Erika Fountain, M.A. '06 M.A. in Counseling

Learn about Erika Fountain,  
M.A. '06 and her work  
in private practice.

Learn about Erika Fountain,
M.A. '06 and her work
in private practice.

Erika Fountain graduated from Adler in 2006 with a Master of Arts in Counseling degree. A licensed professional counselor with a substance abuse specialty, she is the owner and Clinical Director of the Lake Geneva Wellness Clinic.

Tell us about your work.

Erika: I am a therapist for my private practice. We have several therapists who work here with different specialties including LPC, LCSW, and we have one psychologist. I get to work with adolescents and adults, primarily, in individual counseling. We have also offered group counseling and several therapists at the clinic offer family counseling and couples counseling.

One area I specialize in is working with people who experience gender dysphoria and are considering hormone therapy or surgery. Another area I specialize in is drug and alcohol counseling. I also enjoy doing faith based counseling for clients who find that faith is a factor in their mental health and would like it to be a part of the counseling process. The goal of our clinic is to help people realize their potential and to help them find and experience freedom, if that’s possible, from whatever is troubling them.

What is your impact on the individuals or communities with whom you work?

Erika: I get to see people begin the process of having their physical bodies become the gender they are. I empower my clients who have experienced abuse to find freedom and independence. Sometimes we get to see people reduce or even resolve their symptoms and we get to see them become an active participant in their life. Once clients become well they often discontinue treatment so it is hard to know what impact we are having beyond this experience.

How did your Adler University experience affect where you are today?

Erika: Adler was the first place I felt “at home” as an adult. I felt I could understand what was being taught and I seemed to be able to do what was being taught. I could converse with people I understood and I felt that they understood me. I enjoyed learning about social justice and about giving back as a way to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Was there a particular Adler University faculty member or experience as a student that has most influenced you and why?

Erika: Life style assessment, religion, art therapy, disaster prep, journaling…
I will never forget watching people fall out of the twin towers while watching the video that was presented in class for our disaster and mental health preparedness class. Or how much fun it was to do the life style assessment and how ERs can be helpful. I use them often today. The art therapy class taught me to think outside of the box. Journaling class showed that people can reframe their own experiences. All of my experience helped me to strive to see things through the client’s eyes. It also helped me to see past the problem and look for patterns while seeing the client as a whole from their own perspective.

One of the most influential people in my life is an Adler alumnus – Dr. Jon Carlson. Words will not do the experience justice but I will try. He is the one who encouraged me to go to graduate school. He became one of my supervisors through my practicum, internship and externship experiences. He helps me change perspective, reminds me to see things through the client’s eyes, and helps me to think outside of the box. Additionally, I was able to see clients at his practice after I was licensed. Then one day, Jon told all of us during a supervision meeting that he was selling the practice and wanted to offer it to one of us first. I about fell over. I had always wanted my own practice and had been researching ways to get one started. Though the circumstances were much less than desirable (Jon was selling his practice because of health issues) – it was an honor to be able to purchase it from him. He is still practicing at the clinic and he is still our supervisor. It is an honor and privilege to be able to continue to learn from him and to have him as a colleague/mentor.

What career accomplishment have you found most fulfilling, or considered your greatest professional accomplishment?

Erika: Purchasing the clinic and getting to run my own business helping others. What motivates me is that every once in a while someone comes back, or you hear from someone, how something I did made a difference. It’s humbling because my clients teach me more about strength, coping, and survival than I teach them.

What is the single most important piece of career advice you can give someone in your field?

Erika: Be yourself. Don’t try to be like another counselor – you won’t do a good job and your clients will see right through the attempt. Also, see things through your client’s eyes.

What advice can you give a student just joining Adler University?

Erika: Ask tons of questions and be thirsty for the lessons learned by other professionals.