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West Maui Counseling Center brings new mental health services to area

By Staff | Aug 1, 2013

The staff at the West Maui Counseling Center includes Dr. Kelly C. Harnick and Dr. Eliot Altschul, Harnick’s supervisor at George Washington University during her training.

LAHAINA – Seeing a clear need for more professional psychologists in West Maui, Dr. Kelly C. Harnick has moved to a new location and expanded the West Maui Counseling Center.

The newly remodeled center opened July 1 at 727 Wainee St., Suite 201.

“Once I began my solo practice in 2011, I soon realized that the need for quality mental health services was greater than I myself could fill,” Dr. Harnick said.

“I then explored and recruited some of the best trained fellow psychologists I could find to come serve our community, including my own mentor and teacher during my training, Dr. Eliot Altschul. Dr. Thomas Chen has also joined our team and is focusing on men’s mental health and well-being.”

The team also includes Dr. Jan Yomogida, a postdoctoral fellow training under Dr. Harnick’s supervision. Also a Registered Dietitian, Dr. Yomogida will be expanding the center’s eating disorders services and providing nutrition counseling for people who struggle with chronic health conditions.

“Her dual expertise allows her to help people address both the behavioral and nutritional components of issues such as diabetes, hypertension and eating disorders,” Dr. Harnick noted.

In addition, Corielle Putnam, a master’s degree-level trainee, will train under Dr. Harnick with a focus on couples counseling.

“We are looking forward to continued collaboration with local physicians and health care professionals to improve the overall health and well-being of our community,” Harnick said.

Services offered include individual, couples, family, group, and conjoint couples therapy, and nutritional assessment and counseling.

“New to West Maui are child and family psychological services provided by Dr. Altschul, who was on the faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Child Psychiatry Department. Until now, West Maui has not had a psychologist who is trained and experienced in working with children and their families,” Dr. Harnick explained.

“Additionally, I’m so excited about the beginning of our psychology training program that will fill two needs.” They are: providing a place for early career clinicians to receive quality training on Maui as they work toward licensure, and providing lower cost services to those who have limited financial resources.

In September, the West Maui Counseling Center plans to launch support groups, including Women’s Empowerment, for women looking to address self-esteem, improve relationship functioning, trauma recovery and emotional growth; Men’s Personal Growth; Food for Thought – Overcoming Eating Disorders; Living Well with Bipolar Disorder; and Social Skills for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Harnick is actively recruiting for a quality medication provider to join the center’s treatment team.

“This way, West Maui Counseling Center’s patients can easily receive all their care in the same place with providers who work together and communicate with each other, expediting the healing process and minimizing unnecessary stress and anxiety in accessing the help they need,” she commented.

Dr. Harnick said her goal is to continue to improve the standards and expectations for mental health care on Maui and to improve access for the West Maui community.

“With more providers with different areas of specialty, we can do so much more for our community. We are able to provide access to a team of clinicians who care deeply about their patients, and have worked and trained at some of the finest institutions across the country,” she said.

“Often when an individual is seen, there may also be a need for additional interventions, such as family or couples sessions, nutrition counseling, and/or medication depending on the treatment plan. When you have a team comprised of motivated, highly skilled and multidisciplinary professionals, patients just receive better care. My goal is to continue to raise the bar and strive to provide the highest standard of care.

“I’m grateful for such a positive response to WMCC since opening in 2011. I will keep striving to do more for the mental health needs of our community,” Dr. Harnick concluded.

For more information on the center and its team, call (808) 280-4192 or visit www.westmauicounselingcenter.com.