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Meet Julianne Neely of Individual and Family Connection in Roscoe Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julianne Neely.

Julianne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It’s weird looking back through the story of how Individual and Family Connection came to be because at the time it felt like all the pieces were falling together by luck or accident, finding the right people at the right times. In hindsight, I can see how I actually had a hand in that, weaving together this incredible business that encompasses so many things I am passionate about.

While I didn’t embrace this part of my narrative until recently, I have had the spirit of an entrepreneur since I was young. If I see a problem or a need, I am going to organize the people around me to meet that need. As a child, I was constantly involved in some kind of entrepreneurial endeavor. Whether I was hiring a friend, creating flyers and recruiting neighborhood kids for a dance camp in my backyard or using those same skills to organize a charity drive at my school, I was often finding a way to lead a cause that was important to me. In college, I found incredible mentors and advisors who encouraged me to create an advocacy organization on campus dedicated to raising awareness and funds for child welfare. Through that organization, I witnessed my community come together in support of abused and neglected children and it was incredible. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I was given as an undergraduate student to use my leadership skills to mobilize my community. It was all setting the stage for bigger things to come, but I didn’t know it yet.

Individual and Family Connection was born out of my desire to meet a need and I am still in awe of how quickly and beautifully it has come together. I created IFC because I am passionate about connection and want to help families create more positive, healthy connections with one another. At IFC our therapists work to enhance and support relationships in a child’s life, with teachers, caregivers, and peers. We believe that so much of a pediatric therapist’s work should be centered around helping children better connect with their world and helping parents better understand and connect with their children. Within that framework, we have a unique set-up in our practice that incorporates parents into the therapeutic process. Utilizing this approach we have had the privilege of seeing hundreds of children overcome big challenges like anxiety, depression, trauma, and ADHD within the context of a supportive, connected relationship.

The greatest challenge in this journey has been balancing all the people and causes I am passionate about. As a special needs mom, foster parent, pediatric therapist, and business owner, I wear a lot of hats. It can be hard to hold all of these things in balance and sometimes one thing suffers when my balance is off. Sick kids or work emergencies can easily throw off the balance and put me in triage mode with my time and energy. As much as I value connection, it has been really important to give myself permission to prioritize relationships. Some days I might be a great boss, other days I might be a great mom, but I can’t be great at everything every day. I am learning that it is okay to mess up, as long as you own it and work on the repair to keep that relationship strong.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Individual and Family Connection – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Individual and Family Connection is a pediatric counseling practice. We offer play therapy, nutrition counseling, family therapy, and individual treatment specific to teenagers and young adults. Our therapists have specialized training in helping children and families through divorce, grief, trauma, school problems, social challenges, and attachment disruptions. What makes IFC unique is how we incorporate parents, teachers, and other important people in a child’s life into treatment. We believe that incorporating these people that know the child best, has far more value than just meeting with a child for one hour, once a week to learn a few skills. Rather than leaving it up to the child to figure out how to incorporate therapy skills into their world, our therapists work together with the people that are with that child 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, to show them how best to support the child through challenging moments.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We love seeing our clients meet their treatment goals and use their new skills to create deeper, more meaningful connections with their families and peers. Many of our clients who graduate often refer their friends and families to us and it is so incredible to see the circle expand as they build a more connected community. As we continue to grow we hope to see that circle expand wider to encompass a more connected city!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Cassie Anna Photography

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