Business Close-up: New counseling businesses work together
Crossroads Counseling and New Horizons Counseling and Family Services in St. Germain are collaborative counseling services between two professionals who compliment each other’s interests. Arlene Langley sees herself as a guide to help clients discover their own inner strengths which lead to positive changes. Her expertise is working with women, families and abuse victims.
Frank Patin wants to help his clients accept their challenges and change attitudes and habits. He is especially interested in helping men and children through this journey.
“Arlene and I share the same phone number and have offices in the same building,” Patin says. “Since we are both self-employed counselors, it’s good to have a backup, and someone to collaborate with.”
Arlene has two masters’ degrees; one in teaching as she taught elementary school for a number of years. She also has a master’s degree in social work.
Frank Patin took an unorthodox path to becoming a licensed counselor.
“I went to college in the 1970’s to become a psychiatrist, and attended Baylor University in Texas,” Frank says. “But I became disgruntled with the treatment plans for children with psychological problems, so I became a school teacher instead.”
In his spare time while substitute teaching, he took on handyman jobs, which lead to a 20-year self-employed career in the construction trade, working with his hands. Eventually, Frank Patin knew he wanted to get back to working with people, and thus began his search for a Master’s program that would allow him to change careers.
“I enjoy working with people who have substance abuse issues, anger management. Many of my clients came to me when I was in training from probation and parole. I now have a substance abuse specialty designation,” Patin explained. “But I also like to work with children, and couples on relationships.” With a laugh, Patin added that he is a generalist as a counselor, just as he was as a carpenter.
Bridging his two careers is the hand carved sign Patin created at the entrance to his and Arlene’s offices.
Overcoming the stigma that is attached to counseling is one of Crossroads Counseling’s greatest challenges, especially when it comes to men. “I like to say that men spend much of their lives on an island, meaning they are unaware of how their attitudes and actions affect others,” Patin said. “But I think we are in a time of change, when we will stop taking lessons on values and relationships from our parents’ generations.”
At New Horizons Counseling and Family Services, Arlene Langley believes that everyone is capable of reaching his or her goals. She provides the relaxing setting and calming presence to help them get there.
Arlene and Frank can be reached for appointments at 715-337-0555. Their offices are located at 306 and 307 Hwy. 70 E. in St. Germain.