Mental health services are increasingly important — and just as important to Saving Sanity founder and licensed professional counselor Courtney Ezzo, is having a diverse array of therapists to counsel those in need.
The new Penn Hills office is accepting patients and offers a medley of therapeutic services, including individual therapy, group therapy, couples therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, also known as EMDR. Ezzo said she put an emphasis on recruiting a diverse group of therapists to help support as many people in the community as possible.
“I had the intention of building a very diverse staff here,” Ezzo said. “I have a person on staff who is a part of the LGBT community and she specializes in LGBT counseling, polyamorous or consensual non-monogamy and kinks.”
Ezzo has been able to cultivate a team that specializes in multiple aspects of mental wellness under one roof. Clients are able to have access to professionals that have multiple specialties, but also offer minority representation.
“I have also employed a trans male therapist who is also able to help with discussions regarding the LGBT community,” Ezzo said. “I made it a point to hire male therapists — which is not something that people are usually able to find, and I have two on staff. One is an African-American male and through the referrals, I have seen such a need for not only male therapists, but for minorities being represented as a therapist as well.”
Once the company finds its rhythm with treating its regular clients, Ezzo hopes to host wellness events. She has hired a professional yoga instructor that practices mindful meditation and yoga therapy. She also has two therapists on the team that are trained in therapeutic painting that may host sessions open to all community members.
“Next summer is my plan to basically renovate the outside,” said Ezzo. “I plan to build outdoor counseling spaces that will be private and a meditation path. I’m thinking about adding a therapeutic garden, so it’s going to be more than just talk therapy, and that’s what’s going to set it apart from any other place where people can get their mental health treatment.”
Ezzo has 15 years of experience in her profession. She is trained in EMDR and worked in private practice before forming Saving Sanity in 2020. She is currently seeing clients, but hopes to slowly transition into a more administrative role now that she owns her own business. Ezzo purchased the space in November of 2021 and spent six months renovating it. The work included building five offices into the building, adding all new flooring, a meditation and group work room and repainting the entire building.
“We had 3,000 square feet to renovate,” said Ezzo. “I bought the property and built it in a way so it is going to be more than just someone coming and sitting in an office and talking for an hour. The whole building is renovated in a way that feels very comfortable, and it’s a place that my clients come in and say ‘I feel like I’m being hugged every time I come in.’”
To connect with a mental wellness professional, visit savingsanity.org.
Hayley Daugherty is a contributing writer.