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Meet Dr. Margo Jacquot of The Juniper Center

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Margo Jacquot.

Dr. Jacquot, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started The Juniper Center in 1996 when we were adopting our first son. I wanted more flexibility in my schedule and I am believer that you CAN do it all and you CAN do it well. In fact, if anyone told me I couldn’t, it made me even more determined. “Watch me!” I would say. That spirit is captured in the name of my business: The Juniper Center. The Juniper tree grips the earth year after year in some of the most inhospitable places. Shaped by the wind and sun, the Juniper’s trunk becomes a beautiful testament to its life.

By the time our second son came along I had enough work that there was overflow, I was often referring out to other practices. It was then that I took on my first associate, and it has grown from there

When I started the business I couldn’t have imagined that it would grow into one of the largest woman-owned counseling and therapy practices, with 25 therapists in five locations across Chicagoland. In November I was honored as a Stevie Award Gold Winner for Women in Business.

Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest challenge I had in starting my own practice is that I never had one minute of business training. I was a mental health practitioner trying to build a private practice. I needed to find the balance between seeing clients and figuring out everything that also needed to be done from a business perspective: billing, insurance, marketing and the like. Being new to business, that meant finding the time to do it myself. As the business grew it was about knowing when and what to delegate, and having the funding to outsource what made sense to outsource.

That’s probably why professional development and mentoring are infused into my business practice. I started a free monthly Professional Networking and Education program last year. Once a month professionals can come together for light refreshments, to hear a speaker and network to grow their businesses. I also regularly mentor others, both formally and informally, around how to build a private practice.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Juniper Center story. Tell us more about the business.
The Juniper Center provides expert, individualized are by 25 therapists in five Chicagoland locations, specializing in trauma recovery; addiction treatment; diverse sexuality and gender identities; depression and anxiety and relationship and family therapy. The Juniper Center provides counseling and psychotherapy, psychiatry and medication management, therapeutic yoga and movement therapy, nutrition consultation and psychological testing services for all ages.

The two things that set The Juniper Center apart are:

1. Pushing the nexus of brain science and behavioral health

Brain science changes daily, continuing to shed light on the physiological connection to behavioral health. For me that means ongoing specialized training and earning certificates in evidence based practices. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that especially helps with trauma recovery and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I’m also a Certified Alcohol and Abuse Counselor (CSADC). I’m a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS) and just this year I started a three-year program for Somatic Experiencing certification. We recently added a new clinician who focuses on providing neurofeedback, as well as other state-of-the-art practices such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

2. The Juniper Center is a Leader in LGBTQ inclusion

Whether or not someone is seeking counseling for an issue specific to their sexuality or gender identity or they simply want therapy for another matter in an LGBTQ- knowledgeable and welcoming practice, The Juniper Center is the right choice.

Over the past couple of years I have been presenting local Chambers of Commerce on “Gender, LGBTQ and your Business,” a talk designed to help business owners understand new laws around gender neutral bathrooms. The event also provided a safe space for business owners to ask questions about being inclusive to all. I also enjoy being consulted by media outlets on topics related to LGBTQ and Transgender.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
It’s important to stay current with industry science. Science is now affirming what I’ve always believed—the brain, nervous system; thoughts and behaviors, mindfulness they all work together comprehensively. I’m hoping research showing the connection between genes and addiction and other behavioral health diagnoses will alleviate the stigma around seeking treatment for mental health issues, that mental health will be regarded as just another aspect of overall physical well-being.

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