Meet Ilissa

IKN Headshots-26-Edit.jpg

Kind. Courageous. Inclusive.

Ilissa Nico is the owner and founder of Rising Roots Counseling & Wellness, located in Green Village, New Jersey. Ilissa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of NJ, who provides both individual and group therapy to adolescents and adults. An engaging and compassionate therapist, Ilissa aims to inspire and nurture vulnerability and connection both inside and outside the therapy space. Her passion for all things mind, body, and soul translates to all her clients regardless of age or background. She has a particular passion for and expertise in empowering young girls and women to lead their lives with competency, kindness, and strength.

Ilissa is a firm believer that the “one size fits all” approach is ineffective and understands that everyone is unique. As a result, she is sensitive to the diverse needs and strengths of her clients and conducts her therapy sessions accordingly. She walks beside clients as they navigate their journeys to become the best versions of themselves while helping them to break down barriers and challenges that present themselves along the way. As committed as she is to her clients, Ilissa is just as committed to her own self-growth and development, constantly aiming to live her most authentic life.


Ilissa earned her BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan in 2005 and her MSW in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University in 2009. She has over ten years’ experience in direct clinical work and has worked in various settings including inpatient hospitals, intensive outpatient programs (IOP), outpatient centers, and public high schools. Aside from her direct clinical work, Ilissa is also the professor of a graduate course in Social Work at a local university as well as a Consultant Trainer for the state of New Jersey, where she trains state leaders and workers in the fields of trauma, adolescent development, and youth resilience. Additionally, she serves as a lead responder for the Morris County (NJ) Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC), an organization that responds to school-based traumas. Ilissa has been recognized and published on several online platforms including Head Space and Huffington Post.