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Inspiring Conversations with Carmel Brown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmel Brown.

Carmel, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor for 15 years and 100% self-employed for nearly eight years. I started my career out more than two decades ago as a Probation and Parole Officer for the State of Missouri at 23 years old fresh out of college with a degree in criminal justice.

Very shortly after starting my career, I rapidly realized that many of the clients on my caseload were not successful with moving beyond their legal charges and the criminal justice system due to psychosocial factors. A few of the most common factors were mental illness, poverty, chemical dependency, no support system, poor life skills, and very little education. As a result, I returned to graduate school to study professional counseling which focused on mental health and psychotherapy. I began working for a private crisis agency after starting my professional counseling program. At this time, I switched over from criminal justice to mental illness with regard to education and my career. I started out as an intern during my final 2 semesters in graduate school but was eventually offered a position as clinical coordinator after completing my graduate degree. I immediately began pursuing my clinical license after graduation. I was promoted to Program Director of Residential services shortly after acquiring clinical license. Eventually I began a job with the State of Illinois in a Forensic Center. After five years with the state of Illinois, I realized the burning desire to open a wellness business remained present. I worked on a business plan and completed all of the foundational work to start my business. Eventually, I left my job with the State of Illinois to open my first business in 2013. The Grand Opening for Club Exhilaration Wellness Center was held in the summer of 2014 and I haven’t stopped since. Since then, I’ve opened my therapy practice where myself and any counselors hired complete well over 100 therapy sessions for individuals and families each month.

At Carmel Brown Counseling we offer mental health therapy and family therapy. We treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, clients with a history of trauma, and more. In addition, we help clients achieve work-life balance, improve interpersonal relationships, and more. Over the past seven years, my wellness center and my therapy practice have served thousands of individuals and families in the Metro East and throughout the state of Illinois… In addition to the regular day to day operations of both businesses, I provide corporate training for employers on behalf of various insurance companies. I have facilitated multiple critical incident debriefings for employers on behalf of insurance companies when there is a crisis, an employee death, or some unfortunate circumstances. I have presented to and/or trained staff for companies such as Scott Air Force Base, Cigna, Centers For Disease Control, VA, various social security administration offices, banks, and more. I have also written and published two books which are available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Building a client base and member retention were the most significant challenges at Club Exhilaration Wellness Center since people often struggle to commit to a healthy lifestyle. Very often many aren’t consistent. Many people like the large fancy health clubs. We are a smaller boutique wellness center that focuses on fitness, a supportive environment, nutrition, and overall healthy lifestyle for optimal physical and mental health.

Documentation required to get paneled with insurance companies and awaiting approval were initial challenges. Once this process has been completed maintaining contract compliance with insurance companies is critical to the success of your business.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Club Exhilaration Wellness Center & Carmel D. Brown LCPC?
Club Exhilaration Wellness Center-Fitness classes, Yoga, meditation classes, personal training, nutrition education & planning, and wellness coaching.

Carmel Brown LCPC, also known as Your Exhilarating Life Therapy Services- Has a team of therapists and offers mental health counseling, family counseling, and marital counseling.

I have spent a decade and a half working with individuals and families that struggle with mental illness, family trauma, confidence and self-esteem, life management, work-life balance, wellness and more.

Being a licensed counselor and a certified fitness & nutrition specialist uniquely positions me to help clients served in all major areas of life in order to achieve balance, success, happiness, good health, prosperity, and improved quality of life.

How do you think about happiness?
Being outdoors on a hike makes me feel happy because I get to choose my pace, whether I want to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or nothing at all.

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