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Chicago Professional Counselor Enjoys Spending Time With Clients

Terre Cohen Tripoli is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with a private practice. Cohen attended University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where she studied Musical Theater, she left the school shortly before graduating to sing with an orchestra who had offered her a job. Later in life, Cohen earned her bachelor's degree in behavioral science and her master's in psychology and counseling. Her post master's in psychology and counseling was completed at National-Louis University.

(Photo Courtesy of Terre Cohen Tripoli)

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

"When asked what I do, in jest I'll say, 'I save the world, one life at a time.' Although I do believe humor has an amazing effect in a therapeutic environment, I take my work very seriously. My clients come to me with varying degrees of discontent and/or pathology, and I honor their struggle. I use an eclectic approach and do not believe in a one size fits all philosophy. My belief is that all of us humans are on the same path at different points of our journey, all trying to create meaning out of this short time on earth. I help my clients build the essential tools necessary to deal with this life on life's terms."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"Spending time with my clients is, without a doubt, the favorite part of my day. The administrative aspects of being self-employed, like working with insurance red tape, notes, billing and all the other non face-to-face, but very necessary "back stage" activities, not so much."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"My education allowed me to articulate and give researched reliability to what I intuitively knew. It also helped me see there were unending options to help people with; which is a philosophy that translates to unending hope for clients to use during their healing process."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"My suggestion to anyone going into this profession is first and foremost, be real. Clients can smell insincerity, and progress will be near impossible. Next, keep an open mind and don't try and turn clients into merely a 'diagnosis'. Labeling is good for food and insurance companies, not human beings. I have worked with many people who suffered with thought disorders, including schizophrenia, and once labeled were so over medicated that living any real life was very challenging. For an internship, go to your nearest community mental health center where you will see some of the most intense cases of psychic distress, often brought on by the environmental issues endured. If you can have successful results working with this population, there will be no client that will shock or that you will be afraid to see."

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