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Counseling practice gets new office

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By John Barnhart

Janie Mantooth, a licensed clinical social worker, has run her counseling practice at the foot of Turkey Mountain Road for several years. Now she’s moved to town.

    Mantooth acquired the 1936 vintage house one East Main Street, in Bedford. The house most recently was home to Hamilton’s, a shop operated by the late Peter Viemeister, which included vintage books and antique toys among its merchandise, providing a good retirement business for a former rocket scientist and aerospace executive.
    Now, it’s home to Complete Counseling Services, Mantooth’s practice. The house looks the same outside, but Manntooth has done a major remodeling inside to fit her counseling practice, preserving much of the character of the house such as the original oak and pine floors and vintage interior door lock sets with their old fashioned keyholes.
    “We are only the third owner, from what I understand,” Mantooth said.
    The old house suits her type of practice well. It provides a warm, relaxing atmosphere, rather than being a clinical-looking facility. This is helpful as clients seeking counseling services are often already under stress.
    The house is also in an excellent location. Mantooth said it’s centrally located, easy to find and easily accessible. It’s close to the county department of social services and court services — she gets referrals from them. She also has a medical doctor, a chiropractor and a massage therapist nearby. She can refer clients to them and get referrals from them.
    And, there are lawyers’ offices nearby.
    “We get lots of referrals from attorneys,” she commented.
    She also gets referrals from the hospital, such as people who come into the emergency room thinking they are having a heart attack, but it turns out that they are not. Stress and anxiety, problems for which she can provide counseling, can produce symptoms that mimic a heart attack.
    Mantooth provides counseling to children, teens, adults, couples and families.
    An upstairs room is dedicated to play therapy and art therapy. Mantooth said that watching children play or do art tells a counselor a lot that they don’t put into words. This can be especially valuable when working with small children as they may not have a good vocabulary. The play and art can also serve as an access tool. Mantooth said that older children talk more when they are playing.
    “They open up more when they are playing,” she said.
    She said that she is seeing a lot of adults with stress problems.
    “More people are being asked to do more at work and that creates a lot of stress,” she said.
    She counsels couples. Some come voluntarily with a mutual interest in rescuing their marriage. Some are not there voluntarily.
    “We also work with mandated clients,” she said.
    These are people who are seeking counseling because a court has ordered them to do it. This takes a different approach.
    “Let’s process all the reasons why you are mad to be here,” she said describing that approach.
    Mantooth said that a counselor doesn’t take sides.
    “I’m not for or against anyone,” she said.
    Mantooth also does pre-marital counseling — couples looking to find ways to avoid having marital problems in the first place. She said that she has them look at what brought them together in the first place and the strengths and weaknesses each bring. A lot of what she teaches them consists of communications skills and conflict resolution.
    Complete Counseling Services is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and has a Web site at www.jmantoothcounseling.com. Mantooth can be reached by phone at 586-8146 or via e-mail at jmantooth@verizon.net.