'An Amazing Journey': One Client's Story of Growth and Change | The Village Family Service Center

The Village Family Service Center

'An Amazing Journey': One Client's Story of Growth and Change

Date: 
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Counseling through The Village led one client on an amazing journey

When Molly* first came to The Village’s Moorhead office, she had no idea how much it would come to mean to her. Now she describes it as a “place of miracles,” where she feels safe to share honestly, ask questions, be challenged, break down walls, learn, and grow.

Molly wrote a letter thanking her counselor, Joni Medenwald, MSW, LICSW. Here’s Molly's story, in her own words:

I first met Joni at the end of 2012. In August of that year, I started a new job. I was very excited about the new position, but I soon came to realize that I was in way over my head. I was getting super stressed and anxious because I didn’t feel like I could keep up with all the demands of the job. I remember during my orientation hearing about the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offered free counseling through The Village. I decided to call the number to see if counseling would help me find a way to balance my time and manage all of my responsibilities in my new job. Well, I ended up quitting before I even had my first session. I felt defeated and ashamed when I had to resign.

But maybe it was one of those blessings in disguise. An overwhelming situation led me to cry out for help through The Village EAP. I asked for a counselor who could help me not only with my job stress, but also dealing with how to come to terms with my recently diagnosed bipolar disorder. That's how I got connected with Joni. She is the first counselor that I felt I could trust and share my true self with.

I was very nervous the first time I met Joni. I haven't always had the best experiences with counselors in the past, but I quickly learned to trust her. As I reflect on all the moments shared with Joni at The Village, I see an amazing journey of growth, change and learning. Through that journey, I know my diagnosis of bipolar does not have to define me and I can be in control of my life and have a safe network of friends and family who I can ask for help when I need it. I reconnected with my brother, who I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years, and met his wife and son – my nephew! Now that is purely a miracle that I rejoice in! Oh, how I missed him and what a blessing it is to rebuild our relationship after all these years apart.

But the real miracle is the relationship of trust that I have with my counselor. Thank you, Joni, for walking with me on the journey and helping me to become the best that I can be, no matter what comes my way!

*Name changed to protect client's privacy


The Village strengthens individuals and families across North Dakota and Minnesota through behavioral health services. Contact a location near you to make an appointment.

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