Children’s Counseling

Each year, children’s counselors at A Safe Place help, on average, over 250 child witnesses of domestic violence learn to deal with feelings of fear and confusion, guilt and shame.

It is vital for these youngest of survivors to be able to deal with these strong emotions and to learn new and healthy ways of communicating and relating to others. If left unchallenged and uninterrupted, the dangerous lessons children have observed may be repeated as they grow into adulthood, continuing the cycle of violence for yet another generation.

Children’s counselors at A Safe Place work with both residential and nonresidential children in a variety of settings. They encourage children to acknowledge and express their feelings.

Directed activities let the children practice critical new ways of communicating and relating to others.

Individual Counseling

One-on-one sessions with our children’s counselors focus on issues of loneliness, confusion, fear, anger, and guilt. Counselors help the children acknowledge their experiences and recognize that they were not to blame for the violence of adults. Strengthening a child’s self-esteem is a vital component of this work.

Support Groups

Weekly gatherings are held for preschool children, school-age children, and adolescents. Through art and play activities, children begin to recognize and to express their feelings and to develop age-appropriate social skills. Group activities provide opportunities to practice relating to others without resorting to aggression or coercion. Counselors and volunteers lead family field trips to zoos, parks, museums and other places where newly-learned communication skills can be exercised and healthy parent-child interaction is fostered.

Groups meet:
Mondays from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Waukegan
Tuesdays from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Mundelein
Wednesdays from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Zion

Art Therapy

The Art Therapy program is a form of counseling, which encourages self-expression using a full-range of art media, including painting, drawing, and sculpture. The American Art Therapy Association reports that the creative process and resulting artwork in art therapy helps to explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, and reduce anxiety.


A Safe Place partners with other agencies, and within the legal and educational systems, on behalf of children. The agency’s role is to offer emotional support and to protect a child’s rights and interests. In addition, counselors are trained to detect signs of direct child abuse or sexual assault, in which case appropriate referrals are made. Children’s counselors work with each parent on an individual basis, teaching and modeling parenting skills when needed, and providing information on child development and the effects of abuse on children.


For more information, please contact our Coordinator of Counseling
(847) 731-7165, ext. 127

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