Apricity Counseling Services, a Fallon business owned by Jessica Homer, provides behavioral and mental health counseling and support for children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Homer, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is currently accepting clients ages 11 to 25 at her new business location, 290 West Williams Avenue.
When asked how the name was chosen, she replied, “I was looking for a name that was unique, and that wasn't already taken in Nevada by other counselors. I came across this word, Apricity, which meant the warmth of the sun in wintertime. I thought that was a really beautiful concept similar to how counseling works. When you're going through a really difficult time, counseling can be a comfort and something that brings you some warmth in difficult times.”
Homer was inspired to enter this line of business when working at the Churchill County Juvenile Probation Office. “I had the privilege of working under Devere Karlson who I view as a mentor in my life and who has been inspiring to me. During that time, my favorite part was the counseling. We provide a lot of support to the kids on probation and their families. Helping people to make healthy changes in their life is something I became very passionate about.”
“I really love working with teenagers. It's such an exciting time. They're getting to this point in life where they are ready to move into adulthood. Their brains are changing rapidly. There's a lot of opportunities to help them learn new things and move into adulthood in healthy ways. It's a pleasure to get to know them and help them move through life. Some days can be challenging, but overall I really enjoy it.”
She has seen quite a few success cases from her time as a JPO, sometimes seeing those kids who are now adults with children of their own. “It feels very good to see the changes they've made in their lives. But at the same time, I don't take any credit for it. All the credit for what they've accomplished belongs to them. They had to be willing to put in the work to make changes. It's very rewarding and exciting for me to see that.”
In order to become an LCSW, one must earn a master’s degree in Social Work, pass a background check and the Nevada state exam to acquire a License in Social Work (LSW). Additional requirements are then necessary to obtain an LCSW as it allows for owning an independent practice. A minimum of two years and 3,000 hours as an intern must be completed under the supervision of an experienced social worker, then the state exam must be taken again after which an LCSW can be obtained.
Homer's goal is to see on average 22 to 26 clients per week which will allow her to balance her family life with her work life. She pointed out that most counselors see many more clients per week than that.
“But there's a lot of work to do outside of the therapy session. We do a lot of research to stay apprised of the latest in mental health topics and evidence-based practices that we can apply to our work. There's also 36 hours of continuing education to complete every two years.”
Homer has a “Teen Group for Anxiety” program planned for September, a free eight-week group program for girls ages 14 to 18 made possible by a grant from Soroptimist International of Fallon, an opportunity she's very appreciative of. She's also planning “Parenting with Love and Logic” group sessions for parents of teens and young children this fall.
Office visits are by appointment Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and she can make exceptions to those hours if needed. She is private pay right now and is in the process of being able to accept Medicaid insurance. She is also offering a free 20-minute consultation for new clients.
Homer can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 775-455-3636. Those interested in attending her group programs should call or email her to register. She can also be followed on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/apricitycounselingservices, where she provides mental health information and resources within the area. “Counseling is a very personal thing, and I may not be the right counselor for everyone. I put the information out there so that people can find the right fit for them for the help they need.”