New counseling center opens in Martinsville amid therapist shortage

Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Four Rivers Counseling on Franklin Street had its ribbon-cutting Thursday morning.

Four Rivers Counseling will offer in-person therapy sessions, as well as telehealth for people of all ages.

“This pandemic has been super hard on this community as grownups, but especially our young people. So, I wanted to reach out in that way and as a good neighbor for all the young people. So, that’s my focus,” said Jenny Yates, Four Rivers Counseling therapist.

There are currently waitlists that are several months long for mental health counseling in the area.

“We have some excellent providers in this community and their waitlists are maxed out,” added Yates. “So, I’m stepping up to the plate. What drove that push for me is because I’m licensed, but I also feel that personal responsibility.”

“It’s really important for our community to have another resource that can help pick up that client base. We’re just super excited about that. Jenny created a very lovely space at stairs. It’s very tranquil,” said Lisa Watkins, president of the Martinsville Chamber of Commerce.

The tranquility comes from the combination of nature with therapy, which started out as a family journey.

“My son had asthma in the pandemic and we were in lockdown,” explained Yates. “There were no vaccines and we couldn’t be around family and friends. So, we spent a lot of our time at the Smith River and I told my husband, ‘I need to share this with my clients.’ This feeling, this connection, support, spirituality, makes you feel supported when you are otherwise separated from everyone.”

Yates says her goal is to have a counseling center on the Smith River.

Appointments can be made on the Four Rivers Counseling Facebook page.