The most important thing Jennifer Froemel wants people to understand is that mental health is just as important as physical health. She has learned this during her two decades as a licensed clinical professional counselor, during which she often felt like mental health wasn’t being prioritized as a focal point of whole health care.
Instead, mental health professionals at schools or residential treatment centers, for example, weren’t brought in at the start to treat patients. Rather, they were brought in when treatment started to go sideways, and they were expected to find solutions well into a treatment plan. She envisioned a different approach.
“I wanted to create a sanctuary where clinicians could go and provide good treatment. What if they walked in and it felt like they were in their living room or a spa—where it felt welcoming and relaxing?” Froemel says.
She has brought that vision to life as the owner and founder of Innovative Counseling Partners, which is a group of clinicians who provide mental health therapies to children, adolescents, and adults across six locations in the Chicago area, including one in Hinsdale. The goal is to provide behavioral and mental health care services that address gaps in the existing system.
“We truly partner with other practitioners, schools, parents, and hospitals,” she says. “We’re focused on whole health wellness, which means that we’re truly assessing the person for mental health and mental wellness, and looking at it from a holistic perspective. It’s an integrated model of care born under a family support system and trauma-focused therapy.”
Innovative Counseling Partners now has close to 30 clinicians who offer individual, couples, and family therapy in a variety of disciplines and specializations. One example is theraplay, which is an attachment-based therapy for families where parents are filmed interacting with their children. In later sessions, the video is reviewed together in an effort to improve family attachments.
The clinicians use a number of trauma-related therapies, as well employ different methods to counsel couples. Froemel is bilingual in Spanish and English, and she has clinicians who also speak Hindi and Mandarin, helping to get mental health treatment to everyone who needs it.
For Froemel, success is defined by progress. “We want people who are making incremental changes that make marked improvement,” she says. Every patient is different in terms of what improvement looks like, but the goal is to help people get to a better mental state. “Everyone deserves good mental health.”
Innovative Counseling Partners has six locations across the Chicago area, including one at 15 Spinning Wheel Road, Suite 216C, in Hinsdale, 773-312-3612, innovativecounselingpartners.com.