Charity Works interviewed Dr. Linda Montagna, the executive director of Sacred Heart Counseling (formerly Regina Caeli Clinical Services), about its work to serve the community and its expansion this year to address more needs.
Charity Works: Some readers may be unfamiliar with Sacred Heart Counseling. Tell us more about how it serves the community.
Dr. Linda Montagna: The focus of Sacred Heart Counseling of Catholic Charities is to offer counseling and mental health services that are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church and help restore families and parish communities. Sacred Heart was created to serve individuals, families, and Catholic school communities. Broadly speaking, our services can be listed out under three categories: clinical psychology services (including mental health, substance use, and post-abortive services); school psychology services (we are currently in eight Catholic schools); and psychological assessments (including psycho-educational, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and religious vocational assessment). Sacred Heart currently provides outpatient services in six locations along the Front Range, including our main office in Littleton, Denver, Northglenn, Boulder, Loveland, and Fort Collins. We have a staff that includes 16 clinicians. During a typical month we serve about 150 clients, and we have served more than 500 individual students in a month within the Catholic schools.
CW: Sacred Heart added a new counseling service. What is this new service and why is it needed?
Montagna: We recently added substance abuse counseling services, and can therefore now provide comprehensive care for those who experience both mental health and substance abuse issues. Mental health and addiction issues do not respect any class or any socio-economic group. Persons experiencing such difficulties may struggle with homelessness, or may live relatively comfortably in the suburbs. When we take a comprehensive approach of addressing both mental health and addiction issues, we are more effective in getting to the root cause of our clients’ struggles and providing the best psychological treatment. If someone has a concern for themselves, or perhaps for someone in their family who they wish to help, they are welcome to contact us for a consultation.
CW: What approach do you and your staff take in counseling clients?
Montagna: At Sacred Heart, we treat the whole person. Specifically, we take a holistic approach to treating individuals, married couples and families in the sense that we see individuals as both spiritual and embodied persons, created and redeemed by God, who possess an intellect, free will and an emotional life. Regardless of whether one is called to the priesthood, consecrated or marriage and family life, we acknowledge every person’s ultimate vocation to both receive and give love. Part of our job at Sacred Heart Counseling is to empower our clients to remove the obstacles on a natural (psychological) level that may get in the way of living this call to love more fully. We view each of our clients—regardless of whether they practice the Catholic faith or any faith at all—as a person created with inherent dignity and in likeness of God. We care for them by integrating the best of psychological sciences with a Christian anthropology—an understanding of the human person—informed by the theological and philosophical teachings of the Catholic faith. All of our therapists agree to practice in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church. That is particularly important to people who take their relationship with God seriously and want to know that this will be respected and seen as a strength to be built upon when seeking counseling.
CW: What led you to work for Sacred Heart Counseling?
Montagna: I’m originally from Pennsylvania, and I was introduced to Catholic Charities here in Denver as I was completing my clinical training and post-doctoral residency prior to becoming a licensed psychologist. I was finishing a doctoral degree at a Catholic graduate program in Arlington, Virginia, the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (now known as Divine Mercy University). After working for another Catholic psychology practice in the Midwest, I received a call that Catholic Charities was seeking a clinical director. I joyfully accepted the position. For me, the mission of Catholic Charities is so compelling: inspired by the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, to bring healing to the poor and those in need. As a Catholic psychologist, it is a gift and privilege to be able to practice in a way that provides excellent psychological services while recognizing that Jesus Christ is the true source of all healing.
Sacred Heart Counseling
Main office hours:
Monday and Wednesday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
(Please Note: phone messages are taken after 6 p.m.)
To schedule an appointment, call (720) 377-1359.
Sacred Heart Counseling
8 W. Dry Creek Circle, Ste. 206
Littleton, CO 80120
What is Sacred Heart Counseling?
Sacred Heart Counseling is a ministry within Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver that provides counseling and mental health services faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church to help restore families and parish communities. We provide clinical psychology services to individuals, married couples, and families (including substance use and post-abortive counseling); school psychology services (we are currently in eight Archdiocesan Catholic schools); and psychological assessments (including psycho-educational, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and religious vocational assessment). We provide assistance to those in need regardless of income level or religious affiliation.