Our couple and family therapists are uniquely trained in state-of-the-art therapy techniques through our partnership with the Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s degree program at Wheaton College.
We follow a “Teaching Hospital Model” where interns and seasoned, credentialed supervisors work closely together to provide holistic, compassionate therapy based on the latest research and best practices in our field. Our supervisors are also professors at Wheaton College.
Meet the Team
Wendy Smith, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist
What challenging and difficult times we are in right now. Just when we make it through one tough situation, it seems like another one comes. Stress impacts our most cherished relationships. We can feel stuck and alone – even when we are with people we love. We can become isolated in community.
At the Center for Family & Relational Health, we want you to know that there is hope. There are ways to mend and heal the pain in our relationships.
This process takes courage. But you only need enough courage for the next step. Our therapists are here to help.
My role at the center is to provide supervision for our therapy interns. I am usually behind the scenes, ensuring our clients receive the best care possible. My hope is that each couple and family who receives care at our center will feel a sense of emotional safety where they can gain skills and confidence to learn, grow, and flourish.
I am also an Assistant Professor at Wheaton College where I teach and mentor graduate students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. In terms of my clinical work, I provide therapy and diagnostic assessment services in and around the Chicagoland area with an emphasis on trauma care. Prior to this, I directed a team of researchers in a pharmaceutical market research firm on the East Coast. I am delighted to bring my clinical and business skills to the center.
My clinical and research interests focus on the intersection of trauma, religious and spiritual coping, and healing. Trauma can be emotional, physical, or sexual and the impact of trauma can last for generations. Trauma can also be systemic and structural, where people are denied resources that they need. Research has shown that trauma can have a devastating impact in all aspects of our lives, and yet many people have been able to find healing and have changed the course of their own lives and their family’s lives for generations.
As a supervisor my goal is to encourage and equip interns to think systemically both in their assessment and understanding of relational difficulties and in their use of interventions for their clients. There is a rich and growing body of research and clinical expertise that we use to guide our care for each couple and family who come to us to receive care. We look forward to meeting you!
David Van Dyke, Ph.D., LMFT
Adolescents have taught me about family therapy. Both my own experiences as an adolescent and an adolescent client I worked with shaped my view of therapy. I thought therapy was meeting one on one and talking about your feelings. While this may be true in some forms of therapy, it was only when understanding that our behavior and feelings are shaped by our family structure and relationships that I started to see permanent change. Bob was a 16-year- old boy who taught me that we can learn new behaviors, but it difficult to maintain them in our old relational systems. Changing in the context of relationships frees people up for new behaviors and feelings.
This is what I hope we provide at the Center for Family & Relational Health. New possibilities emerging from doing relationships in flexible and connected ways.
At the Center, I am a supervisor who gets the opportunity to work with families in collaboration with student therapists. I will be working with students in providing the best care for couples, families and parents, and I might even come to a session or two if it is helpful. Our problems emerge in part from the implicit rules that we live by and learn from our past relationships. This stuckness can present itself as all sorts of symptoms: depression, behavioral problems, stress, conflict, addictive behavior, etc. I want to have our team of therapists help you get unstuck and free to flourish in new ways of interacting.
Outside of the Center, I am the director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Wheaton College. I enjoy teaching about human development, family systems theory and therapy, the intersection of faith and family therapy, and training supervisors. I also believe that Marriage & Family Therapists should be involved in bigger systems that influence families and training. I am an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists-Approved Supervisor, chair of the Illinois Licensing board, and a commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapists.
I try to balance the hard work with some play. The play always involves being with others doing activities outdoors, traveling, or kayaking in reasonably warm weather. I think baseball provides an excellent metaphor for life. My most annoying hobby is genealogy of our families. I have tons of distant relatives all over the whole world and we chat about our ancestors and what we might learn from them.
Hana Yoo, Ph.D., LMFT
I am Dr. Hana Yoo, and I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Illinois, an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy-Approved Supervisor, and an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program at Wheaton College. As I teach and train therapist interns in Wheaton’s MFT Master’s degree program, my goal is two-fold, to help them: 1) Assess clients’ presenting issues systemically and identify relational dynamics that may have contributed to the maintenance of the presenting issues, and 2) Assist clients in making fundamental changes in their families’ structures and interaction patterns. By doing so, I strive to ensure that clients seeking couple or family therapy at the Center for Family and Relational Health experience healing and relationship repair through the services provided by our therapist interns.
My primary research interests have centered around child maltreatment and mental health education and training. My recent work has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Child & Family Social Work, British Journal of Social Work, and Child & Youth Services. Beyond Wheaton College, I serve on the board of directors of the Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapists, and I am an accreditation site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.
Jake Johnson, Ph.D., LMFT
My name is Dr. Jake Johnson and I am an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Wheaton College as well as an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy-Approved Supervisor. My scholarly work has been published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Contemporary Family Therapy, and the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, and I have presented on MFT-related topics to both domestic and international audiences. I currently serve as Secretary of the International Family Therapy Association's board of directors and am a former member of the Illinois Association of Marriage and Family Therapy board of directors.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I believe that therapy should provide a space for couples and families to encounter one another and themselves in new and different ways. To this end, in supervising MFT students at the Center for Family and Relational Health (CFRH), I encourage my students to help clients take risks to acknowledge their pains, confront their limitations, and grieve their losses. Ultimately, I hope that through their therapeutic experiences with CFRH therapists, clients find the freedom to be more fully themselves and to feel closer and more connected with the ones they love.