Hinesville Rotary Club members received free counseling information from the Fraser Counseling Center’s new executive director Tuesday during their weekly luncheon. Teresa I. Winn has been with the center since 2000 as a licensed professional counselor and master addiction counselor.
She said she took over as interim director in May 2013 and as executive director in September. Winn has two master’s degrees in education from Georgia Southern University.
“The Fraser Counseling Center provides professional counseling in a Christian environment,” Winn said, explaining that professional, to her, includes seeing a client at the time of his or her appointment. “All our counseling is confidential. We want a place where a person can feel safe to be who they really are.”
She told the group of business leaders that 70 percent of the people helped by the Fraser Counseling Center are from Fort Stewart, including active-duty soldiers and family members. She said the center has a group of people specially trained in military lifestyles with an understanding of the stresses on the soldier and the family.
She added that the center also has counselors trained in a variety of other fields, including assessment and treatment of attention deficit disorder, depression, divorce, school issues, grief, trauma, deployment separation and family reintegration. Winn said the center sees about 85 clients a week.
Because most of the center’s clients have ties to the military, she said much of the counseling is tailored to the needs of soldiers, spouses and children. She noted children in abusive situations can be helped through Helen’s Haven Children’s Advocacy Center, which is part of the Fraser Counseling Center.
Asked about the availability of marital counseling, Winn said the center offers the service to help individuals and couples, including those who aren’t necessarily having difficulties but are trying to make the most of their relationships. She said individuals and couples don’t have to wait until their lives are falling apart to seek counseling.
Winn said substance-abuse counseling also is available. The program is intended to help individuals abusing drugs before the drug becomes addictive, she said.
“How does a person in your capacity maintain your own sanity?” asked Rotary member George Holtzman.
His question brought laughter from Winn and other Rotarians. She said she really believes in counseling, and she tries to hear her own words when she counsels others. When she feels overwhelmed, she leans on her other counselors for comfort and support. She also stays involved in her church.
“I want to reiterate that we are a nonprofit organization,” she said, noting they are also a non-denominational, faith-based operation. “We don’t have to turn people away just because they don’t have the money to pay 100 percent of the costs. Dr. Whit Fraser had a great vision to provide affordable, whole-person care, regardless the ability to pay. And he gave us a large sum of money that has gone a long way, but that money won’t last. So some changes will be needed to develop a business model.”
The Fraser Counseling Center’s staff includes licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors and psychiatrists. For more information about the Fraser Counseling Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 396-7777.