Meet the Staff
Sara Raja, Clinician in Training
Joe Serrano, PsyD
Liara Montesano, PsyD
Sara English, LCPC
Sara Raja is a MA student doing her clinical training at Guada Psych Services. Sara's motivation to pursue a career in clinical psychology is related to her natural desire to see people feeling good. Sara is able to offer services in two languages, both English and Urdu, which we hope can be useful to our local community.
Education and Experience
Sara is currently enrolled in Northwestern University's MA program. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology here in Chicago at UIC where she worked in their the Memory Lab. There, she and other team members used neuroimaging methods to better understand the function of memory in humans.
Sara has an extremely warm demeanor that helps her patients feel comfortable. She currently sees adults dealing with mild mental illness. Sara has been a great addition to our team. She is supervised by Dr. Guada as well as Dr. Montesano.
Joe Serrano, PsyD
Sarah English, LCPC
Sarah English has been at Guada Psych since 2017, and we are so glad she is still here. Sara is a clinically astute and socially personable woman. In her own words, "My passion is to help individuals and families who have gone through experiences not everyone can understand. I enjoy equipping my patients with targeted skills to help them return to enjoying everyday life. My priority is to build a healthy relationship and rapport that creates a safe and open environment. I build realistic and attainable treatment plans with my patients to bring them relief."
Education & Experience
Sarah earned her Masters degree in Counseling from Adler University here in Chicago and her BS from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. She has clinical expertise treating adults with histories of severe depression to mild or moderate depression and other mood disorders. She has considerable training and also enjoys working with patients who deal with substance use or families that need help working through family stress.
One size does not fit all
Sara is a goal focused gal, thus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in many ways feels second nature to her. However, Guada Psych clinicians are skilled at utilizing a range of therapeutic styles and do not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Sarah's kind personality and keen clinical skill set allow her to provide a safe space for people to find mental health growth.
Liara Montesano, PsyD
Dr. Liara Montesano has been practicing at Guada Pscyh since October of 2019 and has proven to be an invaluable asset to our team. According to Dr. Montesano, "I view human beings as having vast amounts of potential that is often held back by different complications. I chose clinical psychology because of my desire to see individuals become the best versions of themselves." Today, Dr. Montesano works with child, adolescent and adult patients in therapy and assessment/evaluation.
Education and Training
After finishing her Bachelors degree at Capella University in clinical psychology, she completed five years of intensive study at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. This schooling required clinical rotations at multiple facilities, and she earned positions at some of the most difficult training sites, including Northwestern University’s Family Health Center and Illinois Masonic Medical Center. As a clinical psychologist, she is highly qualified to treat your difficulties, and she can speak both English and Spanish fluently.
Dr. Montesano's patients struggle with insecurity, self-doubt, loneliness, obsessive thinking, and many other challenges that compromise quality of life. Her office offers a place where people can explore themselves and find ways to better cope with their lives. At Guada Psych, we do not have any expectations for our patients, and we work to meet people where they are at. Using her soft and insightful ways, Dr. Montesano guides her patients towards positive treatment outcomes.
Kati Guada, PsyD
I have always had compassion for people in emotional pain, and that passion lead me to open Guada Psychological Services in 2016. Guada Psych is a place where all people can come to receive top notch services by highly skilled professionals who take a patient-centered approach to care.
Education and Training
I earned my BA from Indiana University in beautiful Bloomington, IN. Intent on deepening my cultural understanding of people, I then spent an extended period of time in Beijing, CN, and Mexico (multiple states). Returning to my home city of Chicago, IL, I entered five strenuous years of study and clinical practice at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where I earned my doctoral degree. Along the way, I learned to treat the most serious of cases as well as how to navigate and work within the mental health system so that the best outcome is achieved for my patients.
Patients and Problems Treated
I love to work with angry/depressed and anxious adolescents as well as their family members, and I have extensive experience in this area. I also enjoy working with adult or adolescent patients with trauma histories who have difficulty in their relationships and who struggle to find happiness on a regular basis. I also work with a considerable amount of patients who deal with anxiety, including social anxiety. I further enjoy helping individuals who struggle with symptoms of psychosis. I meet patients where they are at and evaluate their mental health needs to put together a treatment plan that will lead to positive health outcomes.
Dr. Serrano is a clinical psychologist with over 14 years of varied clinical experiences in community mental health counseling centers, private practice, and inpatient facilities in the Midwest.
Strong Educational Background
Dr. Serrano attended Northern Illinois University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. He then completed his Master’s Degree in counseling from Indiana’s Ball State University in 2008 and served as a therapist in Chicago for over three years. In 2012, he began his doctoral program in clinical psychology from Adler University in Chicago and graduated in 2017. During his rigorous studies, Dr. Serrano began building his client-centered approach and style in practicing clinical psychology.
Areas of Expertise and Warm Approach
Dr. Serrano enjoys treating behavioral challenges, mood and anxiety disorders, and relational difficulties. He works with individuals, families, and couples in guiding them towards improved mental health. Dr. Serrano has a warm and laid back style that patients very much enjoy. He also has clinical experience and interest in incorporating art, humor, and comic culture into therapy to promote growth and achievement of clinical goals.