Mahomet's Kathleen El Koury eager to help people reach personal goals at Insight Therapy

Kathleen El Koury originally wanted to be a dental hygienist as a teen, but after being introduced to therapy, she suddenly changed career tracks.

"I started going to Barnes & Noble and reading all kinds of psychology books and learning about different topics and disorders," she said. "I just fell in love with it."

Meet Kathleen El Koury, the owner and a therapist at Insight Therapy in Champaign. El Koury moved to Mahomet from New Jersey more than a year ago with her husband, Evan El Koury, and children, son Brennan and daughter Stella El Koury.

"We're excited to be a part of the community here and we're really enjoying it so far," she said.

El Koury received a bachelor's degree in psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., before obtaining her master's of social work from Kean University in Union, N.J.

Her clinic specializes in individual therapy, mediation and couples and family counseling.

"Generally for those that seek therapy, it's such a very personal, very private process for the most part," she said. "Anytime anyone invites me along on that journey with them that alone is a wow moment."

El Koury said she opened Insight Therapy after seeing a need in the community for more therapists. But she also decided to open the clinic to provide a quality workplace for area therapists.

"I wanted to fill a need for other therapists in terms of having a positive work environment and having relationships with those that they work with in their office professionally," she said. "Creating that kind of environment for the therapists that transfers over to the clients."

El Koury said her clinic stands out for its understanding of the therapy process. While she and the other therapists are ready and willing to help clients meet their goals, they also understand that therapy often comes with an associated stigma.

"We do recognize that it might seem a bit uncomfortable at first and we do recognize at that first meeting that we're strangers essentially and we don't expect anybody to feel comfortable right away just because we're therapists," El Koury said. "We want someone to feel comfortable and to go at their own pace."

El Koury said her clinic goes the extra mile by providing a free 30-minute consultation before the client commits to the process.

"This helps the client to be successful," El Koury said. "It ensures that they like their therapist, that they feel connected."

Insight Therapy also checks each potential client's insurance benefits prior to the consultation to eliminate any further barriers that could prohibit him or her from receiving the counseling services.

"We like our clients to be aware of what their coverage is so we check their benefits first and then make sure that they know," El Koury said.

"Should there be a hiccup with insurance, we do the best that we can to handle it on our end rather than dropping it in the client's lap or sending them a bill because insurance didn't cover it — that's not what we do," she added. "We work to get it resolved on our end and if we can get it resolved, great."

All of Insight Therapy's therapists set their own schedules and make a point to offer evening appointments.

"The last appointment typically is 6 o'clock, although we do have one therapist who does not seem to mind working a bit later and has even been known to work on Saturdays," she said.

While clients are offered flexible hours and a comfortable space, El Koury says, making that first contact to seek counseling services can be difficult. But she urges those who need the assistance to trudge through regardless.

"We recognize that it might be quite uncomfortable or even scary at first for some folks and that's what we're there for — to guide them — and that's what being a therapist is about; it's more about being a guide as someone is going through their own journey," she said.

For more information about Insight Therapy, visit insighttherapyllc.com or call 217-383-0151.

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