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Juniper Owens LCSW, IMHP
Juniper is a graduate of the University of Louisville Kent School of Social work with a Masters degree in 2010 and has practiced in various roles both clinical and directorial during the span of her career. She is an experienced and progressive clinician, guide and educator with multiple post-graduate certifications and lived experiences of trauma, loss and dissolution that has shaped both her personal and professional approach to living in times of suffering. As modern life spins faster and faster, threats from climate change, unstable political regimes and technology increasingly changing the way we interact, it makes sense that people are seeking mental health services in record numbers and feel generally sadder, angrier, lonelier and more tired and anxious than ever before. In the face of these great challenges, Juniper believes in offering modern, research-informed and ever evolving services to help meet the needs of humans on the planet today.
Juniper currently works with clients who are in the midst of tumultuous life transitions, traumatic or stigmatized grief, difficult relationships with adult children (or estrangement), parenting children (teen or adult) who struggle with substance misuse/dependence or mental illness, those who identify as “co-dependent” or those who find themselves in a time of great pain/suffering when life is not going as planned, hoped or expected.
Juniper utilizes integrative modalities such as ecotherapy, expressive therapies, ceremony/ritual, body oriented, trauma informed, acceptance and commitment therapy from a person centered lens and systems theory foundation.
Theybelieve that you are having normal, human reactions to very real threats and tragedies. You are not inherently flawed or broken and together we can make space for life’s inevitable difficulties, beauty and love.
In March of 2022, Juniper’s 22 year old son died suddenly and tragically, after years of suffering with mental health challenges and substance misuse and dependence. Juniper spent the next 9 months on bereavement leave to heal and grieve, learn and receive support in order to be grounded and regulated when she returned to work as a therapist and guide. Now, she is ready to share and give back some of the support she received from family, friends and professionals.
Juniper’s grief support focuses on violent, sudden, out-of-order losses as well as traumatic, complicated grief and substance related deaths. Loss comes in all shapes and sizes and grief is not restricted to the death of a loved one. Grief is a natural human experience in the face of great loss (in the past, present or future). Traumatic or complicated grief is particularly jarring and disorienting and Juniper will be by your side as you navigate the dark and murky waters you now find yourself in. Grief is unique to each person and there is no one prescribed path that leads to some kind of resolution. The truth is that grief never goes away, you simply learn to build your life around it and we are not meant to do it alone. As a griever myself, we can carry unspeakable, unimaginable pain together.
“Some things cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. Grief like yours, love like yours, can only be carried.” -Megan Devine
Whether you find yourself in acute, early grief (days/weeks after the loss) or more long term grief (6 months + after the loss), you can feel safe to express your grief in any way you want or need. If you find yourself numb, bewildered or unsure of how to grieve, there is space for you here. If you find yourself full of rage or disbelief, there is space for you here. If you can barely move and have no idea how you will continue on, there is space for you here. Juniper will offer you tools and resources, meeting you where you are in your grief. They will also offer information to assist you in developing your own, malleable style of grieving through debunking grief myths, guidance on how to communicate to friends and family, how to navigate going back to work and more. A unique feature of this work is that we can meet out of office for nature based grief therapy, walk and talks or to visit locations that are significant to you in your grief (if you are local to Louisville, KY or with an additional travel fee).
Types of grief Juniper specializes in:
- Stigmatized death and loss (e.g. substance related, suicide, gun violence)
- Out-of-order deaths (e.g. the death of a person that occurs at an unexpected time in their life cycle)
- Traumatic, sudden, accidental or violent death
- Complicated grief (e.g. death of an abuser, estrangement, loved one incarcerated, multiple losses in a row)
- Climate change related grief
Sessions can be in person, virtual or telephonic. Juniper also provides support between sessions and due to the intensive nature of this work, only takes a few clients at time.
In addition, if you are currently supporting a person in the dying process, Juniper provides guidance and resources during this difficult and often scary time. Death has been and remains a taboo subject in many cultures and it makes sense to feel confused about how to best support yourself and a person in the dying process. Juniper was with her son when he died and learned how to support death with dignity for the individual and their loved ones. Ceremony and ritual is a huge part of their process, as well as creating sacred space for this important time in one’s life. Emotional and somatic regulation will be a central focus of this work as well as staying present, while processing all of the emotions and thoughts that accompany facing (often unwanted and unplanned) death. Juniper will assist you in how to communicate to your loved one and other people about their death as well as how to set boundaries with family members. Juniper is not a death doula and currently provides support to friends/family in an outpatient setting only.
Juniper is also providing services for individuals (and some families) who love someone who is struggling with substance misuse or dependence (SUD). Living with and/or loving a person with addictions (and/or mental health challenges) can be traumatic, devastating and tremendously challenging. The stigma surrounding addiction is brutal and most of us experience quite a bit of guilt and shame, along with our loved one. In addition, many of us will suffer trauma that can result in physical or mental health issues ourselves. We are used to hearing things like, you have to “just let them go”, “hit rock bottom”, “my kids would never……” or other types of advice that might nor resonate with your needs, wants or values. This experience can leave us feeling isolated and without support or people who “get it”.
Juniper utilizes models of support which includes the Invitation to Change model developed by the ?Foundation for Change in New York City. The model is based on kindness and science to help support family and friends in creating change and connection with their loved ones. One component of the Invitation to Change model is CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Family Training) which is all about learning different methods to encourage change and more importantly supports connection, communication and relationship that is more helpful with your loved one. CRAFT teaches us that we can choose how we interact, make choices and center our own needs and self-care. It is an alternative to the Al-Anon approach and Juniper has found it profoundly useful, effective and encouraging not only with her loved ones with SUD, but also for her own recovery and healing. In addition, it is a science based approach with empirically validated outcomes.
With their background as a clinical social worker, Juniper primarily practices as a mentor and guide and these services can be in conjunction with therapy or other forms of healing. Practicing in this way is not feasible with insurance requirements, therefore Juniper does not accept insurance at this time and services are out-of-pocket and do not qualify for insurance reimbursement such as diagnosis or treatment plans. Please note that filing out-of-network reimbursement may be available on an individual basis if criteria are met. In order to maintain accessibility, Juniper offers limited sliding scale fees and group services (to be announced in the near future) in order to create various levels of care that work for many individuals.
Juniper provides LGBT+ friendly services and welcomes ALL individuals to their office. Their office is on the 2nd floor, please let us know if you are a person who uses a wheelchair or has other mobility needs. Please contact Bridge’s general phone line, email or text if you have concerns regarding your services and you don’t feel comfortable talking to Juniper directly.
If you are a professional looking for conscious, experiential and evidence based continuing education, please see www.academyimh.com for more.
Specializes In: grief; traumatic, violent, sudden, out-of-order and stigmatized deaths. Parents/family/friends whose loved ones are struggling with substance misuse or dependence. Turbulent life transitions, living through tragedy or when things aren’t going as you had hoped.
Therapeutic Approaches: ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), interpersonal neurobiology, ecotherapy, somatic, coaching/guiding, ceremony/ritual, IVC (invitation to change), CRAFT (community reinforcement and family training), feminist and social construction theory and integrative approaches.
Juniper is currently not accepting new clients.
Clients: Individuals, couples and group, 16+
Location: 632 East Market Street, Suite 205 (second floor) and outdoor locations
Payment/Insurance: Private pay at $140 per session (HSA, cash, check, credit).