We’ve got a special Small Business Spotlight and this one is especially for moms who are tired of being tired… yeah that’s pretty much all of us, right? Canadian born and raised mom of three, Dr. Angele Close, is now a Lake Forest resident with a mission to make help women heal, awaken and transform. And no, it doesn’t have to wait until your kids are in college – there’s no better time like the present! Get to know Angele’s accolades, background and self-transformation about the up and coming healing benefits of Internal Family Systems. Then register for her two upcoming workshops at the Gorton Community Center on July 20th and August 17th (links below) and start your personal healing journey sooner than later.
Hi Dr. Angele. Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?
Hi, I’m Dr. Angele Close. I’m from Canada. My husband and I moved our family to the North Shore of Illinois in August of 2019. It was a good move for his start-up company Bartesian as he was looking to launch and expand his business opportunities. After trying out Winnetka during the covid years, we bought a home in Lake Forest last summer and have been making our forever home and settling into this beautiful community!
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have three awesome kids. My oldest son is 13, my daughter is 11 and my youngest son just turned 10. They each have their own unique and strong personalities (which on occasion I both blame AND thank my husband for). Free thinkers with the power of persistence, my kids challenge me and make me laugh everyday.
What are one or two fun facts to know about you?
I googled “fun fact” to get ideas – wondering now does that make me unfun…? I always wanted to learn mosaic and that was my plan for when I’m a retired senior. I joined a class last fall after seeing classes advertised in Lake Forest and I’ve been reminded how we shouldn’t hold off or wait on our dreams. My teacher said I’m “a natural” and now my Mosaic class is my “little bubble” that I look forward to every week that helps me decompress some stress and feel centered and joy filled from exercising my creativity – not to mention create beautiful art for my walls!
Please introduce your endeavor, a business you aptly call Dr. Angele Close. How long have you held your own practice and what is your focus or who do you typically treat?
Yes, my business name is Dr. Angele Close. I’ve been a psychotherapist for over a decade having worked at College counseling centers, a family health team, and private practice. When we moved to Illinois I joined Skylight Counseling Center working with adults and couples and in September, 2022 I branched out on my own, where I now work solely with women. I have a particular interest in moms’ experiences and have been deep-diving into learning and studying Internal Family Systems that now mainly informs my work.
I also provide workshops and consultations to organizations on the topics of mindfulness and self-compassion.
What is internal family systems?
Internal family systems (IFS) is a highly popular evidence-based psychotherapy model that has been shown to help people heal from trauma, parent more consciously, and live more integrated and heart-centered lives.
What are your credentials?
I have a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Toronto and I’m a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher.
What do you want our readers, specifically moms, to know when it comes to taking control of their mental health?
Too many moms discount or deny their own needs and sacrifice parts of themselves for other people. It’s ingrained in us and part of our cultural socialization as women. I want moms to know that they also deserve some of their attention and energy to work on their own healing and self-growth and that when they do, their children and their relationships will inevitably flourish and benefit.
I’ve heard too often from clients that they feel “selfish” for focusing on themselves and so they don’t even consider their wants and needs. They put themselves last on their list, or they tell themselves they’ll wait till their kids are off to College! Yet when we include ourselves in our own hearts and demonstrate that with self-compassion, time, and attention to our needs, dreams, and inner longings, we thrive. We feel better and we show up more fully as our whole self in all of our relationships.
I’ve come to understand some of the commonly shared struggles of being a mom – most of which, in my experience, moms don’t openly talk about or acknowledge. Parenting is an inevitably triggering pathway – it can be a minefield for our old wounds and unprocessed pains to resurface. This has been my experience, and I’ve also come to see that we can use these moments that in Internal Family Systems (IFS) are called “trailheads” to do some deep healing work and expand our understanding and potential of ourselves. In other words, motherhood offers us rich opportunities for real growth and transformation.
How do we as women become more engaged and learn more about mental health and mindfulness?
It’s never been easier to learn about mental health. Access to free and high quality content is ever available carried in a small device in our purses. At the same time, the open platform of social media has resulted in sometimes too many voices and some less than credible. I would encourage moms to seek out their information from sources with professional credentials and legitimate clinical backgrounds, like psychologists, therapists, and certified coaches.
I’ve been using the Insight Timer App for years where I also share guided meditations and a course on emotions. It’s a great resource for busy moms to try meditations, talks, courses, and even soothing music for you and your kids. I like that you can search by time, so if you only have 5-10 minutes, you’ll be shown a list of practices that can fit in your lifestyle and needs.
I would also encourage moms to take small doable steps. For instance, if you find you scroll on social media during downtimes, see if you can take even just 10 minutes away from scrolling to listen to a guided meditation, listen to half of a podcast, or read a chapter from a notable self-help or spirituality book. I know how busy mom-life is and we also always make choices on how we spend some of our minutes. Zoning out or entertainment are sometimes needed and valid, and it’s also a place where we can take back a few moments to work on our healing and inner wellness.
What are one or two pieces of advice you’d like to pass forward to our mom readers?
If I could only offer two pieces of advice or recommendations to moms, it would be to trust yourself. We are hard-wired for self-healing, and the more you make a practice of making what’s called “the U-turn” (turning inward to check in with your ever changing flow of thoughts, feelings, and intuitions) and trust in that over all the external noise, the more you’ll find what’s right for you on your journey of healing and self-discovery.
Second, I’d advise moms to be curious and compassionate, including towards their own inner critic, judger or the parts of ourselves we don’t like. Over hundreds of clients and years of providing psychotherapy, I’ve seen that turning away from ourselves and trying to deny some part or aspect of ourselves only leads to more suffering. I’m convinced that the way to more peace, joy, and harmony in our lives – and living more true to ourselves and our path – is to practice self-kindness and compassion. Moms are very good at sending this energy towards their friends, kids, and partners, but less so towards themselves.
Do you have any workshops coming up that you’d like to promote?
Yes I do! I’m facilitating two workshops over the summer at the Gordon Community Center in Lake Forest called Reimagining Motherhood. July 20, 2023 we’ll be exploring how motherhood is socially and culturally constructed, looking specifically at the concept of matrescence and the myth of the good mother. We’ll have time to reflect on how these ideas have influenced our personal experiences as mothers. Moms can register for this workshop HERE.
The second workshop on August 17, 2023 we’ll explore ways we can diffuse and calm our reactivity as parents, looking to Internal Family Systems as a map for understanding ourselves and our reactions and learning practices that can help us show up more calmly, consciously and compassionately as a mom. Moms can register for this workshop HERE. Moms can attend just one or both workshops as they are presented in a way that’s stand-alone material.
What’s on the horizon for your practice?
As mentioned, I’ve been studying and experimenting with the Internal Family Systems model for healing trauma. IFS is an evidence-based highly popular therapeutic approach that I’ve experienced for myself as the most effective process for healing. I’ve found that as a practice, IFS has exponentially helped me as a parent and with motherhood in general. I better understand myself and I’m much more able to show up in sticky moments with my kids with more clarity, calm, and compassion – for them and myself!
I’ll be opening up spots for a Moms group in the fall where I’ll be teaching some principles and practices informed by IFS as well as creating a safe container where moms can have real conversations and receive real support in their journeys of momming. I’m very excited about this group and I know there are many moms out there feeling isolated and stuck. I’m hoping to create a bridge to connection that we can all lean on to help each other get the most out of this motherhood journey.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about yourself Dr. Angele Close?
Honestly, I just want to say thank you to the moms that have read this! I know how all-consuming motherhood is and I don’t take lightly that people’s time and attention is the most valuable currency. I hope that there’s even one nugget of an important reminder in what I’ve shared so far. I guess the last thing to share is that I don’t work with moms from a place of ‘expert’. Though I’ve earned degrees and credentials, I don’t know what’s right for everyone; the healing journey is so unique. I’m really looking forward to sharing what I’ve found most helpful with other moms and to create community for moms who resonate with the material I highlight in my workshops, courses, and group.
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Angele Close you can visit her website at https://www.drangeleclose.com/ and reach out here. You can also follow Dr. Angele Close on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.