Tracy Hackler is living her dream.
She retired in June after 22 years as a secretary at Lincoln Junior High School and is now embarking on a career as a counselor.
Hackler was introduced Wednesday at a ribbon cutting for the new Pine Meadows Counseling Center at 618 Kern Street, in the second floor of a two-story residential-type structure right next to the Calvary Temple Assembly of God Church.
Hackler was introduced by Kathy Orrin, now the executive director of the Taft District Chamber of Commerce and formerly the principal at Lincoln.
“This has been her dream for years,” Orrin said. She did what she did with the grace of God and a lot of guidance from her family and friends.”
“Kathy was an inspiration,” Hackler said. “She supported me all the way along with my family and friends.”
Hackler is completing her master's degree then will work towards becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist while working for Pine Meadows as a MFT intern.
She contacted Steven Crouch, a licensed MFT, and asked for work.
“He hired me and suggested we open an office in Taft,” Hackler said.
With a lot of help from her husband, Gary and others, including the Calvary Temple, the center is open here.
Crouch said Pine Meadows offers a simplified, positive approach to help people deal with their problems.
“We look at possibilities versus problems,” Crouch said. “We want to show them the good inside, that problems are only temporary.”
Pine Meadows offers a variety of services, including counseling for individuals, couples and families, individual and support group counseling for the victims of violent crimes, parenting classes, caregiver support groups, evaluation and testing for attention deficit disorder and bi-polar and depression support groups.
Counseling is also available for teens through an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program).
Most insurances are accepted and there is a sliding scale for cash pay clients.
For the time being, appointments will be made through the Bakersfield office. For appointments call 661-834-7564.
You can also visit the website at www.pinemeadowscounseling.org.