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(Feb. 22, 2013) Katherine Smith, Debra Dotson and Amy Ginnavan have known each other for about 10 years, and they have all worked together. The women had been counseling residents, but it wasn’t until recently that they decided to start their own business.

“It’s exciting to take everything we’ve learned and bring it together to benefit the community,” Dotson said. “We love the community and we’re excited to help strengthen individuals and families.”

They found two units in the Blue Heron Shopping Center on Route 50 in West Ocean City and started renovating the spaces in September. The trio opened their business, Seaside Counseling & Wellness Center, and began seeing clients in December.

With more than 30 years combined experience, Smith said, “We all have a different niche we like to focus on.”

“We complement each other nicely,” she said. “We’re all very passionate about what were doing.”

Individual, family and group counseling sessions are offered. They will also visit local schools to meet with students/clients during the day.

“It makes it easier on families if they can’t bring their kids here,” Smith said.

Added Dotson, “What I enjoy about our center is that we are … focused on clients’ strengths and building on those.”

Ginnavan said the women are trained to work with all age groups, from young children to senior citizens.

Community wellness classes and continuing education courses for social workers and other professionals will also be available. They plan to offer stress relief, nutrition and meditation classes, among others, as well as social media assistant for parents.

Once the weather gets warmer, the women would like to offer “walk and talk” therapy sessions, on the Boardwalk, beach, Assateague Island, or at any other outdoor location.

“I think people are more willing to open up [in that type of environment],” Smith said.

A grand-opening celebration is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28, from 3-6 p.m. A ribbon cutting will take place at 4:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

For more information about Seaside Counseling & Wellness Center, call 410-213-7875 or visit www.seasidecounselingandwellness.com. Referrals are currently being accepted. The company works with all major insurance companies. A sliding scale is in place for those without insurance or who wish to self-pay.

Day, weekend and evening hours are available by appointment.

“Our mission is to be available when our clients need us,” Smith said.

Welcoming guests to Seaside Counseling & Wellness Center, located in the Blue Heron Shopping Center on Route 50 in West Ocean City, are business partners, from left, Amy Ginnavan, Katherine Smith and Debra Dotson.
Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Managing Editor Lisa Capitelli, a New York native, entered Salisbury University (then Salisbury State) in the fall of 1998 and graduated in the spring of 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts degree. She majored in communication arts, and minored in art, with concentration on photography. Lisa began her career at Ocean City Today as a staff writer in February 2003. She was promoted to Assistant Editor in August 2011 and Managing Editor in May, 2013. Editorial responsibilities include covering sports — from local high school games, to fishing tournaments and recreation and park programs, the business community and weekly happenings, events and activities.

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