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Community Highlights: Meet Susan Stork of Space Between Counseling Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Stork.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My time working in Baltimore started in the mid-2000s as a Resident Urban Teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools, following my degree in Family Studies from the University of Maryland. As an urban teacher, I realized quickly that mental health aspects were a missing factor for my classroom kids, their families, my colleagues, and myself. So I enrolled in a master’s program at Loyola University in School Counseling. I knew this graduate option would lead me toward my future goals of integrating more counseling aspects within the education system. During and after my tenure in Baltimore City Public Schools – I worked in community mental health care while gaining my hours for licensure for about four years in the areas of in-home therapy where I was able to gleam and integrate deeper community needs for mental health in Baltimore City.

As a Baltimorean for 20+ years, I had to dive into my root….I grew up in a rural setting full of tinkering and hard seasonal work – so working hard and problem-solving has always been core value of my work ethic. So in 2015, I decided to seek opening a mental health private practice for myself as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland.

Now almost eight years into this private practice setting the practice has grown beyond myself. Space Between Counseling Services now services more than 250 clients from pro bono sessions to full fees a month. We at SBCS train incoming mental health professionals starting in graduate school internships and have expanded in the areas of trauma work, brainspotting, couples counseling, and sexual health. My most recent evolution in mental health is becoming an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist in 2021. I am licensed in Maryland, Delaware, New Mexico, and Florida. However, Baltimore City holds my heart.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Challenge should be my middle name. I barely graduated high school due to my own untreated ADHD. I was a late education bloomer, I worked multiple jobs before I went into self-employment.

When I decided that my life course would not be fulfilled until I had more autonomy – so I left a pretty amazing urban school salary and benefits to venture into this work via self-employment. Training others to become top-tier clinicians comes with many rewards however training others also involves giving away a lot of “unpaid” time for yourself and at the same time, giving others your energy, time, and part of your deeper soul.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Space Between Counseling Services known as SBCS locally is in many ways my second child.

WHO WE ARE:
Space Between Counseling Services (SBCS) is a group therapy practice located in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore City, Maryland.

SBCS serves humans ages 16-108: individuals, couples, and families from the Baltimore area, and within the boundaries of MARYLAND by helping our clients navigate the tougher, more confusing times in modern life with skilled, warm, and comprehensive support.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO:
Here at Space Between Counseling Services, we believe that life can be hard, painful, and lonely during certain stages and transitions in our human development. With this in mind, SBCS is here for you when life gets really hard or you need an additional support. We believe that everyone deserves an abundance of support, someone they can safely and confidentially turn to to help figure things out, make sense of their situation, and figure out how to get to where they desire to be. Our primary goal is to help you feel better in your day-to-day life.

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT:
We know that modern life is busy, full, and complex. So we’ve designed SBCS to account for that. From the 1st 15-min phone consultation being complimentary + scheduled by YOU online. We offer telehealth, live sessions (covid permitting) and upcoming group work in 2023.

At SBCS, we have sessions for those who work early morning, late evening, and weekend hours to maintaining a handpicked referral list of other local providers in the Baltimore area, our goal is to help make therapy feel more accessible and to get you the kind of supports your modern life needs. And, our own respect for structure means that WE’RE prompt, responsive, and consistent. WE respect your time and use our time together to help you find real insights that help you continue to make positive changes between our sessions

Most proud of: our LOGO
The nine rays of the abstract sun are representative of the nine areas of work, and therapy types, that our team is committed to as a practice. Over seven and half years of deep human connection have helped us determine what the different types of therapy are that we’re most focused on.

We as a mental health private practice hope that anyone that finds themselves within any of these nine rays – that they reach out for services to do the therapeutic work needed.

We also use the term “work” intentionally – because therapy is hard work. Because of this reality, we want our clients to be intentional about who they work with and when they do their therapeutic “heavy lifting”. This is why we have a diverse team of clinicians and interns to meet our future clients’ needs.

Therapy should fit into your existing life and serve as a supplement rather than a source of further chaos or conflict. Consider this a modern version of our vision and mission as a practice.

The nine areas of work are:
Urban Professionals
Type A’s
Trauma-Informed Work
Space Between
Sexual Health & Wellness
Modern Relationships + Neurodiverse Couples
LGBTQIA+ Affirmation + Competency
Cuspers
Creatives

WANT TO WORK WITH US?
We invite you to give us a call at 443-240-5207 or to book an initial consult session online here so that we can match you up with one of our wonderful counselors and get your first therapy session booked at SBCS!

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
Risk-taking is part of being an entrepreneur. Starting a private practice is risky for many reasons. I personally went into debt to provide our SBCS team with health benefits and a 401K. I did so – because I knew deep inside that I could not provide the quality of mental health services I would be proud of if my clinicians were not taken care of first. For clinicians to fully meet the needs of their clients, they need tons of self-care and community-care to do so.

As a sex therapist, I am constantly helping my client to confront their comfort zones and the risks involved in the overlapping areas of the human experience in interpersonal relationships and within intrapersonal spaces. No therapist can take their clients to places they have yet to go. That is the burden of the professional work as a therapist – you can only take your clients as far as you have the awareness of, traveled through, explored, healed, and repaired within yourself.

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