Meet Our Clinicians
Dr. Dathan Paterno
Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Director
Dr. Paterno is the founder and Clinical Director of Park Ridge Psychological Services. He is also the author of three published works, including the parenting book Desperately Seeking Parents.
Dr. Paterno is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He received his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago. He completed his doctoral internship at The Arlington Center for Attention Deficit Disorders in Arlington Heights, IL, where he assessed and treated children, adolescents, and adults.
Dr. Paterno’s Philosophy
Dr. Paterno affirms that all people are biological, social, and spiritual beings. He believes that all of these are relevant in assessing and responding to a person’s struggles. To ignore any of these facets of the personality, then, would be to ignore an essential facet of a person’s being, functioning, and suffering.
He adamantly denies the currently held myth that emotional disorders/problems are the result of genetically transmitted, biochemical imbalances. While he recognizes that biological factors are relevant to psychological/social/emotional problems, he sees “symptoms” as meaningful and purposeful, within the holistic context of the person. This means that almost all problems are essentially normal responses to abnormal situations.
Dr. Paterno denies that psychotropic medications are necessary, effective, or generally safe. While he sees plenty of clients who choose to remain on psychiatric medication, he utilizes non-medical alternatives, which have been proven — in an ever-expanding body of research and also in his professional experience — to be more effective and safe.
LCPC, CYT, Practice Manager
Meghann is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Yoga Therapist, and fitness professional. She holds an M.A. in Counseling, B.A. in Psychology, and a CYT in Yoga Therapy. Along with providing counseling services, she currently teaches ongoing yoga classes, facilitates continuing education, and leads seminars on mental and physical health topics. Meghann has been practicing, studying, and teaching many styles of yoga and group fitness for 20 years, and is a skilled teacher in relaxation techniques and breathing practices.
Her counseling style incorporates client-centered, body/mind, and cognitive-behavioral practices, combined with integrative techniques appropriate for each client. Her therapeutic techniques revolve around empowering individuals to progress towards improved health and well-being. With close observation and guidance, Meghann creates treatment and lifestyle plans based on an individual’s needs, with their input and participation. Her emphasis is on methods for managing or healing a variety of conditions including but not limited to anxiety, depression, OCD, stress reduction, eating disorders, body image issues, somatic disorder, muscular skeletal issues, stress related illnesses, injury rehab and prevention, preventative health, improving nutrition, and the psychological aspects of pain and pain management.
In addition to her studies in psychology, clinical work, and traditional counseling, Meghann studied holistic approaches to health at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Aryuvedic Medicine, where she obtained her therapeutic background, which includes applications to mental and physical health conditions, as well as Yin and Restorative practices. She also acquired yoga certifications and training hours from Richard Freeman’s Yoga School (Ashtanga), YogaView (Vinyasa Yoga Level 1 and 2), and CorePower Yoga (Power Level 1, 2, and 3, Hot, Sculpt, and Restorative). She is an American Aerobics Fitness Association Group Fitness Instructor.
Meghann believes that individuals can achieve success in all aspects of their lives by improving their health. The connection between body, mind, and environment is constantly explored in the therapeutic relationship, and it is Meghann’s goal to help her clients learn new ways to cope with tensions and transitions that are a part of everyday life. This is achieved by investigating the biological, psychological, cultural, societal, and environmental factors of life, and how each of these affects physical and emotional health.
Meghann works with children, adolescents, and adults. Along with traditional individual psychotherapy and group counseling (talk therapy), Meghann is available for yoga therapy, fitness training, and wellness counseling. She is truly committed to helping others through listening, interpersonal skills, and motivation.
Meghann’s therapy dog Romeo is an essential team member. Trained to provide affection, comfort, Romeo is a friendly, obedient, calm, patient, and affectionate support.
Olga Zavgorodnya is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Olga has been working with Park Ridge Psychological Services since 2012 as a psychometrician, and later furthered her career as a therapist. Olga has experience working with children, adolescents and adult populations. In past years, Olga has worked at Wheaton St. Francis Hospital as an Emergency Room Behavioral Liaison, Holocaust Community Services as a Clinical Case Manager and ongoing researcher for Marquette University. This work has brought her knowledge of individuals across the whole human developmental life span.
She specializes in Trauma, Grief, Depression and Anxiety. Her practices stem from Mindfulness, Cognitive-Behavioral and Multicultural perspectives. She strongly believes that each client deserves to have an individualized approach from the best evidence based therapies available to us. As an abundant amount of research is derived, more techniques are available to be explored and applied appropriately to therapy sessions, for the most successful outcome. No one person is the same, therefore, allowing Olga to select the best strategies based on identifying the needs and mental status of the client, at the present moment. Everyone has unique needs; therefore, everyone deserves to have a unique experience on their journey to mental health well-being.
Olga believes that we have an opportunity to rewrite the way that we see ourselves in the present moment, future and in our past. Our past ultimately influences our current feelings, behaviors, and reactions to the environment in our lives. When you are ready for change, through positive perspective training, you can begin to shape your behaviors to promote happiness, health and stability. Through the therapeutic process, you will learn to embody your best self.
Additionally, Olga’s beliefs are strongly centered around bringing families together and figuring out ways to reunite, connect, and grow together. She understands socioeconomic struggles and influences on our mental health. Olga focuses on delving within each individuals’ core values to distinguish ways in which they can find resilience in themselves. Her goals are to help each individual find the right coping skills and tools they need for a full and happy life. Every day is a new opportunity to find the joy in your life. Her personalized approach to therapy creates a wholesome experience for anyone seeking change and improvement in the lives they lead.
Lastly, Olga additionally offers therapy in Ukrainian and Russian, as she herself emigrated from Ukraine as a child. Olga’s background and training, offers culturally sensitive approaches to both therapy and psychological evaluations for visa application services.
Pascale Burns is a Licensed Clinical Professional MA, LCPC Counselor with over 18 years of clinical experience. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech from Northwestern University and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
Pascale’s clinical experience includes 2 years of Master’s practicum work, 11 years of crisis assessment and counseling at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates and 5 years as a psychotherapist in private practice in Park Ridge, IL.
Pascale skillfully works with her clients, both individuals and couples, as they navigate the broad scope of challenges across the lifespan.
Her approach is integrative, but is informed by principles from cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment and solution-focused therapies.
Pascale is keenly aware that the pain that comes when one is suffering can leave them feeling lost and ill-equipped to navigate life. She believes that every individual is uniquely created by God and that with an outside perspective we can find strength to confront even the most difficult realities.
“Whether it’s a long-term condition that needs attention or a moment of crisis you find yourself in, I will help you gain insight into yourself and your situation. I will help you create a roadmap to move forward as well as gain insight into the power that lies in your reactions.”
Jessica comes to Park Ridge Psychological Services with a passion to help those in the community achieve their optimal selves through positive behavior change. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor, she specializes in health, wellness, and addictions. With years of experience in the weight loss, body image, and behavioral health industry, she navigates individuals to a healthier version of themselves.
Jessica began her work with clients facing food and body image struggles in a therapeutic behavioral camp environment and has held Clinical Director, Behavioral Coach and Admissions Coordinator roles. She also held the position of admissions counselor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
She graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor’s in Health Science and a Master’s in Human Developmental Clinical Counseling. During graduate school she implemented a health and wellness initiative called “Get Fit, Stay Fit” for Bradley University that continues to this day.
She guides clients through their personal journey utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness techniques. Her passion is instilling positive behavior changes within teenagers, young adults, and families. She has extensive experience working with families and supporting them through their healthy lifestyle changes. Jessica works with individuals in many different stages of life and helps them through the counseling process taking a holistic approach. She understands that each journey is unique and creates and individualized plan for her clients.
She is currently accepting new clients and looks forward to guiding you on a path to your healthier self.
Dijana Strinic obtained her Master’s Degree in Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Her background is primarily in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with children on the Autism spectrum from ages 2-13. As a practicing behavior therapist, she honed her skills in providing a nourishing environment for children with specific needs, while learning a myriad of behavior approaches and techniques suitable everyday use.
Dijana’s clinical internship paired her with youth aged 4-17, where she enjoyed working in both individual and group settings. She learned numerous modalities to support children and their families, as well as creating safe spaces for people to feel welcome to discuss anything. Dijana currently advocates for improved mental health through her volunteer work as well as throughout everyday life.
Dijana works to create a fun environment for young people in her office. She utilizes games, toys, puzzles, sensory activities, and other modalities. She specializes in working with children and their families using a dialectical behavior (DBT) lens. She further uses cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as well as a narrative approach. Because every child is unique, Dijana recognizes that an approach may not work for everyone. She believes that all children and parents have a right and need to tell their story and to have someone listen, care, and respond without judgement.
Participating in therapy can be quite difficult for a child. Dijana believes that the benefits are more than worthwhile, ultimately teaching and modeling for the child that safe people and environments exist and there people one can talk to who can provide understanding and empathy, as well as fun.
Samantha Nguyen is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She obtained both of her two Master degrees–Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Forensic Mental Health Leadership–from Adler University in Chicago.
Samantha completed her internship training with the YWCA Evanston/Northshore, Unaccompanied Children at Heartland Alliance, and Tuesday’s Child working primarily with children, adolescents, their parents, and women. These internships have made her multiculturally competent and aware.
She specialized in Trauma, Depression and Anxiety. Her therapeutic approach is a mix of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), trauma-informed and strengths-based. She believes everyone possesses strengths that need to be recognized. She customizes each therapeutic session to the individual’s needs so that they are able to better know themselves. As Alfred Adler stated, “overcoming difficulties leads to courage, self-respect and knowing yourself”.
LCPC, Ed.D., M.A.
Dr. Sherilynn Asuoha is a licensed clinical professional counselor, published author, and educator. She holds a certificate in Christian ministry from the Sophia Institute of Kingdom Pathway Church and a Doctor of Education from Bradley University. Her current research and practice is grounded in two evidence-based, relational, result-oriented frameworks: Sanctuary Model (Bloom, 2008) and Culture of Care (Greenhough, Davies, and Bowlby, 2022). Both frameworks, though developed for distinguished systemic purposes, share a common emphasis on the power of relationship, values, and accountability–the most integral elements for establishing the culture and conditions required for healing, recovery and thriving after crises.
“Pain is personal. No one can tell you how to experience it. Likewise, your purpose is personal to you, too.”
She supports and equips individuals, couples, and families as they identify their “why” and develop a plan to identify and overcome any barriers to accomplishing their plan. Dr. Sheri utilizes and teaches clients the following therapeutic interventions to aid them on their journey to healthy, purposeful living:
- Motivational Interviewing
- Cognitive Behavior Therapies
- Dialectical Behavior Therapies
The aforementioned therapies promote distress tolerance, emotional regulation, effective communication, value-based decision making, healthy social skills, boundaries, self-care, empathy, action planning, and other skills needed to live a healthy, meaningful, and productive life.
Dr. Asuoha studied psychology and social work at Lewis University. She received several awards for her efforts in community service and student leadership. She graduated with honors and obtained her master’s in clinical counseling from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Asuoha learned, served and lead in residential and treatment facilities such as Teen Living Programs (Ignite), Children’s Home + Aid Society, Inc., Emmaus, and Little City Foundation. She instituted the standard of equipping and hiring program participants and alumni to work collaboratively with clinicians and practitioners to implement accessible, trauma-informed, best-practice protocols and a healthy culture of care and sanctuary.
In 2021, Dr. Sheri was invited by the Mayor of Chicago to work with a team of researchers, servicemen, and residential stakeholders to inform CPD’s Use of Force policies. She has authored and contributed to peer reviewed articles and manuscripts that address spiritual, mental, and organizational health.
Dr. Sheri is an adjunct professor at Northeastern Illinois University and an ordained Christian minister at her local church where she and a team run an after-school enrichment program. She is married to a musician/IT guy. Together, they have four daughters. She loves all things Star Wars, enjoys a healthy obsession with books, and holds the unsolicited opinion that DC Comics are better than Marvel.