Hanover Park, IL - (630) 372-6599
South Elgin, IL - (847) 488-1999
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An Interview with Phyllis Siebert

Publication Date: 
March 16, 2017

Phyllis Siebert has been a friendly face seen in the offices of Village Counseling Center for over four years now.  Phyllis was a welcome addition to our staff and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her job.  We have had Phyllis teach the rest of our clinical staff on the topic of Substance Abuse on more than one occasion.  Phyllis works in both our South Elgin and our Hanover Park offices.  We hope that the following interview with Phyllis helps you to get to know her better.

  1. What do you do for fun? I love to be out in nature as long it doesn’t involve risking life and limb or sleeping in a tent.  I tried kayaking for the first time this summer, had a great time (even though I could not lift my arms up for the next 2 days). I love spending time with family and friends, movies with my granddaughter, walking along the river trail with friends, any time with my kids/grandkids, and getting together with my sisters, cousins, and family once or twice a year for cousinfest (we laugh a lot and have great food!).
  2. What is your favorite movie? I don’t think I can pick just one.  Here are my top three, Remember the TitansThe Help, and Courageous. I like movies with historical story lines that show people overcoming adversity. (Must be a counselor or something.)  I recently saw the new Pete’s Dragon with my granddaughter, only one of us was bawling at the end of the movie.
  3. What is your favorite food? Chocolate anything! Don’t tell my doctor.  If I am practicing healthy eating, veggie omelets with tomatillo salsa is good!
  4. What is your favorite fun book/author? That one is easy. I love the book I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou.  The book is autobiographical, historical, and tells the story about how she overcame great adversity.  (There is a theme here and with the movies I like.)
  5. What is your favorite TV show? Here’s where I admit I don’t own a television. I gave it up in grad school.  I do have movie/T.V. capabilities on my computer and will occasionally watch a movie or show.
  6. Who is your favorite entertainer? Growing up, it was Elton John. His music along with Bernie Taupin’s lyrics told a story, and I could get lost in them when I was struggling.  Now, I really enjoy comedian Anita Renfroe.  I can relate to her gentle satire of growing older, and her song parodies really make me laugh.  I also enjoy Christian rock, praise and worship music.
  7. Do you have any pets? Yes, 2 senior cats (here is where you can cue in crazy cat lady jokes).  Poofy Kitty is 15.5 years old and Bowie is 12 years old.  We all have a little arthritis.
  8. What are your hobbies? I started bird watching over the past few years. I find birds to be fascinating creatures, and there are so many different species.  I mostly bird vicariously through face book sites, but I have learned to identify many of the larger raptors, herons and egrets.  I also like walking outside in nature and discovering new paths.  I enjoy vegetable gardening and have grand plans for my little patch of dirt.  I also enjoy cooking, reading, and dancing.
  9. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Chicago in the Avondale neighborhood which is considered the northwest side of the city.
  10. What is a favorite childhood memory? Growing up in Chicago, we had a ton of kids on our “block.”  We played outside all day into evening whenever we could.  Tag, freeze tag, jump rope, red rover, and softball were some of our favorite games and it was great fun.
  11. Do you have a favorite sports team? I like all the Chicago teams, but this year it has been Cubs fever!
  12. What is one of your most embarrassing moments? Probably taking a tumble in public would top the list of most embarrassing experiences I have had.  Three years ago I was working out at the gym with a trainer and fell off the exercise ball in a room full of people.  I hopped up and raised my hands in the air like all good gymnasts do.  What can I say, I was born graceful.
  13. What favorite sayings do you have or use? I can think if three sayings that I like and that I use often, they are: “Sounds like a plan.” “How are you taking care of yourself?”  “God is in control.”
  14. What is the best advice you ever got? The first thing that comes to mind is Proverbs 3: 5-6, which states:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths."  I have found these verses to be very helpful to me many times in life.
  15. What sorts of issues do you help people cope with regularly? I am really gifted at helping people with all types of loss: death, divorce, family, mental health, medical, relationships, and career.  I also spend a lot of time with those who are trying to heal from abusive or violent pasts and people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other serious mental health concerns.  I also have had a great deal of experience helping those struggling with addictive behaviors learn to overcome them and help their family members cope too.
  16. How did you choose counseling as a career? I would actually have to say that this career chose me.  Counseling is my second career. I previously worked in the accounting field for over 15 years.  When I turned 40; I knew I did not want to do that forever, so I began studying psychology, earned a certification in addictions and eventually a Masters in Counseling.  I had begun serving in a pastoral ministry at my church while attending school. I just love helping someone who is struggling and hurting get to better place. 
  17. What are your strengths as a counselor? People find me to be a very warm person with a good sense of humor, compassionate, and I have found that I connect well with anyone.
  18. What do you like about your job? It is not just a job; it is a calling.  I work with a wonderful group of clinicians and have a great relationship.  It is the best job I have ever had and also the hardest.
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Hanover Park, IL - (630) 372-6599
South Elgin, IL - (847) 488-1999

460 Briargate Drive, Suite 700 • South Elgin, IL 60177
1240 Bamburg Ct. • Hanover Park, IL 60133
Phone 847.488.1999 • Fax 847.488.9797 •

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