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Archway in Truro celebrates 25 years


TRURO, N.S. —

Twenty-five years covers most of Kristi Garrido’s young life.
That’s how long Archway Counselling Association has operated in Truro, offering to listen when people endure some of life’s bleakest moments. But counsellors took a breather and celebrated their quarter-century milestone with a birthday cake Thursday.
“The possibilities 25 years from now, when I’m these guys’ ages and where this place could be at that point, are amazing,” said Garrido, Archway’s newest therapist. 
She joined the team just over a year ago, working alongside members who helped found the organization in March 1994. Many of her longer-serving colleagues are twice her age.
Garrido described her experiences at Archway as “a rollercoaster,” but worthwhile.
She has learned how to be in tune with a client’s emotions and tap into what they may be feeling, which can be spiritually taxing. Having supportive and knowledgeable colleagues helps Garrido stay level, even when she is heavily invested emotionally in a client’s well-being.
Some of Garrido’s most challenging cases are families with children or teenagers who may be experiencing mental, behavioural, or emotional crises. 
In some cases, the parents’ behaviour may be contributing to their offspring’s issues and they expect a therapist to ‘fix’ their child. 
However, if the parents and child are prepared to work as a family to overcome problems, the results can be highly rewarding for someone in Garrido’s position.
“It’s a common thread that happens,” said Garrido. “It’s a real privilege to walk through some of the darkest moments in someone’s life.”
Shirley Pearce, one of Archway’s founding board members, says Archway has scaled its fees according to people’s income, offering an affordable counselling service in a province where mental-health services are stretched.
“It’s a dream come true to think we could have been here this long,” said Pearce. “In some ways it’s bittersweet, as the need is so great and you would like to be able to think that people would have release from a lot of the brokenness in their lives.”
Archway marked its quarter-century at their Prince Street offices April 11, bringing together its counselling staff, board members, local politicians and other guests.
 

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