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Meet Lynn Zakeri of Lynn R. Zakeri LCSW in North Suburbs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynn Zakeri.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was in college at the University of Illinois in Champaign, it was suggested by my psychology advisor that I participate in an 8 credit hour year-long program. Through this experience, I worked with survivors of both domestic abuse and sexual abuse. I got the feel for what it is like to help others just by being intuitive and compassionate. Following graduation, I knew I wanted to continue powerful work.

I started as a foster family worker, working with children placed all over the south side of Chicago and south suburbs, and I will never forget the impact we had on each other. During that job, I went part-time to graduate school and received a masters in Social Work. I interned at the Public Guardian office and at Cook County Hospital, and upon graduation became a case manager for CPS. I actually worked at the same elementary school I had attended as a child.

I took an opportunity to be a school social worker in Evanston, IL and remained there for 9 years while I started my family and slowly built a private practice.

The private practice began with a few clients and soon it was up and running. I had the opportunity to not only use my social work background of community and connecting resources, but I could be much more clinical. I wrote a blog once about my favorite client, and I still feel that honestly, my favorite client is the one who sits in front of me. The one who trusts me enough to talk about the things that are difficult to say out loud, and then together we find ways for things to not be as difficult. It is important to me that people leave my office feeling like it was time well spent, even when it is a hard time.

I am asked a lot about my ideal client, and while some therapists talk about their area of expertise (for example, anxiety, or eating disorders, or divorce), my ideal client is often anyone who walks into my office and wants to work on a problem, even if they can’t yet articulate it. I am intuitive and I ask a lot of questions. I go at a pace that is challenging but do-able, and I can usually tell when I am pushing someone too hard. I want my clients to feel safe with me and I think I do a good job at gaging that.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In order to give 100% of me to each session, I need to practice what I preach. Take care of myself, schedule downtime, and stay healthy. I want to make sure that each client gets the therapist that they chose and I need to stay true to who that is.

Lynn R. Zakeri, LCSW – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I called myself Lynn R. Zakeri, LCSW from day one. That soon became an email address and a basic website. I started a blog years ago to give prospective clients an idea of my style. This past year I redid my website and it was a process! From my pictures to my words, it is all genuinely and authentically who I am and I am proud of how it turned out.

I feel pride in my media mentions, but most importantly, above all else, it is the moments that can never be viewed online. The successful rehab, the extinct eating disorder, the inactive cutting and lost self-hatred. I am good at what I do. I can connect with resistant teens and help emerging adults find their path. I am the therapist that many come to and say that I am different from the others they have seen.

They like that I ask questions and make them think. Believe me, this is not a formula. I start where you are, and when we are in my office, and it is just you, me and your truth, I can help find the answers.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think defining success is difficult. I used to think it meant getting a lot of referrals, but I am not worried about that anymore. As a therapist, the success is on a daily basis. The evolving that transpires in front of my eyes several times a day. The trust I receive from those at their most vulnerable. These are the successes that constantly have me feeling like I had “a good day”.

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