Ritamaria Laird
MA, LCPC, NCC, Theraplay Certified
Clinical Director

We love having Ritamaria’s warm, supportive presence around IFC. Even our most shy and anxious clients feel immediately at ease when they meet Rita for the first time. Rita is able to connect with some of the most ‘hard to reach’ clients by validating their struggles and taking the time to understand the unique way they view the world. 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
  • Trauma
  • Attachment disorders
  • Self-Esteem

Rita views therapy as a collaborative effort to create positive change and strengthen family systems and relationships. She also works with parents in order to treat behavioral challenges such as oppositional defiant disorder, school and learning challenges, and FASD.


Advice from Rita:

10 Tips for talking to your kids about terrorism from a pediatric mental health expert
Mom Factually – January 8, 2015

Your kid is dating? Advice to help them navigate this rocky road
Tween Us, Chicago Now – February 6, 2015

How to Handle Kids’ Romantic Feelings at Every Age
Make it Better – February 11, 2015

8 Tips For Success At Bedtime
Neighborhood Parents Network – December 15, 2015

When yelling doesn’t work, connection cools the fire

Rita Interview for Children at Risk Radio Program
November 16, 2015

Homework Through The Eyes of an Anxious Child
Neighborhood Parents Network – September 2016

When is it okay for a child to quit?
Make it Better – September 2016

The Three-Step Fix for Negative Behavior in Children!
Momo&Me – October 2016

How to Help Your Child Cope With a Medical Emergency
The Mighty – March 2017

Do’s and Don’ts for making the best choices for social sharing
Chicago Parent – April 2017

Therapists share 10 ways to limit the trauma for kids impacted by natural disaster
Between Us Parents – August 31, 2017

Podcast: Attachment, Trauma and Taking Care of You
Parent Child Relationship Podcast – October 17, 2017