We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Petersen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
You know, the truth of the matter is that I have never enjoyed working for other people. I’ve had some pretty cool people that I’ve worked with and that have been my managers, but at the end of the day I always knew I wanted to be in charge and to write my own script. I ended up leaving a very successful sales career in 2007 and going back to school in January 2008 at Regis University in Denver and graduating in August 2011 with a masters in marriage and family therapy. I knew I wanted to help people, and through the process of Regis I realize that what I really enjoy is working within the structure of a family system. And observing all the players and how they interact. I also wanted to be in charge of my hours, my income, and my dress code. And it’s important for me to be able to bring my Boston terrier Burt to work with me every day.
What should our readers know about your business?
I opened up my private practice in April 2014 and was almost an immediate success. I think primarily because I specialize in working with families that struggle with addiction and codependency. I grew up in a house of addiction, I became an addict, I got sober in 1991, and then I became a mental health professional in 2011. So I think I offered an extremely unique viewpoint to the people that I work with because I have been the family member, the Addict c, sober, and the mental health professional so I have the ability to see things from all the different perspectives available. The really cool part about owning my own business in the middle health industry is that I was in corporate sales for 20 years before I went back to graduate school and learned how to run a business and how to find the right people in access the right resources to make that business successful. So networking, marketing, business development is all stuff that I do naturally. And now I’ve written a book called Chronic Hope: Parenting the Addicted Child, and I’m in the midst of finishing my second book on family case management for families that are struggling with addiction and I love the process of branding and writing and sharing what’s inside me to help others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What a great question! I would start by the first morning taking them to the Bagel Deli on Hampton and showing them what I think is probably the best breakfast in town hands-down. And I love the people that work there and the people that own it. Then we would go to Kaladi coffee on Evans and have what is by far the best coffee in the country. As a matter fact that’s how we would start each and every day. Then we would take some tours of some of the things that are in Denver that I find utterly fascinating and amazing, like the museums, the art districts, the sports arenas and facilities, And I would also take them on a tour of the finer small creameries that seem to be popping up all over the Denver metro area that for offer absolutely incredible ice cream and desserts. And of course we would have to go to park burger, the original gourmet burger place in Denver. I don’t drink alcohol so I really don’t know where to take them for the good bar scenes, but I definitely know where the good coffee is so we would visit all the Kehlani locations and probably check out some of the smaller hole in the wall spots that exist all over the place too. And I’m a huge pizza guy, so we would definitely be getting pizza at some of the better places. We would have to go to Boulder and just check out the beauty that is Older, and we would have to go up to Fort Collins and check out what it’s like to have sort of the agricultural environment meet higher education and high-tech. I think it’s important to understand that Colorado is so much more than just Denver Boulder Fort Collins in the mountains, the vast majority of the land is actually farmland and ranch land and there’s a huge history there and I think it’s really cool to check all that out and see what that looks like. As far as really interesting people, I would say there’s a ton of really fascinating people all over the state and I think it’s not so much the famous people as it is just the every day folk and what their story is and where they’ve come from and what they’re doing and why. COLORADO seems to have a very strong entrepreneurial spirit and there’s a lot of folks trying different things and going different places and throwing up different ideas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh my gosh, there are so many people that along the way I have helped me tremendously. The first one was a woman in Los Angeles named Liz King who guided me through the process of getting back into college and helped me graduate from the University of Southern California in 1994. Then, in 2007 I had a long conversation with my friend in Boulder, Brad Sykes, who had left his career and went back to be a nurse, and he inspired me to do the exact same thing but to be a therapist. And then in 2014, my friend James Roman helped me to open up my private practice, After working for a community mental health facility for three years, and my now wife Amy St. Denis, also helped me supported me and inspired me to own my own business and take the steps necessary to create Petersen Family Counseling into the success that it is today. And I think it’s important to also mention my father, Walt Petersen, who owned his own business and was very inspiring to me in his own success and watching how he handles everything. There was another man that was very inspiring to me who passed away in 2005, His name was Don Pritts, and he dedicated his life to working and helping other people in the correctional system and I found that very inspiring and knew that I wanted to do something similar to him and help other people.
Facebook: The Chronic Hope Institute