Central New Mexico Counseling Services lends a listening ear


Everyone needs someone they can talk to, and with the holidays sending some people into panic mode, now maybe more than ever.

Luckily, a team counselors at Central New Mexico Counseling Services in Los Lunas are here to listen and help. Accepting most insurance plans, and with four therapists on staff, Central New Mexico Counseling makes it easy to work appointments around individuals' schedules.

The office itself, located at 526 Sun Ranch Village Loop in Los Lunas, feels comfortable and safe the moment you enter.

Unlike going to the doctor or hospital, Central New Mexico Counseling provides a cozier feel with warm yellow and lavender walls and artwork from Director Jim Hatfield's personal collection, including paintings from the local Belen Art League.

Hatfield, who opened the counseling service in April, said choosing to give the decor a personal touch has helped clients feel more at ease when they are there, including a man who he said suffers from sever Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who has told Hatfield the office doesn't make him feel nervous the way other medical places do.

Aside from its feel-good vibe, the counseling service offers play therapy for children with a play therapy room filled with an assortment of toys that help children express issues they may not have the words for.

There are two child therapists on staff, Pam Stafford and Mary Lampkin, both licensed mental health counselors, who can address most concerns a parent might have about their child, from autism to attachment disorders and more.

There is also a play room where kids can amuse themselves while their parents are in session.

Barbra LoLordo, a licensed professional clinical counselor, and Dr. Jan Karasz-Rothell, a licensed marriage and family therapist are also available.

The counseling service is able to see people from all walks of life, from children, adolescents, couples, families, and adults. They and can help you find the counselor who is right for an individual's needs.

After seeing a need for more mental health services while working in the community, Hatfield, who has worked with the Valencia County Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence as well as having a private practice, decided to open a center that can help a broad range of individuals, from child to adult.

LoLordo began in theater arts and switched to therapy, where she is sometimes able to use theater as therapy through psychodrama. She has worked in the alcohol field, as well as with the Children, Youth and Families Department in California.

Stafford also had her beginnings in the arts as a dance teacher, and said that in working with children as a teacher she saw how when one person becomes broken the whole family becomes broken.

Dr. Rothell was working as a math and computer programing professor in the '80s when she became interested in becoming a therapist. In 1988, she started working for a domestic violence shelter and with sexual perpetrators in prison.

In 1999, she moved to New Mexico from Oklahoma and worked for three years as the clinical director for the Valencia County domestic violence shelter. She says her first career fell right in line with counseling because, "people are programed just like computers are."

Lampkin has been in the counseling business for 10 years, having worked in Texas, California and New Mexico with AIDS victims, combat veterans and severely mentally ill people, as well as with the domestic violence shelter.

All of the counselors at Central New Mexico Counseling Service began their path as therapists from their desire to help people.

For more information, call Central New Mexico Counseling Services at 565-9496.

Contact Ungelbah Daniel-Davila