We have the pleasure of telling you more about Heather Mucha in this interview that was recently conducted with her. Heather has been a full time therapist with Village Counseling Center for over 5 years. Heather was originally full time in our Dekalb office and for the past few years has been a daily presence and occupant of office 7 in the South Elgin location of VCC. It is virtually impossible to catch Heather without a wonderful smile on her face and a warm caring greeting. Everyone who knows her loves her and we are grateful that she is on our staff. In addition to working full-time as a therapist we have had Heather teach our entire clinical staff on a variety of therapeutic topics related to her expertise of helping people develop good self esteem, learning to advocate for themselves and developing great relationships. Heather has a great sense of humor and you will learn more about here in the interview that follows.
1. What do you do for fun?
I love being outdoors, going new places, trying new things, reading, going to movies and live theatre performances. I also love live musical performances and laughing with my family and friends!
2. What is your favorite movie?
I have several favorites, including Stranger than Fiction, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, What Dreams May Come, and Wizard of OZ.
3. What is your favorite food?
3 things top the list, Pizza, all things Pumpkin and Pickles! Sometimes pickles and pizza together!
4. What is your favorite fun book/ author?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
5. Who is your favorite entertainer?
I have three favorite entertainers: Robin Williams, Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon.
6. Do you have any pets?
YES and I love my pets! I have two Pugs named GiGi & Sophie
7. What are your hobbies?
I really like to spend time with my family, cleaning, bike riding, painting, and reading.
8. Where did you grow up?
The beautiful city of Chicago.
9. What is a favorite childhood memory?
I have several favorite memories: Going to the orchard and pumpkin patch each fall and camping in the summers; the smell of bonfires in our backyard, and dancing to the oldies on the radio….
10. Do you have a favorite sports team?
The BEARS, NIU Huskies, White Sox, and Kane County Cougars
11. What is your favorite counseling related book?
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, Seat of the Soul by Zukav, Anyways by Kent Keith and Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Chopra
12. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
Being at a roller skating party in middle school and later finding out that I had a train of toilet paper on my skate all night!
13. What is the best advice you ever got?
“Live a Life that you will be Proud to hand back to God.”
14. What is a challenging situation you faced that may have created some hurt or pain – but ultimately brought you hope?
An extremely challenging situation was the experience of losing my Dad to a long fight with a chronic illness. I learned how to let go, believe, live and die with dignity and the knowledge that love never really dies. What appears as death is transition and transformation.
15. What sorts of issues do you help people cope with regularly?
I help people suffering with low self esteem; I teach people how to become advocates for themselves and others. I spend time guiding people through the process of learning to live a congruent life, develop good relationships and in being authentic.
16. How did you choose counseling as a career?
It is interesting because I don't believe I chose counseling, I believe that Counseling Chose Me
17. What are your strengths as a counselor?
I am good at what I do because of my strong beliefs in hope, resiliency and that people have an almost endless capacity for growth and change, even though most don't know it yet.
18. What things about you have contributed to making you a good therapist?
I have gained life experience through many personal challenges which has helped me develop empathy, insight and hope. I am clinically trained in Dialectal Behavioral Therapy and Psychological First Aid to help guide people through emotional distress and times of loss and crisis. I have experience with grief and recovery work, and taking the love and the lessons and leaving the pain behind. I think my energetic personality, sense of humor, tenacity and commitment to finding joy contributes to my skills as a therapist.
19. What do you like about your job?
I love the opportunity to guide and walk alongside others on their path to living their most full and happy lives.
20. What are your particular areas of expertise?
Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), anger management, conflict resolution, perspective and gratitude development are areas of expertise for me.