Programs

The Stamford Counseling Center is committed to ensuring that individuals of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds have access to the quality mental health care. We respect the life-experience, family values and spiritual practices of our clients, and are committed to high standards of clinical competence and ethical conduct. The SCC is committed to making a significant contribution to the community and to each client we serve.

The Turning Point Program, launched in 2000, is an out-patient, community subsidized, mental health program for lower income, uninsured individuals and families who are experiencing relationship crises and who are unable to pay the usual cost for professional counseling.

Turning Point clients are seen in short-term individual or family therapy, and during and as follow-up they are urged to participate, if they are not already doing so, in some form of community organizational support, such as a community agency or perhaps a congregation. The short-term format (a maximum 10 sessions) helps to conserve funds in order to serve more people. Additional funding is constantly being sought to enable us to serve more families and to extend the therapy when required.

This program has been particularly helpful to the working poor and the growing immigrant population in lower Fairfield County, which is why we are fortunate to have a therapist who speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

More detail and demographic/statistical information is available upon request, showing the remarkable diversity of our clients, especially in terms of country of origin.

Under the direction of Karen Mazarin-Stanek, LMFT, and in collaboration with the Probation Department of the Stamford Superior Court, this program provides short-term, solution-focused therapy for individuals on probation to help them alter maladaptive behavior and ways of thinking, assist them in utilizing the strengths and resources of their families and community, and improve the quality of their relationships.

Clients referred by probation officers are seen at no cost for ten counseling sessions (or more under special circumstances) in a private room at the Stamford Courthouse. The counselors are advanced graduate students from local universities doing their internship at the Stamford Counseling Center and under the supervision of licensed members of the Center’s staff.

At the end of the initial ten-session phase clients may end their counseling or have the opportunity to continue at the Center or elsewhere to address other issues, including financial, housing, employability and employment, legal, medical, educational and nutritional needs.

The goal is to help them learn how to transform the challenges of substance abuse, violence, crime, physical and emotional abuse and poverty into opportunities for growth. We use the solution-focused techniques of family therapy to foster self-improvement and relationship healing and enhancement.

Through this program we have established a working relationship with the probation office that enhances the work of its officers, improves services to probationers, and reduces recidivism to the benefit of probationers, their families and the community at large. Clients learn how to become better parents, more responsible partners and more productive members of the community.

This program is a huge success, according to the Probation Department, and provides interns with ample counseling hours toward their university program requirements.

With the success of the Adult Probation Outreach Program, the Center has developed a Juvenile Probation Outreach Program focused on juvenile offenders..

Research shows that individual psychotherapy and couple or family counseling can be usefully supplemented by group services for many relational issues and can be uniquely suited to offer the sort of support a person needs. They are also more affordable.

A variety of groups have been offered over time by the Center’s multi-disciplinary staff. Examples include a women’s therapy group, a divorcing couples group, a singles parenting group, a marriage enrichment group, a bereavement group, an early stage memory loss group, and others.

Our very own Drug and Alcohol counselor (LDAC), Lori Gayle, runs this very important group for young people referred by the court, by probation, by school, or often by their own parents. Half psycho-educational and half therapeutic, the group guides often confused and stubborn youth through the pitfalls and challenges of possibly addictive behaviors..

At the client’s request, we have pastoral counselors on staff who are fully prepared to help clients assess and work with the impact of their religious backgrounds and spirituality.

The Center’s staff therapists have a variety of clinical backgrounds, experiences and areas of expertise. Consequently we are able to offer a variety of workshops, seminars, courses and support groups focusing on topics of interest and varied needs. An illustrative list of possible workshop or forum topics is available upon request.

For any organization providing financial support to the Center we offer one no-cost single-event workshop per year. Multi-session courses, retreats and events requiring more intensive preparation or ongoing time commitment are for-fee services. We welcome opportunities to share our expertise with community groups, congregations and other agencies.