I’ve had the pleasure of working as a student intern at Northwest Counseling and Wellness (NCWC) for almost two semesters now. Having worked in the substance use field for several years prior, in various settings, I have quite a bit of different experiences to compare with my time at NCWC. In many ways, NCWC is a place that stands out from the rest.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of NCWC that has stood out to me from the beginning was the overall culture that has been cultivated here. The culture and approach at NCWC is unique in that it trusts that everyone has an innate ability to change in a way that is authentic and healthy. To quote John, our executive director, NCWC seeks to effect “inside out” change, rather than a stereotypically Western “outside in” approach to medicine and mental health. NCWC’s belief that inner strengths and resources can be found in every individual who comes through our door is a far cry from the more traditional, deficits-based model of substance abuse treatment. What a breath of fresh air!
The importance we place of this type of approach is a foundational aspect of the programming at NCWC, too. A whopping 1/3 of the time we spend together is intended to help capitalize on these very resources, while also seeking to create a sense of balance in the lives of the people we work with. This approach creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, while also fostering a collaborative, respectful, and client-focused relationship with the people we are working with.
To use a metaphor, every person is a seed that has the potential to grow into a beautiful, vibrant, and healthy plant. If, however, the seed doesn’t have fertile soil, some water, enough sunlight, and some love, it may not grow. At NCWC, we hope to provide all the conditions that are necessary for people to grow and blossom to their greatest potential.
In my time at NCWC, perhaps the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned is just how supportive, empowering, and reassuring this “inside out” approach to growth feels. I say this with confidence because the NCWC staff’s trust in one’s innate ability to grow extends beyond interactions with clients; it exists amongst each other. Camaraderie, transparency, support, and encouragement have been some of my own necessary conditions for growth that NCWC has provided me with. As a result, I have grown immensely, personally and professionally, throughout my time here. Not only does the staff at NCWC personally practice the same approach to wellness that they teach to clients, but they are also invested in the wellbeing of those around them! Growth is not something that happens in isolation, and I am happy to have found a place with such fertile soil.
Solitaire diamond in hand full of coal
(512) 250-WELL (9355)
We are available from 9am until 5pm, Monday-Friday.
We are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Northwest Counseling & Wellness Center
12335 Hymeadow Drive
Austin, TX 78750