“When the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, usually the first thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time—time to dream; time to think; time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
JEANIE S. KIRK, LPC, MPH
Licensed Professional Counselor
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Certified Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist
My practice is focused on restoring resilience, facilitating beneficial growth, and advancing the positive change that leads to a sense of well-being. As a scholar-practitioner, I've chosen to commit myself to an ongoing deepening of my knowledge and expertise in areas concerned with advancing well-being across the lifespan. I have a particular interest in helping people cope with the issues that arise during difficult transitions and life-changing circumstances. People who work with me are often dealing with the challenges of their own, or another's, chronic physical disease, serious illness, physical disability, or issues around aging. In these experiences and transitions, quality of life can be diminished, personal growth stalled, and relationships eroded. Individuals, couples, caregivers, and family members can be left feeling overwhelmed, and searching for a way forward. I believe thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can become powerful catalysts for finding meaning, joy, and an abiding sense of well-being throughout life--even when difficult circumstances are present. I draw on the art and science of choice, change, and human development to provide an integrative and whole-person-centered approach. My work is intuitive, and informed by the belief that emotional and psychological pathways, the health of the physical, and the fulfillment of the spirit are universal, interconnected, and dynamic. My philosophy honors each person as whole and unique--with the capacity to change, and the innate wisdom to move toward healing. In a spirit of creative collaboration, I work with adults and elder adults in individual, couples, family, and group settings.
Counseling and Therapy: Considering each person, each relationship, and each family as unique, I draw from a number evidence-based approaches, traditional methods, and well-recognized complementary modalities to develop a highly-personalized plan that supports healing, promotes beneficial growth, and advances resilient and sustainable well-being—even in the most challenging times.
Clinical Hypnotherapy: With you always in control, and based on the goals you have said you want to accomplish, hypnosis becomes a tool within the therapeutic process. Through hypnotherapy the offerings of metaphors, suggestions, and ideas to the unconscious mind bypass the conscious mind’s resistance and the barriers that have stood in the way of you reaching your goals.
Coaching: Working together, we will develop a coaching plan that is specific for you and your situation--a plan that is focused on helping you develop the skills to ‘get on the other side of’... to enjoy accomplish personal growth, health, and well-being goals you want to accomplish.
Other: learn more about these offerings in the Community Calendar
- Creative Circles and Personal Growth Groups
- Workshops, Seminars, Trainings and Public Speaking
- Well-being program development for Businesses and Organizations (Please call to discuss your needs.)
Areas of practice include (but are not limited to):
- The complex challenges presented by one’s own, or another’s chronic physical disease, serious illness, or disability (including, but not limited to: chronic pain, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's disease, dementia of all types, MS, stroke, ALS; Parkinson's disease, auto-immune diseases; heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, limited or declining mobility, kidney disease)
- Professional caregiver well-being
- Successful lifestyle change
- Addressing symptoms and sources of Anxiety and Depression
- Navigating major life transitions ( especially radical, sudden life changes )
- Improving quality of life
- The unique, and sometimes complicated, issues in Elderhood and aging--optimizing elder well-being before, during, and after transition ( independent, assisted-living, medical, and memory care settings )
- Chronic pain management
- Improving resilience and growth in relationships
- End of life counseling care
- Grief and Loss
- Loss of an animal companion
- Management of chronic stress
- Exploring meaning and purpose, as well as other existential themes
- Enhancing capacity for creative expression
The seed thoughts for Cygnet Well-being came out of my personal experiences as caregiver, healthcare provider, researcher, patient, and life traveler. I came into the counseling profession following fulfilling careers in the arts (musician, artist and teacher), and the sciences (basic science, clinical and public health research). My evolution into the professions of counseling therapy, hypnotherapy, and coaching came about in large part because of my own experiences with serious illness and chronic physical disease. In a matter of a few minutes, life provided me with an opportunity—a demand—to stop and listen. I believe in that quiet moment I found my true calling in life. As well as maintaining a private practice, I teach in the graduate professional counseling program of a nearby university, and volunteer. My life is enriched each day with dear friends, and a beautiful family tapestry that now includes grandchildren.
To me, well-being is a lifelong journey rather than a static measurement. I have chosen to work in a profession that I believe contributes to the well-being of others, myself, and the greater world.
“May I live this day compassionate of heart. Clear in word. Gracious in awareness, Courageous in thought. Generous in love.”
- Counseling Therapy
- Therapeutic Groups
- Clinical Hypnotherapy
- Strategic Coaching for Health, Wellness, and Well-being
- Personal Growth Groups & Creative Circles
- Equine-assisted Counseling Therapy
- Seminars, Workshops, and Presentations
- Program Development and Delivery for Businesses and Organizations
How I Work
Ancient wisdom and modern research support the idea that there is an inter-connectedness of mind, body, and spirit. This whole-person perspective highlights the critical role our thoughts, beliefs and feelings can have in our overall health and well-being—and vice versa. I believe the desire for emotional and psychological wholeness is active across the lifespan. I work from a holistic model for well-being in which emotional, psychological, cognitive, spiritual, physical, relational, socio-cultural and environmental aspects (domains) are dynamic and interrelated such that change in one area results in change in all other areas at some level. I have come to believe that at our core is the search for identity, purpose, and meaning; the desire for clarity of values and inner peace; the yearning for those resources that can help us express, cope with, and heal within our circumstances of life; and a deep longing for an abiding sense of well-being in all seasons of life.
"I am at my best as a therapist, when I am closest to my inner, intuitive self. Then whatever I do seems to be full of healing. " ~Carl Rogers - Founder of Person-Centered Counseling Therapy
To me, meaningful change and beneficial growth are best accomplished when they are built on a foundation of hopefulness and discovery. However, counseling therapy is not mechanistic. What works for one person may not at all be helpful to another. I will listen to your story without judgement, and hold a safe and accepting space where you can feel all of your feelings fully and without fear; where you are able to share all of your goals for cultivating your best life. I believe emotional and psychological frameworks--constructed long ago--can affect the present way we see ourselves, our world, and our future. As we work together, you’ll have opportunities to move beyond limiting beliefs and ideas about yourself, your relationships, your situations, your symptoms, and your life. You’ll be able to learn new ways to move toward vitality, gain essential clarity, and tap into your innate grace and creative spirit. You'll be able to discover skills for reinvigorating and deepening relationships. You'll begin to heal the painful wounds; to gently soothe the suffering that has come from feelings and thoughts that something is ‘wrong’ with you; feel compassion for yourself, and begin to live your vision for your best life.
My approach is highly personalized, strength-based, collaborative, intuitive, and integrative. I will honor you as a whole and unique individual. I believe you already have inner strengths that can help you make the changes you want to see in your life, and deal with the challenges you are facing. I believe you are doing the best you can, and as you learn more you will be see other options to do better for yourself. In our first meeting, you’ll be encouraged to talk a little about yourself, and about the issues you would like to focus on. I will make sure I understand the goals you have for our work together. Then, in a purposeful way I will draw from various theoretical frameworks so together we can develop a plan that reflects the goals you have said you want to accomplish. I am attentive to those approaches that bring evidence-based support into our work. At times , I may also suggest integrating one or more selected complementary modalities to promote optimal growth and healing. Sometimes, I can best serve as a strategic coach. In the end, it's about you being able to pursue the goals that are really important to you.
I draw heavily from several therapeutic models, and also integrate a number of other approaches when these could bring greater benefit. The hopefulness of Humanistic Therapy views each person as whole and unique, basically good, and capable of making choices that are best for them. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) provides a structure to examine thoughts, emotional responses, beliefs, and patterns of behavior; to identify those that are dysfunctional, disordered, disruptive, or destructive; and to effectively change them to begin to accomplish goals for a more fulfilling life. Narrative Therapy acknowledges the importance of the interpretations we have about our experiences, and how the meanings we make of them are then expressed and re-expressed in our life. As we find new ways for interpretation and meaning-making we can begin to write a new chapter in which we re-shape how we experience our life. Mindfulness-based and Contemplative frames of reference are holistic and systemic by nature. They help us tap into the connectedness of mind and body to promote deep awareness, new insight, and self-compassion. Our spiritual nature is acknowledged and honored as an inherent part of our human experience. Positive Psychology explores subjective, individual, and community factors that promote a person's ability to achieve optimal functioning in their "good life"--feeling good; being a good person; and doing good. The focus is on strengths rather than weaknesses; on the positive rather than the negative aspects of a person's life. There is an emphasis on exploring and achieving happiness, joy, contentment, satisfaction, optimism, flow, and well-being. Our courage, capacity for love, interpersonal skills, tolerance, social responsibility, and the ways are all factors in our ability to flourish into well-being and thrive in life. Well-Being Therapy provides innovative strategies that are directed at helping a person learn how to 'grow' their well-being. NeuroCounseling, a new area in the field of counseling therapy, is based on the idea the psychological and behavioral symptoms are correlated with neurological and physiological frameworks. Change is supported and promoted by the plasticity of the brain, now understood to be functioning across our lifespan. Certainly, the Existential understanding of authenticity, personal choice, the importance of spiritual growth, and the ongoing tension around freedom, choice, and responsibility also contribute to my therapeutic perspective. I very much accept the tenet of Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), now supported by a growing body of research, that when we have compassion for ourselves and others, we promote mental,physical, and spiritual health.
I do sometimes--when it would bring benefit--suggest the integration of complementary modalities into the treatment approach, and collaborate with a number of healing arts professionals to acomplish this. Of course, including these adjunct treatments is always the choice of the client.
Through a compassionate, knowledgeable, intuitive, whole-person approach I will help you find your best path for gaining purpose, joy, meaning, and an overall sense of well-being in your life.
"Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence, your awakening to truth can deepen. There's less identification with the self in the story and more ability to rest in the awareness that is witnessing what's happening. You become more able to abide in compassion, to remember and trust your true home. Rather than cycling repetitively through old conditioning, you are actually spiraling toward freedom." ~Tara Brach
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Psychotherapist in Private practice in Saint Charles, MO. I am licensed by the state of Missouri (license #001473)
- State-designated supervisor for professional counselor licensure
- Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University
- Master of Public Health degree from the University of Iowa.
- Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist; Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (cert. #3360).
- Certified Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist
- Designated Care Partner for the Gateway Area Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Counseling Therapist serving through Volunteers in Medicine
- Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society--Lambda Chi Chapter
"Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something or who is right or wrong. Your job is to lift the fallen, restore the broken and heal the hurting." ~ Joel Osteen