Resolutions to get healthy are going deeper this year. See how a quickly growing mental health focused practice is helping others understand their story, find their purpose, and improve interactions with themselves and others to brighten the future ahead.
Mental health care is health care. In an often stigmatized field, Rivertown Wellness wants to provide its clients with the highest quality professional counseling and consulting services to individuals, families, and groups so they can achieve enjoyable, productive, and healthy lives.
“We specialize in counseling and consulting services that are uniquely tailored to fit the needs of each client,” explains Rivertown Wellness Co-Founder Ann Marie Aponte. “With the goal of providing greater access to mental health care throughout the city, we consist of three sites in the Greater Cincinnati area: West Chester, Hyde Park, and College Hill.”
With a much greater focus on mental health services, the staff at Rivertown Wellness is rapidly expanding and now includes six licensed professional counselors, three licensed professional clinical counselors, one marriage and family therapist in training, and one Ph.D. psychologist.
“When one person engages in the counseling process and begins to understand their story, their purpose, and healthier ways to interact with themself and others, it doesn’t only have a positive impact on them,” says Aponte. “There is a huge ripple effect. So when I sit with someone in my office I truly believe that the work we do has the power to change not only their life but the lives of their children and grandchildren.”
Rivertown Wellness also believes in emphasizing the idea that counseling is for everyone. “We believe everyone benefits from sharing their stories in a safe place and learning more about how they are wired and how they can be the best version of themselves,” she says. “This inspired us to create a counseling practice that feels welcoming to all and breaks down the stigma around mental health services.”
Aponte started Rivertown Wellness alongside Cody Hanson in 2016.
Hanson says that his love for Cincinnati and a passion to promote wellness here was a big factor in taking a leap with Aponte to start Rivertown Wellness.
“I want Rivertown Wellness to be a place for people to find approachable counselors that offer quality services,” he says. “Both personally and professionally, I have the desire to discover meaning in suffering in order to make positive change. One of the tools I use to accomplish this is a personality typing system called the Ennegram, which gives powerful insight into why you do the things you do.”
When we are able to understand why we do the things we do, it’s easier to tear down the barriers that hold us back and heal.
For Aponte, she says that a passion for counseling that started in college turned into a first-hand experience of just how counseling can be used to restore brokenness, renew hope, and rejuvenate lives.
“Now, I consider it a great privilege to join my clients on their transformational journeys,” she says. “My integrative approach is built on a trusting relationship formed between me and my client. This positive therapeutic relationship provides a safe place for clients to explore thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. In this environment, I partner with my clients to help them develop the insights and skills necessary to make positive changes in their lives.”
At Rivertown Wellness, Aponte says they do their best to provide quality mental health care for a wide spectrum of demographics and situations. There is individual, couples, and family counseling available for adults, adolescents, and children.
“Specifically, we have licensed professionals counselors and licensed professional clinical counselors that specialize in a variety of areas such as anxiety, depression, grief, premarital, OCD, trauma, and more,” says Aponte. “Some of our counselors hold special certifications in Gottman marriage counseling, EMDR therapy, and child play therapy as well. We also have a trained psychologist on staff who offers clinical interviews, testing, and diagnosis for clients. Lasty, due to higher-than-ever demand for mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer video counseling through our secure online portal, Telehealth.”
Aponte says that what makes Rivertown Wellness unique is that their team of clinicians are people who understand what going to counseling themselves is like.
“I learned from my professional counselor parents that the best professional counselors are those who are willing to do their own counseling work,” she explains. “This allows them to know what it feels like to make that first call, to unpack their own story, to be vulnerable, to accept feedback, and to pursue healthy change. They taught me that to be able to truly enter into another person’s pain and suffering, you had to get in touch with your own.”
The team at Rivertown Wellness says they are looking forward to 2021. While much of the year was full of obstacles and other challenges, they are pleased with how the use of telehealth counseling increased last year and hope to continue to use and improve the platform in 2021 to make mental health services more accessible.
Three new team members will also be joining in January with each one offering unique skill sets to help the group better serve their clients.
Aponte says that the new Rivertown Wellness office will open at the Hyde Park location this month. Additionally, they are introducing a blog where the team of clinicians will contribute educational and encouraging posts to equip readers with mental health tips.
To learn more about Rivertown Wellness or for mental health tips, helpful articles and resources, and the latest practice updates, follow along on Instagram. You can also stay in touch on Facebook and LinkedIn.