What is Blend Counseling Network?
The Blend Counseling Network (BCN) is a group of therapists in Loudoun County who believe supportive counseling services should be available to everyone, regardless of income level or access to health insurance. Too many people are struggling with intense symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Even for families with insurance, counseling services have become difficult to find and extremely expensive, sometimes costing upwards of $200 per session. Both individual and group therapy services work best when attended weekly, and too many are going without because they do not have the extra income. Network therapists have chosen to provide a few individual or group therapy sessions per month to clients at about half the current out-of-pocket counseling rates.
How BCN Got Its Start
Blend Counseling Network founder, Tracey Powell, works as a counselor in Ashburn, Virginia, and has become very aware of the lack of affordable mental health care options in the area. Ever since working with The Women's Center, a non-profit counseling center in Vienna, VA, she's wanted to bring a similar, lower-cost option for counseling and education to Loudoun County.
How it Works
The idea behind BCN is that when everyone contributes, more people can receive services and information to help them live more fully and free from symptoms of treatable mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, excessive anger, low motivation, and low self-esteem. A low-cost course of small group or individual therapy sessions can in many cases, prevent further decline and need for more intensive services. Our schools are doing a great job educating young people on the basics of mental health and self-care, but some students may need further help, and won't receive it due to the high cost of mental health services. The need for affordable counseling exists in all age categories, but it was decided that the Blend Counseling Network would first focus on serving young people ages 12-18. Clients can apply for services through the BCN website, and will then be assigned to a group or individual therapist. Based on their need, clients will pay an annual membership fee of $40. They can then be assigned to a BCN therapist and pay $50 per individual session, $25 for group. Individual sessions take place in the therapist's established office, and group sessions take place at the therapists office or after-hours at Blend Coffee Bar. All sessions are facilitated by licensed mental health providers or pre-licensed providers working under supervision.
The Future of Blend Counseling Network
The Blend Counseling Network will grow to become THE non-profit counseling center in Loudoun, serving people of all ages and offering a range of psychoeducational counseling opportunities, support, and therapy groups at affordable rates.
BCN will also become a training site for therapists completing their graduate programs and hours of service before becoming licensed. By offering supervison for new therapists, BCN will be working to increase the number of mental health professionals in Loudoun County.