Our Story: How Calming Wind Counseling Began
Jon and Cortney here, we wanted to introduce ourselves to you and give a backstory for how we decided to start and launch Calming Wind Counseling Services. We have both been in the mental health field for over 5 years. We have a lot we would love to learn, but we also have a variety of experience that has further driven our passion to make mental health access more accessible and affordable. Our experience comes from experience in residential, intensive in home, and outpatient therapy settings. We both have experience working with mood disorders, personality disorders, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Anxiety disorders. Jon also has experience working with individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders, Schizoaffective disorder, and providing adventure based therapy. Cortney has experience working with children, families, and parents. Cortney's clinical training has also allowed her to gain experience utilizing play-based techniques.
Throughout our experiences we came to realize how some areas have access to more resources and providers than others. The limited access is even more apparent if you are looking for a therapist with any specific area of training as many often have wait lists. We have also had many conversations with colleagues who shared their difficulties with finding additional outpatient providers or were nervous and concerned about switching to outpatient due to the variety of different agencies and hesitancy to want to deal with insurance on their own. Hearing all these different stories made us really want to try to find ways to further increase accessibility to mental health services especially to rural areas in Virginia. So we began our journey of researching and exploring the different options for our practice. We decided on our name Calming Wind Counseling Services, due to Jon’s love of the outdoors and the peace we both felt whenever walking in a nice cool breeze. Our goal is to help as many people as we can find their own peace and tranquility, No matter the storm they are trying to manage.
When we opened the practice in January 2020 we were splitting sessions between in person sessions in our office and telehealth sessions. In order to assist the community in ensuring that there is enough access to mental health professionals we having been working to be connected to as many insurance companies as possible while doing everything possible to make sessions affordable for those without insurance or who have high deductible insurances. One method included becoming members of the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective which allows for a reduced sliding scale of $30-$60 per session for clients who are members of the collective. Another method has included us developing a policy in which payment arrangements are able to be made by written request in order to develop individualized solutions for those who are not able to afford sessions through insurance, self-pay rates, or the sliding scale through the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective.
When March 2020 came and the COVID-19 pandemic was here and in full force we made the full transition to telehealth to be able to continue to aid those in the community who need support throughout this time of world chaos. Throughout the pandemic we have worked to compile resource lists, increase our number of providers, and work to assist our clients through their unique experiences. This brings us to where Calming Wind Counseling Service is today. We have increased the number of clinicians with their varied experiences to continue to provide a supportive place for both clinicians and clients. We are currently still only doing full telehealth services as we believe the safety of our clients and clinicians is of the most importance. We aim to continue pushing to make mental health services more available, affordable, and accessible as we head into fall 2020 and beginning 2021.
Our philosophy is to not just be business owners but practitioners in the field actively working to make a difference in the community around us. We encourage you to reach out with questions that you may have regarding our services, access to mental health services, and more.
Stay healthy, and stay safe.
Cortney Zeigler and Jonathan Ugalde