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Inspiring Conversations with Rosemary Cook of Totally Whole Pastoral Counseling Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rosemary Cook.

Hi Rosemary, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started out as a shy kid growing up in West Baltimore. I saw my mother work hard to raise four children as a single parent. She had very little education but was able to earn a job with Baltimore City public schools as a paraprofessional in the classroom working with special needs students. That was the foundation that provided me with a strong work ethic and the perseverance to overcome every obstacle that I faced. As a child, I excelled in every subject. I carried that drive for excellence into higher education and while pursuing my calling and passion to preach, teach and heal.

In undergrad, graduate school and in pursuit of my Ph.D. I became focused on trying to understand and eradicate the social ills that I saw in my community. I became a minister, social worker, professor and pastoral counselor. I knew that in order to heal from mental and emotional disease, the mind, body and spirit must be treated as a whole. I always dreamed of owning a mental health organization so that was the path that I pursued. Through a series of unfortunate events at the last company I worked for, which included my mentor and CEO dying and the company deciding to make changes in their leadership model, I found myself without a full-time job. I had maintained a small private practice for several years and worked in it part-time. The untimely loss of employment was what I needed to thrust me into doing what I had been preparing to do most of my adult life. Initially, it was daunting but I was able to pivot quickly and did what was necessary to become the owner of a mental health group practice in 90 days. Today I am working full-time in my company, Totally Whole Pastoral Counseling Services, LLC and have five employees.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Some of the struggles were losing employment, loss of parents, inadequate income and having to work full-time and part-time while pursuing my educational goals. Other challenges were not believing in myself at some points but through prayer and the example of my mother’s courage, I received the fortitude to persevere.

As you know, we’re big fans of Totally Whole Pastoral Counseling Services. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Totally Whole is a mental health group practice which provides psychotherapy, consultation, supervision and training on mental health topics and the integration of spirituality into mental health treatment. We specialize in treating the whole person using somatic, cognitive and spiritual interventions. I am proud that Totally Whole currently employs six individuals. I am also proud that I am a graduate of Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses Program. Totally Whole provides support groups to the community on grief and trauma and has been vital during the Pandemic to be a resource for individuals and groups seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, and grief and loss.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I like the diversity and cultural events that the city has to offer. I like the fact that individuals, churches and organizations in the city are committed to making a difference despite the negative publicity that Baltimore gets. I dislike the amount of crime that is increasing in the city.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Aaron J. Cook

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