Professional Counselor Provides Services to Toni’s Kitchen Guests

Pam Kanter, LPC, MEd

Many of the guests who come to us at Toni's Kitchen are facing significant challenges in their lives, from financial problems to health concerns. We are grateful to have a licensed professional counselor, Pam Kanter, LPC, MEd, with 40 years' experience, available on site at Toni's weekly to work with our guests who present with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and grief and loss.

Pam began providing free educational and supportive short-term counseling services to referred guests in August.

Nancy Xenakis, a staff member at Toni's Kitchen who manages the program, says that it was created "through a collaborative effort to ensure we can best meet our guests' behavioral health needs." Specific referral criteria exist, which includes getting to know guests and their stories over time, and informing them of Toni's counseling services, if it seems appropriate. 

Guests who are interested are offered available sessions time(s) and scheduled. Guests are scheduled for six 30-minute weekly individual sessions but can end their counseling services before six sessions if they wish.

At the sixth session, Pam and the guest discuss the work they have done so far, the status of the guest's goals and together, they make a future plan. This can include continuing counseling services at Toni's, receiving a referral for services in the community (a vetting resource listing is maintained) or ending counseling altogether for right now. Guests are always welcome to re-start counseling services at Toni's at a future time. A waitlist is maintained, mostly for guests who are interested in counseling but are unable to begin due to current scheduled conflicts.

Nancy says that so far guests have been very satisfied with their counseling services. A few comments shared from guests include:

"Thanks for noticing that I needed Pam. She gave me the time and space to deal with my grief from losing my son."

"Pam is so easy to talk to. I really look forward to coming every week."

"I didn't know what to expect–I've never been in counseling before. Pam made me feel comfortable from the very beginning."

We are so grateful to Pam Kanter for donating her time and expertise to help our guests.

These counseling services are another one of our many programs at Toni's Kitchen designed to assist our guests in improving their health and wellness and to lead more independent lives.