What makes us different?


the owner

I am Penne Schulz, I own Hillside Counseling LLC. I am an entrepreneur, adventurer, psychotherapy enthusiast, and committed to the art and science of healing. Hillside began as a culmination of my experience in business and marketing and my passion for psychology and psychotherapy. I started Hillside Counseling as a private solo practice in 2005 in Anchorage, Alaska in an area of town located on the lower Chugach Mountain Range called “The Hillside.” Ergo the name. I loved my private practice. I loved helping people and working with relationships, but after 20 years of living in Alaska, I was cold, and ready to come back to Texas. So in 2011 I moved back to North Texas. 


After getting settled, I re-started Hillside Counseling LLC in Burleson Texas in 2012. It was a steady growth and my caseload grew to over capacity within 6 months. A few colleagues I was exposed to (I was in a consultation group) were not really experiencing the same thing. I didn’t understand what made the difference, I would better understand it four years later. For now, I was doing what I love and it was spreading. I was helping people, and they were telling their doctors, friends and family. Dr’s  offices were referring back to me, and word of mouth was spreading me too thin. I wanted to help more, do more. I wanted to say “yes” to everyone who was calling in. So, I decided to build a multi-therapist practice. I expanded into a building right next door that was remodeled to my specs. I hired three therapists over the course of 2015 - renting half of the building. In 2016 we pushed through the dividing wall and I hired three more therapists. And, in January 2017, the entire building was Hillside Counseling -  full with 6 therapists plus myself and my Agency / Admin Manager. 


the model & the therapists

It was in the 2016 phase that Hillside became what it needed to be that made it different. With the multi-therapist private practice I had created a blue-print clinical/therapy and business model around MY passion and MY art and science of doing therapy and MY enthusiasm and passion for helping people. It’s what made me successful when I started my solo practice in Anchorage, Alaska and when I re-started in Burleson, Texas. Unfortunately, I had not fully understood all of my personal paradigm ingredients in order to hire for those qualities or teach the deficits. So, when my business model failed or was seriously limping - I went about the business of dissecting my clinical and therapeutic approach - how did I approach therapy. I dissected my personal professionally developed model, compared it to the research on best practices and what really works best in therapy (I found validation that I had a strong, valid methodology natural way of doing therapy and being with clients). Now I needed to replicate the structure, while celebrating individual and uniqueness in each therapist.  I realized that there are particular qualities that I need to be present in a therapist in order to grow professionally and to help clients through breadth of fit and ability. I call these  qualities collectively “the X-Factor.” The X-Factor is comprised of passion for helping people (which includes the desire and ability to build rapport and therapeutic relationships with people; a strong desire for professional growth; a passion for life-long learning; the unwavering willingness to sit with another person’s pain; complete non-judgement, and moreover, complete acceptance of another person sitting across from you or beside you (client or colleague); belief in healing as a horizon that is defined by the client’s yardstick-not by yours - we don’t get to say what is good enough, what is changed enough, what is healed enough, they do. This may sound like what we would expect from all good therapists, however, I learned that this set of qualities - the X-Factor - is not common. That is not to say that there aren’t good therapists elsewhere. But that is to say that we are uncommonly good. As a group. I have had therapists who didn’t make the cut actually tell me they would recommend ANYONE at Hillside, as they went on to use their talents in a different way.  


With a “recipe” that includes innate and educated qualities plus the ability and potential to grow the parts that need growing, we revised some staff and added more. Now we are located in Burleson and Mansfield and have 20 therapists plus 3 administrative personnel. 


the admin

Administratively we are set apart. Everyone on the administrative staff absolutely has to have their parts of the X-Factor: true passion for helping people through counseling; the ability to sit with another person’s pain (they are the first contact!); the desire to comfort and reassure; the commitment to continued personal and professional growth; and complete non-judgement and acceptance of clients and staff alike. Our model is built with a holding environment that includes every client being held not only by the therapist but by the administrative staff as well. The goal is to have the one on one relationship with the therapist that is present in a solo private practice and have the support that you would get in an agency or doctor’s office.  It’s a supportive therapeutic net, holistically. When you call in, the admin staff that answers is going to do their best to assist you in selecting the best fit therapist for your needs. Our goal is to answer the phone when it rings. We do that 80% of the time. And when we miss it, we get back asap. So, if you need to talk to someone, you can. If you need to get in, they will help. If you have a question, they will answer it. If, for some reason the therapeutic fit isn’t just right, they will help re-assess and get you with another therapist.  But likely, you will enjoy a good fit with your therapist the first time around. It is rare that the match isn’t just right. All of our therapists are amazing.


the therapists again!

Beyond the X-Factor our therapists are all advanced trained and committed to the art and science of their craft. As a whole we understand the time of therapy - as in it takes time. No therapist has a churn and burn attitude (yes, that exists). Of course,, we want relief as soon as it can come for our clients. However, with the relief can come true healing… true change… and that takes time. All the therapists at Hillside take their time – the necessary time - to help the client who shows up in the room, wherever they are in their walk. All the therapists have their paradigms and therapeutic interventions. Many have advanced certifications in areas such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy); DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy); IFS (Internal Family Systems); CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy); Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI); Imago Therapy; Gottman Therapy; Complex-Trauma; Psychodynamic; Existential Therapy; Sand Tray; and Hypnotherapy, to name a few. We are collectively a trauma informed group and we do trauma informed therapy as a whole. 



Hillside is set apart because of people that make up Hillside. We provide help holistically. From  our administrative staff and leadership to our therapists and intern students. The teams at Hillside is a process of fine tuning our recruiting and always going through an exhaustive process with every addition. Requiring much selecting few. As outlined above, we’re picky.


We care! And, it shows, and it makes a difference for everyone who walks through our doors -- just try it... walk through our door, you'll see!   

experienced, informed, practiced, knowledgeable, successful, process informed, passionate, and compassionate


Being different to make a difference...for the slippery slopes of life