MADE is a paid partnership with Little Lake County.
Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Zaida Medina. Zaida is one of the four founders of The Therapy Tree in Lake Villa.
Zaida is a Waukegan native whose interest in Psychology and working with families whose children have special needs started when her sister was born with Down Syndrome. She believes that every person is capable of living the life they want, we just sometimes need help getting there. Her career began at a child welfare agency; she worked with severely neglected and abused children who were persevering and finding the strength to go on every day. This inspired and motivated her, showing her that even in the most turbulent times, people can rise up when they find the strength from within.
After working at the welfare agency, Zaida moved on to working with Early Intervention; it was there that she met the other co-founders and the idea for Therapy Tree was born. Zaida, Rebecca Cain, Laura Houston, and Carol Bettendorf were all working in different disciplines, but their patients overlapped and they would often consult with each other on the best course of treatment for those patients. The Therapy Tree was born from their desire to form a group where they could have the model of multiple services together to reach and help the entire family unit. They saw that children were not the only ones struggling with day-to-day life, but that their caregivers and extended family were, as well. In December 2003, they founded Birth to Three & Beyond Pediatric Therapies, which has grown into The Therapy Tree.
Each person brought their own specialty with them to The Therapy Tree – Counseling/Psychology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy – and the business and services grew up with their patients. As their patients grew and their needs changed, the team expanded their services to accommodate and treat the whole patient and whole family.
Any parent, special needs or not, will tell you everything is connected in children. Diet can affect behavior, speech affects learning, the stress of a diagnosis (or lack there of) affects families and so on. Zaida and the founders understood the need in Lake County and the surrounding area to build a center that would allow for a multidisciplinary approach, as well as, providing support for families. Many times, a child needs multiple services and their caregiver will sit in the waiting room for long periods of time. Instead of simply adding coffee and tea to make it a comfortable wait, the team at Therapy Tree grew a wellness center in their second floor studio allowing parents some downtime and self care. The wellness studio houses a massage therapist and esthetician and provides services such as massage, energy healing, skincare, and more. The team continues to expand and adjust their offerings based on the needs of the families that come through their door.
In 2010, the Therapy Tree purchased and moved into their current location on Cedar Avenue in Lake Villa. This historic building provides them with space to continue to expand all their services and treat families in a large and comfortable space. Being in one large, winding space allows them to not only serve all the needs of their families without having multiple locations, but also to continue to grow, collaborate, and learn from each other on the team. As I sat and talked to Zaida and Laura for this interview, the love of collaboration and constant learning to improve their patients’ lives was evident. They compliment each other, as well as, their specialties do, and you can see how much they love to learn and grow as professionals and a team.
Get to know Zaida better next week as she sits in as our Guest Editor.
Disclosure: The Therapy Tree is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your locally-owned business in our series please contact the sales team.