Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Kenner.
Melanie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
While working on my bachelor’s degree, I realized my passion for counseling while taking a few psychology courses at the end of my program. It was something about those courses that came naturally to me. I grew up in a family where my parents were married for 30 years and grandparents for 60 years. Most people love hearing that but what good is reaching the golden years of marriage if the relationship has died well before that? Something was missing. I began to become interested in relationships, how to build them, and what was needed to keep them satisfying. In spite of my own family relationships, I still believed a long, happy marriage was possible along with a strong family bond. Ironically, I went through my own divorce and remarriage in the middle of my studies. All of that life experience only served as a catalyst to pursue a career in counseling.
In 2007, after finishing undergrad, I started Railan Counseling Services as a paraprofessional and contracted with a Licensed Professional Counselor to complete Comprehensive Child and Family Assessments for the Department of Family and Children Services in Clayton, Fulton, Henry, and DeKalb counties. I enrolled at Capella University in 2011 to pursue a masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling Therapy. I continued to contract as a family counselor providing in-home services to families until 2014. After graduating with an MS in Marriage Family Counseling Therapy in 2017, I became a National Certified Counselor and Certified Anger Management Specialist.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road.
One of the biggest struggles in the very beginning included juggling family life changes along with building a business. I was going through a divorce when I began to pursue my graduate degree so there were times that I thought I should just give up. It was a lot to be a single mother of toddlers, work full time, attend school, and run a business.
Other struggles have included obtaining licensure from the state board. I took and passed the licensing exam in 2018 for an associate professional counselor but the board denied the application initially. I have since appealed the application. I am currently waiting for the board’s approval on a different application for the associate marriage and family therapist application. Thankfully, my counseling program was dually accredited which enables me to become a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia.
It is just taking a little while longer than expected but I will earn both.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Mentality Spa, LLC – what should we know?
I provide counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups under the direction of a Licensed Professional Counselor and supervision from a state-approved supervisor located in Douglasville, GA. The Mentality Spa presently offers court approved Anger Management classes and Active Parenting classes.
The Mentality Spa partners with The Next Step Assessment and Counseling Services to raise mental health awareness around the city by hosting an event called Talk and Tapas. At this event, we provide small plates along with open dialogue about mental health. Past topics have included, “Stigmas of Mental Health”, “Mental Health vs. Mental Illness”, and “Depression and How it Affects the Brain”. We host Talk and Tapas approximately every 6 weeks at various locations in Metro Atlanta. We believe that mental health remains to become a common topic, just as common as the discussion of physical health. Talk and Tapas provides a platform where people are welcome to come to join an open, honest conversation without feeling judged or ashamed. Talk and Tapas serves to remove the stigma of mental health and dispel the myths.
I have a long term vision for The Mentality Spa to provide a holistic experience that not only includes mental health (mind) but the body and the spirit. We will soon incorporate nutrition, yoga, massage therapy, and spirituality into treatment with clients to provide a spa-like experience. The goal is for clients to become their indivisible self to feel whole in order to improve their customized quality of life.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I am stubborn about what I want. A better word would be persistent but I choose stubbornly because I do not take no for an answer. I have a quote that I particularly fell in love with by author and poet, R.M. Drake that says, “she was unstoppable and took what she wanted with a smile”.
I realize the importance to keep going. It may not happen as quickly as I expect or even the way I expected. It may go in a totally unexpected direction but the key is to be unstoppable with a smile. The smile for me means to be optimistic and hopeful that everything will always work out.
- Initial Assessment – $105.00
- Individual Session – $70.00
- Couple Session – $80.00
- Family Session – $90.00
- Anger Management Class – $175.00
- Active Parenting Class – $195.00
- Address: 8329 Office Park Drive Suite A. Douglasville, GA 30134
- Website: www.thementalityspa.com
- Phone: 404-994-9974
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thementalityspa
- Facebook: @thementalityspa
Images courtesy of: The Mentality Spa, Melanie Kenner, NCC & The Next Step Assessment and Counseling Services, Kristy Odom, LPC