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WMMHC offers new counseling services


November 21, 2019

Shana Neesvig

PAVING THE WAY – Sanders County Community Mental Health Center, of Western Montana Mental Health Center, is offering services for substance abuse and addiction. Pete Reinschmidt, Licensed Addiction Counselor, has recently joined the team of mental health professionals providing substance use counseling.

"This is not judgment. It is about helping people become the best they can be!" emphasized Pete Reinschmidt, Licensed Addiction Counselor, who is two months into a new counseling program at Western Montana Mental Health Center (WMMHC). "It is about the individual, it is not about the substance," he continued.

WMMHC has paved the way by initiating the first substance abuse and addiction counseling program in Sanders County, according to Reinschmidt, who obtained a Master of Arts degree from Liberty University in addiction counseling and holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology with emphasis in counseling and life coaching. He chose this path because he "loves helping people and has a passion to see people live up to their full potential."

In hopes of abolishing the stigma or shame associated with WMMHC services, Reinschmidt compares treatment at the clinic as no different than seeing a doctor for a broken bone. The stereotypical addict seen on television or in movies is not an accurate display of what most substance users are, according to Reinschmidt. Furthermore, he said he provides support to clients with any level of substance use or behavior matters (gambling, pornography or work) that in any way harms the user or those around them physically, emotionally, financially, mentally and/or physically.

He stated that he "wants people who are stuck to be able to move forward, not feel ashamed and like they need to settle for where they are at." Through exploring past and current life circumstances, clients of WMMHC go through therapy to discover reasons why they may be using. Reinschmidt called these reasons "soul wounds," and they are the focus of the counseling rather than the substance itself. Alcohol is commonly abused, but he does not tell people not to drink. Rather, he helps explore reasons why alcohol has become commonplace, leading to healing which can decrease usage.

"We are doing our best to reach out to the communities that need this service but did not have one," Reinschmidt said in reference to the substance use program. "We hope to be available to everyone, including those who have transportation difficulties," a significant problem for many who live in rural Montana.

WMMHC has two offices, one in Thompson Falls at 602 Preston Avenue, serving Thompson Falls and the western Sanders County area, and in Plains at 200 E. Railroad, serving the eastern section of the county, including Dixon, Hot Springs and Plains.

In addition to innovative abuse and addiction counseling, WMMHC also provide services and support in assessments and evaluations, early intervention, out-patient counseling (all intensities), in-patient placement, therapy coordination with various mental and medical health professionals, scheduling services, minor in possession (MIP) classes and evaluations and provide ACT (assess, class, treat) services.

According to Reinschmidt, WMMHC treatment plans are individualized to provide the most benefit to each client. "It just doesn't work to use a cookie cutter assessment plan," he commented, continuing that we are all individuals, and need a personalized plan to move forward in the best possible way.

"One of my goals, I want to provide services at a relatable clinic," said a casual Reinschmidt, who said he dislikes the word "addiction" because it has such a negative tone and is not reflective of the individual person. "Trust is a big key to helping people find their talents and gifts. Don't be a prisoner of your past, see yourself for what your worth really is." Gaining self-esteem and self-worth is attainable by focusing on the positives and strengths within each one of us, according to Reinschmidt.

"Like anything else worthwhile, there are ups and downs and, at times, it can be painful, but the results make it worthwhile," he stated. "Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness."

For more information or assistance, Reinschmidt can be contacted by phoning the Thompson Falls office at (406) 532-9190 or emailing [email protected] WMMHC's office in Plains can be contacted by calling (406) 826-5529. WMMHC accentuated that confidentiality is one of their top priorities.


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