About Us

CORE is committed to the psychological wellness and growth of our clients, helping people clarify their goals and expand their way of thinking.  The goal is to help the client to feel empowered to handle previously overwhelming problems or difficulties by providing them the space to grow in a nurturing environment.  CORE offers the most effective, up-to-date, well researched, and professionally executed interventions, and assessments.  CORE is committed to helping individuals, couples and families address their varied psychological needs.  Through the use of evaluation, consultation, education, and therapy, CORE offers a dynamic and culturally sensitive approach in an affirmative environment.


OUR "CORE" VALUES

All of us are multifaceted, as we have different aspects to our personality.  At CORE, we celebrate all aspects of our diversity as well as our similarities.  Our practice is based on Self Leadership, Systemic, and Contextual Theories.  The foundation of these theories is based in the idea that people have an innate capacity, wisdom, and intuitive knowledge that may be blocked by fears, while also acknowledging the specific circumstances and elements in a person or family's life that have led to these outcomes.  By working to release these fears, we are tapping into the clients’ internal resources.  Therefore, a client can feel empowered and bring about deep inner changes rather than superficial symptom-focused change.


The CORE Team


Dr. Ammara Khalid, Psy.D (Downtown Chicago and Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 x 4000 (Chicago)
Tel: (224) 714-2412 x 101 (Evanston) 

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Dr. Khalid is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois who specializes in individual, couples and family therapy with children, adolescents, and adults of diverse backgrounds.  She completed her Bachelor's Degree from New York University, and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. In her clinical work, Dr. Khalid specializes in individual, couples, family and group therapy. She offers counseling, guest speaking, and consultation services. Dr. Khalid co-founded CORE in 2012 with Dr Rios.

Dr. Khalid's area of expertise is working with children and adults who struggle with depression, anxiety, eating, relationships and divorce, alcohol/drug addictions, trauma, ADD/ADHD, issues related to sexuality and gender, and immigration and acculturation issues. She has extensive experience conducting psychological evaluations, as well as case conceptualization and treatment. Dr. Khalid practices cross-cultural psychology from a systemic orientation, and draws heavily from IFS (Internal Family Systems) in case conceptualization. Dr. Khalid has traveled extensively internationally and is well versed in both English and Urdu/Hindi. She enjoys working with clients from all walks of life and takes a collaborative approach in helping clients discover answers to their problems.


In addition to her work at CORE, Dr. Khalid is an Adjunct Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Adler School of Professional Psychology, and at Argosy University, where she teaches a wide variety of subject matter including adult development and aging, therapy techniques with family systems, and topics related to diversity to both graduate and undergraduate students.


Dr. Khalid is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • Illinois Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs



Dr. Amanda M. Rios, Psy.D, LMFT (Downtown Chicago and Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 x 4001 (Chicago)
Tel: (224) 714-2412 x 101 (Evanston)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Dr. Rios is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the state of Illinois who specializes in individual, couples and family therapy with children, adolescents, and adults of diverse backgrounds.  She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park.  She received her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois where she concentrated her studies on a family systems approach to treatment.  She offers therapy, guest speaking, consultation, and clinical supervision services. Dr. Rios is trained as a Divorce Mediator and offers mediation services separate from her clinical work. Dr Rios co-founded CORE in 2012 with Dr. Khalid.

Her experiences in working with clients have included settings such as university counseling centers, elementary and high schools, community mental health agencies, and psychiatric hospitals.  Dr. Rios enjoys working with a broad spectrum of clients and enjoys learning and understanding the unique elements that all of her clients bring with them in therapy.  She has experiences and interests in working with clients with a range of presenting problems including those who have experienced depression, anxiety, trauma, school problems, and relationship difficulties.  Dr. Rios values her relationships with her clients and sees the therapy relationship as one of mutual respect and trust.

In addition to her work at CORE, Dr. Rios is an Adjunct Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and at Argosy University, where she teaches a wide variety of subject matter including therapy and assessment techniques, child and adolescent development, and topics related to diversity to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Dr. Rios is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Illinois Psychological Association
  • American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Association for Conflict Resolution



Dr. Payal Patel, Psy.D (Downtown Chicago and Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 x 4002 (Chicago)
Tel: (224) 714-2412 x 105 (Evanston)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Dr. Patel is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois providing psychological treatment for children, adolescents, adults, and families. She received her Bachelor's degree from Loyola University Chicago and completed her Doctorate in Psychology from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Dr. Patel has experience administering psychological and psycho-educational assessments, as well as conducting therapy with individuals, families, and groups in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has experience with treating clients across the lifespan that present with a wide variety of mental health concerns. Her professional interests include mood disorders, parenting challenges, women's health issues, emerging adulthood, and difficulties related to life changes.

Dr. Patel's treatment approach is integrative in nature, which includes interpersonal and systemic interventions. She takes an integrated, culturally informed, and collaborative approach to therapy. Dr. Patel believes that various contextual and environmental factors can contribute to clients' presentations and strives to help clients achieve a more congruent life.

Dr. Patel is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • Illinois Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Association


Dr. Emily Parke, Psy.D (Downtown Chicago and Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 (Chicago)
Tel: (224) 714-2412 (Evanston)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

EP

Dr. Parke is a post-doctoral therapist who provides psychological treatment to individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. After a year working at a domestic violence organization, her interest in contributing to the health and well-being of others led her to graduate school to earn her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Adler University.

Dr. Parke finds that early family experiences inform one’s beliefs about themselves, others, and the world around them. These experiences contribute to one’s overall health and well-being. Therefore, Dr. Parke works from a psychodynamic and relational approach, taking careful consideration of one’s family upbringing and cultural context. Dr. Parke believes that each person has a unique narrative that should be approached with compassion and understanding. Her approach to treatment is warm, collaborative, and culturally sensitive. Dr. Parke finds that healing best occurs within an authentic relationship built on trust.

Dr. Parke specializes in trauma and utilizes a trauma-informed lens when working with clients. She has experience working with women’s trauma within a multicultural framework. From her time working at a variety of organizations that specialize in trauma at individual, family, and community levels, Dr. Parke finds that work related to experiences of trauma looks different for each individual and creating a safe, reliable, and non-judgmental space allows for each person to heal uniquely. In addition to providing treatment to individuals, couples, and families, she conducts psychological testing and group therapy.

 
Dr. Parke is an active member of the following Professional Organizations: 
  • Illinois  Group Psychotherapy Society
  • American Psychological Association


Alexandra Smith, M.S, ALMFT (Downtown Chicago)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470 4302 x 4003

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Alexandra Smith is an Associate Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the State of Illinois who specializes in working with couples, families, and individuals from a systemic perspective. Alexandra received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a clinical/counseling emphasis from Azusa Pacific University in California and her Master's Degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University in Indiana.

Alexandra values working from a culturally sensitive, contextual perspective and enjoys working collaboratively with clients to foster self-awareness and to help clients reach their therapeutic goals. Alexandra has experience working with clients who struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, depression, parent-child relationship issues, blended family issues, grief and loss, life transitions, trauma, and couple communication and trust issues. Alexandra's clinical and research interest areas include sexual trauma, working with sexual assault survivors, and women's issues. Alexandra is also a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator and is available for premarital counseling.

Working with an integrative approach, Alexandra works to help clients find and build on their strengths. Alexandra views change as an ongoing process, and, therefore, works with her clients to help them build the tools they need to help with difficult times.


Alexandra is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapists


Dr. Garrett Sidor, Psy.D (Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (224) 714-2412 x 102

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

Dr. Sidor is a post-doctoral therapist who works dynamically with individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents. Dr. Sidor is an Illinois native and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with his Bachelors of Science in Psychology. After working for three years in the field of psychology, his desire to have a greater impact on others brought him back to school to earn his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.


Dr. Sidor believes whole-heartedly in the influence of family context, relationships, and one's individual story on their well-being. Therefore, Dr. Sidor works from a systemic and relational approach. He focuses on building strong and authentic relationships with his clients while also considering numerous elements that may be contributing to their concerns. Dr. Sidor has a variety of experiences in providing treatment to individuals suffering from anxiety, trauma, depression, relationship issues, and problems related to life transitions.

Dr. Sidor specializes in working with families and couples. He takes a collaborative approach in therapy and believes that healing occurs within an authentic and genuine relationship. Dr. Sidor also believes in working at his client's own pace, and creating a safe, non-judgmental, accepting space that allows for exploration of problems without the fear of labels. In addition to providing individual, family and couple's therapy, Dr. Sidor also conducts psychological testing and group therapy. He is also available for workshops, consultations, and presentations.


Dr. Sidor is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Illinois Psychological Association


Hannah Dailey, M.S, ALMFT (Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (224) 714-2412 x 103

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

hannah

Hannah Dailey is an Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in work with individuals, couples, and families using a systemic and multicultural framework. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and a Master’s of Family Therapy from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hannah uses a culturally informed, structural approach to therapy. Her work is rooted in the belief that people are inherently capable and have value. She takes into consideration each client’s unique identity and environment in creating their life story. Hannah uses a collaborative approach to helping her clients reach their goals and develop a life that best serves them within their unique context.

Hannnah has interest and experience in providing treatment for depression, anxiety, grief and loss, couple and family communication issues, life stage transition difficulties, and trauma related to race, sexuality and gender. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults of varying backgrounds. Her clinical work and research experience has been in an integrated primary healthcare setting, with an emphasis on a collaborative approach to overall health and wellness.

Hannah is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapists


Brandon Liu, M.S, ALMFT (Downtown Chicago)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 x 4004

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

brandon

Brandon Liu is an Associate Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the State of Illinois who works with individuals, couples, and families from a holistic framework. Brandon received his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with completion of pre-medical studies from Wheaton College in Illinois and his Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Medical Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University in Washington.

Brandon incorporates a systemic lens in therapy that accounts for biological, psychological, social, and spiritual components or personhood. His focus in therapy includes cultural sensitivity and a contextual perspective. Brandon has experience working with clients and their families whose lives have been touched by acute or chronic physical illness, parent-child relationship issues, grief and loss, life transitions, work-life balance issues, acculturation issues, ethnic/racial identity issues, couple communication issues, and premarital couples. His clinical and research interest areas include Asian-American mental health, couples and families of people with neuro-degenerative diseases, and the intersection between ethnicity/race and sexuality. Brandon is also a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator and is available for premarital counseling.

Brandon works to help clients expand their self-awareness and resilience. He believes that a strong therapeutic relationship is the major impetus for change, that change is a dynamic and ongoing process, and that a collaborative client-therapist relationship is most useful for reaching client goals.

Brandon is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Collaborative Family Healthcare Association


Randi Kalish, Ed.S, NCSP (Downtown Chicago and Evanston)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 x 4004 (Chicago)
Tel: (224) 714-2412 (Evanston)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

randi

Randi Kalish is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist licensed in the state of Illinois, working with school-aged children and their families. Randi received her Bachelor of Science in business management at The State University of New York Binghamton. Raising three children and volunteering in the schools for over 20 years, Randi found her true passion supporting children as they navigate their academic career and returned to school to earn her Education Specialist in School Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2013. After five years working within the Illinois and Colorado school systems, Randi’s desire to further explore the impact social and emotional competencies and the dynamics within family systems have on human growth and development, Randi returned to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology to earn her Doctorate in School Psychology. As a third year graduate student in the School Psychology Psy.D. Program, Randi’s externship at CORE will mark her final year of training before beginning her pre-doctoral internship in 2020.

Randi’s experience includes supporting school-aged children and their families with issues related to specific learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, seizures, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, emotional dysregulation, trauma, and anxiety. She has experience administering various psycho-educational assessments, developing and implementing educational and social/emotional interventions, and identifying appropriate accommodations to support a child in a school setting, and has conducted small group instruction addressing concerns related to executive function deficits and social skills training.  

Randi enjoys partnering with children and their families as they work through many of life’s challenges that are a natural part of human growth and development. Randi focuses on creating a culturally sensitive, safe, and nurturing environment, emphasizing the importance of opening lines of communication, developing healthy boundaries, and building trusted relationships allowing healing and change to take place. Randi takes a relational, systemic, and behavioral approach to therapy, supporting her clients in gaining a greater understanding of the heart, body, and mind connection, which she believes acts as a strong motivational force behind many of our reactions and behaviors when faced with life experiences. Randi works with her clients to raise self-awareness and self-acceptance, empowering clients to achieve their desired goals.

 Randi is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • Nationally Certified School Psychologist
  • Illinois State School Service Provider
  • State of Colorado Special Services Provider
  • NYS Department of Education: Administration and Pupil Personnel Services Provisional Certificate
  • American Psychological Association


Michelle Spiewak M.A. (Downtown Chicago)

[email protected]
Tel: (312) 470-4302 x 4004

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

michelle

Michelle Spiewak is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psy.D. program at The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at National Louis University. Her externship at CORE marks her final year of training before beginning her pre-doctoral internship in 2020. Michelle received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from Carthage College, graduating Magna Cum Laude with Departmental Honors in Psychology in 2016. She earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago in 2019.

Michelle has clinical experience working with adolescents and adults in school settings, community mental health, and private practice settings. Her clinical interests include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, learning disorders, substance use, identity concerns, relationship and family challenges, and acculturation. She works from a culturally sensitive, strengths-based approach, and values the empowerment and inner strength of individuals. Michelle uses empirically based systemic approaches and works collaboratively with her clients to identify and achieve their therapeutic goals.

Michelle appreciates working with clients of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and religions, and believes all clients deserve exceptional mental health care. Michelle enjoys creating a safe environment that helps her clients feel heard, understood, and valued, and embraces the importance of working at a comfortable pace with her clients.

Michelle is an active member of the following Professional Organizations:

  • Illinois Psychological Association

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Tuesday:

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Wednesday:

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Thursday:

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Friday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

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