Edmond Family Counseling serves thousands of individuals of all ages

Edmond Family Counseling staff counsel patients at the organization's offices on Broadway in Edmond. (Provided)

Edmond Family Counseling staff counsel patients at the organization’s offices on Broadway in Edmond. (Provided)

It began as a youth center for Edmond teens back in 1974. Known then as The Looking Glass, it was a place where youth gathered for fun and fellowship. Later, a counseling component was added and what is now Edmond Family Counseling became a reality.

The center has grown to become a premier family counseling center in the state, serving thousands of individuals. EFC is a fully accredited, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization devoted to mental health and community outreach.

“We are a community-based counseling center providing individual, family, group and marriage counseling services on a sliding scale fee for service basis,” said EFC clinical director John Goetz. “We facilitate prevention-based programs and groups in elementary, middle and alternative school settings.”

Multilevel resource

The center provides Alcohol and Drug Substance Abuse Courses (ADSAC) or DUI assessments, 10-hour and 24-hour ADSAC or DUI groups to those in need and drug-testing services. It also works collaboratively with the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, City of Edmond, Edmond Public Schools and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Things have changed considerably since 1974, but giving an individual a private setting to discuss personal issues remains as relevant as ever.

“Every person I have ever met has experienced struggles in life and has benefitted from telling their story. Seeing a counselor is an appropriate response in dealing with our life’s struggles in a healthy way,” Goetz said. “Early therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists learned if one listened to a client with empathy, unconditional positive regard and genuineness that people would often have insight into what their struggles are. Other early therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists learned that this insight often needs to be supported with behavioral change. These two components working together form the foundation of current therapeutic approaches.”

Founded in 1974, Edmond Family Counseling clinic has expanded to include a premier family counseling center serving clients from across the state. (bigstock.com)

Founded in 1974, Edmond Family Counseling clinic has expanded to include a premier family counseling center serving clients from across the state. (bigstock.com)

Advocating for health

The center is located in the heart of Edmond at 1251 N. Broadway and serves clients from Guthrie to Moore and Wellston to Piedmont. What began as a center primarily for Edmond youth now serves clients ages 7-107.

Much like a person visits their doctor when they feel sick, Goetz said mental and emotional health is equally worth treating.

“Depression and anxiety are like an old married couple — when you see one, you see the other,” he said. “Left untreated, depression and anxiety may lead to social isolation, substance abuse, dysfunctional coping strategies, failed relationships and even suicide.”

So when does someone know when to reach out for help? Goetz said the warning signs are there and should not be ignored.

“Well, obviously if they are in crisis, experiencing increasing negative consequences to decisions they are making, or if they are feeling alone and isolated, they need help,” Goetz said.

Goetz said he always recommends that a person keep a daily journal noting the who, what, when, where and how of their everyday lives. In three months, they can review their thoughts and feelings with added perspective.

“If your thoughts and feelings do not match the events of the past three months,” he explained, “you may want to go talk to someone about these incongruences.”

Over the past 43 years, EFC has grown and evolved, but its mission has always been to be of service and to be responsive to the community.

“We continue to be a voice for eliminating stigma surrounding mental health,” Goetz added. “Even with massive cuts to this and other nonprofits’ efforts, we will remain because we are needed. If people would like to join us, please connect and work with us to keep local mental health services affordable and accessible.”

Visit edmondfamily.org or call 405-341-3554.

Print headline: Minds matter, Mental and emotional health care is as important as physical health care, and one longtime Edmond clinic helps youths, adults, families and couples in a spectrum of ways. 

Mark Beutler

This article was written by an Oklahoma Gazette contributor. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story's headline in your subject line.

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