Post Adoption Therapists
Corinne FergusonLCSW, Adoption Therapist
Corinne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who initially joined The Cradle in 2013 as an adoptive parent counselor. Corinne has the unique experience of growing up as a transracial adoptee and brings her passion for exploring, understanding and overcoming challenges pertaining to identity and loss. Corinne uses her insight into the dynamic experiences of each member of the adoption triad when providing therapeutic support to children, adults, and families working through post adoption challenges.
Prior to joining The Cradle, Corinne worked with youth and families involved with various facets of the justice system. She has served as a legal advocate and as a liaison for numerous criminal defense teams. Corinne earned her Bachelors of Social Work and Masters of Social Work degrees from Loyola University and completed her graduate level placement with Northwestern University, Child and Family Justice Center.
Joe FlintLCPC, Adoption Therapist
Joe counsels adult adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. He specializes in helping people struggling with the impact of stress, life transitions, grief, depression, and anxiety. He is also skilled in helping adult adoptees and birth family members manage uncertainty of searches and reunions.
Prior to beginning his private practice work in 2004, Joe worked with Chicago Lakeshore Hospital as an inpatient counselor and AIDS Pastoral Care Network doing outpatient counseling. In addition to his counseling work with The Cradle, Joe also works with The Cradle Foundation as a senior development officer.
Joe graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2000 with a Master of Arts degree in community counseling. He and his partner adopted two daughters through The Cradle’s Sayers Center for African American Adoption.
Dori FujiiLCSW, Adoption Therapist
Dori Fujii is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in the field of public and private child welfare and adoption since receiving her Master Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana. She has consulted with DCFS in their pre- and post-adoptive services programs and since 1997 and has worked at The Cradle with families adopting domestically and internationally.
Dori has specialized training in attachment focused, trauma-informed treatment modalities and is a registered Circle of Security® Parent Educator. She has particular interest in helping parents find effective ways of understanding, communicating and connecting with their children and teens. Her approach is practical and relationship oriented. She stresses the importance of being aware of how past experiences play a role in shaping the thoughts, feelings and actions of all members of the adoption circle.
Cassandra HowardLCPC, Adoption Therapist
Cassandra is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Specialist in Clinical Child and Family Studies. She has extensive clinical experience working with children and families, including foster and adoptive families, and is trained in Trauma-Focused Therapy, Attachment and Self-Regulation, Depression, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Grief and Loss, and Emotional Dysregulation.
Cassandra utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy because she believes a person's experiences form the thought processes that dictate behaviors. Her experience has taught her that each person is different and should be treated as such, which is why her approach is individually tailored with each client in mind.
Mandy JonesLCSW, JD, Adoption Therapist
Mandy has worked almost exclusively with adoptive and foster families since she began her career. A certified Theraplay® therapist, she takes a particular interest in helping families with young children form strong attachments and work through sensory concerns. Mandy is also experienced in helping adopted individuals with identity, loss, and anxiety concerns throughout their lifespan.
Through her legal work, Mandy has advocated for children in the child welfare system. She also uses her legal knowledge and advocacy skills to help families gain Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and other essential resources for their children.
Mandy earned her BA in Political Science and her BS in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She earned her Master of Clinical Social Work and Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University.
Taylor RussellLCSW, Adoption Therapist
Taylor seeks to strengthen families by providing a safe space for adoptees and their parents to explore how past experiences and current behaviors affect the entire family. She is particularly interested in helping children and adolescents make sense of their adoption identity while coping with feelings of loss, anxiety and depression. In addition to working with families formed through adoption, Taylor is an Expectant Parent Counselor at The Cradle, providing options counseling to pregnant women and new parents considering adoption for their children.
Taylor is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in the field of adoption and child welfare since receiving her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work in 2013. As a result of Taylor’s work with both birth families and adoptive families, she is uniquely positioned to assist her clients to navigate challenges and uncover inherent strengths amongst all members of the adoption circle.
Jeremy SternLCSW, Adoption Therapist
Jeremy completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and he received his Masters of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Jeremy specializes in work with children, adolescence, and families and is passionate about helping his clients achieve clear, practical goals. In therapy Jeremy uses a modern relational approach to help parents and children reach their great potential. His past experience also includes Jewish Child and Family Services and Lift Chicago.
Judy StiggerLCSW, Adoption Therapist, Clinical Director of Adoption Learning Partners
As Adoption Therapist, Judy works with children, adults, and families with post adoption issues. She provides training for parents, educators and clinical professionals. As Clinical Director for Adoption Learning Partners, Judy creates content and coordinates with professionals. Previously, Judy coordinated international and domestic adoption programs. She authored "Coping with Infertility" and many articles related to adoption.
Judy conceptualized www.AdoptionLearningPartners.org, creating the content for Conspicuous Families and other courses. She presents at local and national conferences, and serves on the advisory board of Adoptive Families Magazine. In 2000, Congress recognized Judy with an Angel in Adoption award, in recognition of her years of service and expertise. Judy and her spouse are the adoptive parents of two grown, special needs children and are also birth grandparents of one, and grandparents of two, lovely granddaughters.