Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In May 2016, Anchored Hope opened its doors for the first time with only two clinicians. The goal was simple: bring clinical expertise to the Annapolis area, create a safe and specialized space for clients, and maintain a healthy work life balance. By May 2017, services at Anchored Hope became more accessible with the addition of accepting insurance and connecting with community providers. Over the next year, Anchored Hope invited additional clinicians to join their team to meet the growing demand for therapists, while simultaneously remaining committed to providing mental health services that intersect with social justice efforts and are grounded in trauma-informed care principles and intentionality.
The field of mental health care has historically pathologized and dehumanized marginalized groups and made it difficult for them to access services. While it has created harm in communities of color and indigenous groups, Anchored Hope remained committed to creating a space that promoted true growth and change. In addition, the practice supported challenging the idea of traditional healing methods. Acknowledging the harm the system has created does not negate or solve the colonized framework within the mental health system and managed care world. Continued diligence within the framework of helping, while acknowledging the role in a broken system, continues to be an intentional goal.
By October 2018, additional clinicians joined the practice and the team moved into their own space on Jennifer Road. By 2019, seven more clinicians were intentionally added to the team. Despite team growth, Anchored Hope’s message remained the same: recognizing that asking for help is not easy, understanding the challenge of finding someone who “gets it,” and the need to support the healing process with intentionality in ways that feel safe to each client.
In March 2020, the world was shaken by a global pandemic. The team at Anchored Hope transitioned from in person therapy to Telehealth sessions over the course of a weekend. The world was not only experiencing a health crisis, but also a mental health surge. Many people became unemployed and lost housing while students transitioned to online learning overnight. Everyday decisions became polarized and a public health crisis turned into a political debate. Nothing seemed the same, nothing felt “fine”.
And I’m fine, I am totally fine…
I will stand on the side as you shine…
I’m not fine, I’m not fine.
Mirabel Madrigal, Encanto
Between July 2020 and August 2021, Anchored Hope added an additional 11 therapists, each with a different area of expertise and niche to meet the needs of a community in crisis. Clinicians and clients alike were living through a collective trauma. Managing uncertainty was difficult as the pandemic persisted.
Amid the pandemic, the decision to expand Anchored Hope’s office space in July 2021 was intentional and made with the sole purpose of maintaining a trauma-informed space in which to promote a feeling of safety and serenity, for clinicians and clients alike, and to ensure that anyone who walked through the doors was accepted as they are and treated with respect, dignity, and grace.
Between July and September 2021, the suite on Jennifer Road was a construction site with the end result including 17 offices, a larger waiting room to allow more space to physically distance, and a larger conference room to provide professional training to colleagues as well as seminars to clients. A larger kitchen was also added for clinicians to make time for intentional rest.
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Anchored Hope resumed some in-person therapy in December 2021; however, a new variant caused an abrupt change yet again. Making intentional decisions on how best to serve the clients while maintaining a safe environment was, and continues to be, incredibly challenging.
Anchored Hope’s website and wait times are frequently updated and the team is doing its best to offer new appointments and minimize wait times. Please consider taking the first available appointment, which will likely be at a less than ideal time. Asking for help takes courage and being told there is a wait or only daytime availability is frustrating at best. Please know the team at Anchored Hope will continue to work tirelessly to meet the needs of its community with intentionality and fervor.