MIDLOTHIAN — Freedom Counseling Associates has been serving the needs of Ellis County residents and beyond for about 18 years. The nonprofit group was founded in 1993 by Virginia Young and Jackie Allain.

“We felt there was a need for Christian counseling in Ellis County that was not affiliated with a church,” said Allain, who is also an adjunct professor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. “She had a vision to start a counseling center and I had a vision to work with a small counseling group in the country and Midlothian fit that.”

Virginia Young retired and now her son, Mark Young, serves as executive director and Allain is clinical director.

“Our agency specializes with trauma and abuse. But we do everything but addiction,” Allain said.

They offer counseling services to all ages in individual and group settings as well as provide parent education and play therapy. The counselors come from a variety of denominations and do not impose their own beliefs into the therapy.

“We accept the client where they are at,” Allain said, saying the client determines if he or she wants the Bible or prayer. “We don’t push that on them. We want to help them with what they are dealing with.”

Young said the goal is to help anyone regardless of his or her beliefs.

“Our staff is called to do this. We see ourselves as a ministry,” Allain said. “We’ve been through our own healing and hurts and we want to provide that hope and healing to others – because it’s here.”

The organization employs two fulltime and five part-time therapists, which includes paid interns.

“I met Jackie at school and came here to do my practicum to fulfill my master’s requirements. I passed my LPC exam and I’m working on my intern hours,” said Amber Freeman of Wylie, Texas. “I can’t think of a better place or better Christians to learn and glean from. Being under their leadership is a good thing.”

Young said when interns move on or go out in the world as missionaries, they carry a part of FCA with them to help other people.

“Our clients come from word of mouth or physicians, teachers or churches refer them for services. But a referral is not required,” Allain said. “As trained counselors we are part of the psychiatric community. We have to be part of the team of healing in working with client’s physicians.”

The agency offers a sliding fee scale to assist those in the community suffering hardship. FCA also welcomes donations to support its work and allow it to assist those who otherwise might not be able to get help.

For information, call Freedom Counseling Associates at 972-723-0044.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.