By Sandy Lowe
In a few short years, and during a pandemic, Nicole Bankhead and her team have built Serenity Wellness and Counseling (SWCC) into an award-winning safe haven where clients can forge a healthier life not only through talk therapy but numerous other interventions.
“Over the years,” she says, “people told me that anytime they were dealing with challenging issues, mine was the first number they called. During my time in the business world, I simply decided I wanted to do something more purposeful with my life. I didn’t want to risk going 30-40 years down the road feeling I was just in the grind of things and not necessarily making any significant impact on the world.”
Nicole considered several career options before she founded SWCC in 2019. She worked successfully in law and education, with a long-range goal of becoming a school counselor. But a practicum experience with troubled teens led her to make helping all ages through various therapies her life’s work.
Nicole takes the call from each new client herself. Drawn to help others by her own experiences, she believes in learning and growing through multiple avenues. She carefully matches each client’s needs to the therapist and services best suited to address those issues, trying to ensure the therapist’s style and personality fit with each client’s unique style.
SWCC therapists take advantage of yearly training and new certifications in various treatments. Each therapist specializes in helping clients with specific needs. A smaller patient-to-counselor ratio allows for more individual and focused attention.
Available treatments include LENS neurofeedback, designed to help the brain become “unstuck” in reacting to past trauma and stress, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which aims to retrain the brain to experience memories without a debilitating emotional response. A dietitian on staff works with clients with food concerns. Maze, a one-year-old golden doodle therapy dog, responds intuitively to a variety of emotions and makes quick connections with children.
Partnering with Sulcata Psychiatry has brought prescriber options to SWCC. Jamillah Elvehoey, a board certified nurse practitioner, believes in a holistic approach to treating patients, emphasizing an empathetic partnership between patient and provider. Jamillah practices with the same value of Sulcata and SWCC, Quality over Quantity, when it comes to her dedication to spending more time with her patients to truly understand the person as a whole. She works onsite at SWCC each Thursday.
Therapists work with all ages to address ADHD, anxiety and depression, eating disorders, relationship challenges, abuse, self-harm, addiction, and many more. SWCC also has several Spanish-speaking providers available.
Call today to learn more about how SWCC is dedicated to your healing beyond just talk therapy. You can also learn more about services at SerenityWellessAndCounseling.com