With degrees from Winthrop and the University of South Carolina, Rich Schlauch knows all those medical words rooted in Latin, all those phrases so long that they are nearly impossible to pronounce.
While he may write them down in his notes or on insurance forms, you won't find them in the conversations he has with his clients.
As director and therapist at the Palmetto Counseling & Consulting Services on South Anderson Street in Rock Hill, his practice is about people "who are stuck and they don't know how to get unstuck."
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With the economy struggling, with people working more and getting paid less, and with most retirement funds eroding faster than a New Orleans levy, anxiety and stress are skyrocketing.
Yes, people are stuck.
It happens every time there is economic hardship. But what's different this time, Schlauch said, is that people are recognizing they can't "get unstuck" on their own and they are seeking help.
Even in these tough times, they are finding ways to pay for help, some through insurance, others through Employee Assistance Programs, and some paying their own way.
"Normally, people would not need counseling," he said. "But their own coping skills, their families' coping skills, their community and church support - it's not working or not there."
For Schlauch, that means more people seeking help.
"It's not a time for celebration," Schlauch stressed. "We are here to help people."
Schlauch opened his practice in 2008 as a way to supplement his income. He never envisioned the practice would become his sole source of income.
Among his initial offerings was online counseling. It got him some media attention. He said it is a good way for some people to seek help.
But insurance laws have not caught up to the technology, and he is not offering it currently. He said he "definitely" wants to revisit online counseling, though.
Calls for more traditional one-on-one sessions came in. One day, he looked into his waiting room, and it looked like an elevator filled to capacity. He expanded.
First came an office manager to handle the volumes of paperwork. In 2010, he added two therapists, Teri Kibble and Jean Earhart. He is looking for another.
Now, the firm offers counseling during the day and evening, and on weekends. It serves children, teens, couples and families. It offers faith-based and secular counseling.
But most of the people Schlauch sees are adults - adults who are stuck.
Sometimes he has to get them past the stigma that counseling is a weakness. He tells them if they had a problem with their heart or other body part, they would go to a doctor. So why not seek help for the mind?
Many of his clients are men who don't want counseling or therapy. They want coaching. But whatever it's called, Schlauch said, it's about listening and moving forward.
One of his rules is taking responsibility for appointments.
"I'll be there and I expect you to be there," he said. "I want you to take the responsibility for that; take that responsibility, and it's easier to take responsibility for other parts of their lives."
So he listens, using what he learned at York Technical School, where he first got interested in psychology, and at Winthrop, where he got his bachelor's degree, and at USC, where he earned a master's in social work.
But he also knows about being stuck. He once wanted to be a Hollywood studio musician, studying with some of the best jazz and rock drummers. He then wanted to be a computer wizard. Both those dreams fizzled.
Before he started his practice, he decided to leave a well-paying job, downsizing his paycheck. At the same time, he upsized his family, adding a child and a house. So he knows what people are feeling: They are stuck. They are overwhelmed. They want answers.
It is, Schlauch said, about answering the question, "What can I do?"