New Staff Joining New Era-Lakeshore Office

Amy Van Gunst

The Fountain Hill Center for Counseling and Consultation has been providing quality counseling services to people of Oceana, Mason, Muskegon, and Newaygo counties since 2002. Initially their work began through a partnership with the New Era Reformed Church in an effort to assess and counsel members and friends of that congregation. At that time, they had one therapist who saw clients there about five hours each week. These services have since expanded and they now offer counseling services approximately 30 hours each week and have 3-4 therapists that work out of this office. The therapists that see clients in the New Era office are able to work with individuals, couples, adults, and children dealing with a wide range of issues.

Fountain Hill Center is excited to welcome Bev Becksvoort and Tracy Thompson to the Lakeshore Office. Bev has been seeing clients at the New Era Reformed Church office on Mondays since September 2010. After years of working as a teacher, she obtained her degree as a clinical social worker from Western Michigan University when she became an empty nester. She has worked since 2000 with women, children, young adults, and families, providing counseling in such areas as parenting challenges, learning differences and ADD/ADHD in children, divorce/separation, blended family adjustments, grief and loss, difficult medical diagnoses, childhood trauma, premarital and marital counseling, anger management for women, power and control issues in marriage, midlife transitions and career adjustments, and issues of aging and caregiving. Tracy is currently an Intern at Western Michigan University completing her masters in Counseling. Tracy has worked with children and families in various agencies for several years. She received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Trevecca Nazarene University and has served as a volunteer in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. She is currently working with the children at New Era Elementary on Thursdays each week throughout her internship.

The Fountain Hill Center therapists work with any person, couple or family in need regardless of how much they are able to pay. The therapists themselves offer their services through the Lakeshore Office at a reduced rate compared to other settings. Those who are able are asked to cover the full cost of that fee. The generosity of many local community donors, public and private, also provides for a subsidy fund to assist clients who are unable to pay the full fee. The New Era Reformed Church provided the founding support and continues to be very involved today. From the beginning, they have graciously offered space to meet with clients which significantly reduces overhead expenses and makes this service available.

Almost since the inception of this program, because of the funding they have received from individual donors, churches, the Oceana Community Foundation, the Gerber Foundation, and the Great Lakes Energy People’s Fund, they have been able to provide counseling services to the local elementary schools. Tracy Thompson, a counseling intern, will be seeing children at New Era Elementary school on Thursdays of each week throughout this school year. Fountain Hill Center continues to be committed to working with children and their families in these communities in order to increase stability and improve the daily lives of those served.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the therapists in the New Era office, please feel free to contact Amy Van Gunst at the Fountain Hill Center at 1-866-456-1178 to be matched with a counselor and schedule an intake appointment.

Originally Published in the Oceana Herald Journal.

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Amy Van Gunst, M.Div, MA, LPC
Amy Van Gunst has been the Executive Coordinator of the Fountain Hill Center since 1994. She has the kind of experience, both in life and with clients, that allows her to help individuals and couples deal with a wide range of issues. She works with people in a collaborative way as they walk down their own journey of healing, facing the issues that confront them. She is able to use a variety of tools in that process and is eager to find what works the best for each person.
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