New London Counseling Center
Located in New London, PA, New London Counseling Center is a non-profit mental health clinic. Enjoy this Q&A with Dr. Katie Bowman and Allison Bell.
Tell us about New London Counseling Center
The goal of New London Counseling Center is to break barriers to mental health care, and the most common obstacles in our community are access, affordability, and awareness. As a non-profit mental health clinic, we strive every day to provide access and affordability by making high-quality mental health care available to every adult, family, couple, or child in our community who needs it regardless of their ability to pay. We also attend community events, create online educational resources, and host workshops. The idea is to let people know that we all need help at some point in our lives, and we are here if you need it.
Tell us about the New London Counseling Center Team
There are so many incredible people dedicated to making our mission a reality. Our clinical team consists of 6 licensed therapists and psychologists whose experience and specialties range across the lifespan and spectrum of mental health concerns. That diversity of expertise ensures the highest quality of treatment for every one of our patients. Dr. Katie Bowman not only leads that clinical team, but also serves as Executive Director. Our volunteer board of directors includes Joyce Ross, Mike Woodin, Bill Hostetter, Lisa Owen, and Josh Roberts. When patients call or email our offices, most often they’ll speak with administrator Allison Bell, who provides compassionate support and assistance.
Who are you serving at New London Counseling Center?
For outpatient therapy, our patients range from five years of age throughout the lifespan and we provide individual, couples, and family sessions as well as specialized support groups. At the moment, we’re creating a group for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which helps to reduce stress and promote mental wellbeing. We’re also working on a group for elementary-aged girls to bolster social skills and self esteem. When the community re-opens, we’ll be returning to Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community where we facilitate a support group for caregivers and spouses of folks suffering from memory loss.
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes! As of this conversation, we are still offering telehealth sessions (which are video-based therapy appointments) to both new and existing patients, and we have continued to provide care throughout the period of public health concern surrounding COVID-19.
What would you say to someone who wants to seek treatment, but is nervous to start and doesn’t know what to expect?
I would say they’re not alone. Calling to schedule a therapy appointment either for ourselves or for our family can be intimidating or make us feel vulnerable. Most commonly, people are concerned about billing or finding the right therapist for them, or just entering into something they’ve never experienced before, and it’s our goal to let them know that those are totally normal concerns. When someone calls to schedule an appointment, Allison, our administrator, works with them to talk through those concerns and helps them feel supported and prepared. Making that call can be a difficult step, but most people find relief once that first step is taken.
How can someone schedule an appointment?
Calling our office at 484-746-3112 is the best way to set up your appointment. If you’re not ready to schedule just yet, we’re always happy to answer your questions or address your concerns by phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is New London Counseling Center?
At the time of this interview, this question has three answers, believe it or not. During the period of public health concern, we are operating remotely and holding video sessions, but when we are able to hold in-person sessions again, we’ll be returning to our temporary offices inside of the Christian Life Center at 125 Saginaw Road, Lincoln University. Though we are a separate organization from the CLC and offer services to everyone regardless of their faith, the church has been an incredible supporter of our mission and was key in founding our organization. In fact, the Christian Life Center has also generously donated our permanent office space on State Road, which is currently under construction.
What is the role of Community in New London Counseling Center’s Mission?
Community is everything, and every community is built of individuals. When one person makes the important step of healing and growing, it also impacts that person’s relationships with everyone around them and that transformation ripples out to the community as a whole. We want everyone to know that they can be that agent of change. Our community can grow and change by watching our online videos and educational resources, or they can stop by our booth at an Oxford First Friday and try a mental health activity, or they can volunteer with us and experience the fulfillment of helping someone access care who normally couldn’t afford it.
In all of the difficulty of the last few months, I think we’ve witnessed just how much we need the people around us and also how much we are built to support one another in our struggles. Every member of our team is very proud to be a resident and supporter of Southern Chester County and we are so grateful to serve this community.
What’s a common misconception about mental health concerns?
Many people feel a sense of being abnormal or stereotyped because they are experiencing a mental health concern or processing a traumatic event. But the need for mental health care is common to many people at some point in their lives. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 of us live with a mental health condition and more than half of us will experience a traumatic event in our lives. The phrase “you are not alone” is cliche for a reason–though mental health concerns can feel alienating, they are extremely common and seeking treatment can help reduce the stigma for others as well as healing for ourselves.
New London Counseling Center just celebrated its first year of service. What are you most proud of from that time?
It is truly incredible to think of all our community has done to support one another through the New London Counseling Center in just one year. Whether it’s the businesses who have been kind enough to meet with us and welcome us into the community, or the generous donors who have helped their neighbors access care they otherwise could not afford, the result has been one of the most profound of our lives. We wish that everyone could hear the relief in someone’s voice when they realize they’ll be able to afford therapy for the first time in their lives or the transformation of families as their therapist works with them to bond and communicate. It’s been such a remarkable journey, and our gratitude is truly beyond words.