Accessing mental health services is becoming increasing difficult because of long wait times and high costs for private counselling. Fortunately, Laura Gatien and Associates are looking to tackle this major problem within our city by offering free and affordable counselling.
Gatien offers a free drop-in counselling clinic as well as low-cost counselling sessions. There is no need for a referral, you may self refer by scheduling an appointment, or by dropping in. They are located uptown Saint John but are more than happy to assist anyone in need in the surrounding areas.
The Free Drop-In Counselling Clinic is available to anyone in the community on Fridays between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. The sessions are on a first-come, first-serve basis and each session lasts for 30 minutes.
“Clients will expect to feel heard and validated when they come to see a therapist at the Drop-In Clinic,” Kealy Whittaker, a student interning with Gatien, said. Clients may be provided with additional information about other resources offered within the community, or other community agencies that may beneficial.
The Low-Cost Counselling Program is provided by interns, like Whittaker, for an affordable cost of $25 per session. Having this program is a great effort to break the financial barrier people face when seeking help for their mental health.
“The client is in a non-judgmental space when they come… and that is important for a lot of people as they fear being judged for their thoughts or feelings.” Whittaker said. “Each client could leave with tools, resources, a plan, feeling heard, or all of the above.” The appointment slots are very flexible as they do offer evening appointments as well as some on Saturdays.
In addition to these free and low-cost options, Laura Gatien and Associates offer a variety of other mental health services such as providing parenting plans and virtual therapy for those who may not be able to meet in office. They also have serval workshops including Community and Corporate Workshops, Surviving Motherhood and Surviving Motherhood for Single Moms.
Laura specializes in PTSD, couples therapy, boundaries, self-esteem and assertiveness. She offers 1-hour individual therapy sessions for $140. Focusing on client centered therapy, Gatien uses CBT, interpersonal therapy and other evidence-based therapies.
For information about the Free Drop-In Counselling services or the Low-Cost Counselling program, call (506) 651-1239 or visit their website at lauragatien.com.