Highland News Leader

Highland woman opens non-profit mental health counseling practice

Local counselor explains new practice and upcoming workshop

Video: Cassie Korte, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LCPC) in Highland, IL explains her new business Science Conscious Consulting and Counseling, INC. located at 1001 Main St. in Southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO and Belleville, IL.
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Video: Cassie Korte, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LCPC) in Highland, IL explains her new business Science Conscious Consulting and Counseling, INC. located at 1001 Main St. in Southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO and Belleville, IL.

There's a new non-profit counseling service in Highland.

After 10 years of healthcare experience, Cassie Korte, a licensed clinical professional counselor, said she was left believing that appropriate mental healthcare includes much more than a diagnosis, and that care should reflect the needs of individuals served. Korte wanted her own business to reflect these values. So, last summer, her non-profit organization, Shine Conscious Consulting and Counseling Inc., was born.

"As a counselor, I fully believe that people are whole functioning and that they have everything they need within themselves to heal. My job is to bring forth my clients’ internal, existing resources," Korte said.

Korte, who is a Bond County native, began her counseling career specializing in play therapy. Eventually, she found herself moving into trauma care. It was a natural evolution, she said, based off of observing the underlying causes of child mental health symptoms and behavior problems. Now, Korte specializes in "eye movement desensitization reprocessing."

"EMDR is the leading trauma treatment, and it works really well, really fast," Korte said.

Korte explained that almost all mental health symptoms and behavior problems lead back to traumatic experiences, so EMDR works well to heal PTSD, depression, anxiety and many behavior disorders.

Korte described the treatment as using bi-lateral stimulation, either eye movements or tapping, to help the two hemispheres of the brain communicate. She explained that, many times when we go through tough life events, we get stuck in our right brain, which is the "feeling brain."

With her specialty, Korte helps patients access the left brain, which provides logic and the "big picture."

"We increase access to the left side of the brain by enhancing positive beliefs about ourselves, while decreasing the intensity of right brain memories,” she said.

Another value of Korte's business is to provide affordable care. She said that Shine bills on a sliding scale that is based on income, instead of billing insurance.

"So basically anyone who needs care can afford it, and I can avoid the diagnostic restraints of managed care," Korte said.

The most important aspect of her new office, located at 1001 Main St. in Highland, is that it provides accessible care to the community she grew up in, and to the Highland area, where her husband was raised and they have established their home.

Workshops planned

As part of her mission to serve the community, Korte said she is starting to bring workshops locally that promote conscious living. Korte has already led dream journal and vision board workshops in both Greenville and Highland.

"Our ideal is to create a more conscious community through individual counseling and community teaching," Korte said.

The next event Korte has planned is a workshop called "The Power of Personal Connection," which will be on July 8.

Lately, mental health professionals have raised concerns about the impact the recent suicides of celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade and their news coverage might have on suicide rates. Korte said these conversation inspired her to act on a local level.

"Suicide is a concern for myself and for the greater community," Korte said.

In her own professional experiences over the last 10 years, she has noticed that “many people who are really suffering — those who might idealize suicide — are people who do not feel connected to others. People who are not aware that they matter to others and that they are loved”

"The reason why I wanted to bring The Power of Personal Connection to this community is so that people can learn how to make real, genuine, significant relationships. Genuine connection is the best way that we can all do our part to prevent suicide,” Korte said.

The workshop will focus on:

  • Six keys for effective partnerships, both personal and professional;
  • How to create your ideals and be a person of integrity;
  • Secrets for communicating with compassion and charisma;
  • Methods for resolving conflicts in the home and workplace;
  • And "ice-breaking" tips for any situation.

The seminar will be led by Dr. Laurel Clark of Whole Life Resources. Clark has two doctorate degrees in divinity and metaphysics through the School of Metaphysics. She is also an interfaith minister. Clark has 40 years of teaching experience and has led dozens of seminars for the last five years.

Clark said that the feedback that she has received from this seminar is the information is helpful for people to understand what causes a relationship to work or not.

"It’s very applicable to any relationships that people have in their lives," Clark said.

The workshop will cost attendees $125, which includes a catered lunch.

The workshop will be hosted at The Tibbetts House: Bed, Breakfast and Books, located at 801 9th St. in Highland, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The business will also take overnight reservations for workshop guests.

Participants can register at shineconciously.org, at the workshop's Eventbrite page or by calling 618-420-8771. However, Korte said workshop space is limited, so interested parties should register before all slots are filled.

"This is just the first of hopefully many times where I can bring guest speakers, locally," Korte said.

Reaching out for help

If you or someone you know is struggling with difficult thoughts or emotions, you can receive counseling services by calling 618-420-8771 or by emailing CassieKorteLCPC@outlook.com.

Shineconciously.org also features more information about EMDR and suicide prevention. As a 501(c)3, Shine accepts tax-exempt donations that help alleviate the strain of operational costs so that Korte can continue to offer services at affordable rates. Donations can be made on the website.

"I hope that this is the beginning of a long relationship between Shine Counseling and the community," Korte said.