A pair of Baton Rouge counselors are encouraging young women to find their self-worth beyond social media

A pair of Baton Rouge counselors are encouraging young women to find their self-worth beyond social media

Emily Kern Hebert June 8, 2016 | Business Licensed professional counselors Mary Kathryn Rodrigue and Katie Fetzer are going beyond the office to make a big impact with young women struggling with body image and self-esteem issues. Rodrigue and Fetzer, co-owners of The Wellness Studio, recently organized workshops for young women in both high school and college to address these issues and others, as well as the challenges that have emerged in an age when social media plays such a large role in their lives. The workshops are intended to empower young women to stop defining themselves by their physical appearance while also encouraging responsible social media usage. Fetzer and Rodrigue hope more organizations will reach out to them for help. “So many girls define themselves by their social media accounts,” Fetzer says. “We wanted to give them the tools to make it be something positive.” The pro-bono presentation to St. Scholastica Academy, an all-girls high school in Covington, was entitled, “Define Your Selfie: A Girl’s Guide To Positive Body Image, Empowerment … And Their Inner Beyoncé.” The counselors teamed up with a photographer, a social media expert and others to be as relevant and credible as possible. Rodrigue and Fetzer prepared a similar workshop entitled “MISS-guided” for incoming freshmen at LSU’s Tri-Delta sorority. It was so well received that the sorority asked the counselors to present again to the entire chapter. Initially, Fetzer and Rodrigue planned to offer a “Define Your Selfie” workshop to the sorority. But the counselors later decided to broaden the talk to include advice on finding one’s passion, as well as address some of the obstacles that can...

Get Smart

By Nick BeJeaux When the idea of mental illness crosses your mind, you may think of schizophrenia, PTSD, or psychosis; but what about anxiety, depression, and even grief? The Wellness Studio has been helping Baton Rouge, Covington and New Orleans cope with these issues and more since it opened its doors in January 2013. Co-owners and licensed professional counselors Mary Kathryn Rodrigue and Katie Fetzer use an inviting space to offer their patients counseling and therapy in a relaxed, and creatively decorated, space. In an interview with DIG, Fetzer discussed the five most common mental illnesses in Baton Rouge: anxiety, depression, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, and grief. 1. Anxiety Anxiety is by far the most common illness on this list. Some anxiety is actually good for you; It pushes us to meet deadlines and uphold responsibilities. But for some, it can be completely debilitating. “Generally speaking, anxiety is a buildup of stress,” said Fetzer. “It’s when life starts to feel unmanageable—it’s a fear-based disorder. It’s driven by irrationally-based thinking.” In addition to being the most common, anxiety is also the most easily treated illness on this list. The biggest obstacle for treatment is usually the reluctance of the patient to seek help. “The best way that someone can cope with anxiety is to seek help and to not be afraid of seeking help,” said Fetzer. “One can try to deal with things themselves, but why do that when you don’t have to? There are so many resources out there that can help empower someone to work through the anxiety that they are experiencing.” 2. Depression In many ways, depression...

Entrepreneur: The Wellness Studio

Entrepreneur: Mary Kathryn Rodrigue and Katie Fetzer GABRIELLE BRAUD | @GABRIELLEBRAUD MARCH 4, 2015 | BUSINESS Position: Co-owners and licensed professional counselors Company:The Wellness Studio What they do: A mental health counseling private practice that offers individual, couples, family, and group therapy services for children, adolescents, and adults. Revenue: $250,000 Addresses: 7472 Highland Road, with locations in Covington and New Orleans as well Next goals: Destigmatize mental health and counseling through more outreach efforts both locally and internationally SOUL SISTERS After spending five years working as a hospital clinician, Mary Kathryn Rodrigue decided the time was right for something new. “I think for any clinician, to have a private practice is the dream job,” Rodrigue says. So after much research into the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Northshore area markets, Rodrigue set out to create a counseling center that felt intriguing and inviting, with aesthetics playing a large role. She opened The Wellness Studio in Baton Rouge in January of 2013 and in the summer of 2013, met Katie Fetzer, who became co-owner of the business by the end of the year. This meeting of kindred spirits turned into a business partnership, with both women proactively trying to change the face of mental health and therapy because of the negative stigma associated with it. GLASS HALF FULL In their 13 years of combined experience as wellness counselors, Rodrigue says her favorite feedback they’ve received from a client is that they left feeling a little bit lighter. “We can’t change life,” Fetzer says. “But it is about teaching people the skills they need to empower them to handle life’s crises.” Fetzer believes counseling can empower people to...

The Wellness Studio featured in Haute off the Rack fashion blog

“How beautiful is this book room at The Wellness Studio in downtown Covington. I recently had a collaborative/creative meeting with the owners, Mary Kathryn and Katie at their Covington studio and I absolutely fell in love with the unique vintage decor of the place. So naturally I brought Kaela back with me to snap a few photos to show you! I mean who would ever think to make a coffee table out of an old bathtub and on top of that, come up with the idea to make an accent wall by covering half the room with old books. I’ll tell you who…Louisiana’s own Anthony Ryan Auld! For more on The Wellness Studio and what their team offers, check out their site here–> http://surprisinglywell.com Who suddenly feels inspired to paint their fire place light blue and put old books to use?! Me! Stay tuned for more photos of the gorgeous Wellness Studio!” – Haute off the Rack’s Jennifer Palpallatoc See her full write up here:...
The Weekender

The Weekender

Tweet As the end of the week approaches I am inundated with feelings of inspiration, determination and gratitude. Although many begin their weekends with the chant “thank goodness it’s Friday” while anxiously anticipating their break away from work, and while I once shared this same perspective, I now find myself connected to my career at a deeper level than ever before. Through my personal and professional experiences being a counselor, I have developed a new lens through which I see the world. The connection that I have with my counseling career has been fueled by an inherent passion for helping people and by an empathetic understanding of people enduring suffering. Being a counselor has enabled me to see life from the unique perspectives of a diverse population of people facing great adversity. Since the start of my career as a counselor I have carried out a weekend ritual of self-reflection of the week’s events. I ask myself, “What am I thankful for this week? What did I do best? What could I have done better?” Through self-reflection I am able to maintain an awareness and mindfulness of my own feelings and beliefs and consider ways in which I can incorporate my life experiences into my counselor identity. Counselors empower people to find solutions and answers, yet those most needing solutions often have walls and barriers guarding and blocking them from getting the help they need.  Through my experiences with clients, I have seen these walls and barriers present in many forms. Shame, pride, fear, oppression; these emotions and barriers that are keeping people from getting access to effective solutions and, consequently, from living...