Wine Country Fire Community Support

Wine Country Fire Community Support

For Sono­ma Coun­ty res­i­dents dis­placed by the fires and re-locat­ing to West Coun­ty, West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices stands ready to pro­vide the fol­low­ing sup­port to our neigh­bors in need: Men­tal Health and Emo­tion­al Support Feel­ings of grief,...
Christy Davila, WCCS Director of Counseling and Behavioral Health

Christy Davila, WCCS Director of Counseling and Behavioral Health

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Just a brief chat with Christy Davi­la and you will know West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices has found a bright, warm and clear light to show the way fur­ther in its Coun­sel­ing Divi­sion.  She has tak­en the lead this month as WCCS...
At the Empowerment Center, Miller Phoenix:  Artist, Chef, Clown, Friend

At the Empowerment Center, Miller Phoenix: Artist, Chef, Clown, Friend

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier “I make art when I can’t gath­er the words to say.” Nik­ki Row “Art can per­me­ate the very deep­est part of us, where no words exist.” Eileen Miller “At the deep­est lev­el, the cre­ative process and the heal­ing process arise from a...
May Is Mental Health Month

May Is Mental Health Month

The Empow­er­ment Cen­ter of West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices is sup­port­ed by Men­tal Health Ser­vices of Sono­ma County. Notes from California’s Men­tal Health Move­ment, Each Mind Matters: Every May the nation comes togeth­er to raise aware­ness about...
Melissa Fike, WCCS Director of Senior Adult Counseling

Melissa Fike, WCCS Director of Senior Adult Counseling

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Melis­sa Fike, MFT, received a Mas­ters Degree in Edu­ca­tion with a focus in Coun­sel­ing and Con­sult­ing Psy­chol­o­gy from Har­vard. After mov­ing to San Diego, she earned a Mas­ters Degree in Coun­sel­ing from San Diego State, obtained...
Valerie Belote, Peer One at the Empowerment Center

Valerie Belote, Peer One at the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Valerie Belote had just come from a meet­ing of the Mem­ber Advi­so­ry Coun­cil when I sat down with her at a table in the sun, the glo­ri­ous sun, in the yard out­side the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter. The Coun­cil mem­bers are restruc­tur­ing...
Adria, Program Assistant and Host at the Empowerment Center

Adria, Program Assistant and Host at the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Adria Four­nel, Pro­gram Assis­tant at the WCCS Empow­er­ment Cen­ter, grew up by the Russ­ian Riv­er, grew through a dif­fi­cult child­hood, com­pli­cat­ed by a con­gen­i­tal prob­lem with her knees, mak­ing it nec­es­sary for her to use...
Social Isolation, A Hidden Epidemic

Social Isolation, A Hidden Epidemic

(Pic­ture cred­it: Damon Winter/The New York Times, Arti­cle from THE NEW YORK TIMES) Human Touch — How Social Iso­la­tion Is Killing Us by Dhruv Khullar DEC. 22, 2016 Social iso­la­tion is a grow­ing epi­dem­ic, one that’s increas­ing­ly rec­og­nized as...
A Brief Description of What Is Happening at the Empowerment Center

A Brief Description of What Is Happening at the Empowerment Center

Man­aged by peers who have lived the life, the ups and the downs of emo­tion­al chal­lenges, the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter offers pro­grams and activ­i­ties through which its mem­bers and drop-in vis­i­tors gain com­pan­ion­ship, guid­ance, and sup­port in their dai­ly...
Counseling Peer to Peer — Ch.2 -

Counseling Peer to Peer — Ch.2 -

Mike Talks about Senior Peer Counseling By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Mike is a vol­un­tary coun­selor in the Senior Peer Coun­sel­ing Pro­gram asso­ci­at­ed with West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices, and in a recent inter­view he explained that peer coun­selors are not...
At the Empowerment Center

At the Empowerment Center

Ted Fox, the great home­less advo­cate, has passed away. The bridge is closed to cars, But there many inter­est­ing and help­ful activ­i­ties in the works at the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter this Octo­ber. You can read the news and a cal­en­dar of October’s activ­i­ties in...
Counseling Peer to Peer — Ch.1

Counseling Peer to Peer — Ch.1

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier After twen­ty-five years of work in the wine indus­try, Jen­ny Hel­man had earned a cer­tifi­cate as a Nutri­tion Con­sul­tant at the Bau­man Col­lege of Nutri­tion in Pen­ngrove. In doing that work she had enjoyed her expe­ri­ences with...