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About Jen

I have been a mental health therapist for over 15 years.  Throughout my career, I have worked in outpatient settings, served as the clinical director for an inpatient adolescent treatment program and launched three successful businesses. My first business was Northern Star Counseling, LLC established in  2010. The practice specializes in improving the mental wellbeing of adults, youth and families in Cheyenne, WY. In the beginning, Northern Star Counseling was a solo practice with me as the only clinician. Today Northern Star Counseling is a thriving practice with eight clinicians of varying specialties. We serve individuals, families, couples and children. Our clinicians have community involvement with HeadStart programs, Suicide Prevention agencies, Fortune 500 corporate services and the University of Wyoming Family Practice for collaborative care.

The second business venture was a partnership with local psychologist, Mary Ellen Sternitzke. In 2014, I joined Equality Connections in Cheyenne, WY. Equality Connections offers business platform services to mental health clinicians wanting to begin their own practices or those already in practice that need some additional support. Areas of consultation include marketing, advertising, conflict resolution, bookkeeping and brand development. Equality Connections offers clinicians consultation services centered around developing their practice. Equality Connections also offers direct services such as billing, Medicaid enrollments, private insurance credentialing, and client invoicing.

The most recent business is Career Innovations launched in 2016. This is a partnership with Darlena Potter, an experienced state, federal and public sector administrator. Career Innovations focuses on assisting youth ages 14-21 with life and job skills development. Common services include budgeting, cooking, social skills, confidence enhancing activities, study skills, time management as well as emotional regulation. Services are offered in individual and group settings. Our clinician provide Career Innovations services in the community to build hands on experience to the youth.


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Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

Continuing education credits are required to maintain your mental health license (LCSW, LPC, and LMFT). Consider using your mandated CEUs to specialize in the populations you want to serve. This approach will speed you along your path of specialization and allows you to complete your renewal requirements. In Wyoming, clinicians currently need 45 continuing education hours for every two years this typically renews on their birthday. There are many ways to earn the credits you need without breaking the bank.

Local trainings offered by companies such as PESIOnline training many offer unlimited CEUs for a fixed priceWebinarsNational conferences Travel to trainings offered in other cities (tax deduction for private practices)

Offering Telehealth Services

Many private practitioners offer telehealth services to their clients.  There are many benefits to offering this service including flexibility of scheduling, availability of therapist and client and portability. There are few things to remember when offering telehealth services:

Be sure that the insurance policy will pay for telehealth sessions (as needed)Be sure that the carrier you chose for telehealth is encrypted and will offer a BAA (good options include VSee, and Zoom)Speak in a private area to assist with confidentialtyHave clients sign a specific telehealth release

Networking with Other Professionals

Networking with professionals in your community helps you to stay connected to potential referral sources as well as become an active member of the professional community. Getting out and talking to others as you become the face of your business will assist in confidence building for referral sources. Remember when networking to be social, friendly and approachable as you are constantly representing your company. There are several ways to begin networking with others immediately while others take time to develop. Allow community partners to begin associating the name of your business with trust, positivity and advocacy.  Various opportunities to network include
Volunteering for Causes- Special Olympics, Homeless ShelterJoining Kiwanis, Rotary or the Red Carpet Committee via the Chamber of CommerceSponsor a youth T-ball team or bowling teamAttend lunch workshops offered by other community membersHost an Open House at your business and invite other professionals in the areaOffer lunch m…