Late in 2007 we opened the Spring Counseling Center. At least the doors were open for business; unfortunately we did not have any clients. In fact it took almost eight months before we got our first one. You can imagine I was quite beside myself with worry about the expenses for an empty office and a five year lease.
To familiarize myself with the ins and outs of doing business in Harris County, I visited each court over that time. In those days our center was not allowed to approach the Judges because we were not on any of the provider’s lists. I learned that if I arrived around 11:30 am and sat in the court tell everyone was leaving for lunch, I was basically just sitting alone in the courtroom, eventually the Judge would ask me what I was doing. Then I would go into my pitch about our center and what we wanted to do.
Many of the Judges would be interested enough to invite me back into chambers as they ate there lunch and would educate me on what to do to build a reputable business. To this day I realized that this was the most advantageous thing that could have happened to the Spring Counseling Center. I learned from the best of the best, and at the same time, got to observe the hardships and what I felt was shoddy treatment of our soon to be new Clients.
As time went by we did start to get on the providers lists and now you can see all the programs we do in this web site thanks to our Program Director, Armando Lopez.
Because we did not know everything about some of the programs we ran into a few glitches. But again it was very educational and worth the time. Having started in this business in Los Angeles County over 35 years ago we brought a lot of insight, wisdom, and experience with us. Which we were able to incorporate into what Harris County wanted. In fact we were on the ground floor in Los Angeles, after the OJ thing helping to establish and formulate the Domestic Violence programs. We had a special task force that allowed us to ride along on Domestic Violence calls to help to educate the officers on proper interviewing tactics, and most importantly arrest the correct perpetrator. I feel sometimes Harris County could use this same program.
As things progressed we out grew our space and needed to move to our present location, of course that was another experience just changing our address from 150 to 110 in the same shopping center. But we got all tended to and now have what I feel is a pristine center. In fact I would venture to say the best of the best bar none; I guess that’s a big pat on the back, but anyone who has been to other centers will agree.
Now for the sad news, my business partner and mentor died June 16, 2014. It’s taken me a while to find some relief from the shock of no longer having his counsel and advice on certain issues that have come up since then. But he always stressed upon me that there are no coincidences and nothing just happens randomly. Somehow God has a hand in all that transpires and happens, it’s our job to look for the messages and lessons. I’m still searching for all the lessons but got the message. I knew he had Diabetes and had had a couple of stints implanted in his heart, but I found out later that he had other things that were causing him hurt and pain. So the message is “Jim I’m out of pane and no longer hurt and am doing well here in Heaven”. As for the lessons I’m still learning, just as everyone else should be. “If you stop learning you stop living”, and you can quote me on that.
Dr. Jim Rishel