Oklahoma Baptist University will host a “first nail” ceremony Friday, May 19, at 8 a.m. The ceremony will celebrate a significant building remodel that will take place over the summer in preparation for a new counseling clinic. The facility will serve members of the OBU community and the greater Shawnee community as well. The event will take place at 2206 N. Kickapoo in Shawnee, a property which formerly operated as Pizza Hut.
The building will be modified to include eight counseling rooms and an office for the counseling clinic’s director. It will also include space for faculty members and students in the university’s Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program.
The remodel and opening of the new MFT clinic was made possible by a $200,000 grant from the Avedis Foundation, a local charitable organization with a “vision to measurably improve the health, wellness and quality of life” for local citizens. During this ceremony, attendees will hear from OBU and Avedis Foundation representatives about the scope and purpose of the project as well as outcome goals.
The OBU MFT Clinic is currently housed on campus and provides high quality therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families of the OBU community. Therapists are graduate level students in the MFT program who are supervised by graduate faculty. Common treatment issues include depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief, faith concerns, self-harm, addiction and a variety of other health concerns. MFT Clinic therapists work with individuals to encourage a strengths-based approach to healthy living that incorporates mind, body, faith and community.
MFT therapists utilize a collaborative approach to help clients make positive changes. Therapists place a high value on relationships and seek to help their clients connect with support systems in meaningful ways. MFTs believe that their clients are able to find healing when they approach presenting problems through a holistic lens that sees opportunities for growth in their clients’ faith, relationships, mental health and physical health.
Dr. Canaan Crane, director of the marriage and family therapy graduate program and associate professor of psychology, looks forward to the benefits the new facility will bring to his students as well as members of the community.
“I know that this remodeled space will provide a welcoming place for individuals, couples and families to work towards healing,” he said. “Our therapists are dedicated to working collaboratively with clients on developing ways to pursue emotional and relational health. We believe that people, working together, can find healing and renewal. We are very grateful for the Avedis Foundation’s investment in this community. We are excited to be a part of making Shawnee a better and healthier place to live.”
Dr. Tara Signs, MFT Clinic director, is excited to bring the clinic into its new home and into the greater community.
“I think it’s important to recognize the stigma that only individuals with a mental illness or those experiencing a severe interpersonal crisis may benefit from therapy,” she said. “The reality is that we all experience life’s challenges and stresses. It’s inevitable. Sometimes those problems and demands become overwhelming and at times difficult to manage. When this happens, the OBU MFT Clinic is available to provide a safe and confidential space where people can find healing.”