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I cannot thank Karen enough for all the advice and help she has given me. For years, I used to be bottle my emotions and let my anger come out on the ones I loved. I had a poor self-esteem and self worth. Starting therapy was a scary process, but once I met Karen all my fears were gone. She made me feel comfortable and did not judge me. Because of therapy I have come out the other side a better, stronger person. I now have control over my emotions and have a positive outlook on life. I cannot thank her enough for what she has helped me achieve.
Cheryl, Thank you very much! Honestly I feel great! I was able to sleep at an appropriate time this weekend and felt refreshed. I went out Saturday and Sunday and didn’t stay home by myself. And I am starting to apply for new jobs! I feel like I’m starting over, and this is my second chance!
I began to see Samantha last fall, after my depression was at its worst. Not eating, not talking, not going to class, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming was becoming an everyday thing for me. I decided to seek help on my own and came across the Fox Valley Institute, where I met Samantha and honestly, where I believe I was able to turn my life around. I am writing this testimonial to thank Samantha for guiding me through my emotions and for believing in me.
I first started to see a therapist and psychiatrist when I was 12, and I did not like it at all. I felt no connection with my therapist and felt like I was being prescribed anything to numb my emotions. I did not like it and tried to avoid doctors and medication for years. So, walking into Samantha’s office for the first time I was very nervous, but within minutes I felt completely comfortable with her. The fact that she believed in me, and believed that I had the strength to continue on unmedicated showed me that she wants to help me.
I was always told, “people can’t change overnight” but I did, and Samantha believed that I did too. With many positive exercises and other techniques to help my anxiety and panic attacks, I was determined to bring myself up and work hard on turning my life around. Like I mentioned before, she truly guided me in the right direction and I was able to leave feeling comfortable with the tools that she gave me. If I could, I would continue to see her, however I had to move out of state, but with only nine months with Samantha, I feel more confident in myself, I feel stronger, and I can finally say that I am proud of myself
I was seeing Suzanne Keenon for my anxiety, and she was remarkable. With both the dedication of hers and mine, it was tremendously ground breaking on what we accomplished together. I truly appreciate the time and patience she has given me. She has provided me all the essential tools in order to conquer my struggles. She is an amazing person inside and out, and I am truly blessed to have had her as a counselor. Suzanne was very attentive to my needs and wants. She really took the time to get to know me as a whole, and from there she applied that in order to provide me with the appropriate tools for me to apply myself.
“A smile and “good to see you” is how I am greeted and welcomed by Cheryl Frommelt. You are safe in Cheryl’s office and no feeling or situation is unimportant. My life’s journey is better because of Cheryl’s caring ways, understanding, help and direction.”
I wanted to let you know that I had several sessions with Mark Molina not too long ago regarding some decisions that I had recently made in my life. I was looking for clarification on some things but what I got was a great deal more.
Mark listened, asked questions, gave scenarios of different situations, examples, etc – all the while continuing to instill, enlist and encourage my Christian values. It is so evident that he is a Christian and good family man who loves and respects each. Each time I left the office, I felt stronger and able to tackle my issues head on. More importantly, when I left our sessions, I thought about everything that was discussed and the great tools that he gave me to use, and was able to apply them to my situation. He more than once gave me material to read/study/links and we would talk about it during our next session to re-enforce the objectives, which was so helpful.
Please take a moment to extend my deepest gratitude to Mark on my behalf – and the life changing effect he and your Practice had on my life situation. I will forever be grateful and should I need further assistance, I will always come to Mark and the Fox Valley Institute for Growth and Wellness.
A great therapist not only has the education and experience necessary to do the job, but they also have a gift for it. Laura Farrar has that gift. She helped me work through a very difficult time in my life, at my own pace and on my own terms. With Laura’s help, I made it through a major challenge in my life and I came out stronger on the other side. Laura is excellent at what she does.
“My husband and I began our relationship with Cheryl Frommelt in 2007. We had been married for 6 years, and were not successful at conceiving so we sought assistance through infertility treatment. When we began our sessions, our intention was to get us through the long, bumpy and uncertain road of what was ahead of us as we tried to conceive. It didn’t take long to realize our relationship was damaged, as it turned out we were right were we needed to be. Cheryl helped us to feel normal and provided us with the support we needed during this roller coaster of an event. We saw Cheryl regularly, and fortunately, we successfully conceived. Due to some restrictions of my pregnancy, we were not able to come to our sessions for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. I remember walking in saying “Oh my goodness, when we needed you the most, we couldn’t see you”, and I was going on and on about everything that we experienced, and Cheryl said “But look at you, you made it through on your own”. It wasn’t until then we truly realized how much we learned and gained from coming. Cheryl had been providing us the tools we needed, and we didn’t even realize it until we stepped back and realized we deed indeed make it through on our own. After the arrival of our son, it wasn’t long before we realized we needed some assistance adjusting to parenthood, and being full-time working parents. Cheryl’s technique always helps us get to the root cause, and realize our problems were often triggered by something underlying that was not resolved. One of the characteristics I appreciate the most about her is that Cheryl will help you realize your actions may have caused certain situations. Sometimes it was tough to hear, and even tougher as the realization sank in. There were some days I couldn’t wait to get to our session, and I longed for the comfort of her couch. I would go in thinking I was a horrible person, and come out understanding what lead me to make the decisions I had, and that I was not perfect. Within the last year, and with the agreement of my spouse, I began personal counseling with Cheryl as there was some issues identified I needed to work on. I have grown tremendously, and I now am able to realize I have some faults, and I am not always perfect, but I am a capable and competent individual. I find myself going into our session bringing up situations, or issues I encountered and explaining how I handled it. For one of the first times in my life, I feel like I am thinking about life from a cause and effect approach, and realizing prior to making a decision, the potential outcomes of my decisions. Cheryl is very well-balanced, and always provides the right amount of care or nurturing while being completely professional. Over the years, Cheryl has become more than a therapist, but rather a trusted ally in my life.”
-M.E.K., October 3, 2013
My name is Matt. I have been a firefighter for 22 years. The beginning of last year was tremendously difficult for me. I had suffered significant losses in my life. I was also reeling from some devastating losses at work. There was a single incident where we were unable to save the life of a child and it became tremendously difficult for me. Something I hadn’t ever experienced. This event had me recalling so many other significant losses on the job and in my family that I had thought I’d successfully moved on from and dealt with. I was scared. I realized that I hadn’t really ever dealt with anything.
I went the entire month of November where I cried every day. I lost 20 pounds, couldn’t sleep. Some days I was sad, for my family, for losses at work, for friends. Some days I was just confused. Some days I had no idea why, I just felt lost. Really lost. It scared me because I had never been in a position like that before and I had no idea how to extricate myself from it. I hadn’t made it to the point of suicidal but I had absolutely no interest in being alive. It was a bad place to be.
I knew that whatever was wrong was something that I needed guidance for. Laura was recommended to me. I called Laura Farrar and she called back immediately. I couldn’t tell my story without crying. I was glad that she couldn’t see me, I was in a lot of ways embarrassed. She understood right away that I was panicked and needed care. She instantly made time for me.
I was really afraid of taking this step. I am 43 years old and have been a part of the firefighter culture of shouldering your burdens my whole life. I was ashamed but also realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I had not told the thoughts that were innermost to me to anybody, not even my wife of 22 years. I realized soon after that I needn’t be afraid. She was truly perceptive and recognized that along with the grief that I needed to work through and the tragic events at my job, there was more that I needed help with. Some things that were beyond my awareness but not Laura’s. Laura Farrar has introduced me to an experience of self discovery that I couldn’t have found on my own. She showed me how to access all of these things. She showed me how to make sense of everything. Her approach worked physically, spiritually and emotionally.
I realize now that true strength is not in shouldering my burden, but in letting go and asking for help. I was able to open up to her simply because I saw that she truly cared. She has always been available to me in the times when my life was the hardest.
I trust her completely.
Today I understand much better just how much control I have over the way I feel. I realize that I can not control everything that happens to me or to those that I love. That’s life. Laura has taught me that I do have control over how I feel about life. That truly is up to me. While I know that life can and will bring many difficult challenges both personally and professionally, I feel like I have the key to protect myself. Today, for the first time in a long time, I feel safe.
I am no longer dwelling on old memories. I am creating new memories. I have a real understanding of just how important “right now” is. She has helped me get to a place where the past no longer hurts me. I am excited about my future. I am well:)
Words aren’t enough to repay her but they are what I have. There are times in everyone’s life when we meet someone who we are simply better for having met. Laura Farrar is that person for me. I would recommend Laura to anyone knowing that I am offering someone a gift that will change their life.
When I was suffering from clinical depression, I sought counseling and was referred by my physician to the Fox Valley Institute and Suzanne Keenon. Suzanne was a compassionate guide in helping me to examine the sources of my illness, and to learn simple and practical strategies to find my way back to health. The relief from suffering has been a great gift, allowing me to live happily and productively again. This was not a prolonged or painful process, but a journey of discovery and recovery, which I highly recommend to those who are lost in the pain of depression.
“I was diagnosed with clinical depression about 12 years ago and was taking anti-depressants for the first 10 1/2 years. I was convinced the anti-depressants were “getting me through life,” but I started to wonder if that was good enough. My medication management doctor referred me to FVI about 1 1/2 years ago to begin talk therapy with Cheryl Frommelt. My sessions gave me the strength to try life without medication. At the time, I questioned many aspects of my life. Talking through these questions helped me find the answers I needed to get back on track. My sessions helped me realize that I was not depressed – I just needed an outlet for how I was feeling and a changes in how I was thinking. I cannot express in words how much these sessions have changed my life. My outlook on life is brighter; my self confidence and self-esteem are stronger; and best of all, I know that whatever life throws my way I can handle it. Thank you FVI!”
-A.T. – Naperville
“I was experiencing significant life change. My 10 year relationship was coming to an end, I was the primary care-giver for a parent who had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and not too long after I ended up loosing another parent to illness. My career had always been my constant; until I took a new job in attempt for more long term stability. I felt I was loosing myself and the control over my life I felt I always had. I knew I needed to speak to someone. I found FVI and Cheryl Frommelt. Cheryl listened and we set manageable goals. I connected with Cheryl immediately; I have laughed, cried, and utilized the guidance that Cheryl has shared to start my journey of nosce te ipsum which in Latin means “know thyself”. Through this process I was able to realize that I had been “doing life” and not “living life”. Working with Cheryl I have come to understand that the past has no power over the present moment, the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it and this too, will pass. I continue to work on the realization that the present moment is all we have. My experiences and work with Cheryl and FVI have made me aware to make NOW the primary focus of my life.”
I am very grateful to have had Suzanne as my therapist. She was always a careful listener who provided valuable guidance and advice in a supportive manner. I always felt she cared for me in each and every appointment. She was a tremendous force in my life at a difficult time.
“I am very grateful for you and the impact that your kindness and wisdom has had on my life…
I began seeing Cheryl at a time in my life when, I felt that things were going along all right, but I was unsteady – I had lost focus…she helped me to turn things around and determine what was important to me in my life. Our sessions ended for about a year when my husband died suddenly and unexpectedly. Shortly thereafter, I called her in a moment of desperation (talk about unsteady and losing focus!) and began seeing her regularly again. In these past few years, she has walked along side me in this new and unchartered territory of grief. She has never once told me what to do, but rather, has offered me options, with grace and wisdom, on how I can choose to live. She has encouraged and guided me, sat through tons of tears, and has also made me laugh really hard! In her way, she has helped me to see that life is sometimes difficult, but that I can handle it – and that what happens to me on good and bad days, does not define who I am. We all have a journey in this world. I’m learning to live it, with an empowering truth and strength, one day at a time.”
-P.M. Aurora, IL
I have been a client of Karen Southwick at Fox Valley Institute for the past year. My son’s bipolar diagnosis has been a challenging experience for our family. Karen has helped me understand my role in his recovery. Her guidance has been critical for me to see I cannot control this situation. She has been so supportive in helping me to let go of the things I can’t change. Karen’s calm manner put me at ease right away as I shared my story with her. I found Karen to be a positive influence as I work through the day-to-day challenges in my life.
I am very happy to have made the connection with Karen Southwick and can’t thank her enough. I would highly recommend her to those seeking help and support.
“One of my worries of going to see a new therapist is whether or not I will be able to connect with them. From my very first visit, Cheryl was able to help me understand and see things that were getting in my way, including myself at times. From the calming and private atmosphere the waiting room provides to the office staff, Fox Valley Institute really helps to make me feel comfortable.”
During the past 11 years my family endured one tragedy after another. My parents passed away in 2002, I filed for divorce in 2003, after a long horrible court process my divorce was finalized in 2005 and then in March of 2006 my ex-husband took his own life in front of my son who happened to be 14 years old at the time. My daughter, then 12 1/2 had been showing signs of depression and anxiety prior to her father’s death. We had attended family counseling and individual counseling. During her the early years she was prescribed anti-depressants and I had hope that in time she would be better able to cope with everything she had gone through. Unfortunately, this was not the case. During her high school years, she began to spiral out of control. Her rage, anger and anxiety took control of her life. She began to self -injure use drugs and attempted suicide. All of these incidents took place within a span of 4 years, while she was under the care of a psychiatrist and a psychologist. During her junior/senior year and third stay at Linden Oaks Hospital she was finally diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorder and PTSD. I had resigned myself to a fact that my precious daughter may eventually succeed in completing her suicide. She had tried 4 different psychologists and although they tried, they could not gain her trust and therefore the therapy did not have the positive impact on her that she so desperately needed.
We found the most amazing therapist, Laura Aherns Farrar, who took the time and extra effort to find out who my daughter is and what form of therapy would best suit her needs. She had a non-intrusive, non-judgmental way of gaining my teenage daughter’s trust that no other psychologist has ever had the ability to do. Her expertise in coping and dealing with bi-polar disorder, along with the everyday life of a teen has not only made a difference in my daughters life, it has made a difference in our family life. Laura has been able to provide me the tools and insight that is necessary to help me understand my daughter’s mental health issues and for that I will forever be thankful. It has not been an easy road, we have had setbacks, however we have gained so much knowledge, strength and support with Laura Aherns Farrar that I am confident we will succeed.
I am pleased to announce that my lovely daughter has been drug free for over a year, has been motivated enough to lose 60 lbs, works every day and has recently celebrated her 21st Birthday. I know in my heart that if we had not found Laura Aherns Farrar and Fox Valley Institute when we did, my daughter’s story might have ended badly. Laura is an inspiration and truly gifted in her ability to treat those dealing with mental health issues that they are unable to overcome on their own. I would highly recommend Laura Ahern and Fox Valley Institute to everyone that needs guidance and support while receiving valuable information and tools that will help them through difficult times and be able to live a healthy productive life.
Forever Grateful to Laura Aherns Farrar!
“Sometimes I feel like life is a big puzzle, and I am not sure what pieces go where. Or that I am looking at a road map and I feel lost as to where I am heading. I do know that I am the one to put the puzzle together and make the turns on the map to get to where I am going. But I could not have been able to see the big picture, or know how to handle the sharp turns of the map, without the care, support, deep understanding and honest interaction with Cheryl Frommelt and all those at Fox Valley Institute.
The help that I have received to put the puzzle together and to understand the map have made a lifelong impact on how I look at things day to day. I don’t look in my rear view mirror any more, and I look forward to the twists and turns of life ahead, and I am excited to see what the picture turns out to be as the pieces of my life go in place.
I have been asked to provide a testimonial about my experiences, but the best testimonial I can think of is living my life as I am now, and knowing that I have the support of Cheryl Frommelt and those at Fox Valley. I am not alone on the path that awaits me.”
I came to meet Samantha McDaniel last winter, during a time in which my relationship was falling apart. Mistrust and dishonestly had become a daily part of my marriage and it was at the breaking point. My husband and I knew we needed to turn to counseling to help repair our relationship. Fox Valley Institute looked like the best place for the job. We had tried other facilities in the past, and were not impressed. Samantha really stood out to us. Her online profile showed she was a young, fresh, equipped resource and she felt very welcoming to us.
Samantha has been by far the best counselor we have ever seen. Even within the first meeting, she came off as warm and approachable. We were extremely nervous and she made us feel at ease. She allowed us to open up, vent freely and feel as if we were getting advice from a friend. Not once did she place blame on a situation. She provided practical, applicable advice and made a huge difference for us. She helped me realize on my own that I needed to change and that I wanted to without pressure. She comforted me at a time when really no one else could and when I thought everything was lost.
I would highly recommend Samantha as a resource for anyone looking to talk to someone and get help. She was a great resource and we loved our experience with Fox Valley Institute!!
“Cheryl offers a listening ear without judgement and helps me understand what my options are to move forward in a positive way. Her counseling is compassionate but at the same time constructive so you feel like you’re actually making progress toward your goals!”
-Heather – Naperville
“I have been seeing Cheryl Frommelt and honestly could not be any happier. I consider her in my life not only as my therapist but my life coach. Not only has she guided me through many tough situations but she has also shown and given me coping mechanisms that continue to help me. She is truly a great therapist whom I trust and refer to all my friends.”
Several years ago I walked into Suzanne Keenon’s office on my lunch hour from work. I was a very desperate and depressed woman. I had low self-esteem and found it difficult to deal with personal and professional relationships as well. I had lost faith in mankind and was struggling with my relationship with God.
Within a few visits with her, I realized that God had sent me to her. Not just because I needed a psychological healing but because I needed a spiritual healing as well. I had no idea that Fox Valley Institute was a Christian counseling service.
Suzanne walked with me through some of the toughest moments in my life. She counseled, coached, listened, ministered and laughed with me. Suzanne gave me the psychological tools and advice that have made such a positive difference in my life. When negative actions and/or words are directed at me I am now able to diffuse the situation with a positive attitude. I have let go of the “old” me who would respond with negative actions and/or words and react in a positive, calm demeanor. The “new” me lets go and lets God.
My favorite one-liner to the Lord is a quote Suzanne shared with, “Lord, please take me out of the Darkness and into the Light”.
Suzanne Keenon taught me how to bring light back into my life and for that I will always be grateful.
“I started seeing Cheryl at the recommendation of my sister to help with my marital issues. It was the first time I had seen a counselor as an adult, as well as the first time seeking marriage counseling. Due to the nature of my situation, I began by seeing Cheryl individually. I was in a marriage that was struggling and had been for quite some time. I was so impressed with Cheryl and her ability to help not only me as an individual, but to also work with us as a couple. In the end, I chose to get a divorce. It was a hard-reached decision, but a necessary one for my happiness. Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful process. I fought daily battles both with my ex-husband and my own demons. With Cheryl’s guidance and the practical tools she gave me, I was able to make it one of the hardest times in my life. I also learned valuable lessons about myself and about healthy relationships. I continue to use these lessons and tools on a regular basis, both in my own personal and my professional life. I am so grateful for Cheryl and the role she played throughout this process. I would recommend anyone to her, and in fact I do send people to her on a regular basis. The testimonials of others have been similar to my own. Cheryl collaborates with her patients to empower them. She is honest but reserves judgement. She encourages clarity of thought and refutes negative thought patterns. I cannot say enough good things about my experience – thank you Cheryl!”
-K.G., Oswego IL
My experience with LifeLine and EFT (Tapping) has been profound and life changing. I entered the experience with very limiting beliefs primarily about my health and personal fulfillment. Mary helped me put words to what I had been feeling and thinking for so long, words I was desperately trying to find. Mary helped me to change these core beliefs that limited me from health and happiness. After my sessions with Mary I found out that a medical condition I had struggled with had improved drastically and I was able to go off the medication I had been on for two years. I am beyond grateful for my experience with LifeLine, EFT and Mary! I can confidently say I have found the happiness and wholeness I have been seeking!
-M.J. – Naperville, IL (Psychologist)