A new counseling office, Four Rivers Counseling (4RC) in Martinsville, takes a nature-inspired approach to mental health.
After seeing the effect that the pandemic had on our community’s youth and the importance of bringing awareness to teen and child mental health, Jenny Yates began the process of opening her own private practice.
“Because we were in lockdown and quarantine, I couldn’t do anything about it then, so now I get to do something about it,” Yates said. “It’s all been perfect timing. From the startup program to establishing great relationships with everyone, angels have emerged from everywhere to help 4RC come to life. Every new friend that I’ve made has rallied to the cause.”
Yates has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) for 24 years, but before then she was doing community-based social work. After the mental health struggles of the pandemic, Yates wanted to create an avenue for everyone in the community, especially young people, to be able to receive the mental health care that they need.
4RC aims to take a more holistic and nature-oriented approach to therapy. “Originally, I had this dream of having this therapy house by the river,” she said. “There’s a field over by Bassett High School that I would stop at every morning, and I would go out there to look at the geese. And I was like, ‘I want to bring this feeling here.’ The answer was just, ‘Well bring the clients to the river.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
Yates utilizes a variety of therapy methods in her practice, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), family therapy, and more, but she also incorporates more semantic therapeutic methods in her treatment, which she says many of her younger clients love. “For Four Rivers Counseling, it’s kind of become a life of its own,” she said. “I wanted to incorporate semantic approaches, which is breathwork, guided meditations, visualizations, gentle movement, as well as nature therapy.”
This dream was able to come true for Yates thanks to many of the local people and organizations that aim to aid and encourage business development in Martinsville-Henry County.
“In January of this year, I heard about the startup program,” she said. “I applied and was selected out of sixty candidates. I feel honored and blessed and met amazing friends and cohorts there, and I had wonderful mentorship with the Chamber of Commerce and also Mr. (Michael) Scales with Longwood Business Development Center. He’s been phenomenal. It’s been a journey.”
At the moment, 4RC is being paneled for 35 insurance companies, including the top ten insurances, and hopes to start accepting insurance soon. In the meantime, Yates hopes to do everything she can to make therapy affordable and accessible for everyone who needs it. This includes scholarships, some of which will provide up to six free months of therapy sessions.
“I’m trying to send a clear signal that we’re here to help as many people as we can in whatever way we can. If I could do this for free, I would,” she said.
Eventually, Yates hopes to open a new office by the Smith River, which would eventually become the main office. “The next step is to try and find a location by the Smith River so I can branch out and include yoga and meditation down the road,” she said.
Yates hopes to combat the stigma associated with seeking counseling, and she hopes that her story and openness about her own struggles will help accomplish that.
“Just be open, come give me a try, but take your time,” she said. “Get to know me; get to know 4RC. I will follow you, follow where you’re at, follow your lead. But most importantly, I understand and I get it. I don’t mind sharing that I seek counseling myself. There’s still a lot of stigma associated with seeking counseling and I want to lift that veil, I want to squash it. Because it’s not necessary. This pandemic has pushed all of us to extremes, but especially our young people. Us adults are having a hard time; our young people are really having a hard time. So, if my story … if that story of humanity helps bring in people and lift that veil of shame, let’s do it,” she said.
4RC offers both in person and telehealth counseling to children, teens, adults, individuals, couples, and families. The office is located at 300 Franklin Street, Suite 236, Martinsville. For more information or appointments, call (540) 339-6937 or go to https://www.loc8nearme.com/virginia/martinsville/four-rivers-counseling-4rc-llc/6894085/