Brain Gain: Wellspring of adviceWritten by Colleen Kennedy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Raquel Wilson’s professional philosophy is simple — “keep it simple.” Although it may not sound like a revolutionary idea, Wilson is in a business where simplicity isn’t at all common.
Wilson, a licensed independent social worker, recently opened her own private counseling practice. Wilson said she considers herself to be a “generalist,” working with individuals ages five to 102 and a spectrum of issues varying from stress management to social anxiety. The only topics she doesn’t provide counseling for are marriage counseling, eating disorders and substance abuse.
A Detroit native, Wilson attended Michigan State University for undergraduate and graduate school, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Social Work.
Wilson, 28, said helping others has been a lifelong passion. Growing up she said her family was constantly volunteering and helping others. She considered nursing in college but rejected that idea after struggling with biology.
Upon graduating in 2005, she and husband, Adam, moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked at a residential treatment school for severely emotionally disturbed students.
After 18 months in the nation’s capital, the couple relocated when Adam’s job transferred him to Chicago. There Wilson worked with Rainbow Hospice counseling near-death patients and their families, an experience she said helped her discover her passion for grief and loss counseling. To stay connected, Wilson returns annually to volunteer at their “Good Mourning” family camp each September.
“I’m energized when I come back from camp,” Wilson said. “The work you see happening with the families is amazing. I leave every year just filled with energy and ready to learn more and get back to the population I serve here and to help them.”
In April of 2008, another job transfer brought the Wilsons to Toledo.
“It was a tough transition coming from Chicago,” Wilson said. “We lived in the city and there was always something to do. When we moved here, that was my biggest struggle. There are things to do but you have to be savvy and look for them.”
Initially, Wilson worked for a mental health agency where she practiced individual and family therapy. But after a year of praying and familiarizing herself with the community, she soon set her sights on starting a private practice.
Wilson said, “I felt there was an opportunity for someone new to come aboard, especially working with kids and teens. I feel like I have the ability to connect with them on a certain level and I’ve had a lot of success with that population.”
The defining moment in her decision occurred over dinner with her dad, whom she describes as her “rock of wisdom.”
“He said, pretty soon you’ll be in your mid-30s and then you’ll be in your 40s, then 50s and you’ll have every reason in the world not to do it.’ ”
On Dec. 1, 2009 Wilson opened the doors to Wellspring Counseling Services.
As Wilson continues to build her clientele, she said keeping it simple is her advantage.
“Therapy isn’t simple,” Wilson said. “A lot of times, people wait so long to seek help from a therapist that their lives are very complex by the time they come to my door. I find that trying to keep the things simple for them helps. It’s just me. I answer the phone and I answer the door.”
To learn more about services at Wellspring, visit www.counselingatwellspring.com.