Washington native opens new office in Washington County hospital
Washington got a new business in January when Lahodny Counseling Services opened in the basement of Washington County Hospital. Claire (Bailey) Lahodny, of Washington, owns the counseling business, which also has an office in Belleville that she opened in 2017. She also provides counseling services through Pawnee Mental Health in Clay Center.
Lahodny specializes in marriage and family therapy but is also a licensed masters addiction counselor and counsels people with substance and behavior abuse issues. She is also pursuing certification as a sex therapist, she said, because issues of a sexual nature “come up all the time” working with couples and individuals. She said she would also like more knowledge on the subject because she counsels people of several sexual orientations and with various issues of sexual dysfunctions.
Lahodny graduated in 2008 from Washington County High School and in 2011 received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in family studies from John Brown University in Arkansas. She was a case manager at Pawnee Mental Health in Clay Center for a year before returning to school to get a master’s degree in family therapy.
Lahodny said life was hectic for a time when she was completing her master’s degree and commuting a few days a week to her internships in Manhattan and Topeka all while having a new baby, daughter Annabelle, who is now 4.
She and her husband, Bill, who now works for Bob’s Locker in Washington, moved back to Washington last summer into the home she spent the second half of her childhood in.
“ We are glad to be back home with familiar faces and a peaceful pace,” she said.
Lahodny now works three days a week at Pawnee Mental Health in Clay Center and splits about 3 more days a week seeing clients in Belleville and Washington.
Lahodny said her Washington location has a good number of clients despite just opening, and she credits word of mouth and referrals from doctors’ offices and insurance companies. She said there was a need for another counselor in Washington.
“There’s always a need for more mental health services,” she said. “I’m very fortunate to work with the hospital and to have a team of healthcare providers who value and treat the whole person, including mental health.”
Lahodny said she decided to go into the counseling profession because she’s always enjoyed supporting and connecting with others.
“People often come see me because they desire more connection in their lives,” she said.
Lahodny said she can provide therapy from the Christian perspective for people who desire it, and she offers therapy in an open setting for clients of all religious and spiritual beliefs.
Lahodny said she sees people for anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, sexual dysfunction, people with spiritual conflict and those with substance or behavior addiction issues. She facilitates a group class in both Belleville and Washington for batterer’s intervention where participants focus on creating safety and balance in relationships. She said the classes have good attendance and are for people who use cruelty in their relationships. She said many of the attendees are referred to the class through the court, although some people refer themselves.
“The classes are certified through the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and are helpful for anyone wanting to create positive and safe changes in their lives,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from the class through facilitating it.”
Lahodny Counseling Services accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance and Medicaid, among others, and she has a sliding fee scale for those who pay cash.
“I would rather someone come in and get help for a reduced fee than not get help at all.”
Lahodny can be contacted at 785-246-7394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.