Client benefits from different therapy options offered at the Bert Nash Center

Shelly Goscha, Adult Outpatient Program therapist, is part of a team of therapists that works with clients through individual and group therapy.

Shelly Goscha, Adult Outpatient Program therapist, is part of a team of therapists that works with clients through individual and group therapy. by Jeff Burkhead

When he came to Bert Nash Center, the client reported feeling alone, hopeless, worthless and depressed.

And he had written a suicide note.

A little more than a year later, after participating in different therapy groups offered at the Center, the client is in a much better place.

“He became more engaged after several sessions,” said Adult Outpatient Program therapist Shelly Goscha, who was one of the Bert Nash therapists who worked with the client. “He began to work on changes in his behaviors, learned more about what he was doing and what he valued, and how this impacted his depression.”

The client had been in and out of treatment for years. Now 57, the client began experiencing mental illness when he was 15.

“I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety ever since I was a teenager,” the client said. “I’ve lost track of how many counselors I’ve been to.”

He took advantage of services offered at Bert Nash, including a drop-in group, where people can show up if they feel a need.

“Everybody comes with a different purpose,” Goscha said. “Some people come to get support; some people come to get engaged in services.”

The client also went through the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Change http://bit.ly/2stYg4E) program at Bert Nash. The TLC group meets weekly. It’s an open group, so a client can join at any point.

“After completing the TLC program, he shared with me the changes he had made based on the TLC model and how this had further impacted his life,” said Sara Volweider, Bert Nash adult therapist who leads the TCL group. “He was still excited about furthering his recovery and decided to focus on his anxiety, which was still isolating and interfering with his relationships and social interactions.”

The client began attending an anxiety group offered at the Bert Nash Center and worked on applying skills he learned.

“His symptoms of depression and anxiety are not gone, but he is actively working on them,” Volweider said.

Group therapy assures participants that they are not alone and that other people share similar problems and struggles. Group also therapy offers the opportunity to both receive support from others and to give support to others. In addition, group therapy is typically less expensive than individual therapy.

Before coming to the Center, the client had not heard about evidence-based practices, which are used in many of the Bert Nash therapy groups. Evidence-based practice is a process in which the practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, as well as client preferences and culture, to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services.

“The client shared feeling more hopeful and that he was excited he was being provided treatment based on research and he wanted to learn more,” Goscha said. “As he became less overwhelmed with his depression and suicidal thoughts, he became more interested in other treatment we provided to further his recovery.”

For Bert Nash therapists like Goscha and Volweider, the rewarding part of what they do is seeing clients, like this one, learn new skills that help them lead more balanced lives.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him,” Goscha said. “I feel privileged to be part of his journey. It’s not enough just to come to group. You have to apply it at home, and he’s done that. I have definitely seen a change since he started coming to group.”

For the client, he said he appreciates the evidence-based practices used in the Bert Nash therapy groups.

“I agree with getting the word out about the evidence-based therapies,” the client said. “I would definitely recommend Bert Nash.”

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