A commitment to each child

At Individual and Family Connection, we’re passionate about the children and families we serve. We’re pediatric therapy specialists in private practice, offering child-focused support and solutions in a comfortable, child friendly environment.

An emerging leader in pediatric therapy, IFC empowers children, families and communities, by restoring function, and emotional and behavioral regulation to a struggling child. Expert IFC therapists counsel children ages 18 months – young adulthood; they also educate and connect families to additional resources by employing a whole child approach that transcends the sterile confines of a larger health system.

We employ a unique approach called Through the Eyes of a Child℠. This allows IFC experts to develop a personal treatment plan that is integrated with a child’s school and social networks, and home environment. This gives IFC unique flexibility to address a child’s challenges, with highly effective, customized treatment plans with attention to timely completion. IFC works collaboratively with medical specialists, and primary care pediatricians and family practice physicians, as well.

Ritamaria Laird MA, LCPC, NCC

Ritamaria Laird, MA, LCPC, NCC, Theraplay Certified

We love having Ritamaria’s warm, supportive presence around IFC. She is often quick to identify her client’s strengths (even when they can’t find them for themselves) and is able to help them utilize these strengths to reach their fullest potential.

Rita has specialized training and experience in treating:

  • Anxiety
  • Behavior Problems
  • Loss or Grief
  • Attachment disorders
  • Self-Esteem
  • School Refusal
  • Depression

Rita views therapy as a collaborative effort to create positive change and strengthen family systems and relationships.

Julianne Neely MSW, LCSWJulianne Neely, MSW, LCSW

As the founder and director of IFC, Julianne is passionate about providing families in Chicago with a quality pediatric therapist who understands their child’s unique needs.

Julianne has specialized training and experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Transracial Parenting
  • Behavior Problems
  • Attachment
  • Foster Care & Adoption
  • Depression
  • School Refusal
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Christian Counseling

She strongly feels that each person and family goes through seasons of life where extra support is needed. She considers it a privilege to step into others’ struggles and challenges in order to offer a listening ear and a helping hand.


Corinne Alt, B.A., B.Ed, M.Ed

Having an educational therapist on our team has helped IFC provide academic support that extends beyond emotional and behavioral interventions. Corinne’s passion and desire to help children thrive in the classroom is a wonderful contribution to IFC’s team.

Corinne offers:

  • Reading Assessments
  • Reading Interventions
  • Printing & Writing skills
  • Executive Functioning Skills
  • Individual Education Plans
  • Gifted Education

Corinne has extensive experience in the classroom and is a strong advocate for accommodations that will help children succeed in the classroom. She enjoys partnering with parents to ensure academic success for their child.

Erin Fisher MSW, LSW

Erin’s passion for people is evident in the therapeutic bonds she forms with her  clients. She believes that individuals of all ages are ever changing and growth is limitless. It is through her empathetic and fun spirit that she connects with her clients and is able to form an open environment that encourages exploration and growth.

Erin offers expertise in:

  • Anxiety
  • Anger/Aggression
  • Attachment related issues
  • Behavioral issues
  • Social and relational issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Processing divorce

Erin provides a therapeutic process that is inclusive of the child’s family, builds on their strengths and addresses the child’s needs on a multitude of levels. Erin uses a variety of therapeutic approaches to create an individualized treatment process for each client that  harnesses their individual strengths to work toward positive growth and a positive sense of self.


  Our Admin Team:
Melissa Willis & Sierra Tubbs

Melissa and Sierra are the first people you will meet upon arriving at IFC and they will make you feel right at home. Clients appreciate our admin team’s strong sense of compassion when they call during a crisis. Melissa and Sierra will listen closely to your family’s individual needs and work hard to get you in to see a therapist as soon as possible. They will walk you through the process of setting up an appointment and understanding your insurance benefits.

Melissa & Sierra are trained and experienced in:

  • Intake Coordination
  • Crisis Management
  • Trauma Informed Environments
  • Sensory Friendly Care
  • Insurance Reimbursement
  • Customer Care

Melissa & Sierra are well versed in each therapist’s individual skill set, personality, and specialties to help match your family to the therapist that will best meet your needs. If you are not sure which therapist is best for your family, give them a call or send them an email and they will find you the right fit!


Kristen Dua, MA, LCPC, NCC

With her genuine attitude, Kristen promotes empathy and respect to help individuals navigate a variety of life situations. Kristen believes that children and adolescents do better when in relationship with family, school, and peers; and that therapy can help to build and strengthen these connections.

Kristen offers expertise in:

  • Depression & Mood disorders
  • ADHD
  • Anger management
  • Conflict
  • School performance & behavior
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Family communication
  • Family stress & transitions
  • Recovery from child sexual abuse

Additionally, Kristen is trained in Child-Parent Psychotherapy and specializes in helping children and families recover from the trauma of child sexual abuse; recognizing that trauma impacts every member of a family differently and their needs vary.