A Community of Support, Health,
and Growth

At Personal Growth Associates, we are committed to helping you develop the life and relationships you want. We strive to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere to address the issues and challenges you face. Accordingly, we make an effort to select the therapist with the most appropriate style and expertise to match your individual needs. Often, our therapists and psychiatrists will use their collective experience to develop therapy goals. This comprehensive care may also include the combination of therapy and medication if appropriate to your situation.
Couples Tip
of the  Month
Negativity kills the safe, loving connection between two people. Try to reduce or eliminate the negative comments you make to your spouse/partner. Can you stop being negative for a few hours, a day, a week? Start wherever you can and watch what happens to your relationship.
- Barbara Fontana, PhD
Personal Growth Associates Welcomes a New Addition...

Valerie Farmer Rausseo, MA, LCPC, NCC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Schaumburg Location
Ext. 409

Valerie received her master’s degree in Human Development Counseling from University of Illinois at Springfield, and her bachelor’s degree from Trinity International University in Counseling Psychology. Valerie has worked with children, youth, families, couples and individuals both in outpatient, inpatient and community mental health settings. Valerie utilizes a holistic approach in counseling. Connecting the body, soul and mind for clients to work towards full integration of self. To read more about Valerie and the rest of our therapists, click here.

Psychological Testing-

For What??

What is psychological testing? 

The goal of psychological testing is to diagnose and guide treatment by utilizing tests and other assessment tools to measure and observe one's behavior. By using standardized and researched tests, we can take an objective look at someone's functioning. To read more, click here.

Are You a New Patient?
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Do you sometimes feel:
  • That you don’t matter? 
  • That all you do is try to make everyone else happy, while never feeling happy yourself? 
  • That you can’t get past the disappointments and hurt you’ve experienced?
  • That life is overwhelming? 
  • Your relationships aren’t what you want them to be?
  • That you want more out of life?

If so, please join our support group for women who want to be in charge of their own happiness and create the life they really want.  Having the support of other women will help you become stronger and more empowered.  You will learn how to:

  • Increase your self-esteem by learning to love and accept yourself.
  • Replace negative thinking with a positive attitude.
  • Grieve losses and disappointments.
  • Create and keep boundaries in your life.
  • Improve current relationships and create healthy new ones.
  • Set achievable and fulfilling goals.

Facilitated by Fonda Lewis, MS, LCPC, NCC

Saturdays from 10:00 - 11:15 am

To register please contact Fonda Lewis at (847) 413-9700, ext. 336
Meet Steve Wodka, Psy.D., one of the partners at Personal Growth Associates!
Steve Wodka, Psy.D. was featured in this CBS local article.

What is Hypnotherapy ?

 Meghan Scully, LCSW CADC Certified Hypnotherapist – ext. 338


“The easier you can make it inside your head, the easier it will make things outside your head.”

 Richard Bandler, co-creator of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)


The image of hypnosis is, for some, a mysterious practice involving pendulums, magicians, mind control and stage tricks. Scary, isn’t it? For others, it is the promise of a “magic pill” which will allow for the riddance of any unwanted thoughts or habits. Well, that does sound magical, doesn’t it? However, I’m sorry to report that hypnosis is far less mysterious or magical than our sensational culture would lead us to believe. It is, in fact, one of the simplest tools our minds possess, continue reading 
Seeking Post-Doctoral Candidates

Personal Growth Associates is a multi-disciplinary practice that takes pride in its excellent team of therapists and medication managers. At PGA, we value teamwork and have created a supportive and nurturing culture, allowing our staff to continue learning and growing.  We are a large, well-established private practice with over 20 clinicians in three different locations.  We place a high value on collaboration, supervision, and self-examination. Our administrative staff and billing team are experienced and highly efficient, thus allowing clinicians to devote their focus to the client.

We are currently interviewing post-doctoral psychologist candidates, a license is not mandatory. Interest in psychological testing and assessment is also desirable. If you are a self-motivated and driven post-doctoral candidate looking to be part of a diverse team of behavioral health professionals, please contact us at:

Joseph Ripp, PsyD

Phone 847-413-9700, ext. 315   

Fax resume to 847-413-1701 or e-mail to josephripp1@comcast.net

Advocating Your Child's Needs and Understanding the Process

Erin Lopresti, NCC, LCPC, CADC

Ext. 403

Sometimes we can miss the most obvious warning signs that our children are having trouble at school. Many times, the signs that they are struggling can be missed and along with it the opportunity to help them navigate through these challenges. To read more, click here...