Life’s obstacles led to career in helping others.

December 2, 2014
Ann Genson

Ann Genson

Survivor Story: Ann Genson.

Sponsored by All Access Care of Ludington. Located at 329 N. Jebavy Dr. in Ludington; 231-425-4544;

SCOTTVILLE — Ann Genson has been through her share of life’s obstacles. She worked many years in the performing arts industry in the Muskegon-Fremont areas. As the economy changed, she lost her job. Divorce left her being a single mother of two children. She also went through a house foreclosure, bankruptcy and faced some health challenges.

All of those events eventually helped her make the decision to seek a career where she could help others facing similar challenges. She also decided to move back home, to Scottville.

Ann recently earned a master’s degree in counseling from Central Michigan University. This fall, she opened Peace Of Mind Counseling Services, LLC in downtown Scottville.

“I’ve had a pretty rough go of it in my adult life,” Ann says. “I’ve faced some trials and tribulations and have had some difficult moments. It’s kind of a passion of mine to help people through those difficult moments because I’ve been there myself.

Ann says she does not have a speciality and can speak to people on a variety of topics. “I do have an interest in grief and loss and do plan on getting additional training in that area.”

Locating in Scottville was an important part of Ann’s decision when starting her practice.

“I grew up in the Scottville area and graduated from Mason County Central. I knew I wanted to be back home and invest in this community. Growing up here in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Scottville was such a great community. Ever since I was a kid I thought it was the neatest little town. We had everything we needed right here in town. I want to be part of bringing that back.”

Though she grew up just northwest of town in Amber Township, Ann wanted to live in the city itself.

“I had been living in the city of Muskegon for many years and have gotten used to living in town. It’s convenient to be close to work and convenient for my children to be close to the schools.”

Moving her practice to Scottville was also a move to bring services to people who face transportation issues.

“With the exception of myself, all other counseling services in Mason County are in Ludington. Many people cannot easily travel to the far western side of the county. In the short time I have been open I have already gotten patients based on my location.”

Ann says she believes counseling is a natural career for her.

“I really think this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve always been able to connect to people. I’ve always been a listener, no matter where I worked people would always knock on my door and want to talk about their issues. I was always receptive to that. I think it’s something you’re born with. There are skills that you need to learn in order to be a counselor but compassion, empathy and the desire to help people is something you either have or you don’t. It can’t be learned.”

Ann is still working on building a relationship with the major insurance companies. She offers a sliding fee schedule for patients with economic challenges. She is able to bill Meridian.

She explained her services are for people who need to discuss their issue and find adjustments to their lives.

“Mental health therapists are like getting an oil change for your car while a psychiatrist is for someone who needs an engine overhaul. My services are for someone who has hit a bump in the road, it may be depression, anxiety, anger issues, stress, losing a job, relocating, or other life changes.”

Ann says someone who has severe and persistent mental illness would seek a psychiatrist. Someone with development disabilities and severe and persistent mental illness will often work with Community Mental Health.

Peace of Mind Counseling Services is located in the McMaster Professional Building, 101 N. Main St. The building offers a conference room and Ann hopes to soon offer support groups there. Her first goal is to set up a single parents support group.

For more information, call 231-936-1128 or email Peace of Mind Counseling Services also has a Facebook page.

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