Licensed Mental Health Counselor Dallas Pilecki grew up in Westfield with “aunts and uncles and parents who taught our family that if you give good, you get good back.” That simple principle of generosity is the keystone at Serendipity Psych, a Russell Road mental health practice that feels more like visiting a friend’s house than stepping into a clinician’s office. For one thing, a festive “giving tree” sparkles in the waiting room.
Throughout the year, Pilecki and Serendipity Psych’s co-owner, Ariana Avezzie, surround this tree with donations such as toys and hygiene products to give to the community. According to Pilecki, “It’s a beacon to remind us to give more and to always appreciate the opportunities we have.” That mindset extends to their clients, too. “We’re totally invested in you as a person,” Pilecki said. “We treat the people we work with as part of our lives, not just as our clients. We want people to know we care about them and their success, whatever’s going to help push them to the next level of their goals, because their success is our success.”
Pilecki and Avezzie didn’t become partners until they opened Serendipity Psych in January of 2020. However, “We’ve worked with each other our whole careers in different avenues, so we’ve grown together as clinicians,” Pilecki said. “We complement each other because Ariana’s specialty is children, families, and marriage where I specialize in working with college-aged students, crisis management, and substance abuse.”
The duo’s breadth of expertise suits their practice perfectly. When appropriate, they offer “wraparound service,” which might mean one clinician supporting parents while the other works with a struggling child. “It’s whatever we need to do to help the family overall, whether it be going to IEP meetings, talking to counselors at the schools, whatever we need to do to help,” Pilecki said.
Launching their practice just as pandemic gripped the world brought Avezzie and Pilecki an even greater urgency to give. “Early on in COVID people were adjusting to kids being at home, remote learning, trying to manage work and dealing with that uncertainty. Then, in the fall, we had a big uptick in people having their kids come to get therapy for support as they returned to school.”
Pilecki said that crushing wave of uncertainty actually helped to destigmatize therapy. “It’s not a negative thing to ask for help,” he said. “Honestly, therapy can be beneficial to just about everyone. Sometimes we just need a little guidance; a little direction, or just some more coping skills. It doesn’t have to be long term, maybe six weeks, maybe longer. It just depends on where you want to be and what you want to work on.”
“That’s what we’re here for,” said Pilecki, who’s grateful to serve the community during pivotal times. “Being able to help people every week? That’s the best feeling in the world.”
For more information, visit their site at www.serendipitypsych.com or call 413-579-8887.