On June 30th, 2007 responsibilities for Mary and Tom Leo Associates, Inc were transferred to Moira Baker, Chief Executive Officer and Jessica Kurland, Director of Operations. Mary and Tom Leo continued to contract with the new entity on a part time basis until 2018 when Mary passed away. An important asset of the agency is the education and experience of our therapists. Click below for details.
Founders - Master of Arts, Education Founders of MTLA
Mary and Tom Leo founded MTLA and developed their first contract with DCFS in 1975. They provided individual, couple, and family therapy for clients involved with DCFS. Systemic family therapy focused on developing strengths in the nuclear, extended, and foster families is often utilized. Collaboration with the families, social work agencies, and court personnel for the best interests of children has always been a high priority. The agency offers services in both English and Spanish. Parenting groups started in the early 1980s. They have developed into a variety of parent training classes offered by the agency. Permanent planning assessments began in the late 1980s and parent coaching sessions began in the early 1990s.
In 2007 the legal, financial and administrative functions were transferred to MTLA, Inc. Mary Leo worked as an editor until she passed away in May 2018, and Tom Leo continues to reside in Chicago, IL.
Master of Social Work, Chief Executive Officer
Moira Baker has had 30 years of experience serving children, teens and families. She has therapeutic experience in a variety of areas, from the child welfare system to family courts dealing with divorce, visitation, domestic violence, and child management. She brings all of this knowledge and experience to her private clients helping them work through the stresses of life. Her other duties at MTLA are in the capacity of CEO, working with the Director of Clinical Services to ensure all people that come to MTLA receive quality service.
Bachelor of Arts, Director of Operations
Jessica Kurland inherited the responsibilities as Director of Operations of MTLA in 2007. She is responsible for a variety of duties including overseeing the administration team. Jessica is a personable, client-focused person who loves MTLA, Inc. and the staff. With her busy schedule, she somehow finds opportunities to correlate information and to provide on going support. Project after project, Jessica can usually be found multitasking and on her keyboard through her office at MTLA.
Bachelor of Arts, Certified Parent Trainer
John Bedalow has been working in this field for over thirty years. He is the lead parent trainer for MTLA and is also certified in utilizing the Boystown Model. John specializes in behavioral interventions and motivational incentives to educate children to behave in effective and socially appropriate ways. Seeing parents develop self esteem and confidence in their ability to effectively interact with their children inspires him to continue to educate and motivate parents and families to live a satisfying family life.
Master of Arts, Family Counseling
Kolleen Blume, MA, LCPC, ICDVP is an interactive, family systems-focused, cognitive-behvioral therapist that integrates a variety of practical techniques to provide feedback and support to educate and help clients effectively address life and relational challenges. Kolleen Blume provides individual psychotherapy as well as couples therapy, play therapy, parent coaching, and parent training. Ms. Blume can help a parent create structure and practice useful parenting techniques for parents who are experiencing difficulty with their child's negative behavior. As a therapist, she has worked with individuals experiencing domestic violence, addiction, divorce, and adolescents and their families. Ms. Blume has experience working with couples involved in multicultural relational issues.
Master of Social Work
Elaine has over 22 years post masters experience empowering individuals, families and communities as they strive to process issues that impair their ability to function at their full potienical. She has served on three different boards which focused on early education for children. Besides her knowledge of family systems, she has also developed curriculum and taught Vanderbilt University Child and Family Law Clinic Symposium. Currently, she enables individuals and families seeking guidance to concur issues that challenge how they function by utilizing her training and experience working with Post Traumatic Stress, Addiction challenges, Domestic violence, Child abuse and Divorce.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Jim has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1996 and has worked 20+ years in Illinois Child Welfare. He is compassionate to all walks of life and has worked with clients from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. As a Social Worker, he believes in the philosophy of empowering the client to develop their own goals in therapy and assisting the client in developing strategies to improve their lives and become more self-sufficient and fulfilled in their personal life.
Licensed Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Counseling
Jacqui is an Associate Licensed Marriage (Couples) and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Master’s Degree in Family Counseling at Northeastern Illinois University. Jacqui is a Certified Level-1 provider of trauma informed, evidence based mental health services through the IDCFS and is recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors. She is extensively trained in Parent Coaching.
Jacqui utilizes an Integrative Therapy approach, which allows for treatment plans that are tailored to each person, couple and family. Jacqui has worked with children and young adults, some with a wide range of developmental differences. Her commitment is to help them cultivate their individual strengths and learn self-regulating skills so they can communicate their needs and feelings in adaptive ways. Understanding that the strength of the family unit is key to each member thriving, Jacqui provides a safe space for open communication and honest expression. She has enjoyed helping clients of all ages grow in confidence, love and connectedness.
Jacqui is currently under supervision while working towards next level licensing.