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Areas of Specialty

  • Anxiety and Anger

  • Grief and Lossand Loss

  • Depression

  • Trauma/Abuse

  • Parenting Stressors

  • Parent-Child Relationship Conflicts and Disruptions

  • Divorce and Family Transitions

  • Early Childhood Development and Mental Health

  • Behavioral Problems​  ​

  • Co-parenting Issues and Concerns

Licenses and Credentials  

  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

  • Illinois Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Credential (I/ECMH-C) 



  • Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology

       Roosevelt University – Chicago, IL

  • Infant Mental Health Certificate Program 

       Erikson Institute - Chicago, IL

Hi. I am Christina Shirley, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and founder of The Kinship Connection, located in Frankfort, IL.

I have over 15 years of clinical experience with working with parents, children, and families in a variety of settings, including: governmental, social services and private practice.    

I specialize in providing clinical counseling and coaching supports to parents and children.  Services are geared  toward helping individuals overcome challenges related to parenting, obtaining/maintaining their own mental well-being, increasing parenting knowledge, and supporting parent-child relationships. 

I also provide therapeutic services to children (ages birth – 5).  Many of my young clients may be facing developmental and/or mental health challenges due to a multiple number of situations or circumstances, some of which may include social and emotional concerns, medical challenges, trauma and abuse, and parent-child relationship disturbances and disruptions.       

As a parent of two children and being married for over 20 years, I know how challenging raising young children can be, especially if your child(ren) are experiencing their own individual challenges.  I truly understand the implications of attachment and relationships.

I also have specialized training in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and have worked as a social-emotional specialist and a developmental therapist.

I received my training in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at the prestigious Erikson Institute in Chicago, IL.     I am also one of a handful of professionals who holds the Illinois Credential of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (I/ECMH -C). 



As a clinical counselors our role is to help parents, children and families identify goals and potential solutions to situations and problems that cause emotional turmoil and frustration.  Through collaborative efforts we will seek to optimize mental health and well-being by improving communication, coping skills, and behavioral change. Our role is also to support healthy parent - child  relationships and interactions that can be sustained for a lifetime. 



At The Kinship Connection, our therapeutic approaches are largely influenced by  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Play Therapy, but a variety of other approaches may be used during our work together. 


Overall,  we believe that through empathy and non-judgment individuals are able to discover more about themselves and be more committed to working toward solutions and change that will allow them to move forward in their lives.   Because we work with young children, we realize the “child-parent” relationship is an extremely powerful and valuable tool utilized to support growth and change, especially for very young children.  Thus, we also offer counseling and coaching supports to parents, caregivers and families. 

Happy Family

If you think you or your child could benefit from counseling or for more information, call us for a no-cost consultation!

The Kinship Connection provides a comprehensive array of mental health, coaching, consultation and other auxiliary parent and child-based services, which focuses on supporting and enriching the overall development and mental well-being of parents and children.   Our programs and expertise are grounded in research regarding  the impact of adversity and trauma on development, physical and mental health.  Services are provided to children (ages birth - 5), their parents, caregivers, families and professionals. 

We offer the following services:

  • Individual Counseling

  • Couples Counseling

  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Assessment and Treatment (i.e., play therapy)

  • Developmental Screenings (up to 5 years old)

  • Parenting Evaluations (i.e., assessment of parental stressors related to parenting)

  • Parenting Support and counseling

  • Parenting Coaching and Consultation

  • Mental Health Consultation and Supervision


Initial Consultation​

The initial consultation is an opportunity for you to share a few details about you, your child and any stressors or challenges that you may be experiencing.   We will also discuss "Informed Consent and Privacy," the counseling process, my therapeutic approach and answer any questions or concerns that you may have.   This will also be the time for us to discuss insurance coverage and payment options.  

Counseling  Sessions 

Our first session will be an intake session, which will not include your child.    We will continue to discuss the challenges and/or concerns you or your child are experiencing.  This step is part of our assessment process.   We will then begin to set goals and develop a plan to reach those goals.   The frequency of sessions will be determined by our identified goals. 


Individual parenting coaching and consultation will also be incorporated, as needed.

These sessions are primarily for the purpose of addressing and supporting parental stressors related to parenting, as well as providing consultation to you regarding supporting the developmental mental health needs of your child.

Parent-Child Therapy and Play Therapy

As part of our work with your child, we will complete a developmental screening and social-emotional assessment to determine your their developmental levels and any presenting challenges.  Sessions are typically play-based and will primarily involve floor-time activities.  Sessions with children birth – 5 years of age will always include at least one parent.

Parent Coaching & Consultation​

Depending on the concerns identified during the assessment and/or treatment phases, parenting education may be recommended.   These sessions may be provided in an individual or group setting.

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