Mindful Therapy Group, a diverse and collaborative network of licensed, independent mental health clinicians, opened a new office in Vancouver this month — just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Founded in 2011 by Derek and Jessica Crain in Mountlake Terrace, Mindful Therapy Group has since expanded into cities across Washington and Oregon. Its Vancouver office, 7600 N.E. 41st St., is its first in Clark County.
The new 5,000-square-foot office features 19 private therapy rooms, a conference room, a break room, a workroom and more.
The company’s mission is to create access to high-quality mental health care by supporting providers as they build sustainable private practices.
Providers that are members of Mindful Therapy Group receive support with administrative tasks, insurance billing, client placement and other services so they can focus on providing care to their clients. Plus, having a shared office space gives providers a chance to collaborate and build community, said CEO Derek Crain.
“It’s not just about keeping the patients happy, but keeping the providers happy as well,” Crain said.
Having an office space that promotes well-being is important, Crain said. Part of what made the Vancouver office space a good fit is that each private therapy room has large windows that provide natural light. The rooms also vary in size, smaller rooms being ideal for one-on-one therapy sessions, and larger rooms being ideal for group and child therapy.
“We don’t want it to feel like a hospital,” said Business Relationship Manager Nick Norman.
The office opened earlier this month, and a few providers have already started using the space. The organization hopes to bring on 40 to 50 providers over the next few months.
“It’s always a bit of a quiet start when we open a new office,” Norman said. “Part of the reason we even thought to open an office in Vancouver is because throughout the last couple of years, we’ve had a number of clinicians from the Vancouver area join us in telehealth.”
Mindful Therapy Group transferred most of its services online to telehealth in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization began experimenting with telehealth in 2018, but the pandemic created a need for wide-ranging telehealth services. Now, Mindful Therapy Group offers both telehealth and in-person options depending on a client’s needs.
In addition to creating a need for telehealth services, the pandemic also created a need for more mental health services overall, Crain said.
“When the pandemic hit, we were seeing about 4,000 clients a week companywide, and now we’re seeing about 11,000,” Crain said. “It just shows you the level of need that the pandemic created.”
In 2020, Crain wondered whether Mindful Therapy Group would survive. Now, the organization is gearing up for expansion across the Northwest, with offices opening not only in Vancouver, but in Portland and Tigard, Ore. Crain also hopes to open additional offices in Spokane, Tacoma and along the I-5 corridor.
Even though the organization now has some 600 providers, Crain said the company still feels like a small practice.
“One thing that’s really important to us is to showcase that we are a company built by clinicians, for clinicians,” Norman said. “At every level of the company, we’re looking at: How do we improve the client-care experience? And how can we help our providers get what they need so they can give good care?”
“We find that the way health care is moving, people really want to curate their experience, they want to have a provider they connect with,” he said. “The clients want a choice, which is a healthy thing. And we’ve adapted to that, and we feel good about that.”
The company has a team that interfaces with all first-time callers to connect them with a provider who will meet their specific needs.
“It’s a very client-driven process of identifying what kind of care they’re looking for,” Norman said. “We line up a clinician and a patient, and then we allow the two of them to connect and confirm that it’s a good match. And if it’s not, then we’ll just find somebody else.”
Having a diverse set of providers is something Mindful Therapy Group prides itself on.
“We have both traditional therapists who are doing a lot of the regular talk therapy, and we also have psychiatric nurse practitioners who do medication management evaluations,” Norman said. “And we have a lot of collaboration between the two kinds of providers, because a lot of research has said that mixing the two modalities is really effective.”
Psychologists are also available who can test for a wide range of learning disabilities.
“Within each of those larger groups, you have a pretty wide variety of modalities and approaches to therapy,” Norman said. “It’s been really important to us to bring on a pretty diverse group of clinicians, because we serve a diverse community, and not everyone’s going to have the same needs, and not everyone is going to respond to the same treatment in the same way.”
“We will see any type of patient and we’re very inclusive, we’ve worked very hard to bring on BIPOC and LGBTQ specialty therapists,” Crain said. “We try to meet every patient’s need.”
To learn more about Mindful Therapy Group or to access its services, call 425-640-7009 or visit www.mindfultherapygroup.com.