BEAVERTON – Mental health issues are ever-present, and ever-growing within our society, and Gladwin County is no exception. The need for mental health professionals may be at an all time high, and the communities of Gladwin and Beaverton have been sorely lacking resources outside of the Community Mental Health. Cross Road Counseling Services, a new business to Beaverton, is hoping to help fill that need in Gladwin County.
Owned by Brenda J. Mather, MA, LLPC, and Cheryl A. Biddinger, MS, LPC, the counseling office is now open and serving all different demographics. The business overall is a general counseling service, though each counselor has their own specialities. Mather specializes in children, grief counseling, anger management and ministerial support, while Biddinger has specialization in addiction and substance abuse counseling, and Accelerated Resolution Therapy.
“We knew that there was a great need in the community for mental health providers,” Mather said. Mather is a lifelong resident of Gladwin County, and says she is happy to be able to use her training and passion to give back to her community.
Both Mather and Biddinger have long had passions for counseling, Mather having a Master’s in Professional Counseling from CMU, and Biddinger having a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. Previously Mather worked as the Assistant Director of Student Disability Services at CMU, while Biddinger worked at Community Mental Health (CMH) and at the MTC Methadone Clinic in Mt. Pleasant.
Cross Road Counseling Services is located at 201 S. Ross St., Beaverton, MI. The previous tenant of their location was a counselor who retired. “I was thinking about private practice before that, but I wasn’t in a position where I could do that by myself at that time,” Biddinger said. After a conversation with her supervisor at CMH, Biddinger became aware that Mather had taken over the space. Biddinger quickly contacted Mather and entered into the business.
“We’re ready for our business to grow,” Mather said.
The two counselors hope that their practice creates a space where people are comfortable, and perhaps slightly different than the traditional counseling office. “We are very much a laid-back type of counseling center, we do person-centered counseling,” Mather said.
The two describe person-centered counseling as an approach to counseling that looks at the person as a whole and figures out what their needs are at that time.
“We meet them where they’re at,” Biddinger said, going on to say that, “Our counseling style is not, ‘we’re going to tell them whats wrong and how to fix it’, we’re going to ask them, ‘what do you want different in your life, where do you want to get’. I look at myself like a navigator, you’re driving the car, but I’m reading the map and helping you navigate.”
As such, there is no standard format to a therapy session at Cross Roads. Each session is tailored to the patient, and will be what they need at that time. Both say that they hope people feel that the counseling is a office a welcoming and nonjudgmental place. They want the space to be a relieving place for patients to enter into, saying that the office is the patient’s home for the time they are there.
“The connection and rapport building is so much easier because of our laid-back style, I have people come in and said, ‘this doesn’t feel like this is counseling’, but it’s counseling,” Biddinger said.
In a world where stress and anxiety are on the rise, Gladwin County having a place where people can go to discuss and get help for whatever is troubling them is something that will surely become an important asset for the community.
Both counselors are now accepting new patients. For more information or to make an appointment call Cross Road Couseling at 989-435-6561.