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It's Okay to Ask for Help

Seeking therapy doesn't mean you're weak—it's self-care that can help virtually everyone

Article by Mary Abel

Photography by Courtesy of RAFT Counseling

Originally published in Parker City Lifestyle

Are you feeling a little lost or lonely? Maybe struggling to get back out in the world after the COVID lockdown? Or maybe you just feel stuck in your career or relationship and aren’t sure what to do to get unstuck.

It’s been a rough few years and feeling out of sorts is completely normal. The good news is you don’t have to figure things out yourself. You can ask for help.

“We kind of went through this collective trauma,” says Amanda Turecek, LMFT, LAC and executive director of RAFT Consulting, which provides behavioral health services for a wide range of ages and issues. “All of the changes, the isolation, and the hardships that people are going through with the loss of jobs. On the other side of it, though, was that it also really normalized mental health. So we saw a huge surge in people reaching out to get connected.”

With a desire to help people, a love of connecting with people, and a history of working in community mental health centers, Amanda was already specializing and focusing in on crisis work. In 2018, she decided to go solo and started RAFT Consulting in Parker. “It started growing and I thought it was a great idea to start expanding in 2020. I joke about the timing, but it worked out beautifully. We’ve been able to meet the growing needs of the community and serve more clients as a team as we've grown.”

Amanda has been part of the Parker community for nearly 10 years and says her big focus is on expanding access to care. “Parker is an interesting area for that,” she says. “We have a lot of resources, but not necessarily a lot of the right resources.” For example, it can be difficult to find mental health services that accept Medicaid, “and we are able to fill that need. We accept Medicaid as well as multiple insurance companies.

The normalization of video meetings has also reduced the barrier to care, because not all clients can come to an office. “And all of a sudden, telehealth was a very normal, expected experience,” Amanda says. “So on the positive side of things, normalizing video sessions allow clients to get connected with someone right away. Even though we’re back in the office, at least 25 to 30% of our sessions are telehealth.”

Therapy isn’t just for serious mental health concerns or diagnoses; it can be beneficial for someone who's just experiencing the feeling of being “stuck.” “You know, I'm stuck. And I can't figure out how to create movement in different areas of my life, the variables could be relationships—work, personal life, life satisfaction, I just don't feel myself,” Amanda explains. “A lot of times people come to us when they are experiencing just that lack of connection with their loved ones. Like, he or she just doesn't get me.” Therapy can help create and support a sense of empowerment that promotes creating specific strategies to cope with hard decisions and emotions. So the next time life knocks you down, remember you don’t have to get back up alone. Be strong enough to ask for a helping hand.

Finding the right therapist can sometimes be the hardest part. If you don't know where to start, has one of the most comprehensive databases of licensed therapists. Just enter your zip code and sort by issues, types of therapy, price, and more.

  • The RAFT team (from left): Alex Able, Renee Struck, Tiffany Spencer, Ellie Coyle,  Amanda Turecek, and Ashley Larsen