Taber is named as executive director of Pastoral Counseling Centers of MA
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – The past year has been one of transition for the nonprofit Pastoral Counseling Centers of MA (PCC). In September 2012, executive director David Russo stepped down after serving in the position for 12 years. Several months ago the center moved from its 8 Church St. offices to new ones across the street at 7 Church St. And just recently, Mary Taber, who had served as interim executive director, was named to that post permanently.
Taber has been with PCC (formerly known as the Assabet Valley Pastoral Counseling Center until its merger with the Worcester Pastoral Counseling Center) since 2003.
PCC offers a specialized type of counseling that combines behavioral sciences and religion. The staff members are all licensed therapists who have studied psychology, marriage and family, and pastoral counseling. And although it is a spiritual-based counseling center, no one religion is emphasized; people of all faiths are welcome.
Taber has served as the center's certified spiritual director, licensed certified social worker and retreat leader. She also brings to the position her extensive experience from serving in many other organizations in both her personal and private lives.
A graduate of Skidmore College, she has worked for the state as a social worker in a battered babies unit where she helped to write the legislation for reporting child abuse.
“We were the second state in the country to do that,” she said.
She has she served as the volunteer president for five years for Bridge of Central Mass., a human services agency that serves?individuals of all ages with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury, and/ or complex family problems.
She formerly taught at the Assabet Preschool Collaborative where she worked in the classrooms for special needs children which led her to studying American Sign Language.
She has also served in various leadership roles on numerous school, church, and civic boards.
Since 1991, Taber has been associated with the Forbes Kirkside Foundation, which helps those in need in Westborough. That led to her involvement with PCC.
In her role as executive director, she works closely with the town's Interfaith Clergy Group and Human Service Alliance. She is also part of the newly formed Westborough CARES, a collaboration of several organizations that formed to help deliver critical assistance to those in need.
As PCC's executive director, she has several goals she said: a strong community connection, compassionate care for those who come seeking help, and maintaining the integrity of the connection with the staff and board of directors.
Those seeking help can work with counselors as well as joining one of the small support groups available that help people with such issues as divorce support, grief and loss, and caregivers. There is also a new women's group that will be forming.
Group membership is fixed and closed as opposed to drop-in, Taber said. That allows the members to feel safe in sharing their thoughts and to get the support and bonding they need.
“So many people are in pain. It's important for them to have a place to process and heal,” she said. “And it's so key to have resources that offer support and compassion.”
There are five therapists on staff in Westborough and three at its Worcester location. Therapists also meet clients at a space in Hudson. PCC currently has clients from 45 different towns although its services are open to all. The center works closely with many different insurance companies and also offers some financial aid.
For more information on the center and its services, call 508-366-4000 or visit www.PCCofMA.org.
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