Friends and family gather with cheers and confetti cannons for the surprise ribbon cutting ceremony at Healing With a Heart. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
November 26, 2020MOULTONBOROUGH — There is a new place in the area where children, teens, couples, and families can get some needed mental health help thanks to a newly opened practice by a counselor with over a decade of experience. Healing With a Heart is now open on Whittier Highway just over the Center Harbor line and Jessica Reisner, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is now available to help.
The practice has been in the works for a while and has been Reisner's career dream. This past Sunday Reisner's husband Jeff brought her out to the office blindfolded, then took off the blindfold so she could see a group of friends and family gathered outside the building with confetti cannons and a ribbon cutting all set up.
Reisner does therapy for children, teenagers, couples, and anyone part of the family unit. She helped families in the Seacoast for over 12 years as a therapist for Seacoast Mental Health Center's offices in Portsmouth and Exeter, and is now set up in her private practice in Moultonborough.
Reisner comes from Hampton and said she grew up in a close-knit family, which inspired her to help children and families have that same experience.
She graduated with a bachelors in Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire and worked in home support for children with disabilities.
"Yes, I was working with the children, I found it was really supporting the family as a whole," Reisner said. "The parents would tell me how easy I was to talk to."
She decided to go into children and family counseling, returning to UNH for the Marriage and Family Therapy program. She said Assistant Director Mark Moses was her mentor and had a significant impact on her.
"He just showed me a world of therapy," Reisner said,
She also credited program director Barbara Frankel as well.
When she graduated, she and her fellow graduates received a key where a few words were written about the type of therapist their instructors saw them as. Reisner said her key said "Healing with a heart."
She worked with Seacoast Mental Health Center for 12 years, which she said gave her some amazing support and advice. She also worked with psychiatrists, outreach providers, and in the community's schools. Reisner became an approved supervisor, supervising people in the field who were going for their therapist license.
Reisner took maternity leave after the birth of her second son and took time to care for her family. In the past year the family moved from West Newbury, Mass., to the Lakes Region.
After a while she said she greatly missed her work and wanted to offer this in her new community.
"This has been a dream of mine to eventually have a private practice where I can provide therapy services to children, also families and couples," Reisner said.
The idea came up to pursue this dream and open a private practice, though she was nervous about the possibility.
Eventually, they found a space on 60 Whittier Highway in the former location of Moultonborough Family Health which she said was the best opportunity. Reisner said there were two spaces in there with a wall separating them. They took out the wall, sinks, and the former exam rooms and built a waiting room and office therapy room, and put in a staircase and an upstairs office.
Even the process to buy furniture was involved. Considering this will be a place where people will share some of their innermost feelings, she said she sat in a hundred chairs at the furniture store to pick out the most ones for clients.
She named it "Healing With a Heart" after the words on her key at graduation.
The space also has an additional office where she hopes to bring in another therapist. She said it can be a little nerve wracking to be a therapist and secluded by oneself.
Throughout this whole process she said her husband has been one of her biggest advocates in this venture, cheering her on when she was nervous about starting. She also said she has so many supportive friends, including so many new friends in this area.
"I'm definitely blessed to have all of them in my life and constantly supporting me in all of this," Reisner said.
She has two boys, a six-year-old and a one-year-old.
"I know sharing some of the better parts of me with the world, I know it's going to be better for them too," Reisner said.
Healing With a Heart is now open for appointments and sessions, she said she is ready to start intake sessions with clients as soon as they are ready. Healing with Heart can be reached at 253-5292 and email@example.com. A website is in the works and will be live soon. Information on her practice can also be found on Psychology Today's Web site.