MINOT – The Village provides therapy services for all people in the area, young or old.
Mallary Schaefer, regional program supervisor for The Village in Minot and Bismarck, said there are several offices across the state as well as some in Minnesota.
“Truly our main office is Fargo,” said Schaefer. “What we offer here at the Minot office is really offered at the other offices, but the Fargo office has programs that we don’t offer here.”
One of the main programs the Minot office provides is outpatient therapy.
“We provide outpatient therapy for kids, adults, families, couples, you name it,” said Schaefer. “We definitely have people who focus on certain things.”
Though therapists can cross over and do different kinds of therapy, there are some that do better with kids, some with couples, and some with other groups. Some are also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and play therapy.
The Village takes most insurance and self pay. There is a financial systems program for those who don’t have insurance or do but still need financial assistance.
Schaefer said The Village also provides for the therapy side of the Employment Assistance Program, which it sells to companies.
“But that really falls under our outpatient therapy,” said Schaefer.
The Minot Village is contracted with five schools to do school-based work as well.
“We provide at least one therapist one day a week at the school,” Schaefer explained. “So they go there, they send referrals for kids with parents' permission, and we literally do what we do here but in a school setting.”
Schaefer said bringing therapy into the schools is not much more difficult because therapists bring the tools they have to make it more therapeutic-like.
The school-based system is beneficial for those living far away such as Williston or Rugby, though since most of The Village staff lives near Minot it can be quite the drive for them to go to those schools.
“School counselors definitely have their set of expertise that can be beneficial, but we have a different training, a much more mental health-focused training,” Schaefer explained.
Schafer said there are seven staff at The Village that do outpatient therapy, and four of them also do school-based.
“We have interns,” said Schaefer. “We always seem to have an intern on hand. They’re usually in the last part of their graduate program.”
Schaefer said as a non-profit The Village does not receive government funding, except state funding for the in-home therapy.
“But to do reduced fees for services, that’s all grant funding,” said Schaefer. “St Joseph and United Way are ours.”
Schaefer, who is from Bottineau, said she drives up to Minot three or four days during the week.
“I can work from home some, but I like to be here,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer believes society is seeing more mental health issues because it is both a growing problem as well as something people are talking about more.
“It really comes down to what you classify as mental health,” said Schaefer. “So if you’re going to say that mental health is only people who meet some sort of diagnosis, then sure, it probably hasn’t grown. But I consider that everybody at some point in their life has mental health concerns, because life is tough. Now do we meet some sort of diagnosis for it, maybe not. A lot of it is becoming more aware and making it ok to talk about it.”
Schaefer recommends everyone see a therapist at some point in their life, as it is beneficial to talk to someone you can trust. The reason she says therapists would be trustworthy is because they are bound by law to not share confidential information with anyone.
“We’re also unbiased,” Schaefer explained. “I know nothing about this person’s family sitting across from me, so I can give them unbiased advice without worrying about taking a side or hurting their feelings. That’s part of our job, too, we have to tell them things in a soft way that’s also challenging.”
The Village serves a variety of ages and types of people, and doesn’t see one category more than another. Because, she says, if a child is going through something, they live in an environment where there could be other things going on.
More information on The Village can be found on its website.