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posted: 8/22/2011 5:00 AM

Arbor Counseling owner helps others in suburbs

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  • Jim Brydon, LCSW, therapist and co-owner, meets a client at Arbor Counseling Center's Buffalo Grove office.

    Jim Brydon, LCSW, therapist and co-owner, meets a client at Arbor Counseling Center's Buffalo Grove office.


An interview with Glenn Weiss, co-owner of Arbor Counseling Center in Buffalo Grove.

Q: Describe your business.

A: In a nutshell, Arbor Counseling Center provides outpatient mental health counseling to individuals, couples and families. Starting out with just three counselors in 1988, we have grown over the years to a staff of 28 licensed therapists serving clients from our four office locations in Buffalo Grove, Gurnee, Hoffman Estates and Crystal Lake. Adults, adolescents and children seek help from us for a variety of reasons: stress, anxiety, depression, anger management, addictions, ADHD, family and marital conflict, eating disorders, divorce, grief, trauma and so much more. We also partner with schools, businesses and community organizations to educate and provide training on a number of topics -- stress management, substance abuse education, effective parenting, etc. We are fortunate to have therapists who are fluent in Spanish, Mandarin and American Sign Language.

Q: What do you do?

A: In addition to having the responsibilities of a co-owner, I also practice full time as a therapist and a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor, seeing clients for many of the same reasons listed above.

Q: What made you start your business?

A; Jim Brydon, Hal Filian and I all worked together at OMNI Youth Services in the early 80s and became close friends. We were trained as professional counselors and, basically, we wanted to do more to help people. We saw a need in our community for our services so decided to go out on our own and set up a professional counseling practice.

Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?

A: Without a doubt, the most difficult obstacle in running our business is dealing with the changing nature of managed care and the complexities of the insurance world in today's economic climate.

Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?

A: Knowing that people's lives are changed for the better by what we do gives me great satisfaction; it is very purposeful work.

Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: Even when I was young, friends would come to me with their problems and tell me it was because I was a good listener. When it came time to choose a field of study, psychology seemed like the perfect fit. I guess I always wanted to be in a helping profession.

Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?

A: First off, if you are going to have partners in a business, make sure it is a good marriage. You must be able to trust them totally, communicate well with them and work together smoothly. Secondly, have your priorities in order -- family first.

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