Ben Turney, managing partner, and Lauren Burgess, a licensed professional counselor, stand inside an office at Mission Partner Services on Thursday morning. The new specialty mental health clinic is accepting clients for group therapy at its 1800 Shiloh Road address.

Ben Turney and Lauren Burgess have long dedicated themselves to transforming lives through intensive outpatient therapy. But when their program at a local behavioral health clinic was disbanded, it removed an opportunity for East Texans “in need of a lot of help” to receive valuable – and sometimes life-saving – counseling and support.

“We decided that level of care and that treatment option was just way too important to stop,” Turney, the managing partner at Mission Partner Services, explained. “So we decided we were going to make that type of care available in the community once again.”

He and Burgess, a licensed professional counselor, first opened the doors to Mission Partner Services, a specialty mental health clinic, on Aug. 3. Already, the tidy space is filled with clients from 9 a.m. to noon on most weekdays.

Through “Outlook 180,” a series of intensive group therapy sessions offered three hours per day, three days a week, Burgess and other licensed, masters-level professionals lead clients through psych-education.

During sessions, the groups focus on strategies meant to increase coping skills for a variety of situations faced in everyday life and after experiencing some level of trauma, Burgess said.

“The community we serve is folks who rather have been hospitalized and are seeking follow-up care or maintenance care after an inpatient hospitalization and the folks that have been in individual therapy and are maybe finding that they need something more,” Burgess said. “But this is also for the folks who have never been in therapy, have never had counseling before in their life and are struggling.”

In other words, she said, Mission Partner Services is for anyone, at any level, who feels they need some additional support and guidance.

“We offer counseling to help with anxiety, mood instability, isolation … you name it,” Burgess said. “We’re really excited to be here, because we love what we do. This is where our passion is. This is what our expertise is in.”

The group setting, while perhaps intimidating at first, is a powerful one, the duo explained. They’ve seen it in action, and they know it works.

“We’ve seen the power of it,” Turney said. “It’s efficient and it’s necessary.”

Burgess called it “amazing” in a word, and credited much of its benefits to the power of togetherness and the creation of a supportive environment that offers shared perspectives while ensuring clients that, truly, they are not alone.

Turney said the program, which he called “a whole lot less expensive” than seeking inpatient treatment, will lead clients to become “better employees, better family members, better spouses.”

“We’re here to transform people,” Turney said.

He and Burgess encouraged those who are interested in learning more about the treatment model to reach out on Facebook, on Twitter, or by calling the office at (903) 437-4467.

“The more people that are aware this is available, the more people that will be helped,” Turney said. “There is no shame in it. No guilt. If you want to get better, this is the place.”

Mission Partner Services, located at 1800 Shiloh Road, Suite 101, in Tyler, is currently accepting new clients. More information on its leadership, services and treatment model is available at missionpartnerservices.com.

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