Kathleen O Retzner


Katie has been working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2003. She works with children as young as five years old, adolescents, and adults for individual and family counseling.  Her therapy style is nurturing, strengths-based, and relational.  Katie integrates cognitive-behavioral, insight-oriented, and solution-focused approaches along with humor into therapy with her clients.

Katie worked for seven years as a social worker in the Illinois public school system with children, adolescents and their families.  She provided individual and group counseling and taught parenting classes.  Katie’s work in the schools often involved crisis intervention and on-the-spot troubleshooting, where she learned many simple yet effective methods that are helpful to individuals and families that allow them to shift from negative, ineffective patterns to healthy, positive ones. She also worked extensively with special needs issues as well as typical childhood concerns ranging from social skills deficits to emotional management concerns to loss issues. Prior to this time, Katie taught public speaking and writing classes for eight years as an adjunct instructor at Benedictine University.

Katie works with clients with some of the following concerns:

Adoption, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Boundaries, Communication, Decision Making, Depression, Divorce/Separation, Grief, Life-Transitions, Parenting, Relationship Issues, School Problems, Self-Esteem, Social Anxiety, Spirituality, Step Parenting, and Stress Management

“Many times the client will tell me that ‘I never thought of it that way!’ I help clients to discover and rediscover the gifts they have and ways to use them to overcome obstacles they are facing. I love the chance to get to know my clients and for them to experience unconditional positive regard. I am kind but honest and in our relationship they feel safe enough to introduce and work on their concerns. The use of cognitive behavioral therapy means that I can help clients to recognize and/or identify unreasonable or unrealistic expectations that they have of themselves or others. From there, we are able to look at what is reasonable or doable. This is often very healing for people because they can more clearly see what can be done differently to work through a problem or to break a negative life pattern.

Children and adults often come in with worries or sadness that seem unbearable to them. I listen to their concerns and pain with kindness and without judgment. I work to guide them to new hope and by God’s grace, I try to empower my clients – ‘the tall and the small,’ to discover or rediscover their unique gifts. We look at how these gifts may be used in conjunction with new ways of thinking and acting. I join with my clients so that they learn to heal their pain in order to problem solve; grow spiritually and personally; and even thrive in the midst of adversity.”

Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University in 1977.  Her Master’s in Communications from Wheaton College was achieved in 1985 and her Master’s of Social Work was received from Aurora University in 2003.  Katie’s communications expertise is often shared with clients who become much more skilled and confident in their communication with others. She frequently helps individuals and families to replace negative communication approaches with healthy, productive ones.

Katie has been married to Bill since 1982 and they have two adult children. She is an avid reader and enjoys working out, baking, going to the theater, listening to music, and traveling. Katie is also a Eucharistic minister at her church and an occasional speaker at local high schools and churches on the topics of parenting and resilience.

Reduced fees are available to clients who meet the financial guidelines.