Sheila Owen LCSW, LADC is the Founder and Principal Therapist of PeachTree counselling in North Haven, CT USA. She has two Masters Degrees and two licenses to practice in the state of Connecticut. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Program of Social Work at Sacred Heart University. She worked in hospitals and treatment facilities for 25 years before starting her own counselling practice in 2014. Professor Owen receives referrals from organisations all over the state of Connecticut and her practice serves the Greater New Haven Community.
Professor Owen is a member of the Yale Toast Masters Club in New Haven and speaks publicly on mental health and wellness topics. In 2019 she presented on the Opioid Epidemic in the USA at the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and at the New England School of Addiction Studies in Worcester, MA. She is planning to present globally in the next few years. Sheila has worked as a Clinical Supervisor at the APT Foundation and as a counsellor at the STAR program at Connecticut Valley Hospital. She uses evidence-based practice in counselling including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
She attends the Alcohol and Drug Policy Meetings at the State Legislative Building in Hartford, CT. She is an active member of the NASW-CT Addictions Committee. Sheila grew up in Guilford, CT and spends her free time with family including her four nephews and niece. She exercises and swims in the ocean in her free time.
Welcome, Sheila, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, can you introduce yourself to us as the founder and principal therapist of PeachTree Therapeutics?
My name is Sheila Owen and I am the founder and principal therapist of PeachTree Counseling in North Haven. I have about 28 years of experience in the field of mental health and addiction. It has been a long journey in creating and operating my own company. My success is drawn from many mentors and therapist themselves. I am driven by the desire to have an impact on the lives of the people I see for counselling and to help them heal. I want to do my part to help the world, one person at a time.
Can you give us a little back story on your journey so far and how you got started with PeachTree Therapeutics?
My first degree is in Economics and I worked in finance for 4 years before doing a career change at age 25. I wanted a more spiritually rewarding career for myself. I went back to school for a Masters and started working in the field of mental health and addiction. I never looked back. Being a therapist and a healer is more than a job in my realm. It is a privilege and a calling. It is what I am meant to do on this earth and with my life.
I am always learning and trying to educate myself. Counselling is an art that can constantly be modified and crafted. I have to know when and how to say things to a client in order to have a positive influence.
Having garnered years of experience with a primary focus for providing client counselling in areas such as addiction issues and co-occurring disorders. Can you tell us the most rewarding aspect of your role as the principal therapist at PeachTree Therapeutics?
The most rewarding aspect of my role is when I see progress in a client and he/she is getting better. I feel accomplished when a client reaches his/her goals. Whether it is witnessing a depressed person be happy again or liberating an addict from dependence on cocaine or heroin.
What key 3 methods you are utilising to achieve the best results for your clients?
For best results with my clients, I actively listen to them and hear what they want and need from counselling. Then we collaboratively set goals. The client is in charge of his/her therapy. I am like a life consultant. Evidence-based practice achieves best results. These are interventions that have been researched and proven to be effective.
What are the pros and cons of using cognitive behavioural therapy?
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been researched and is very effective in reducing anxiety, depression, addiction, stress, eating disorders and many other issues. The downside is that it can require some homework. It is most effective when a person completes writing assignments and keeps journals and logs of targeted behaviours. However, the downside is that some people do not like homework assignments.
How are you working on your own personal development?
Since my career has blossomed in the past 10 years, I am working self-care practices. This includes exercising, healthy diet and spending time with family and friends. I love my work but it is important to balance work with fun.
One hard lesson in business you have learned so far?
One difficult lesson I have learned as a female business owner in the USA is to be very careful who I trust with business information and responsibilities. I have learned to be assertive towards others who try to overstep their boundaries with me or who are dishonest in business practices. I can be a hard-nosed businesswoman at times.
What are your preferred marketing methods for PeachTree Therapeutics?
Marketing for PeachTree Therapeutics is done by word of mouth and internet/social media. I have worked in many hospitals and treatment facilities for 25 years and have made a name for myself in Connecticut. I am on referral lists of many organisations.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN is the definition of my company. It is my own creation and the result of many hours of hard work. I did it mostly myself and it has empowered me. I counsel many women and men in my practice to empower themselves. My values are in alignment with #BEYOUROWN, especially being independent.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand throughout the rest of 2019?
I have started to speak publicly about mental health issues in the Northeast of the US. I have been teaching to Masters students in social work in local universities. I hope to speak globally at some point. I hope to grow my counselling practice, add online counselling and teletherapy in 2019.
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