By CRISTINA JANNEY
Serenity Psychological Services and Consulting, 1010 Downing Ave., Suite 60, has added two new therapists, Lori Hertel and Brandie Bieker.
Hertel and Bieker join Robert Yates III and Jennifer Colby in private practice.
Yates and Colby have primarily focused on working with adults, and Hertel and Bieker both have experience working with youth and families.
Lori Hertel, 57, is a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist. She is currently working on her PhD in health psychology through Walden University and plans to finish that degree this year. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in resource counseling from Fort Hays State University.
She has been employed for the court system and at High Plains Mental Health Center for numerous years. Previously, Lori was the chief executive officer of her own business called Hertel Therapeutic Services, worked as a therapist at Turning Point Professional Counseling Services and was a prevention specialist with the school district.
Hertel is an adjunct faculty member in sociology at Fort Hays State University. She has been very active in the community, helping to start the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program and serving as a past president of the CASA of the High Plains board.
Hertel also operates several programs as a memorial to her daughter, Ana, who died eight years ago from a childhood muscular disease. These include a scholarship program; Ana’s gift, a program through emergency responders who provide stuffed animals to children in traumatic situations; and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library that provides free monthly books for Ellis County children birth through age 5.
Hertel just finished a position funded through a grant to offer therapy to community corrections clients. At Serenity, she will be working with juvenile services to do therapy with its clients.
Hertel will do a variety of psychological evaluations for both children and adults as well as offering therapy for children, adults and couples.
She will do anger management evaluations and will be a facilitator for an anger management program. In anger management, she uses a curriculum with different strategies to get out anger before it can become explosive. Group members also role play and talk about different situations and techniques members can use to be assertive.
She hopes to eventually complete training for competency evaluations.
Brandie Bieker, 40, will specialize in working with children 10 and younger.
Children in this age group are often seen for behavioral problems, depression, anxiety, ADHD and developmental issues.
Bieker works with the children on impulse control and identifying and coping with emotions.
Parents and guardians are integrally involved in the children’s treatment.
“Parents and guardians are such a big role in the child’s life,” she said. “They help guide them in their day. They help them get ready to go to school and as they come home. Adults play an important role in leading that environment. So they need to understand what the child may be experiencing and help those children learn those coping skills. Children, especially young children, are not always going to remember that ‘I need to take a break at this time because I am upset.'”
Parents or guardians can help children understand when they need to use their coping skills, she said.
Bieker received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washburn University and master’s degree in clinical psychology and an educational specialist degree in school psychology from FHSU. She worked as a therapist with children and adults at High Plains Mental Health Center and Turning Point Professional Counseling Services before coming to Serenity.
Bieker also works as a school psychologist for USD 399 Natoma and is an adjunct instructor in the Teacher Education and Advanced Education programs at FHSU.
Serenity remodeled and expanded its office to accommodate the new therapists.
As a clinic, Serenity accepts most major forms of insurance and Medicare. For Bieker, the clinic will accept KanCare and private pay. For Hertel, the clinic will accept private pay and is working to contract with major insurance providers. Both therapists are accepting clients now. You can call Serenity at 785-621-4417 to make an appointment. You may also request an appointment through the Serenity website.