For over 25 years Kari Hunter has been helping people improve their lives. Her caring, matter-of-fact personality, combined with her expertise puts clients at ease and instills confidence that she can effectively and efficiently resolve their problems. Ms. Hunter offers psychotherapy to children, teens, adults, couples, and families. Common to all is her solution-focused approach, which guides clients on a positive path through their anxiety, depression, ADHD, or relationship struggles by building on their personal strengths to teach creative but proven, evidence-based strategies that produce desired change.
Here are the types of cases that Ms. Hunter works with:
Children as young as 3 or 4 years old can experience anxious symptoms that become problematic for a family. Ms. Hunter works with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, performance anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, obsessive and compulsive symptoms, and social anxiety.
Although depression presents itself differently in children and adolescents than it does in adults, Ms. Hunter has been trained to assess, diagnose and help her clients of all ages implement a variety of strategies that fight depression without medication.
Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity
ADHD is frequently more problematic for one's parent or partner than it is for oneself! Ms. Hunter is able to assess and diagnose child and adult ADD/ADHD and helps clients determine the areas where they can benefit: organization, focus, procrastination, memory, impulsivity, social skills, emotional regulation, or relationship skills. The approach used for these clients is most often practical coaching techniques. A special benefit offered to adult ADHD clients is the option of including partners in the treatment to reduce conflict and encourage collaboration.
Marriage, Couples' or Family Relationship Therapy
You don't have to have a diagnosed mental disorder to benefit from therapy. Being a therapist since the 1990s, Ms. Hunter has helped clients tackle everything from affairs, destructive arguing, parenting disputes, temper tantrums, blending remarried families, in-law dynamics, lack of intimacy, break-ups, or divorce recovery. Sometimes mental health problems are passed down the generations and cause the non-afflicted partners and family members to seek supportive counseling so that they can learn how to cope with someone's mental illness without becoming depressed or anxious themselves.
The modality of treatment depends on the problem presented by the client. Ms. Hunter has been trained in the following:
Brief Strategic Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Family Systems Theory
Mindfulness strategies & clinical hypnosis
The newest service added to Ms. Hunter's practice is a recently developed process for couples who are on the brink of divorce or break-up called Discernment Counseling. Created by author and marriage expert William Dougherty, Ph.D., Discernment is a protocol that helps couples decide if their relationship is "fixable" before desperately entering into discouraging attempts at therapy or moving too quickly into the white-water rapids of the divorce process.
Ms. Hunter's expertise has been cultivated from a variety of psychology-related fields and her clients receive therapy informed by research in the fields of neuroscience, child & adolescent development, social psychology, behavioral therapy, and marital & family studies. She holds a Master of Science in Family Studies with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University (1986). She maintains two licenses with the state of Illinois: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Ms. Hunter is a Clinical Member in the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy since 1990. She is a 1999 graduate of the Institute for Life Coach Training where she received training in personal, executive, and relationship coaching. She received family business consulting education through the Family Firm Institute in 2003. Ms. Hunter has a professional achievement certificate in Family & Divorce Mediation from the Center for Dispute Resolution, University of DePaul, Chicago (2004). In 2004, the Women In Management organization (WIM) recognized Kari Hunter for her career accomplishments as a licensed professional. WIM awarded her both the Woman of Achievement Award and the prestigious Charlotte Danstrom Award. Ms. Hunter began her career in not-for-profit agencies and then worked in the private practice of nationally known "Divorce Busting" expert Michele Weiner-Davis offering therapy and tele-coaching to clients in the US and internationally (1994-2000, Woodstock, Illinois). In 2000, Kari Hunter opened her private practice in Geneva, Illinois to be closer to home for her teenage son, an avid musician, and her husband, Kevin Hunter, an artist. If you have read through this bio to the end you will be rewarded with a little-known tid bit which is that Kari Hunter trained for a year in improvisational acting at the highly acclaimed Second City Theater in Chicago.