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Circle of Care Director Jonathan Herston (second from left) was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s Valley Kiwanis Club. AU graduate intern Michael Schiferl is right. Left is Nancy Warren-Holland, club president, and third from left is Debbie Yates, program chair.

Circle of Care director announces new therapy plans

VALLEY — Jonathan Herston, the director of the Circle of Care Center for Families, was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Valley and discussed a new program that will be implemented by the Circle in August.

It’s a marriage and family therapy program and will be getting a big helping hand through Auburn University’s Glanton House program.

Glanton House, said Herston, is a first-rate marriage and family therapy program.

“It’s the kind of resource we need here,” he said, “but many of those in our community who need such services can’t afford them and can’t afford transportation to Auburn on a regular basis.”

To reach east Alabama residents in need of marriage and family therapy services, Glanton House will have a satellite office at the Circle of Care.

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples and families to treat relationship, mental health and life challenges caused by anxiety, depression, couple/family conflict, parenting, trauma, sexual problems and other mental disorders.

A therapist will be working with them to develop goals, build skills and find solutions to problems they may be facing.

It’s sometimes not easy to seek professional help, but those who seek it will be treated with empathy and respect, Herston said.

There’s a sliding fee scale to make it affordable to almost everyone. The cost of the session depends on one’s annual income. The most anyone pays is $50 per session, Herston said.

Auburn University graduate intern Michael Schiferl will be working with clients through the satellite office.

A graduate of Kansas State University, Schiferl said his goal is to be a licensed marriage and family therapist.

“We counsel people in context of their relationship and their environment,” he told club members. “It can be compared to repairing a car that’s not running. Sometimes one new part will get it going and other times it’s more complicated than that.”

For more information,  email mftcircleintern@gmail.com, or for an appointment call (334) 521-2259.

Schiferl said that marriage counseling therapy ran teach couples how to work with each other and how to better understand their partner’s needs.

The satellite program will start in the Circle’s present building just off Shawmut Circle.

It will relocate to the new location in Medical Park, probably by Oct. 1.

The Medical Park site will have 10,000 square feet compared to 6,000 square feet in the current location. The new building will also give Circle of Care the ability to provide more in-house service than its current location.

“This is an exciting time for us,” Herston said. “A lot of things are coming together for us. We got a new roof on the building last Monday. We have been tearing out the old sheet rock and will have the new sheet rock going in soon.

“On Saturday, July 13 the Church of the Highlands will have a Serve Day there. We appreciate the help they are offering. We’ve gotten a grant to help us get the building compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. That will help get us up to code.”

Herston said the new building will really help with such programs as marriage and family therapy.

“Auburn has a world-class program, and we will be really fortunate to have it here,” he said. “It will be a highly sustainable program once we get it started. We are planting a seed, and we hope it blossoms into something special.”

The principal goal of the Circle, said Herston, is to bring long-term intergenerational change for positive outcomes in the community.

Factors in this include: (1) personal safety, (2) having the tangible resources (food, shelter, utilities, etc.) needed to move to a level of success, (3) financial stability, (4) healthy relationships to help strengthen families and (5) maintaining overall wellness.