Roughly translated, “arbor sana” means “healing tree.” At Arbor Sana Counseling & Wellness, Inc., clients will find care which nurtures the whole person – from the roots which ground you in the present moment to the branches which reach for the sky in a quest for growth and transformation. We seek to serve individuals and relationships by providing our clients with a safe, affirming space where everyone is free to wander, to explore, and to grow.
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Clients trust us
Because you deserve more than your health.
Our associates subscribe to the notion that we do not have to settle with just having our health. Rather, we serve our clients with the intention of fostering their optimal functioning – to surpass health and attain wellness. As such, your therapist will not only explore the concerns that bring you to Arbor Sana but also your strengths and protective factors. Why not use what is going well to address areas of concern? At Arbor Sana, we place wellness in the foreground and illness in the background.
Meet Our Therapists
The Evolution of Arbor Sana
Dr. Pamela Carrington (she/her), licensed psychologist and former director, founded Rocky River Psychological Services, Inc.
Throughout her tenure, Dr. Carrington specialized in providing psychoeducational assessments for children and adolescents with various neurodevelopmental and behavioral health conditions as well as assessing and treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults through mindfulness-informed approaches. She also provided individual and relational counseling with a focus on mood and anxiety disorders.
Ellen Severson, LISW (she/her), a clinical social worker, joined the practice as an associate therapist.
Theresa Brixius, LPCC-S (she/her) and Chase Morgan-Swaney, LPCC-S (he/him), clinical mental health counselors and supervisors, joined the practice as associate therapists.
Dr. Marcos Ghali, LPCC-S (he/him), a clinical mental health counselor and supervisor, joined the practice as an associate therapist.
With several therapists - among them Theresa, Chase, and Dr. Ghali - having joined the practice in recent years, Rocky River Psychological Services, Inc. relocated from Wooster Road in Rocky River to our current Westlake location to accommodate our expansion and meet the demand of our growing clientele.
Within a month of our move, however, the COVID-19 pandemic upended the world, and Rocky River Psychological Services, Inc. closed its doors to in-person appointments for several months. Though our typically bustling office had been temporarily silenced, the associates of Rocky River Psychological Services, Inc. continued to serve our valued clients through telehealth (i.e., phone and videoconference) from the safety of our homes.
After a decade and a half at the helm, Dr. Carrington announced that she would be retiring from clinical practice and, as such, would be stepping down as director of Rocky River Psychological Services. It is because of Dr. Carrington's hard work and vision that we have the practice from which we serve our clients, and for this, we will be forever grateful.
Gail Babcock (she/her) joined the practice as Arbor Sana's receptionist.
Brenda Dillane, LPCC-S (she/her), a clinical mental health counselor and supervisor, joined the practice as an associate therapist.
On July 1, 2022, Theresa assumed ownership of the practice and ascended to the directorship. Along with the change in leadership, we announced to our allies - our clients, referring partners, the community, etc. - that we had arrived at a new name that encapsulated our mission, our vision, as well as our logo: Rocky River Psychological Services, Inc. became Arbor Sana Counseling & Wellness, Inc. The name in Latin, pronounced 'arb-er saw-nuh', means "healing tree" or "healthy tree," which we believed aligned well with who we are and what we do.
Victoria (Tori) Frazier, LPC (she/her), a clinical mental health counselor, joined the practice as an associate therapist.
Maria Rodriguez, LPCC (she/her), a clinical mental health counselor, joined the practice as an associate therapist.
Giving our office a call and completing an initial phone intake is a good place to start! When you call the office, expect to answer a few initial questions over the phone. It should not take more than ten minutes, but having your insurance card (if you are planning to use insurance) is handy. After answering some preliminary questions about your insurance and why you are seeking services, you will schedule a time to meet with your counselor. You will also receive a link to complete some important documentation before your first session.
While all mental health professionals, each conceptualize and approach mental health disorders and their treatment in different ways. Though all may provide traditional "talk therapy," counselors are the most likely to do so as their primary focus, spending an average of 50 minutes with clients per session. As medical doctors, psychiatrists typically approach mental health from the medical model, focusing solely on what illness(es) are present and how we address the deficits. Psychiatrists typically prescribe psychiatric medication(s) as first-line treatment and regularly meet with their patients for no longer than 15-20 minutes. Psychologists typically hold a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) and often focus on administering, scoring, and interpreting psychological, educational, and behavioral evaluations and assessments, as well as conducting research. Counselors typically hold a master's degree (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.A.Ed., M.S.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or a doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision. In Ohio, counselors are either provisionally licensed under clinical supervision (LPC) or independently licensed (LPCC). Many LPCCs opt to pursue a supervisory endorsement (LPCC-S) to conduct clinical supervision for LPCs. Counseling operates from a strengths-based, wellness approach, helping clients to identify resiliency factors, find solutions within themselves, and provide education about mental health. Counseling is distinct from psychiatry and psychology because of its wellness-in-the-foreground and illness-in-the-background philosophy.
Counseling begins before your first session! After scheduling your appointment, you will receive a link to complete important paperwork online in order to set you and your counselor up for success. At your first session, you can expect to meet with your counselor to gather both current and historical information, including your main concerns to address in counseling. You will get a feel for your counselor's approach and they will get to know your story. Your first session will likely feel very different from the sessions that follow, as the primary goal of the first session is information gathering. This is so your counselor has all of the information they need to provide you with the best care possible. At the end of your first session, you and your counselor will discuss the next steps, including determining if weekly outpatient counseling is appropriate for your level of need, determining if your counselor feels like a good fit for you, and, if so, scheduling your next appointment.
Folks come to counseling with a wide range of concerns. You may want to talk about developmental concerns, such as relational difficulties, ADHD, and feeling affirmed in your affectional (sexual) orientation and/or gender identity. Or, you may be dealing with more specific concerns, such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and post-traumatic stress. Sometimes, clients are not sure what brings them to counseling, just that they feel they could use support. There is no "right" or "wrong" reason to seek counseling services. A counselor can help elicit insight into what brings you to counseling and work collaboratively to identify ways to cope with whatever challenges you face.
Yes! Arbor Sana prides itself on its affirmative, celebratory, and liberation-oriented approach to counseling. Our counselors strive to create a safe, welcoming environment for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender expansive, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and polysexual (LGBTGEQIAP+) communities. Several of our counselors (namely Chase, Theresa, and Tori) work alongside LGBTGEQIAP+ folks in counseling as one of their primary specializations. For clients seeking to undergo gender-affirming medical or surgical procedures and require letter(s), Arbor Sana provides evaluations to establish and corroborate one's readiness to pursue such procedures.