New woman-owned therapy practice offers a variety of modalities and a team of counselors to meet myriad needs

By Hilary Dartt

Kara Schumann and Amanda Eliseo, Licensed Professional Counselors, have known each other for over 20 years. In that time, their paths continued to cross or run parallel … so much so that starting a business together seemed like a natural fit.

The pair opened Journey Within this past August with the mission of providing quality behavioral health services for the community.

With a staff of five counselors at the time of this writing (and the desire to hire more), a variety of services available, and the ability to take insurance, Kara and Amanda said Journey Within is set up to help meet what Kara called a “huge need” for services locally.

“Healing is very subjective to each person,” Kara said. “Usually when people seek therapy, they’re experiencing dysfunction in different domains of their life to a point that causes distress.”

Amanda explained that while healing looks different for everyone, it’s a self-study that helps people better cope with whatever has happened or is happening in their life, such as trauma, grief, loss, relational wounds, and barriers to specific goals … and make changes accordingly.

“Our group can meet most needs,” Amanda said, explaining that the therapists have specialty areas, including couples therapy, family therapy, therapy for veterans, EMDR, somatic therapy, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Kara and Amanda worked in a managed care setting for about two decades and worked their way up into managerial positions. Although they initially went into the field because they consider themselves “helpers,” the managed care setting has a high burnout rate.

Two years ago, Kara left the clinic (where she was clinical director for outpatient services) to go into private practice. Her two-year goal: to open a group practice.

“I knew immediately that I wanted to partner with Amanda, so I started encouraging her to join me.”

Amanda said leaving the relative security of a clinic was scary at first. Still, she loved the vision of being in an environment where she could do her best work without all the bureaucracy in larger clinics (and providing that environment for other therapists).

So far, both women said, they feel like they’re living the dream: they can help their clients while working with a cohesive group of therapists. And they’re hoping to expand their team.

“Full-time is 25 sessions per week,” Amanda said. “Therapists can create their schedules and come and go as they please. In that way, they get the support of a group practice and the independence of being on their own.”

Kara added, “The other thing that’s appealing is the earning potential for therapists. The more clients they want to see, the more they can earn.”

Unlike many clinics that offer a set salary (and a recipe for burnout), working with a group practice like Journey Within means “opportunities for self-determined income and healthy work/life balance.”

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Details on Therapy Modalities

EMDR Therapy

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a mental health treatment technique that involves moving your eyes a specific way while you process traumatic memories. It doesn’t require someone to talk in detail about a traumatic or distressing topic; instead, it focuses on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors that result from a trauma, which allows your brain to heal naturally.

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that combines the use of Ketamine with psychotherapy sessions. Ketamine is a legal, safe, and effective medicine used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Ketamine is responsible for creating brain cells and strengthening neuropathways that may be correlated with new learning and new ways of experiencing the world and oneself. (Journey Within provides the therapy, and its psychiatric partners offer ketamine treatment.)

Somatic Therapy

Somatic therapy aims to treat PTSD and other mental and emotional health issues through the connection of mind and body. We all store trauma in our bodies, and somatic therapy works by helping to release stored trauma, stress, and tension.