ABOUT LIVE WELL COUNSELING
Danielle Gaffke

Danielle Gaffke

MSW, LCSW

More telling than my certifications and degrees, which I am happy to share with you, is the story my mother tells to this day which captures my fascination and desire to understand and help others live their best life.

Growing up as the baby of 5 in a blended family, dinnertime conversations were inevitably entertaining. One evening my parents asked, “what do each of you want to be when you grow up?”  I was quick to reply, “I want to be a cleaning lady.” Going into people’s homes to “see what they are like and how they live,” was the seemingly perfect vocation for my seven year old self. Fast forward, that trajectory led me to decide in Middle School that I wanted to be a social worker. While my parents were crestfallen, I was celebratory!

My own life has well prepared me to be your sherpa on the journey to your best life. After graduating with a Bachelors Degree of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, I earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from Florida International University. I have worked in a variety of settings from non- profits to hospitals to private practice. My certifications include Montessori education (ages 3 to 6), Hypnosis, Divorce & Family Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Personally I survived a leveling divorce after 20 years of marriage and at the same time an illness I am still healing from that nearly took my life. . I am blessed to have found the love of my life who continues to help me heal and live life fully, I am proud to be married to a first responder, Lieutenant firefighter/paramedic. We have 2 bully breed dogs, did I say I’m dog consumed? I am a health & fitness enthusiast who is a natural foods chef that loves to feed those I know & love. I adore the great outdoors, music, the arts, and books. A lifelong learner & seeker of ever higher ground.
The human spirit, the capacity we all have to grow, learn, heal and thrive has been the inspiration that continues to inform my path, personally & professionally. As a therapist & Health Coach, I want to help you discover your best self, to live a happy & healthy life, to LIVE WELL.

I welcome a “get to know you” conversation to see if I am the best fit for you!

Lauren Metz

Lauren Hess-Metz

MSW, LCSW

My Aunt loves to share a story about me from when I was about 11 years old.  I used to accompany her to the nursing home on weekly visits to see my grandfather.  When she was busy caring for my grandfather or talking to the nursing staff, I used to enjoy walking down the halls and talking with the residents.  One day I was “doing my rounds” and ended up wandering into one resident’s room.  We began talking, she was very upset, so we just sat and talked, I believe I ended up helping her fold her clothes.  My Aunt ended up trying to locate me and when she was unsuccessful, she had the nurses page me.   As she tells the story, when I heard the page, I came out of the resident’s room, rather upset about being interrupted, as “I was helping her.”  Years before I graduated with my Master’s degree in social work, I found so much joy in being with and helping others.   As a licensed clinical social worker and therapist my goal is to help you on your path to wellness.  My hope for you is that we can work together to help you find joy and peace for you to be able to live your best life possible. 

I earned my Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001 and graduated in 2005 from Loyola University with my Masters in Social Work.  I have a wide variety of experiences from working in foster care, to the VA hospital, hospice, home health and private practice.  I am a Certified Grief Counseling Specialist and Certified Clinical Telehealth provider. 

A little about me personally, I love reading, crafts, spending time with family and friends, spending time in prayer and with my church family. I am proudly married to a US Navy Veteran, who was active duty for 24 years. We are enjoying his retirement and so grateful to have him home. After 14 years of having him away, we treasure our family time and having him come home each night. We are blessed with two beautiful children (a daughter and a son) and two Shih Tzu pups who bring joy, love, and laughter to our lives.