Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Where It All Began: Serving for Forty Years (1974–2024)


By Luke Dalfiume, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Owner, John R. Day & Associates, Christian Psychological Associates


This year marks the 50th anniversary of Christian Psychological Associates, John R. Day & Associates. The practice originated out of an initiative from Methodist Hospital in the late 1960s into the early 1970s. What was then Methodist Hospital had developed an organization called Christian Health Services, designed to bring together the treatment of body, mind, and spirit. The business model did not work, but there were still psychotherapy clients who had participated in Christian Health Services and desired ongoing care. Regarding Christian mental health services, the belief was that “all truth is God’s truth,” according to John R. Day, PhD, so this new notion of body-mind-spirit was embraced by John Day and his colleagues in the early days of Christian mental health practice.

John R. Day, PhD, the Associate Director of the Family Medicine residency program through the University of Illinois College of Medicine, began doing counseling at the Christian Center in Peoria following the demise of Christian Health Services. This occurred in 1972. The practice grew and became incorporated in 1974. As the practice grew and more therapists were added, more space was used at the Christian Center. Many pastors would refer parishioners for service. Mental health had been looked at in terms of body-mind problems only. The introduction of body-mind-spirit was a relatively new concept for mental health treatment in the 1970s. However, the need for faith-based counseling was strong in the community, and the practice moved to its current location in 1977.

Today, the practice is still located in its long-term Peoria location, at 3716 West Brighton Avenue. In 2001, Phil Ladd, DMin, LCPC, and Luke Dalfiume, PhD, became business partners with John Day. In 2011 Phil and Luke became the sole managing partners. Phil retired in 2019. John Day continues to work part-time in the practice at 84 years of age.

Because of personal contacts the three owners had, additional offices were added. In the early 2000s locations were added in Canton and Eureka. In the 2010s, more locations were added in Normal and Pekin. In 2021, a building was purchased in Bloomington, and the Normal location was transitioned there. In 2023, a building was purchased in Eureka. The goal of these expansions has been to provide service to more people.

The practice provides a variety of services. Individual, marital, and family counseling is offered. Various types of therapy are offered, and issues treated include different types of anxiety, phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, mood disorders (e.g., Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorders), trauma and stress-related disorders (e.g., Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder), attachment disorders, thought disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), grief and loss issues, Autism Spectrum Disorder, childhood behavior disorders, and adjustment issues.

The goals of treatment vary depending on the person, but for most it is about achieving a greater level of internal peace and contentment in the midst of the challenges they face in their lives. Sometimes this involves making tangible, external changes; at other times, it involves acceptance of things that cannot be changed, a hopeful or more open orientation, or a focus on something different within one’s life.

Psychologists in the practice provide psychotherapy services as well as formal psychological assessments. Areas of assessment include, but are not limited to: learning disorders (e.g., dyslexia), Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dementia, anxiety, depression, thought disorders, disabled veterans applying for benefits, those applying to regain their FOID cards, and parents and children involved in contentious court situations.

Though not a form of psychotherapy or a type of assessment, collaborative divorce services are now available (this is a team-based approach involving parents, attorneys, and a mental health provider, encouraging the parents to develop their own plan for parenting and distribution of assets outside of the court system). Collaborative divorce is potentially less costly and contentious than court-involved divorce is.

The practice is still a Christian practice. All office and clinical services staff identify as Christians. We come from a variety of Christian traditions, but have the common purpose of helping to provide social, emotional, and interpersonal healing for individuals, couples, and families. As part of our Christian ethic, we are open to serving everybody who seeks services. The greeting at our website ( is “All Are Welcome! We are here for you.” This attitude is guided by our understanding of biblical scripture. One example includes:

Matthew 25:35-36: Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ (NRSV)

A number of our clients do not identify as Christians. We try to meet all our clients where they are and to serve them to the best of our abilities. For those who do identify as Christians, we all welcome discussing issues related to their faith journey as part of treatment.

The practice accepts most private insurances, Medicare, and Medicaid MCO (Managed Care Organization, or Matchcare Medicaid). We believe that we are to seek to serve all who need help, and providing service to those on most healthcare plans is another way of doing that.

Some therapists are also available as speakers or trainers about a variety of mental health-related issues, including: understanding anxiety and depression; non pharmacological approaches to managing chronic pain; mind-body connection; cognitive distortions and challenging thoughts; coping with cancer; survivorship; understanding and building resilience; crises of faith; coping with dementia in the family; communication; forensic (court) activities; some things psychologists do; schizophrenia; posttraumatic stress disorder in children; depression and suicidality; parental alienation syndrome; dyslexia and ADHD assessment.

Mental health services are still in demand. New stories come out every week in various media indicating different groups who are suffering from mental health crises. Life is difficult, and there has always been significant suffering, but we seem to be in a particularly difficult period now. A positive in the current situation is that it is easier than ever before to access services. More have health care insurance than ever before, which is needed to access most mental health care. Telehealth became available for mental health services during the height of the pandemic, and remains available today. High-profile people have been open about their mental health struggles, and this seems to have provided freedom for others to acknowledge and seek help.