Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, LPC, NCC is a graduate of Capella University and has extensive experience in individual and group counseling as well as seminars. She is also a well-published author and has made many public appearances lecturing on the principles of mental health. Jennifer specializes in Christian and wholistic counseling and recovery from eating disorders. She uses an eclectic approach, which includes cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal and motivational interventions.
Why did you choose a career in counseling? I was always the counselor type. As a teen, my friends called me “the shrink.” As an adult, while I was pursuing a career in music and public speaking, people would come share their secrets with me. Once my children launched, I felt it time to go back to graduate school. I had spent years traveling, and now I wanted to contribute to the local community. I boiled it down to two choices: pastoring and counseling. When I asked my husband if he wanted to be married to a pastor, he said, “No.” Since I’m the last of the obedient wives, that was that. Honestly, though, counseling fit perfectly with my personality.
What do you like best about counseling?
I call it “the sacred space of whispered pain and glittering tears.” When I can truly empathize, and people can truly, feel it, all the suffering of my life suddenly makes sense. Equal with that joy is the joy of seeing actual movement and growth in the life of an individual. I often feel like God is doing it in spite of me, but I hope He’s doing it through me as well.
How do you recharge on your day off?
My husband and I grow food together—lots of it. Our backyard is a jumble of tomato vines and corn stalks. I love walks in the park with my trusty Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix, Fred. I enjoy cooking, and I play lots of music on piano, guitar, and voice. I write prose and songs—I tell my lady friends I knit words instead of sweaters. In those last minutes before conking out at night, I voraciously read memoirs.
What are your three favorite things?
1) I love to create, sing and play music. 2) I love just hanging out with family and friends. 3) I love God, His Word, and deep spiritual truth.