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Life and Work with Jennifer Larson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Larson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I recall in my early 20s, I knew I wanted to be own my boss and have my own business in part because I had already been self-reliant from an early age in life and I somehow knew intrinsically I could continue to exercise this self-reliance later in life when it came time to open up my own business. Ideas, vision, and taking risks were some of my strengths and I wanted the freedom to exercise them. The other reason as to why I wanted my own business is that at this same time in my 20s, I began to feel for the first time the desire to have children later in life. I remember telling myself that if I had my own business I could balance operating my business, but also being able to choose how to be present and available to raise my children when that time came. This was my thinking as an emerging adult.

About a decade later, I opened up my own solo private practice which proved to be successful but had its limitations. In 2013, I decided to expand and form a group practice starting with an office expansion in downtown Chicago (The Loop). It took some time for the group practice to blossom, but eventually, it did. Also, after living on the Northwest side of Chicago for a few years, I found myself wanting to expand my level of commitment and involvement in the community. In November 2017, Concentric Counseling & Consulting opened up a small office on the Northwest side of Chicago. After a year of success, we expanded our Far North/Northwest Chicago office into a much larger space with the goal to hire more therapists and offer greater services to people in the community. We are in the middle of this growth and it is an exciting time for us!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road since opening up a business. Some of the struggles along the way I have faced are feeling overwhelmed by the long list of to do’s, wearing too many hats for too long, balancing personal and professional life (this has probably been one of my biggest struggles because I am a psychotherapist who believes in balance and helps people work towards balance and moderation in their life, and I found myself at times not exercising this belief and value in my own life), Also, continuing to connect with my deepest vision and beliefs for the business while simultaneously facing a particularly tough year in the business.

As a woman and parent, I am very aware of the internal struggles I sometimes face. While I do volunteer at my son’s school, I have definitely pulled back over the past couple of years simply because of my roles in other parts of my life. It has not always been easy for me, because I think and know women (including myself) definitely feel a relational and societal pressure to be and do-it-all especially when it relates to parenthood and career.

When I feel the loss or the bubbling message that I’m not doing enough for my son’s school, I’m not maintaining community relationships as much as I genuinely would like to, I have to care for myself. The self-nurturing care varies, but I generally talk about it with other people, particularly women, tell myself it’s okay to say “no”, consider my priorities and self-care, engage in perspective taking and draw from mindfulness practice by reminding myself of impermanence. Meaning just because I have scaled back from volunteering does not mean I will not volunteer more down the road. Also, practicing my intentions and gratitude for the day are some of my antidotes.

My advice for young women who are starting out in their careers is to go for their dreams while creating and engaging in your self-care regimen. And to continue to create and engage in your self-care along your journey.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Concentric Counseling & Consulting – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Concentric Counseling & Consulting is a psychotherapy and consulting group practice located in downtown Chicago and the Far North/ Northwest side of Chicago. We are dedicated to our clients’ mental health and well-being offering a variety of services and drawing from a number of beneficial, therapeutic approaches. We offer individual, couples & marriage, adolescent & family therapy and consulting services, and specialize in relationship dynamics; complex, relational trauma; mood and anxiety disorders; mind-body connection; life transitions and stress; and substance misuse, abuse and/or compulsive behaviors.

Concentric Counseling & Consulting is known for a few things. We believe in great customer service. From the first time a client reaches out to us, we take pride in responding in a timely manner and providing all of the information needed in order for clients to feel safe, comfortable and informed about scheduling their first appointment with us. As the Owner, I take my time selecting therapists to join Concentric as I’m looking for therapists who are passionate, warm, value clinical excellence, dedicated to professional development, and committing their time to the Concentric which means greater care for our clients.

Concentric provides a space for regular, consistent internal therapist consultation, support, and professional development which means we all work cohesively as a group, dedicate time for learning and sharing the latest research in mental health which translates to better care and services for our clients.

Who have you been inspired by?
Many women have inspired me and I won’t share all of them. The ones that come to mind are the women I have had a direct relationship with over the years.

My mom for her incredible and unwavering strength and stamina and for her ability to adapt to a variety of environments with few or no complaints. My sister whose strength and creativity has allowed her to truly rise above the endured traumas of her adolescent and emerging adult years after being institutionalized in downtrodden mental facilities.

My female bosses and mentors at the University of Wisconsin-Hospital & Clinics and the University of Wisconsin-Department of Psychiatry during my early 20s. All of these women drew from feminism, were fiercely bright and had flair or sass. They instilled so many positive messages, such as the importance of women not rushing into marriage and giving oneself permission to explore and find the true self. My therapy consultant and later therapist who instilled insight, wisdom and some peace into my heady mind and busy body.

Two of my closest friends in life. Rhea who had a ton of grit died in her early 20s of cancer, but showed me how to be a free spirit, have fun, and to take risks. Alex who actualizes what she desires and wants in life. An example is her desire to give me a homemade cake she made at home and took it on the plane with her when she visited me for my birthday.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Larson

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