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Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Certified Theraplay® Therapist and Supervisor

Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in training

Allison is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with nearly 20 years of experience. Allison completed her graduate training at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Following graduate school, Allison worked for several years as the social worker in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and then at The Theraplay Institute as the Clinical Manager and a Child and Family Therapist.

Allison has a deep understanding of the unique aspects of caring for children and families. Allison is certified as a practitioner and supervisor in Theraplay, and trained in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Narrative Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Yoga-Informed Psychotherapy. Allison’s areas of expertise and interests include anxiety, children and/or parents with extensive medical care, physical and sexual trauma, family transition/separation/divorce, and grief and loss. Allison is passionate about helping families through crisis. Her calming, reassuring nature allows children and parents to feel comfortable and understood, and most of all, hopeful.

Allison earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Art in Social Work at the University of Chicago.

Speaker Topics:
The Body’s Response to Trauma
What is Medical Trauma?
Applications of Theraplay for Medical Trauma

Little Bodies and Growing Brains: The effects of trauma in early childhood


Both Mommy and Daddy Love You: A coloring book for children whose parents are separating or divorcing

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Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist

Certified Theraplay® Therapist and Trainer

Andrea has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Miami University with an emphasis in Child Development. She obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago with a dual specialization in School Social Work and Children and Families. Andrea previously worked at a community mental health clinic focusing on children and young adults experiencing anxiety and depression. Additionally, she has experience in the public school system providing individual and group therapy for children ages 2-6. In her clinical work, Andrea uses a strength-based perspective, incorporating the learnings from trauma, attachment theory and brain development to help families optimize relationships and their sense of connection.  


Andrea has just completed a two-year postgraduate fellowship in Infant Parent Mental Health at the University of Massachusetts/Boston in November 2019.


Andrea is a Theraplay Trainer and Supervisor as well as a Registered Play Therapist. She has held a role on the IL Association for Play Therapy Executive Board since 2017.  

Speaker Topics:

What is Theraplay®

Trauma in the Classroom

Sibling Rivalry



Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Developmental Therapist 

Certified Lactation Educator, Certified Educator of Infant Massage,

Level 1 Theraplay Trained


Erin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 12 years experience working with children and families. Erin earned her Bachelor of Art in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and her Master of Science in Child Development with an Infancy Specialization at the Erikson Institute and her Master of Social Work at Loyola University of Chicago. Erin completed her graduate training at Evanston's NorthShore Hospital and the Erikson Institute's Fussy Baby Network. Following graduate school, Erin worked for 10 years as a Developmental Therapist and Social Worker at La Rabida Children's Hospital on the inpatient unit and in the outpatient Developmental and Rehabilitation Center. 

Erin has a strong understanding of child development and parent child relationships. She has spent her career working in the Early Intervention System as a Developmental Therapist and Social Worker in the home and at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. During that time, she treated children and families with chronic medical conditions and developmental delays. In her clinical work, Erin uses a strength-based approach and trauma perspective while incorporating attachment theory principles and developmental knowledge to help families optimize relationships and connections while supporting child development. Additionally, she has experience working in maternal mental wellness, providing prenatal and postpartum support to mothers and children. 


Erin is proficient in both written and spoken Spanish in conversational and work related settings.

Speaker Topics:
Infant Behavior and Cue  

Toxic Stress 

Infant Massage



Sophie Marwil is completing her Masters of Social Work at Erikson Institute in Chicago. Sophie has an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Connecticut College and received her Master of Science in Child Development from Erikson Institute in 2020. Sophie was motivated to return to Erikson for her Masters in Social Work based on her desire to help families navigate the challenges of raising healthy children in an increasingly complex world.

Sophie has an extensive background working with children and families. Sophie has worked as the Associate Director at Chippewa Ranch Camp for several years. In that role, she has learned the importance of cultivating space in which a child can grow and recognize their confidence, resilience and empathy. Additionally, while earning her Master’s in Child Development, she completed an internship as a part of a Foster Care Team at Brightpoint. Sophie enjoys working with families and their children as well as providing individual support for children ages 1-10. Her developmental approach focuses helping parents understand how children grow and change in their capacity to manage their emotional life and what parents can do to best support their children as they acquire important life skills.

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Rita Pillai is a Licensed Social Worker, who completed her Masters of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago with a focus on Advanced Clinical Practice. She received her Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Psychology at Saint Mary’s College.

Rita has nearly 10 years of experience working with children and families in a variety of capacities. She has cared for and worked with children and adults with disabilities through summer camps, day programs, and respite care at hospitals. Rita is a strong advocate for families, her goal is to assist individuals and families as they go through transformations and transitions in their lives. She believes therapy is an important way to provide tools for her clients to help them learn more about themselves and develop a range of tools to use outside of the session.

Rita has a deep compassion, understanding, and empathy for those who have experienced feeling marginalized. Helping individuals build strong, stable, healthy environments and relationships is her passion. Her strengths-based approach allows her clients the opportunity to build on skills they already have and develop new skills that will support creating stronger relationships.

Rita has also completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification and believes that can be an effective tool to help clients regulate their mind and body both inside or outside a therapeutic setting.

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