Social Services

St. Petronille partners with Alexian Brothers, now called AMITA Health since forming a joint partnership with Advent Midwest, and their Parochial School Support Services program to provide a variety of Social Services to our students and school families. Mrs. Elizabeth Thorsness, LPC, is our current school counselor. In addition, St. Petronille is also provided with a counseling intern each year.

Elizabeth Thorsness, M.Ed.


My name is Elizabeth Thorsness and I am your School Counselor from AMITA Health. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and my credentials include a bachelor’s degree in Child Development Psychology from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in Counseling from Loyola University Chicago, and a continuing graduate certificate in Spiritual Formation & Discipleship from Moody Theological Seminary.  I grew up in Hinsdale and have become familiar with the western suburbs over the course of my personal and professional experiences.  My work in clinical, nonprofit, and ministry settings has focused specifically on children and adolescent mental health and I’m thrilled to continue this work here at St. Petronille.       

I will be at school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:15 am to 3:15 pm.  I am available for individual appointments or consultation. A list of some of the services I will be offering include:

  • Individual counseling : Identity formation, grief & loss, behavioral modification, death, divorce, peer relationships, body image, anxiety, stress, depression, and other needs.
  • Classroom programming: Mental health awareness, healthy body image, healthy relationships, social skills, and other needs.
  • Faculty & family consultation: Available for questions regarding any social, emotional, and behavioral observations in students.
  • Other programs & services:  Leadership Academy, crisis responsive services, and outside system support.
Ms. Brittney Gergen, MHP Social Work Intern
 My name is Brittney Gergen, and I am the School Counseling Intern for the 2017-2018 school year from AMITA Health Behavioral Medicine.  In order for you to get to know me, I would like to give you a little background about myself.  I earned my Bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  I am currently pursuing my Masters of Social Work in the clinical specialization from Aurora University.  My previous internship involved working with families experiencing homelessness.  After years of teaching swim and dance lessons to children of all ages, as well as serving as a student mentor, I am excited to work with children and adolescents as a counselor in the school setting.  I will be at the school on Wednesdays and you may reach me by email at  
Mrs. Beatrice Phelps,  MHP School Counseling Intern  
Hello, my name is Beatrice Phelps.  I will be the new clinical intern at St. Petronille School, and I am excited to get to know the community.  I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but have been living in Chicago for the past five years.  I am currently completing a Master's degree in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Chicago.  I completed my undergraduate studies in Psychology and Theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, followed by a Master of Theological Studies at Boston College.  After completing my first graduate degree I moved to Chicago and began my professional career as a high school teacher.  I taught Theology at a high school in Wheaton, IL and was the Director of Campus Ministry and teacher at a high school in Wilmette, IL.  I love working in the school atmosphere and enjoy working with children and adolescents.  I think they are some of the most interesting and humorous people.  I am recently married, a lover of athletics, a newcomer to the CrossFit world, and have a passion for singing and playing guitar.  I am really looking forward to getting to know the community of St. Petronille School.  I will be at school on Thursdays.  You may reach me by email at