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Weekend Life

Clinical counselor to provide insight on the ‘self’ and relationships in new column

Hello, and welcome to “Theory.”

Each month, I will be writing a column that will focus on the complex human relationship issues that we all face in our daily lives. It is my goal to present new and thought-provoking ideas in a manner that will encourage you to look at your life in a different way, or provide you with the tools you need to reach out to someone else in need. But, before I begin, I thought it might be helpful to know a little bit about the person behind the words.

I grew up in the western suburb of Glen Ellyn. And although there was plenty to keep us entertained in our own town, my family could always find a good reason to visit our favorite spots along the Fox River. We rarely missed a flea market, always found time for bumper cars at Funway or a walk by the river, and never passed up bargain shopping during the sidewalk sales.

I knew by the time I was 16 what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It just took one psychology class my sophomore year and my career path was engraved forever on my soul.

I attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate school and then Northern Illinois for my master’s degree.

Upon graduating, I fulfilled the childhood promise that I made long before moving to the Fox Valley. I have been practicing in the field of mental health for over 35 years and consider it a great honor to be a part of helping people of all ages and with all types of concerns.

I have written and published columns in newspapers and through social media throughout the upper Midwest, and now bring these personal thoughts and theories to you.

What is my personal philosophy on life? I have many.

To share a few, let me begin with my belief that we always have choices. We are never truly stuck.
Sometimes what holds us back is not our circumstances, or someone else, but ourselves; and more specifically our lack of understanding of who we really are.

We get in the way of ourselves a lot. Our lives can seem like a scattered puzzle with pieces that don’t fit together well or don’t create a pleasing picture. I believe that we can alter that picture, swap out a few pieces, re-imagine ourselves and make positive changes in our lives. I believe in a commitment to personal growth and that it should be joyfully welcomed; be seen as a gift we give ourselves; as an opportunity to one day witness ourselves at our happiest, our healthiest, our best.

 In my column, I will present to you a different way of looking at your life, one that hopefully will empower you with a better understanding of yourself and your relationships. So, I dedicate this and many more ... to your health and your happiness.

• Jamie Palmer is a Batavia resident and a licensed clinical professional counselor and senior mediator with more than 35 years of experience in the field of psychology working with families, couples and individuals. She can be reached at

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