If you, or someone you know is looking for a mental health clinic you can rely on to be professional and discreet, you could turn to a business that I trust: Changes Counseling and Consultation. I trust them because we have investigated the way they treat their clients and the way they operate their business. As a result, I am proud to endorse Changes Counseling and Consultation, and declare the company Gephardt Approved.
One of the first things I noticed after our investigation was finished, was that not only do the clients at Changes Counseling trust the staff there, but many courts do as well. “Many of our clients are referred by the court systems,” owner Chris Smalley tells me. “Often times, as part of the rehabilitation process, people are ordered by the judge to undergo some sort of therapy and counseling, whether it is for domestic abuse, substance abuse, DUI, or theft. We strive to meet the needs of every person that walks through our doors and we do it as quickly and inexpensively as possible. We are ‘Friendly and Affordable,’ and ask clients to complete only the therapy they absolutely need. Although we are usually the lowest cost, Changes will meet any other agency’s price.”
With seven Master’s level therapists, Chris tells me Changes Counseling is capable of handling just about anything. “We have therapists that specialize in nearly every aspect of counseling and therapy. Sometimes people, especially children, respond really well through art therapy. We have experts providing therapy for anxiety, depression, PTSD, parenting, marriage counseling, and anger management,” he says. “Also, on the other end of the spectrum, we have therapists who specialize in domestic violence, and work with both offenders and victims. We also offer the Prime for Life DUI program, substance and alcohol abuse classes, and thinking errors (cognitive restructuring).”
Working with the court systems require specific paperwork and certificates for proof of completion, Chris tells me. “We have been working with the courts for so many years it is second nature to us. We understand that people need to move on as quickly as possible. That is why we print color certificates of completion the day the class is completed, so that proof can be given to the proper person.” He also explains to me that they do everything they can to help clients keep their appointments. “When people are cited with DUI and perhaps lose their driving privileges, it is difficult for them to attend court-ordered classes. We have given away bicycles to clients or helped arrange bus passes to help them keep their appointments and we have very flexible schedules with groups evenings and Saturdays.”
It is this commitment to providing a quality experience that has earned Changes Counseling a positive reputation in the community. “Client referrals are a major source of new patients for us,” explains Chris. “We have even received new clients from conversations had amongst defendants in jail…‘They won’t rip you off and are nice to you’ they say. We are the counseling center recommended by defendants everywhere,” he laughs.
Chris tells me he went into the field of psychology in an effort to help him understand his own family. “Every family has issues,” he says, “and it was important to me from the time I was young to understand mine. That is why I studied psychology, and later earned an additional master’s degree in counseling.” After working in different mental health-related companies over the years, such as Magellan Behavior Health, DCFS, and LDS Family Services, he bought Changes Counseling in 2005. “Our goal was to create a safe, friendly and compassionate environment for our clients,” he explains, “while offering the best possible treatments in the shortest amount of time. We do not want to keep people any longer than necessary, but at the same time want our clients to feel they are welcome to come back any time and as often as they want to.”
Chris also explains that they are sensitive to cost as well. “Often times people believe that therapy is going to be so expensive. We strive to be affordable and offer most of our classes and sessions with groups to help cut the cost. The last thing we want is for people to think counseling and therapy is beyond their reach because they don’t have enough money. We will work with anyone who needs our help, or help them find the right services for them” he explains. One of the ways Changes Counseling is able to do this is through a 501(c)(3) non-profit that Chris set up specifically to meet those needs: Abuse SURVIVORS Foundation of Utah. “Through our non-profit organization, we are able to take monetary donations, clothing, food, bicycles, furniture – – just about anything. That way we are able to pass those tax-deductible donations on to our clients who need them.”
“We also offer free after-care groups for life to help clients resist relapse or re-offense. That means that someone who finishes a court-ordered course through us can come back for additional related group therapies for the rest of their lives. Unless they must fulfill a new court order, we will not charge them a dime,” Chris says. “We want people to walk out of our clinic committed to making permanent changes to their lives, and we will help them with that every step of the way.”
So, Changes Counseling and Consultation: Now you know what my investigation found out about the company, and you know my conversation with the company owner backed up what I found. That’s why I trust Changes Counseling and Consultation and why I am proud to endorse the company as Gephardt Approved.
~ Bill Gephardt