Winter 2014 Therapist Spotlight: Interview with Jenna Krehbiel.
Jenna Krehbiel was born and raised in Salina, KS. She attended Bethany College where she received her undergraduate degree in Social Work. She continued her education at Wichita State University and attained her Master’s in Social Work. She began her clinical work at Central Kansas Mental Health Center.
After the birth of her daughter she decided she needed a job that was more flexible and family friendly. She opened her own private practice in January 2010. She practiced exclusively in home-based therapy from 2010-2013. She opened her office in February 2013 but also continue to provide home-based family therapy. She has a loving husband and two incredible children.
What influenced you to pursue a career in the mental health profession?
I always knew I wanted to be in the helping profession, but I knew medical care was not for me. I had a family member encourage me to apply for a position at the local community mental health center working in medical records. It was in that position I was introduced to the mental health field. During my time at the community mental health center, I worked in medical records, transcription, billing, attendant care, case management, psychosocial groups, and finally as a therapist. I saw all angles of running a large mental health agency. I am a compassionate person and find my purpose for life in helping others heal.
What inspired you to work in-homes with clients conducting home-based family therapy?
I feel home-based family therapy is designed especially for individuals and families who have a difficult time accessing therapy or who would benefit from having a therapist come to them. Currently, there are very few Home-Based Therapists located in Salina, KS. As a Home-Based Therapist, I recognize due to illness, transportation problems, disability, finances, childcare, crisis, and a wide range of other reasons, it is challenging to get to an office for therapy. As a solution, I offer Home Based Therapy. Also, I rarely have clients cancel or miss scheduled home-based appointments. As a therapist, I recognize the value of maintaining consistent appointments.
What is your favorite part of home-based family therapy?
I have found offering home-based family therapy allows me to meet the family in their comfort zone. It allows me insight on how the family functions on a day-to-day basis as well as the atmosphere of the home. I typically have found my home-based families to be more truthful, more relaxed, and more engaged in their own environment versus a private office.
What top three self-care activities to you engage in the most?
Self-Care? What’s that? I’m to busy taking care of everyone else and their problems! No, honestly, one of my most important, critical, self-care activities is consultation and supervision with other therapists. On average I try to meet with a colleague at least twice per month to offer support to each other, vent, and seek intervention ideas. I also include attending continuing education seminars as part of this self-care. Next, something that is non-negotiable for me is having massages. I try to have one at least twice per month. It’s the perfect quiet hour to unwind and detox. I find massages alleviate anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Lastly, I have a very ornery beagle that likes to escape the yard on a daily basis. So to curb her mischief I enjoy taking her for walks or playing fetch with her. It’s nice to interact with something that doesn’t talk back.
What tips would you share to help and/or inspire other home-based family therapists in providing in-home services?
I would say one of the most important tips to share with others in today’s current society is to protect yourself. If you take a step back and think about it “protect yourself” has many meanings. We have all heard stories of professionals being attacked and/or killed by clients. I think it is critical to pay attention to your “gut” and be very observant of your surroundings. It can be easy to let your guard down after several sessions within the home. Safety includes outside of the client home and within the home. You must remember you are on their turf and they are inviting you to enter their home. Be prepared. Going into the home presents other concerns new therapists may not think of. Think creepy crawly-I have observed roaches, fleas, bed bugs, and other creatures that I do not want to carry home with me. Be prepared and make sure you don’t appear disgusted, as this would disrespect the family. Lastly, I have always been committed to the family systems theory. This theory has the belief that regardless of the origin of the problem (or individual), working with the family can offer solutions that ultimately benefit each family member. Home-based family therapy allows me to do just this.