Stephanie Marquart, MA received her MA from Wheaton College Graduate School in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with training emphases in child play therapy, family systems, and sexuality. She is working towards the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential under the supervision of Seth Allison, MA, LCPC. Her clinical training was at Wheaton Youth Outreach, where she pursued her passion to work with children and adolescents in a community mental health context. During this time she received special training in crisis intervention, utilized evidenced-based practices, and integrated research into her clinical work. Stephanie has advocated for children and youth by presenting at scientific conferences on topics of group child-centered play therapy and the efficacy of healing models for traumatized youth.
With her deep love of travel, Stephanie had the opportunity to explore over ten countries and is looking forward to adding more to the list. Most recently, she went backpacking in Europe. Two years prior, she spent three months in Swaziland, Africa, where she mentored adolescents who were struggling with depression, self-harm, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A Southwest Florida native, Stephanie loves spending time outdoors as the Illinois weather permits and has some excellent bicycling accident stories to share. She is an avid listener of music and is continuously learning how to cook.
Stephanie’s Approach to Therapy
In my therapeutic approach, I am relationally-minded and person-centered. Although I have experience with all ages, I am particularly passionate about my work with children and adolescents. I value the vulnerability and trust it takes for parents to seek help for their children and teens. Via empathic understanding and my own authentic engagement, my goal is to create a genuine, safe, and empowering connection with each client.
In my work with children, I believe that play is the child’s language and toys are the child’s words. I strategically implement therapeutic play to empower children to communicate when they have not yet developed the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings. Play therapy helps children experience and express emotion and facilitates the development of relational skills and self-efficacy.
In my work with adolescents, I am sensitive to the challenges of identity development and ongoing transition. This sensitivity enables me to develop and maintain safe and authentic relationships with adolescent clients. Creating safety in the therapeutic relationship also enables me to address self-harming behavior effectively. I am able to collaborate with adolescents in identifying and replacing harmful coping skills with healthy coping skills.