Westlake-based Presence Wellness opened a new downtown Austin area West Avenue location this year to house the bulk of his practice. Founder and CEO John Howard said his center offers a combination of services including therapy and primary care with the aim of providing comprehensive physical and mental health care to patients.
“When people come in, we have a chat with them about whether they’re here for physical therapy or as a general practitioner,” he said. “But we also ask them if they need support in other areas because we can put these multidisciplinary treatment plans together.”
In the new downtown office, patients will have the option to see GPs through a membership model rather than a pay-per-visit model, which Howard says leads to better patient-doctor relationships.
Dr. Tracy Carver, the clinical director overseeing the counseling wing at Presence, said patients also benefit when their mental health and primary care professionals are connected. This allows the centre’s doctors and therapists to refer patients back and forth, ensuring that all needs are met.
“Often times people come to us for advice and as treatment progresses it becomes clear that there is something medical about it,” she said. “That there is a medical problem and it only makes sense to work with a multidisciplinary team that uses the latest science-based approaches to wellness so that we can offer this holistic healing method.”
Some medical visits and the center’s new acupuncture services are personal, Carver said, but everything else is still a long way off. Employees are discussing how and when to switch to personal offers, she said.
On the therapy side of the practice, at 4407 Bee Cave Road in West Lake Hills, Howard said his staff combine counseling and inclusive psychiatry, as well as yoga and meditation. He said one thing that sets Presence apart from other wellness centers is its focus on relationship health.
“We know from research that people’s relationships have a huge impact on their mental and physical health,” he said.
The center’s name comes from what Howard heard from patients about their goals.
“When we started asking people about their personal growth goals, the most common thing we heard was: ‘I want to be present with my partner, I want to be present with myself, in my job or with my children. ‘”he said.” When we say we bring in a dash of spirituality, it is because many people are looking for a deeper purpose. ”
Carver said the center’s audience is people willing to invest in their wellbeing.
“We attract customers who feel stuck in their lives in some ways,” she said. “They can feel stuck in a relationship, in their career, or even existentially or spiritually.”
Carver said she and other therapists on staff offer yoga and meditation classes to patients to promote mindfulness and mental health.
This summer, the center is entering into a new partnership with the University of Texas that will enable counseling students to receive lessons and provide affordable care to residents of the Austin area.
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