Hi, I'm Ellie Schendzielos
I recently graduated with my Master of Social Work from Erikson Institute. I was motivated to pursue clinical work with children and families after several years working with them in various roles, including as a Literacy Tutor at an elementary school, and later as a special education paraprofessional; as a child mentor at a domestic violence shelter; and as a program lead at an emergency homeless shelter, providing care and emotional support to children and families experiencing homelessness. During graduate school, I facilitated small groups focused on socioemotional learning for children K-3 while interning at Breakthrough Urban Ministries’ Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program in East Garfield Park. The following year, I interned with JPA at Lawndale Academy, providing individual therapy to students K-8, collaborating with teachers, and supporting families. In each of these settings, in various poignant and formative ways, I witnessed the capacity for healing that develops within safe, compassionate, and trustworthy relationships, particularly for those impacted by trauma. This truth guides my work.
Currently, I am a Staff Therapist at JPA in the NL READS program; I am placed at Kellman Elementary School. My role is to provide school-based individual therapy, primarily to children in preschool through third grade. I also conduct small-groups and classroom groups centered on developing socioemotional competency. My therapeutic approach is relationship-based, trauma-informed, and client-centered; I utilize play and talk therapy, both directive and nondirective. I value taking a strengths-based, culturally-sensitive perspective, along with approaching each individual and their story with curiosity, positioning them as the expert of their experiences, and joining them in nonjudgmental exploration of these experiences. I am enormously hopeful that healing is possible for every individual, and I am humbled by the trust that my clients and their families place in me.