Carrie Rengers

What is Coffee Shop Therapy?

Beth Larsen, a licensed clinical social worker, will meet her patients in coffee shops or their homes or churches or wherever it’s most comfortable and convenient for them.
Beth Larsen, a licensed clinical social worker, will meet her patients in coffee shops or their homes or churches or wherever it’s most comfortable and convenient for them. Courtesy photo

Beth Larsen is a traditional licensed clinical social worker, but she’s now offering a nontraditional approach to her psychotherapy services.

“What I’m offering is a home-based service,” Larsen says. “I go to wherever the client is going to be the most comfortable.”

That could be a church, park, home, office or coffee shop.

“That’s why it’s called Coffee Shop Therapy,” Larsen says of her business.

“It’s a service that’s provided outside of a traditional office.”

Larsen was born and raised in Kansas and recently returned from living in Austin.

“Mainly, I was tired of the two million people in Austin, Texas,” she says.

Also, her family is here.

Larsen says she’s at a time in her life that was right to make a change, and it’s also a good time to offer a service such as Coffee Shop Therapy.

“I’m at the place in my career where … making money is not the same issue as it was when I started my career,” she says. “My goal is mainly to get this service out there.”

Helping women suffering from postpartum depression is a focus of hers.

“Postpartum depression is really my passion right now because I’ve seen that over and over.”

Larsen says every woman who has given birth should be screened for it.

“We’re missing a lot of it,” she says. “And by the time it’s caught, there’s this terrible experience that the family has and then kids don’t get the bonding that they need.”

Larsen says seeking therapy shouldn’t be an extra burden on suffering mothers.

“Can you imagine being a new mom … that is struggling with depression and trying to manage this child and has to pack everything up to come to my office on my schedule?” Larsen says. “That works for the therapist really well. I’m not so sure it works for the client.”

Another area of focus for Larsen is with victims of crimes. She says sometimes they’re too overwhelmed or fragile “to make that trek” to an office for help.

“I don’t think it works for everybody.”

Larsen says most patients are more comfortable in their homes. There’s benefit for her as well.

“If you go to somebody’s home, you get a different picture of what their life is like,” Larsen says.

“I honestly learn a lot more.”

For more information, including how to contact Larsen, check out the Facebook page for Coffee Shop Therapy in Wichita, Kansas.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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