Psychotherapy clinic expands in metro-east

May 19, 2014 

Name: Steve Heitkamp

Job: Director, Horizon Hope Counseling Inc. @ 785 Wall St., Suite 200, in O'Fallon (618-792-8256)

Outlook: "One thing is most of us have theological training along with mental health training. We can integrate mental health disciplines and theological perspectives."

Horizon Hope Counseling Inc. has relocated from Belleville to a new larger office in O'Fallon. The clinic staffs five psychotherapists who also provide theological counseling. Director Steve Heitkamp recently met with business writer Will Buss at his practice's new office:

Q: What service do you provide?

A: "We do individual and family counseling and work with families at different stages of their lives and work with couples. We also work a lot with churches."

Q: Who is on your staff?

A: "We are licensed professional counselors and therapists. We have five therapists, we have a billing person who does all of our insurance billing and we have a payroll person. So we have seven altogether. We also have an advisory board. We're a non-for-profit agency, a 501(c)3."

Q: How did you get started?

A: "Since 2005, we have been in Belleville in the Union United Methodist Church in downtown Belleville. What happened was we added more staff. ... We had just outgrown that space and was looking for a new space and found one here."

Q: How long have you been in O'Fallon?

A: "Two weeks."

Q: What will this new space provide for your practice?

A: "One is it will allow us more shared spaces. It also helps us with some confidentiality and privacy. It also allows us to function more collegially with each other. We still have some satellite offices where some of us are going to be some of the time."

Q: What led you into this career?

A: "I majored in psychology in college and I also studied to become a therapist, but I went to the seminary instead and became a pastor in the United Methodist Church. I did that for about 13 years, full time. I started doing more counseling as a pastor. But I didn't have enough time to do it and I didn't have enough training. I did a residency in St. Louis at Care & Counseling in St. Louis. I worked in Illinois and Missouri for about eight years as the director of training for them. Back in 2008, I got a little tired of driving to St. Louis all of the time. I had maintained the (Horizon Hope Counseling) office in Belleville and then started adding people on a regular basis since then."

Q: What separates your practice from others?

A: "One thing is most of us have theological training along with mental health training. We can integrate mental health disciplines and theological perspectives. ... Some people come through who are not religious at all, and that's fine. Many people who come have some sort of religious tradition they're working through. Sometimes it's never part of therapy, and sometimes it is. It really depends on what they bring to the table."

Q: What kinds of issues do you help resolve with your clients?

A: "Marriage. Marriage is a lot of times the joining of two families and that merging of those two families continues throughout the whole lifetime in marriage. We help them sort that out. Sometimes couples get stuck or they get entrenched in problems. Sometimes we work with difficult childhoods. One of the things that I work a lot with is with trauma and abuse in childhood. There is also general mental health themes, like anxiety and depression. So a lot of times when people are in therapy they are also receiving medication for something. Not always, but often."

Contact reporter Will Buss at or 239-2526.

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