Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Storrusten.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Melanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve worked in mental health and addiction treatment for my entire career, most recently developing and running addiction treatment programs at multiple levels of care, for both the private and nonprofit sector. After two experiences of watching two of my “baby” programs get dismantled – once by changing leadership, values and organizational priorities in the nonprofit world, and secondly by the acquisition of my program by a large, publicly traded healthcare organization, I decided that it was time for me to create something that would not be dependent on outside factors – for several reasons: so that I could provide the type and quality of treatment that I believe is most beneficial to the clients I serve, so that my creative work would not be destroyed, and so that my financial security wasn’t dependent on someone else’s decisions. In the past year, I have made the transition from full-time Director of an intensive outpatient treatment that had just been purchased by a company I’d previously worked for and intentionally left, to full-time private practice with my own company, Align Wellness Solutions.
I’ve taken not only the knowledge and experience from my master’s education in social work and work experience providing counseling and supervision, but also from my personal experience of feeling limited by living the life I “should.” The world tells us in many ways to stay in the lanes, to shrink, and to conform. Life outside the lanes can feel scary (because the world has set it up that way), but out here lies freedom and ultimately an increased sense of security. Align Wellness Solutions provides counseling to individuals, supervision to newer counselors, and consultation and training to organizations who crave healing more than hustle.
Align Wellness Solutions’ mission is to assist others in achieving alignment and wholeness: mind. body. soul. work. Because when all the “parts” of our lives and selves are in alignment, we experience greater peace, contentment, joy, and passion. “… and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson)
We hold the vision that everyone we come into contact with would know themselves more fully, care for themselves more freely, show up in the world more bravely, and live more joyfully from a place of purpose.
Everything that we do is rooted in our values:
We value the courage required to be our authentic selves in every environment, and the peace that comes when we choose to do so.
We value excellence – both in the high standards for the work we produce, as well as the outcomes we work with our clients to create in their own lives.
We value ourselves and others. We believe that amazing things happen when we live from a place of passion. We believe that there is enough for all to experience abundance. We believe that we can go farther, together. We believe in the goodness and worthiness of all people. We believe that we don’t have to go broke in order to help others or make art or follow our own individual dreams.
We value a balance of hard work while practicing non-striving. We believe the hard work required for success does not have to equal high stress.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I love how this question is phrased in the past tense, as if the struggles are all behind us. 🙂 Hooray for optimism!
It’s definitely not been a smooth road, but as I often say – we are talking about a different kind of hard work. The stress that comes with entrepreneurship, or doing anything “outside the lane” does not have to be the kind of hustle-hard stress that is often glorified in our culture. The hard work I’m talking about is the deep and strong emotions and core beliefs that rise up when we do something contrary to what we’ve always done. Fear of failure, fear of success, unworthiness, insecurity. Feeling those things and moving forward anyway? Woah. That’s a new kind of hard work.
Please tell us about Align Wellness Solutions.
Align Wellness Solutions does a few things, all with an underlying goal of creating the necessary conditions for healing and growth – whether in people’s personal lives through individual counseling, new therapists’ professional lives, or organizational cultures. Here are some of the specific ways we do that:
Individual Therapy Sessions – I work really well with folks struggling with stress, anxiety, and trauma – folks seeking healing from the hustle. I’ve spent much of my career working with people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, and working with the LGBTQ community. I have a very down to earth and casual style that tends to put people at ease, especially people who are wary about the idea of therapy. I utilize a variety of therapy techniques, but some of the most notable are EMDR, audio-visual entrainment, biofeedback, and I also incorporate yoga, meditation, and breathwork into my work with clients.
Group Therapy – I lead a weekly Women’s Trauma Recovery Group for women seeking healing after a trauma of any kind.
Clinical Supervision and Training – I provide group and individual supervision, career mentorship, and training for new counselors.
Consultation – I provide consultation for mental health and addiction organizations in the areas of program and staff development, and for organizations of all kinds in the areas of employee wellness, engagement, and culture.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The first answer that comes to me is that I would have made the move to my own practice a lot sooner, but I gained so much from each experience that has contributed to where I am now. I’m not sure I would do anything differently.
- Individual Counseling Session (50-minutes) $150
- 10-session Counseling Package (all sessions must be used in 90 days) $1200
- Address: 2295 Parklake Dr. NE
Atlanta GA 30345
- Website: http://www.alignwellnessatl.com
- Phone: 4044012587
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @alignwellnessatl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alignwellnessatl/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bewellatl
Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.