Driven by the belief that positive discipline is the best way to aid child development, Catherine Gruener continues to thrive at the head of Gruener Consulting and Counseling and its subsidiary, Encouragement Parenting. The former offers counseling for people of all ages, and the latter focuses on helping parents improve their relationships with their kids. Other services include individual counseling and assessments, case management, couples counseling, and assistance for parents with gifted children, special needs children, and children with behavioral issues.
Ms. Gruener’s interest in the niche stems from her psychosocial-based scientific research and her eight-year involvement with the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Her desire to implement the knowledge she acquired led her to open her businesses. The main thing she wanted to pass on was the importance of using a child’s strengths to help them overcome their weaknesses. Ms. Gruener cares a lot about the health and well-being of children, parents, and families, and felt this was the best way to make a difference.
Another way Ms. Gruener contributes to the field is by actively writing and presenting on the social and emotional needs of children. She notably co-presented “Prevalence and Treatment of Headaches in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” at the American Headache Society in 2010 and contributed to a book, “Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals,” in 2014. Her role was to prepare the parent question guide and discussion sheet that accompanied the book. Ms. Gruener also co-presented “Sensitivity of the RBANS Compared to the WMS-III in Detecting Memory Decline in the Elderly,” at the American Psychological Association and wrote numerous professional articles about gifted children over the years, among other creative works.
To prepare for her endeavors, Ms. Gruener earned a Master of Arts in neuropsychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 1995 and a Master of Arts in counseling psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in 2012. She also became a licensed clinical professional counselor, a national certified counselor, a certified positive discipline educator, and a certified positive discipline parent educator, as well as a graduate of the Yale Parenting Center’s training in parent management course. Ms. Gruener ensures she remains connected to her peers by serving as a committee member of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children and a board member of the Quest Academy Parent Student Association. She has been with the two organizations since 2010.
Looking to the future, Ms. Gruener intends to expand her organization to include counseling services, workshops and classes for educational institutions. She attributes her ongoing success to her hard work, passion, and dedication to lifelong learning.
When Ms. Gruener has free time, she enjoys traveling, yoga, Pilates, swimming, road biking, and reading.