New therapist joins Senior Life Solutions

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Therapist: 'It's for any senior going through a major life transition'


Senior Life Solutions, located at Mercy Cassville, welcomed new Therapist Susan "Suzi" Rhoads, LCSW, to its team in February.

Originally from Washington state, Rhoads has lived in Missouri for more than 20 years. She has a Bachelor's in sociology and a Master's in social work, and will be conducting individual and group therapy sessions for patients.

"She is very personable, cares about her patients, is very in-depth in what she does, and I really think she brings a good spirit to our team and the service we are wanting to provide to the community," said SLS Director Susan Poehling, RN. "She is really skilled with how she brings clients together in a group."

Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient therapy program to seniors to promote mental and emotional well being.

In addition to a licensed therapist and Poehling, a registered nurse, the team also includes a board-certified psychiatrist committed to helping seniors through transitions of life.

Therapy can be short-term or long-term, depending on clients' needs.

"This is actually an intensive outpatient program and a therapeutic-based program," said Rhoads, who previously served with SLS and Mercy in Carthage and is looking forwarding to serving seniors in the Barry County area. "This program is so amazing because everyone who works here has a heartfelt desire to see our clients become healthy, happy and just enjoying their life.

"It's not just for those with depression, but any senior going through a major transition whether that be a health-related, due to a loss of a spouse or retirement, for instance. We all understand what they're going through, and our program has the tools that can help them get to a better place."

Rhoads said she knew her heart was in working with seniors, and with her previous experience with the program, she jumped on the job opportunity in Cassville when it became available.

"It is a joy to be back with Mercy, SLS and working with this population [of seniors]," she said. "Their stories are so rich and they are such a wealth of knowledge, information and have the best sense of humor. They never cease to amaze me."

Doctor referrals are not needed for the program, making the application process easier. In fact, a family member or friend can make a referral for a loved one they may be concerned about.

"Anyone can make a referral to the program," Rhoads said. "It does not have to be physician-driven."

Individual therapy and group therapy are available. Therapy in a group setting can be especially effective, Rhoads said, because of the built-in support.

"What I've found is that clients can often relate to others in the group because they are all on different journeys," she said. "Whereas one person may just be beginning the journey of healing, another has been able to get through to the other side, so they're able to hold their hand across the bridge, and we are that bridge."

Rhoads welcomed seniors going through a life transition, or a family member or friend of one they are concerned about, to call and inquire about services. She also offered encouragement.

"We welcome them," she said. "There is no problem that can't be overcome. "

For more information about the program, or to make a referral, people may call 417-847-6042.