CT Wellness Celebrates 10 Years : Sandy Hook Collaborative Heals Hearts and MindsMay 07, 2019 02:00AM ● By Nicole Miale
Vicki Scataglini, Karen Schaum and Kim Morello
In May of 2009 when CT Counselors first opened its doors, no one knew it would become an integral part of health and healing in the Sandy Hook community. At the time it was a few psychotherapists with a common goal; to provide counseling support to individuals, families, adolescents, and children. Karen Schaum is one of the founders and she recalls with fondness how it all started; “I remember picking out paint colors and carpets,” she says. “It’s just amazing to know that clients I started with as kids are now getting married, going off to college or boot camp. We’ve helped a lot of people here through the years and that feels really good.”
CT Counselors began as a center where psychotherapists in private practice shared space. As more therapists joined, each brought a unique skill set and energy, enhancing the level of expertise CT Counselors offered and creating new possibilities. CT Counselors, now referred to more commonly as CT Wellness to reflect the expansion of the service offerings, is run by Kim Morello, Vicki Scataglini and Schaum as a healing arts center where client well-being is supported by highly trained practitioners of contemporary and alternative healing modalities. “We were always attuned to a more holistic model, even as fairly new counselors,” Morello explains. “Counseling is a science and an art. We were always wondering, how can we make this work more holistic? How can we address the needs of the whole person sitting before us?”
As they built the team, they were also conscious of wanting to serve the specific needs of their local community in Sandy Hook, which was so devastated by the events of December 14, 2012. “That was a very difficult time,” Morello says. “We were inundated with clients and absolutely everyone was struggling.” The counselors and other local therapists received complimentary EMDR training; EMDR is a modality proven to be effective in relieving trauma. “Learning EMDR really launched us into a whole new area because it was more energy-based than our previous training,” Morello explains. “We saw how well it was working and saw the potential for those kinds of services in our wider vision for the center.”
With over 20 years as a licensed therapist, Scataglini had realized the benefits of traditional psychotherapy could be limiting and short lived. It could take a client so far, she says, but when she applied some things she learned in her own personal practice, clients were more empowered. “The results were longer lasting and desired states of peace were attained,” she says. Born of experience, a larger vision began to take shape. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could create a health and wellness center offering traditional psychotherapy along with many other healing modalities, all under one roof,” was the question they asked each other.
Ten years later, the vision is a reality. The current wellness center is home to 21 diverse practitioners who serve the mind-body-spirit needs of their clients. Mental health counselors and clinical social workers–both female and male–are trained in a variety of treatment modalities, and provide licensed psychotherapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. The center is also home to two naturopathic physicians, several EFT/tapping practitioners, a chiropractor, a craniosacral therapist, substance abuse counselors, a massage therapist certified to work with oncology patients, a spiritual liaison, a medical management practitioner, a Reiki practitioner and a consulting hypnotist.
“It’s not unusual for clients to come into therapy somewhat untrusting,” Schaum explains. “They might not be open or willing to try something new right away. But as a counselor builds trust and gets to know each client, we can see what other techniques might be of benefit to them, like massage or chiropractic. Then we can connect them with talented people right in the same building, making it easier for clients to follow through and get services that will really help them feel better.”
Morello says she has observed a shift over the years in clients’ willingness to consider less traditional therapy. “I have so many more clients now–especially the younger generation–who are open and curious about alternatives to talk therapy. It creates so many exciting opportunities for deeper healing.”
Clients come from all over Fairfield and Litchfield counties and the offices are open 6 and a half days per week, Schaum says, including many evenings and weekends. Most of the practitioners participate in insurance plans. The space is welcoming and has a soothing energy that is palpable, Morello says. “We’re a very connected group, and the space reflects that. We have really bonded as a team, crying and laughing together both personally and professionally at different times.” Schaum adds, “We are so lucky that we get to work in a beautiful space helping people with people we love.”
CT Wellness is one of the sponsors of Rocking the Hook, a free concert in Sandy Hook on May 19 from 12-7pm, presented by Maplewood at Newtown and Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP).
CT Wellness has two office locations: the main office at 107 Church Hill Rd, Sandy Hook, and a satellite office at 2 Glenn Hill Rd, Danbury. For more information or to make an appointment, call 203-270-9888 or visit CTCounselors.com. See ad, page 19.
Nicole Miale is publisher of Natural Awakenings Fairfield/ Housatonic Valley, CT and Natural Awakenings Greater Hartford, CT. Connect at [email protected].