Counseling available for those in need

Published 3:22 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Joye Wolf, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is available to help individuals or families with counseling in Albert Lea. --Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Joye Wolf, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is available to help individuals or families with counseling in Albert Lea. –Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Catholic Charities continues to serve the Albert Lea area, regardless of whether people are Catholic, any faith or have no faith at all.

Joye Wolf, a clinical counselor who works in Albert Lea for the Winona-based Catholic Charities organization, said she hopes people know the counseling services are available to all people.

“We are serving all faiths or no faith at all,” Wolf said.

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Wolf works part-time in Albert Lea and in other southern Minnesota communities throughout the week. Last year 161 people were served in Albert Lea by Catholic Charities. And while clients don’t have to be Catholic or any faith at all, Wolf said they do work with clients who want their faith and prayer to be part of the counseling.

“We consider all people to be God’s children and try to be respectful of others’ faiths,” Wolf said.

Another organization, Lutheran Social Services, used to offer counseling in Albert Lea, but after the counselor retired the organization no longer has a presence in town. Both Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities were funded by the United Way of Freeborn County. United Way Executive Director Ann Austin said Catholic Charities received $6,600 in funding for the 2013 allocation year.

“They have been a long-standing partner of the United Way,” Austin said. “We are really happy they are in our community.”

Wolf said that one special aspect to the services is that there are sliding fees available based on client income and household size. They also accept insurance, or can work with clients who have no insurance or who have insurance that won’t cover counseling.

“We have limited counseling services available and especially for low-income families, so they’ve been really responsive to community needs,” Austin said.

Wolf said Catholic Charities has also made it a goal to see people as soon as possible.

“We do our best to get them in quickly,” Wolf said.

Wolf serves elementary ages up to the elderly, so she often sees many different ages and families made up of all ages. She does couples counseling, individual counseling and family counseling as well.

“I like seeing people find answers and help for their problems,” Wolf said. “And I like seeing them leave here in a better place.”

She has also seen an uptick in military couples and families using counseling services. Deployments can be a tough transition for the soldier, the spouse and the family, and then when the soldier comes back it’s another transition.

“There’s a lot of adjustments to make both during deployment and reintegration,” Wolf said.

Catholic Charities can be reached at 377-3664. If Wolf is unavailable the phone is forwarded to the main call center where appointments can be made. Wolf said there still are open spots available. She does have some long-term clients, but others come for a shorter time.

“We want to emphasize we try to turn no one away based on ability to pay,” Wolf said. “We have a very affordable sliding fee.”