Dr. Jennelle Yopchick's Big Change of Heart
Whether it’s moving to a new city, having a baby, or mourning the death of a loved one, dealing with major life transitions can be an unsettling and scary experience.For many the question becomes: How do you cope during times of upheaval?For Dr. Jennelle Yopchick’s clients, these experiences are not moments of hopelessness. Rather, they are opportunities for growth.
Ask Yopchick herself: after an engagement to her high school boyfriend of more than ten years, an unexpected encounter in 2012 changed the trajectory of her life and her heart, leading to her first same-sex relationship and eventual engagement in 2015 (with plans to marry in 2017). With the establishment of her relationship advising company, Yopchick’s business is in the business of love, helping clients through big life transitions-oftentimes around issues of sexuality and cultivating fulfilling relationships.
Yopchick was born and raised in the greater Boston area of Massachusetts to parents who met in the world of theater. After pursuing a similar route in college, she made the eventual transition to psychology at Northeastern University in Boston and received her PhD in 2012. “My research looks at how you and I would think about mental illness,” she states. “How does the regular person think about mental health and the need to go seek treatment? And why do people behave the way they do or feel the way they feel?”
These questions laid the foundation for her three-year stint at a wellness startup, consulting with group nutrition classes on the psychological implications incurred when trying to lose weight. However it was during this time that Yopchick’s path crossed with Jess, a married mother of three who eventually became her fiancée. Following the end of her ten-year relationship, Yopchick navigated uncharted territory of life with Jess-a life that included co-parenting three kids in two households less than ten minutes apart. It is a “great-big, life-changing, do-anything-for, crying-in-the-street-during-a-rainstorm, love,” and one that laid the foundation for Dr. Jennelle’s relationship advising business.
As a relationship advisor, Dr. Jennelle specializes in helping female same-sex couples embrace all that comes with the choice to live for love. Yopchick’s philosophy focuses on the human component of the client relationship, helping women feel comfortable when talking about difficult issues around coming out and living authentically. “I grew up in a great environment and never had a coming out story,” she states. “This is different from many of my clients who deal with unsupportive environments when coming out to loved ones. For me, it’s less about the sexual orientation than it is about the personality orientation.” As a solution-focused advisor, Dr. Jennelle helps people get to the foundational components of what makes a relationship fulfilling-whether it be a relationship with one’s career, family, or love.
At the end of the day, authenticity is what matters most. For Yopchick, this means helping her clients feel comfortable to share their stories for the power it can have in their own lives-just as it did for hers.
Learn more about Dr. Jennelle:
Listen to Dr. Jennelle’s Big Change of Heart Podcasts and join the Big Change of Heart Community!