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-Name of your company and year launched:
Swellbeing, Inc., 2007
-Kid(s) and Ages:
Two daughters, ages 15 and 13
-Where is your business based?
Chicago is my home base, however my clients are everywhere, thanks to Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype!
–Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand/account/blog/business, etc. Basically tell us what your mission is!
I started Swellbeing in 2007, after nearly a decade working in a few organizations providing mental health services. Early in my career I worked in a community based program providing counseling to adolescent survivors of sexual abuse, many of whom were teen mothers. I also directed a school-based clinical program in a Chicago providing play therapy for young children. Following a move to New York City, I began working for a premier parenting agency in lower Manhattan. All of these experiences provide the backdrop for my strong conviction in supporting parents and children from the beginning.
-What was your “aha” moment that made you decide to start your company?
I always knew that I wanted to start my own business. I grew up in a small family business and have several small business entrepreneurs in my life. That being said, my “aha” moment to launch Swellbeing came as I was becoming a mother myself.
A few weeks into life as the mother of a newborn, Swellbeing was born. As I was going through this singularly most transformative time in my life and evolving in this new identity as a mother, I knew that this was the work that I wanted to commit to in a meaningful way. Services that center around education and support for parents were few and far between, yet I understood clinically that there is a critical window for both parents and children during which support, community and connection can have profoundly positive outcomes. Showing up as the parent we aspire to be takes work and intention. This process is driven largely by making sense of one’s own childhood and how best to nurture a healthy relationship with a child who’s brain and body is developing and wiring through these interactions. Educating and supporting parents as they bring their full human selves to this endeavor is so meaningful and professional rewarding for me!
-Do you have any #momhacks/ #parenthacks to share that makes this easier?
I love the principle that if the task at hand takes five minutes or less to complete, do it right away. Also, decide early where you want the boundaries to be around work and draw them very clearly and communicate with others what they can expect. In an era where everyone is so accessible by phones, it’s extra important to have commit to refocusing attention on family life at a time. Children are paying attention to where our attention is directed.
-What makes you qualified in your field?
I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology and I’m a licensed clinical professional counselor. I am a Certified Bringing Home Baby Gottman Educator; I have training in SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) and IPBN (Interpersonal Neurobiology); Moreover, I eagerly seek continuing education in the areas of emotional wellbeing.
-What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to be a counselor as well?
My advice would be to seek out an education on how to run a small business. Many counselors will end up in private practice and knowing the ins and outs of running a small business is essential.
-What are your top 3 parenting book recommendations?
-Anything else you want to share?
This fall I will be hosting a series of online classes, including support groups for parents and small group classes to help parents with sleep and potty learning. Check it out here.