Riverbend Counseling has grown—both online and in the real world—so I wanted to take this week to welcome new faces and introduce (or re-introduce) the practice to our community!
The practice takes its name from something I tell my clients about mental health: I believe that we all have a river of heartache running through us, and my goal as a counselor is to help you stand in that river, feeling the current and water on your legs while learning how to hold your ground and not get swept away.
I came to this work after learning to stand in my own river, a current that carried me through the death of loved ones, divorce, blending a family, parenting eight teenagers (yes, eight!), going back to school, and wading through self doubt. But because I learned to stand my sacred ground in that river, its current eventually led me to personal growth and change.
When I was training to be a therapist, it quickly became clear to me that to best serve my clients’ healing I would need to focus on the issues and therapeutic approaches that resonated most deeply with me. I am grateful for this opportunity to pair my professional training with my personal experience to help you on your journey.
My passion and specialty as a counselor is helping people who are unable to live full and meaningful lives due to trauma in their past. Specifically, I work with traumas that happened early in one's life, called developmental trauma, and trauma within significant relationships, called attachment trauma.
I bring three lenses to my trauma-informed work that allow me to consider what has happened to my clients to impact their functioning, not “what’s wrong with them.” They are: toxic stress (the effect stress has on our bodies), neurobiology (how our brains and bodies respond to stress and trauma), and attachment (how we learn as children to be safe in the world).
As helpful as this trauma-informed approach has been in my own life, I know that it isn’t the right fit for everyone’s needs or goals. So when I started Riverbend Counseling last year, I set the intention to reach a wider range of clients by building a community of practitioners with different but complementary skills and approaches.
This spring, I began making that vision a reality by hiring Riverbend Counseling’s second practitioner, Nikki Walther. Nikki and I first met when we were doing our internship at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Wellness Center. I was impressed by her areas of interest and her passion for learning and growth. I knew that I wanted to work with her as soon as there was space for another practitioner at Riverbend.
Nikki is passionate about helping clients make meaning and find wholeness during difficult life transitions, whether that’s a recent diagnosis, a new job, a big move, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship. Due to her own lived experience, she’s especially passionate about working with clients, either individuals or couples, who are experiencing infertility, pregnancy loss, or anxiety or depression during pregnancy or postpartum.
At Riverbend, we tailor each treatment plan to the individual client, developing treatment plans that enhance your strengths and reduce distress in your life. Despite our different areas of focus, Nikki and I hold the same objective: to create safe and genuine therapeutic connections with our clients so we can collaboratively set goals that help you experience long-term change and live a fulfilled, empowered, confident life, standing strong in your river of heartbreak.
We also apply this tailor-made approach to the types of sessions we offer. For clients who can’t come into our offices, now or always, we provide counseling via a HIPAA-compliant Telehealth platform. For clients on a budget, we offer small group counseling, where we dive deep into specific topics in a therapeutic group setting. And for clients who want a little help with a specific issue, we also offer shorter life-coaching sessions.
Nikki and I strive to share what we know not just with our clients but with whoever needs to hear it. Although our online presence is not therapy, nor is it a replacement for it, we try to use digital tools to reach the widest possible range of people. Every Wednesday, I cover a new topic on this blog, from setting healthy boundaries to completing the stress cycle to learning to trust your body to supporting a loved one experiencing infertility. I also share resources and answer questions on Instagram and Facebook, and host Riverbend Therapy Chats on Instagram Live every Monday afternoon. And for people wanting to dive deeper, my website has a page of resources, including books and apps that cover a wide range of mental health topics, from mindfulness to movement to sleep to stress and grief.
One of the biggest questions we get from clients is, “Will therapy be worth it?” Our answer is always “YES!” Yes, therapy requires you to invest both time and money, and dig into traumas or face painful truths. But it is an investment in your most precious resource—yourself—and will pay dividends in all areas of your life.
That said, the single most important part of therapy is finding a therapist you feel supported by and can trust. That’s why we offer a free 30-minute consultation for you to feel out whether Nikki or I are the right people to help you on your healing journey. And if you have any questions prior to scheduling a consultation, you can always contact us through Riverbend’s website, or start the conversation on Instagram or Facebook.
We look forward to meeting you, wherever you are in your river, and helping you learn to stand in it safely, strongly, and peacefully.