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The Short Version: William and Teri Schroeder, both mental health professionals, wanted to create a group therapy practice that reflected both their values and those of their community. From that desire, Just Mind Counseling in Austin, Texas, was born. Not only does the practice offer a comforting atmosphere for couples seeking therapy and an informative website, but it also has a diverse staff that matches the multiculturalism found in Austin. Clients can tailor sessions to their needs, and Just Mind offers a variety of specialized couples options, including high-conflict therapy, ADHD therapy, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) therapy.
Even though they’re both mental health counselors, William and Teri Schroeder, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), respectively, haven’t always liked therapy practices. The check-in area at some offices is too clinical, and paying with a credit card after each session can feel too transactional. Even the decor in many offices often feel thrown together, William said.
“We felt like there were a lot of things that could be improved upon in group practices,” he said. “We wanted to create an environment where therapists would want to work and stay.”
The Schroeders implemented those improvements when they started Just Mind Counseling in Austin, Texas, a group practice that sidesteps the common pitfalls of other offices — and offers an inviting setting for couples therapy.
The office space wasn’t the only part of therapy practices that they thought needed an overhaul. That’s why Just Mind also works to attract therapists who reflect the diversity and needs of Austin residents.
Just Mind has 24 counselors with varying backgrounds. They speak several different languages, specialize in different areas, and are from different cultures. They also aim to stay current on training and trends to help Austin residents with any issues they have.
“Austin is a diverse city, and we try to pay attention to everything that is requested of us and work to meet those needs,” William said.
One Just Mind therapist, Eva Escobedo, speaks five languages and specializes in trauma and attachment. She practices Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) for at-risk children and has worked with struggling couples for more than 20 years.
Just Mind’s welcoming atmosphere, wide range of services, and diverse staff make it one of Austin’s most unique practices, just like William and Teri imagined. A new client signup questionnaire can help interested individuals and couples find a therapist who is suited to fit their needs.
Just Mind doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to counseling, and its therapists don’t have a singular counseling strategy. Instead, they can deploy many strategies depending on the situation.
“All our therapists pursue advanced training in various areas and use these evidence-based and holistic approaches to help others,” William said.
Some therapists specialize in working with clients over a short period because they’re more solution-focused and direct. Others, especially those who work with trauma or Autism Spectrum Disorder, often work with clients for a longer time because issues can take more time to work through.
Because Just Mind is so different from other practices, it has attracted more than 4,000 clients from the Austin area.
Like its therapists, Just Mind’s clients are diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, and issues. Many of the practice’s clients are well-educated and highly successful. Some of its clients are new to the area and work in the city’s burgeoning technology sector.
However, despite their successes, Just Mind clients can struggle with depression, ADHD, anxiety, and stress management.
The practice offers unique therapeutic options, including Immigration Hardship Evaluations for clients who suffer from the psychological stressors of applying for American residency or citizenship.
As a practice that strives to be a reflection of its community, Just Mind also gives back to Austin. Therapists from the group present informative lectures every month or two in accessible locations around the community — from Whole Foods to the Toybrary, a local resource for parents with young children.
“The presentations vary in topics, and we often cover sexuality and gender, ADHD, stress management, addiction, and parenting,” William said.
Just Mind provides nearly as many options for couples seeking therapy as it does for individuals. Most couples therapy sessions are 90 minutes, and the focus varies by couple.
“We offer LGBT, high-conflict, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) couples counseling — and pretty much anything in between,” William said.
For example, couples who are about to get married can opt for short-term sessions in communication through Just Mind’s Marriage 101 series. Its Tune-Up Your Relationship sessions are for longer-term couples who have more difficulty communicating than they once did.
Another attractive counseling option is a series of sessions titled Relationship Help for People Who Aren’t Good at Them. This option helps individuals and couples who struggle in relationships and need help building the skills to attract a mate and succeed.
Just Mind therapists use a variety of strategies to help couples succeed. For example, the Gottman Method tasks them with assessing their relationship and allows the therapist to introduce interventions, including friendship, conflict management, and the creation of shared meaning.
The Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy® (PACT) uses neuroscience to help couples notice their reactions to one another. From there, individuals can better predict each other’s needs.
Just Mind aims to offer even more services useful to couples through a new location, telehealth options, online education, and is also developing a mobile app.
This individualized, client-focused therapy that William and Teri Schroeder decided to bring to Austin has made for some satisfied clients. William said that the feedback Just Mind receives reminds the therapists why they do the work they do. It also reaffirms that their role is to help people help themselves.
He shared one piece of feedback that he found particularly touching:
“Coming to Just Mind has helped in many ways and is one of the best decisions I’ve made. The best way to sum it up is that I have a better understanding of who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and how my upbringing has set the tone for relationships in my adult life. It’s not a quick or always easy process, but it’s definitely worth it,” the client wrote.
Though many client reviews demonstrate the practice’s success, Just Mind isn’t resting on its laurels. William said the practice always seeks feedback so it can tweak its services. For example, after a client suggested it add a kiosk check-in system, Just Mind acted on that advice. The idea proved to be quite effective since the practice doesn’t have a front desk check-in.
William and Teri have created the group therapy practice they knew clients would appreciate, but they’re not done yet.
“Teri’s the planner, and I am the idea person. I couldn’t do it without her, or without the wonderful team we have built together,” William said.