of those years. We’ve “tried-out” many a therapist in those 5 years. I can’t give her enough kudos. She’s truly changed all of our lives with how far she’s helped him go. Her solution is so unique, I merely mention her name at school, doctors’ offices etc. and everyone seems to know who she is. If that doesn’t speak volumes, I’m not sure what does.

Laura has always been easily accessible by phone, text and email. Nowadays that is important! Bar none, the best feeding therapist or therapist in general we’ve worked with! – Mandy M. (Mom), Mundelein, IL Submitted 9/4/14

Collaborative Services

When our family moved to the area about 4 years ago, we began to look for services for our three older children. Our older boys had received Early Intervention since birth, and our third son was showing signs of needing interventions also. A neighbor recommended The Therapy Tree, so I looked into it. In the last 4 years, our family has received counseling, parent coaching, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy. Our older boys have participated in a social skills group and a handwriting group. Our younger son has done a feeding group to address his sensory processing disorder. Our boys have a variety of special needs, and it is so fantastic that we can go to one place to have all their therapy needs met. Our therapists all work in conjunction with each other, as well as my husband and me, to make sure we are all on the same page with what each of our boys is working on. I love how whenever we have a new concern pop up, I can bring it to the appropriate therapist, who without fail has new ideas to try. If the therapist does not know the answer to a question we have, she/he researches until we find an answer. Our boys have benefited enormously from the kind, respectful, positive, creative, dedicated, encouraging care they have received from The Therapy Tree. The boys have stronger social skills, they have tools to deal with their emotions, their fine and gross motor skills have improved, they can tolerate sensory input more than before, our younger son has tools to conquer speech difficulties…the list goes on and on. My husband and I have received such a wealth of information and help from our team of therapists. We understand our kids better, and now know efficient ways to handle their challenges. The Therapy Tree has changed our family’s lives forever for the better. They are family to us. We wouldn’t be where we are today had we not found The Therapy Tree 4 years ago. We will always be grateful to our friends at The Therapy Tree! – Name withheld by request

I sought out counseling for my daughter to help her to overcome some issues brought on by experiences in her past. I was looking for a site close to my home that specialized in helping children. I wanted to find some place that used Theraplay®, and where I could be an integral part of the work. Therapy Tree offered everything I was looking for.

Within the first session with my daughter, our therapist was able to identify a course of action that addressed my concerns. She made sure that I was comfortable with the therapy she was suggesting. A few times she brought another staff member into the session to help out. Not only has my daughter responded very positively to the work, but I, too, have benefited. Being a parent can sometimes be scary as we wonder if we are doing the right thing for our children. Not only does our therapist help my daughter, she also reassures me, and helps me to address my concerns about how to parent.

My daughter is always very enthusiastic about going for our special time at Therapy Tree. We both look forward to our visits. I would absolutely recommend Therapy Tree to any parent wanting to work through issues with their children, or to enhance their relationships. -Name withheld by request

Speech Language Pathology

My son has been in speech therapy through school since he was three years old. He had speech delay. Last year, at his fifth grade I.E.P. his speech teacher and I discussed getting extra help over the summer. She began looking for places we could go and found The Therapy Tree.
We have been coming to The Therapy Tree since last summer. My son gets one on one time with Rise. This one on one time has made a dramatic difference in his speech.

I would recommend The Therapy Tree to any parents needing extra help. They are very inviting and accommodating. I’ve noticed so much positive change in my son’s speech. Some things he struggled with for so long are no longer an issue. I know it is because of the therapy he received here. -Harmony M.

Theraplay ® with Handling Techniques

I came to The Therapy Tree (for Theraplay ® with Handling Techniques) to help my son Jordan who is on the autistic spectrum. I originally thought it may help his socialization. After our first appointment during lunch he used a spoon for the first time! He also seemed to be okay with new experiences, something that has always frightened him. Jordan has such increased body awareness as he used to bump into things, he now notices his surroundings. He also wants to join us socially not only during Theraplay ® sessions but at home and in school as well. He laughs with us and enjoys seeing our expressions on our faces after he does something the right way or does something he thinks is funny. He is so happy when he comes here and that happiness continues for the whole day – he also requests to come here if he is having a hard day. Coming here has made our family life more enjoyable and I can’t wait to see his progress over the next few months and years to come. – Andrea Smith

Marriage Counseling

In August of 2013, my husband and I were sitting at the conference table in my attorney’s office, about to set the date to dissolve our marriage.

While the attorneys were conferring, my husband asked me if I would try counseling. I was skeptical as I felt nothing could fix what was wrong with us. I agreed because I felt if we tried and failed, we could move on knowing we had done everything we could to save our marriage.

We started regular appointments with Zaida in November. The sessions went surprisingly well, given the fact that I challenged her in the beginning, saying if she could save this relationship, she would be a miracle worker.

It’s been 18 months now and we are doing remarkably well. Zaida was able to sort out all of our ugly, hurt feelings, clarifying our love for each other, re-enforcing why we belonged together. During the process, I truly have come to believe that I truly am loved by my husband. If it weren’t for Zaida’s help, we would just be another statistic. She truly is a ‘miracle worker.’

Zaida, thank you. You have made us believe that this can work. We also feel comfortable in knowing if we should start backsliding, we will come and see you so you can point us in the right direction. -Kathy & Joe R.

Family Therapy

This past year both my teenage daughters experienced life’s stresses resulting in circumstances warranting therapy and through my company’s Employee Assistance Program I was directed to Dr. Medina at The Therapy Tree. My oldest daughter and I underwent co-counseling to help heal our relationship which had been strained for many years. We learned how to communicate with each other in a non-confrontational manner and developed skills to help diffuse our anger when we were stressed or frustrated. Our relationship improved so much that we were able to travel for Spring Break, just the two of us, which is something I would never have contemplated doing prior to therapy with Dr. Medina.

I sought therapy for my younger daughter who was bullied in middle school which resulted in her having very low self esteem and depression which caused her to self harm. Dr. Medina helped her address the negative experiences she endured which allowed her to achieve closure and move forward in a positive direction. Her new positive attitude helped her reconnect with old friends and make new friends. She is much stronger and happier now and is able to handle the typical obstacles with relationships or school on her own and move past them. Although she is no longer in therapy, I know Dr. Medina will always be available to her if needed.

Being a teenager is hard and being a parent of teenagers is even harder. I never imagined I or my daughters would need therapy but the result has been nothing but positive in my relationships with my daughters and our family dynamic. Discussing what we learned and applying lessons to my marriage has strengthened it as well. I am very grateful to Dr. Medina and The Therapy Tree. -Name withheld by request

There are many stories to add here, and they will be coming soon! Please check back often to read others’ hardships, successes, and support.

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