Jessica Kuhnen is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Hyde Park Center for Healing, a private mental health practice where she and five other clinicians treat disorders such as anxiety, depression and complex trauma.
She also recently launched a private yacht chartering company called Belief in Process Boating and helped create two scholarships to benefit 2019 Cook County public high school graduates interested in pursuing higher education or starting a business.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?
Healing. Over the last couple of years, I have adopted the belief that I am an empath. … Essentially, it means that you can feel what other people are feeling. … This natural-born ability — combined with evidence-based tools that I learned at the University of Chicago — has increased my ability to diagnose mental health problems and treat them effectively.
Listening. … The impact active listening has on individuals, the African American community and the world overall is [undeniable]. To actively listen without judgment, without bias, without a desired outcome in mind, without pushing a vision or narrative on someone is the very first step to empower[ing] individuals and communities.
Vociferous. They have tried to silence us, stigmatize our voice as “ghetto,” hush us, teach us European standards of professionalism and etiquette that promote quietness and … that being loud and joyful [was] ignorant. I don’t buy into these false paradigms. I am loud. I love Ebonics, despite being an English major in undergrad. I use that loudness and my voice to speak up and advocate for rape victims, victims of police brutality, the LGBTQ community, the bucket boys on the corner and the forgotten. My loud, urban, Chicago voice is my power, and I have plans to change the world with it.
As a successful woman in business, what is your proudest achievement?
Recently, I started an African American women’s support group for anxiety and depression.
How can our audience connect with you?
You can follow me on IG: @hydeparkcenter4healing, @bipboating, @fortheculturescholar
Facebook: Hyde Park Center for Healing, BIP Boating
To apply for the Culture Scholarship: https://forms.gle/88Tc7XjWsy3DTgHPA