Meet the Staff
Sara Raja, Clinician in Training
Joe Serrano, PsyD
Matthew Mooers, MA, LMT
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 Psych 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 Florida State 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 of practicing clinical psychology.
Areas of Expertise and Warm Approach
Dr. Serrano works has been working with us for many months now, and his patients have been vocal about their positive experience with him. He treats a range of difficulties, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma related issues, relational troubles, and much more. His patients specifically enjoy his warm and laid back style that he uses as he guides patients towards improved mental health. Dr. Serrano also has clinical experience and interest in incorporating art and humor into therapy to promote growth and achievement of clinical goals.
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.
Matthew chose a career in clinical psychology in order to help people work through challenges and start living the types of lives they want for themselves. Matthew emphasizes acceptance and insight building when he works with patients in therapy, and he adopts a collaborative stance in searching for strategies that will be most effective.
Education and Experience
Matthew is currently enrolled in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL where he also earned his MA. He obtained his BA from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Matthew has been trained to work with patients across the lifespan; he currently focuses on working with adults. He has a plethora of experience working with people from different cultural backgrounds and is also experienced at working with individuals suffering from chronic pain and substance abuse difficulties.
Creating a Safe Space
Matthew’s overarching goal as a therapist is to provide opportunities for patients to feel safe and supported as they more deeply consider who they are and what they want in life. Matthew is experienced in working with a range of mood, anxiety, and trauma-related difficulties. He particularly enjoys guiding patients who want to explore their sexual orientations, gender identities, and racial identities as well as helping people navigate career paths, relationships, and personal values.