Kara Glendening will be opening Piece by Piece Counseling Center at 504 E. Third Avenue, Jasper, in December.
The Jasper native has been providing outpatient mental health services since 2006 through Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center. There, she has worked with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of mental health needs. While working at Memorial has been rewarding, Kara said she is ready to open her own office.
“I am starting my own private practice to focus on client care,” she explained. “My current job has evolved into mostly leadership responsibilities with little client care. I am looking forward to doing what I am truly passionate about, working with clients to form a therapeutic relationship and empower them to improve their overall well-being and achieve goals.”
Additionally, she hopes the practice will allow her some flexibility — she and her husband, Adam, have two children, ages 6 and 9 — as well as be an asset to the community and its mental health needs.
“I am passionate about the awareness of mental health in general but also helping our community understand that mental health is as important and should be taken care of just like physical health,” Kara said. “I often tell clients – if an arm or a leg needs attention and training after a physical injury or surgery, you would do physical therapy. When your brain needs attention and training, mental health therapy is the way to go.”
Early on, Kara knew she wanted to help people. While in high school, she had considered working in special education or nursing. However, nursing went to the wayside since she is the type of person who has to lie down for a simple blood draw to avoid passing out.
“At the pre-college level, it was really between social work and special education,” she said. “I chose social work because the study of humans, behaviors, relationships, and the brain, in general, is very intriguing.”
She attended the University of Southern Indiana for both her undergraduate degree and master’s degree in social work. Afterwhich, she interned at Memorial before going full-time. Through her time there, she has been able to work in many different settings of mental health. She has also been able to expand her training and certification to include assisting child victims of sexual abuse which has led to her partnering with the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition to assist in abuse investigations. She is also a certified trainer for both the adult and youth models of Mental Health First Aid.
Being able to help people through these tough mental health issues is important for Kara. Early in her career, she found fulfillment when she started getting referrals from clients that she had worked with in therapy. “Nothing is more reassuring than people believing in the work that you do and referring those they care about and want to get better to you for services,” she explained.
The name Piece by Piece Counseling Center reflects Kara’s views on the process of helping her clients as well as pays homage to her mother’s love of fabric and quilts. Like the quilts her mother, Joyce Scherle, would create, Kara has realized each client’s case is nuanced and unique.
“She would take small and large pieces of fabric and put those together to create something beautiful,” Kara explained. “I think in counseling, we look at whatever piece or pieces of someone’s life need to be polished or improved or changed and we develop goals and plans of how we can achieve those things. So, that’s kind of the connection for me. It really is breaking down what pieces need to be polished or need to be changed to improve overall wellbeing.”
Piece by Piece Counseling Services will provide services for children, adolescents and adults. Kara can work with individuals or provide family therapy for a variety of mental health issues. She will also work with children who are in the process of disclosing or have disclosed sexual abuse. She will also continue to partner with Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition with those services.