Greater You Counseling provides teletherapy services at home

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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LAPLACE — The spread of COVID-19 has infected communities with more than physical symptoms. It’s spread anxiety, feelings of depression and the earth-shattering grief that comes with losing family members or stability for the future.

In difficult times, accessible health services become more important than ever.

Greater You Counseling Center, LLC is meeting community members with compassion and care through a teletherapy format that abides with social distancing guidelines. Locally operated at 429 W. Airline Highway Ste. V in LaPlace, Greater You is a licensed outpatient behavioral health provider that has the community at heart.

Greater You Counseling Center CEO Charme Thompson understands the obstacles that can keep an individual from leading a happy and fulfilling life. Despite the challenges, she believes nothing is impossible to achieve when you set and work toward attainable goals.

Thompson had a tumultuous young adulthood after experiencing sexual abuse and becoming a teen mother at 13 years old. She overcame the odds and moved forward to work in human service relations, education and healthcare. Thompson graduated with a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Louisiana Tech University. She also has experience working as a direct care supervisor and a clinical director for mental health agencies.

“I went through a lot of things as a young lady, and I wanted to be able to help other individuals that are experiencing the same thing,” Thompson said. ” I decided to go into mental health to help people overcome those obstacles that show them you don’t always have to be a victim, that there is another way out. I decided to open (a facility) in the LaPlace area because there was a great need for that service. I feel we have a lot to offer to the community.”

Greater You provides community psychiatric support treatment, psychosocial rehabilitation, crisis intervention and medication management services. Medicaid insurances are accepted.

Behavioral health services can be beneficial to people who experience ADHD, depression, suicidal/homicidal ideation, domestic violence, bipolar disorder, anger and loss/grief. Therapy can help interpersonal relationships move forward in a healthy direction. Codependency counseling, blended family counseling and conflict resolution are only a few of the services Greater You specializes in.

Clients come to Greater You through self-referral or referrals from physicians, Families in Need of Services (FINS) or the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Thompson said several young clients are accomplishing their goals and doing well in school. One client referred from the FINS program has made great progress and is preparing to attend college.

Michele Mason, office administrator for Greater You Counseling Center, noted there is a stigma surrounding mental health, especially in the black community. She wants the public to know that mental health support is welcoming to everyone, regardless of a person’s background or upbringing. There is even a bilingual therapist on staff who can accommodate the local hispanic population.

“We provide high quality and easily accessible service. The focus is always on promoting mental and emotional wellbeing,” Mason said. “The counselors that we have don’t just have a bachelor’’ degree. The majority have a master’s degree or a Ph.D. They are very qualified in the field.”

Under normal circumstances, clinicians go into local homes to provide therapy services for clients. Clinicians have been trained in teletherapy services to adapt to the needs of the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thompson said most clients are responding well to teletherapy.

“Due to the stay at home order, we’re able to accommodate the clients so they can receive services from the comfort of their own home, in their own element,” Thompson said. “It’s still face-to-face. We can even provide medication management to those who need medication for ADHD, depression or anxiety, which has increased due to COVID-19.”

Thompson noted there has also been a greater need for grief counseling among those who have suffered a loss.

To schedule an appointment, please call 985-618-3403. The usual turnaround time for the initial assessment is two-to-three days. If an individual is in crisis, clinicians will begin services as soon as possible.