Mental health is a serious problem in this country because too many people do not have access to the care they need. We all know this, but Kristin Belkofer, MS, LPC, has dedicated her living to improving.
Belkofer recently opened the CLARA Healing Institute in Wauwatosa. CLARA – an acronym for “connection,” “leadership,” “vote,” “regulation” and “agency” – offers a holistic, multi-faceted approach to mental health aimed at revolutionizing the way you see, treat, speak and think to mental health and wellness.
“The CLARA Healing Institute has a unique, person-centered model that enables holistic care that takes into account all facets of mental well-being,” says Belkofer.
Belkofer is the founder and clinical director and her husband, Dr. Christopher Belkofer, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC, acts as a therapist and advisor.
“We currently have a clinical team of several excellent therapists specializing in EMDR, breathwork, art and expression therapies, yoga, Reiki and somatic therapies, and more traditional therapy modalities,” says Belkofer.
According to Belkofer, the U.S. mental health system is very focused on treating and removing symptoms rather than treating people holistically and proactively.
“This is a big problem because the causes are often not taken into account, especially societal influences like racism and sexism and how they lead to trauma and illness,” says Belkofer. “CLARA is actively anti-racist. We strive for it.” deep understanding and respect for intersectionality at all levels of our clinical and community work. ”
Second, Belkofer believes that people are more than their symptoms.
“We want to treat the whole person, including their mind, body and soul,” she says.
CLARA’s services are numerous and fall under the three categories of “Clinical Services”, “Community Circle” and “Wisdom Collective”.
Clinical Services offer counseling, individual and psychotherapy for individuals, families and couples.
“A lot of what we do is help customers develop a healthy tolerance for their own emotions and physiological reactions. We do this in small, gentle, compassionate baby steps: through storytelling, art, meditation, visualization, or simply not judgmental expression and speaking environment, “says Belkofer.
Community Circle offers a variety of group therapies, and The Wisdom Collective brings together healers and visionaries from the community such as Venice Williams, a cultural and spiritual midwife who provides spiritual and herbal counseling, and Dr. Jessica Larson, who offers parenting support and programs for everyone, identify themselves as a mother.
“One of the reasons I wanted to start CLARA is that therapy can be very lonely and isolate work, and that there is always a risk of being burned out,” says Belkofer.
CLARA also has an integrative common room with access to a therapy and healing library curated by experienced therapists, community leaders, spiritual guides and medical professionals from a variety of disciplines.
“I believe we are doing important, meaningful work that is desperately needed right now, and we want to meet that need. I wanted to create a culture in which therapists and professionals gather, support one another, ask for help, find peace and never stop learning from one another, ”says Belkofer. “And where people can really learn how to be their best selves.”