Four Seasons Therapy, a well-established counseling practice in Bridgeport, has opened a second office in the heart of Sherman. Their expansion plan is to service residents in surrounding Connecticut and New York towns.
Located at 1 Route 37 East, #6, on the second floor of the white colonial shopping center, the comfortable and inviting 800-square-foot space was chosen for its central location.
Fritz Maignan, founder and executive director, said, “my decision to open a new Four Seasons Therapy location just made sense to me. We will be serving an underserved region where there’s a shortage of licensed professional counselors that can provide counseling and mental health services.”
He added, “people in crisis need immediate help. They shouldn’t have to wait several weeks to schedule an appointment or travel far to be seen by a professional.”
Once the one-year lease was signed, Maignan and his fiancé began renovating the interior of the space, owned by McCluskey Family Partnership. They hand-painted artwork on the walls and added bright colors to make the few private rooms and large meeting area for group sessions nice for their clients. Just two months later, the doors opened for business.
Maignan, a Sherman resident for over two years, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Albertus Magnus and a master’s degree in counseling from Southern Connecticut State University. He has been a counselor for 17 years and has owned his thriving practice for eight years.
“I counsel individuals, couples, and families who need to be in a healthier state of mind and help many of them to deal better with depression, anxiety, family challenges, healthy boundary setting, anger management, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence,” he said.
Maignan’s mission is to socialize the idea of good mental health in the Sherman area. “Everybody needs to talk with a professional at some point and time in their lives and we offer a safe place to share their inner-worlds without being judged. I can help them to apply the tools they need so they can resolve issues by finding solutions. This is a no judgement zone and they can discuss anything,” he said.
He’s also a board-certified life coach and can help clients to “straighten out their lives and get organized.” Maignan likens himself to a goal-oriented personal trainer that can help people to attain higher goals in their personal and professional lives.
Maignan specializes in helping those with substance abuse and addictions – such as marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, opiods, and Ecstasy. He focuses on recovery and relapse prevention with his clients.
His other area of concentration is to help teenagers at local high schools who are addicted to opioid drugs. “This drug epidemic is everywhere and some of the hardest hit areas are right here in our own backyard,” he said.
Prior to opening his own practice, Maignan worked seven years as a family services counselor for chronic, mentally ill patients. During this time, he also counseled people with addictions at methadone clinics in Norwalk, New Haven, and Bridgeport.
Maignan said that what makes his counseling approach unique is how he applies many modalities of counseling to help a client instead of using just one at a time. “I am intentionally eclectic in incorporating many modalities of counseling. Meaning, different approaches are used, collectively, to help clients to reach an optimal solution to their current life issues and challenges,” he said.
Maignan also shared his life motto, “a well-balanced life starts with a tuned-up state of mind.” In other words, if people have skewed mindsets then they are going to have skewed results. “I help clients to see where the dissonance exists and, together, we can help to restore their healthy perspectives,” he said.
As for why Maignan chose counseling as a profession, he was first inspired by his grandfather who spoke seven languages and was “a great teacher” in Haiti. “He was emotionally smart and highly intelligent. He was on a different level of communication and was enlightened. My grandfather understood people so well and was naturally hyper-in-tuned with human nature. I was always intrigued by him,” he said.
Maignan, who was born in Port-au-Prince, immigrated to America in 1980 when he was 14. He came to live with his uncle in Essex, Connecticut after both of his parents died. In 1984, he joined the US Army and served our country in the Gulf War. While he was in the military, he traveled a lot and saw much suffering everywhere. “I always wanted to help people to improve their human condition,” he said.
As for future plans, Maignan hopes to bring onboard a few more counselors as he expands his new practice. He’s keeping the Bridgeport office.
“I will also offer group therapy sessions for better coping strategies and support for those who have lost loved ones, would like to improve communication skills with their family and friends, and need to learn better parenting techniques,” he said.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to Noon, or by appointment.
Most insurance plans are accepted.
This business feature by Alicia Sakal was originally written for The Sherman Sentinel, a bi-monthly publication that has served the local community for 70 years.
Photo: Alicia Sakal / Images: Contributed