Be Well, Grand Rapids: The Wisdom Center
By Caylie Peet, CTA
2020 has been filled with unknowns and a variety of difficulties. While we have almost reached the end of this unique year, it is important that we finish strong and healthy — both physically and mentally. We are happy that many of our wellness neighbors have once again been able to open their doors to the community, and are celebrating with our “Be Well, Grand Rapids” blog series.
Our first feature is The Wisdom Center Counseling Services. We sat down with Samuel Jones, M.A., LLPC, to talk about his business and the plan for reopening.
In 2018, The Wisdom Center opened with a critical plan in mind: to create a community-oriented private practice that was mindful of clients from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Jones recognized that some of the most marginalized individuals do not seek counseling because of feelings of being unsafe, stigma and therapists who often do not understand or represent their cultural affiliations. With this, The Wisdom Center sought to be a soft, first-step practice that meets clients both where they were and as they are. This included being accessible to clients in a central location and available by various methods of transportation. The Wisdom Center started in and is still located off Fulton and Lafayette in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
According to Jones, plenty of networking and connecting with area organizations and nonprofits was needed to get the organization to this point. This occasionally meant going to clients where they felt comfortable, rather than inviting them into a traditional office environment. In those steps, Jones said The Wisdom Center took the extra mile to ensure his clients felt safe and a sense of belonging.
How have you adapted your programming post-opening?
After we opened, we found that there were still clients who may have felt our services were still not essential to them. This plan required us to “perform therapy” a little differently based on clientele. For example, we recognized some youth didn’t want to come to group counseling. They would rather be doing an activity that felt nothing like counseling and was fun or need-meeting. We have since adapted to do things that they liked coming to and made sure these had therapeutic elements.
For other clients — and as a private practice — we have learned to be adaptable to changing needs, schedules and life-altering situations. We had to ensure our programming was based on what our clients determined as best practices, not what we chose.
Do you have any special programming or offerings for potential new clients?
With Rock Perks, we offer a first free session for clients who live in Rockford Property Management properties along with Rockford Construction team members. Additionally, we are currently a non-insurance-based provider, meaning sessions are typically more affordable for clients who will not have to pay a deductible or out-of-pocket fee.
We also encourage our clients to write down their hopes, dreams and goals both during and outside of our sessions. The “Create as a Way of Coping” journal is available on our website for this purpose.
What message would you like to share with your client base and community?
It can be challenging to move forward with many unknowns — civil unrest, fear and anxiety-provoking situations through jobs, families and school. We hope you engage with a mental health expert trained to help you learn how to cope and thrive through seasons like this. We believe your situation will improve when it seems to grow worse. We believe you can recover even when all feels lost. Let us walk together with you through this time. Know there is a place of restorative help, health and hope waiting for you. Don’t let the season get you down. The Wisdom Center — along with other therapists around Michigan — are ready to support you.
“We believe you can recover even when all feels lost. Let us walk together with you through this time. Know there is a place of restorative help, health and hope waiting for you. Don't let the season get you down. The Wisdom Center — along with other therapists around Michigan — are ready to support you.”
Are you still offering your Rock Perks discount?
Absolutely. Please let us know if you are a Rockford Property Management resident or a team member of Rockford Construction when contacting us to support you.