New Leaf Resources

Therapy Staff


John James Collins, MA, MSW, LCSW
Adult & Adolescent Therapist

John is interested in working with those seeking assistance with managing anxiety and depression, enhancing communication skills, managing anger, processing trauma, recovering from addictions, grieving and adjusting to the challenges of their spiritual journey and relationships.


Master of Social Work - Loyola University Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, with a Minor in Theology - Loyola University Chicago
M.A. in Theology and Christian Ministry - Franciscan University of Steubenville

License, Certifications and Professional Memberships

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Illinois
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Indiana
EMDRIA Member/EMDRIA Certified


John interned at Health & Disability Advocates and at the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago as a graduate student. He provided individual psychotherapy, helped advocate for parents with children who required Individualized Education Plans and aided homeless clients in applying for SSI/SSDI benefits. Since graduating with a Master’s degree in Social Work, John has worked in residential settings at both Timberline Knolls in Lemont, Illinois, and at Gateway Foundation in Chicago. He has experience working with individuals and couples from a broad range of backgrounds, is comfortable bringing faith perspectives into the therapeutic process and also has a working knowledge of the 12-Step approach to recovery. He has also run weekly skills-oriented groups such as Seeking Safety and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). Since coming to New Leaf, John has become certified in providing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Prior to becoming a social worker, John was in religious formation for five years, and before that he worked in a business environment for fifteen years.

Therapy Focus

John employs an interpersonal approach that is relationally-oriented to facilitate a rapport that fosters a working alliance with his clients, helps them to identify their goals for therapy, and promotes their continuing growth (and his, he notes). He employs aspects of cognitive reframing techniques, Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills and Solution-Focused approaches to work on specific treatment objectives and to help with the enhancement of increasingly effective and satisfying living skills. His foundational training is psychodynamic.  He is certified to utilize Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is available to provide EMDR in some cases.  Issues that have been the focus of his work with adults and adolescents have included substance addictions, anxiety disorders, depression, low self-esteem, anger management concerns and marital conflict. Often underlying, fundamental issues such as history of trauma, patterns of interpersonal attachment, unprocessed or unresolved grief, overall personality organization and the quest for meaning and purpose in life have also formed important aspects of many of those treatment episodes. 


John enjoy spending one-on-one time with friends over a meal or a movie, reading or watching documentaries about religion, philosophy, psychology, science and history, and he loves “old” films. He is also actively involved in spiritually-oriented fellowship and is committed to his Catholic faith.

Click on Names to View
Aneece Alicea, MA, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
John James Collins, MA, MSW, LCSW
Adult & Adolescent Therapist
Becky Duncan, MS, LMHC-A, NCC
Mental Health Counselor Associate
Nova Elders, MAPC, MSW Candidate
Adult and Adolescent Therapist Intern
LaSaundra Gordon, MA, LCPC
Child, Adolescent & Adult Therapist
Caryn Johnson, MA, LCPC
Adult and Adolescent Therapist
Norm LeClercq, LMFT, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Supervisor, Marriage & Family Therapist
Darla McKim, MSW, LCSW
Family Therapist
Michaela Wheat, MS, MFTA
Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist