In 2019, Myra McNair, a licensed marriage and family therapist, hypnotherapist, and trauma specialist based in Madison, wrote a vision letter for her team at Anesis Center for Marriage & Family Therapy, a state-certified DHS clinic that she owns and established in 2016. Enclosed in the letter was a list of hopes and dreams for Anesis, one of them being her goal to buy a building for the clinic. Fast-forward three years later, McNair and her team have found a permanent home for Anesis on the west side of Madison to continue to provide mental health services to communities of color across Dane County, and even the state of Wisconsin.
Before growing into the clinic it is today, Anesis Therapy started off as a private practice that McNair focused on during her off-days while working full-time for another agency. It wasn’t until she transitioned to working full-time with her private practice that colleagues from the community reached out to work for Anesis for similar reasons to why McNair established the clinic; to cultivate a space that provides mental health services for Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) that has been missing from the Madison community for years. With a team that is culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse, McNair explains that their clinic places culture at the forefront of their services to create a space BIPOC can easily access.
“I would say that the majority of people that come here, it’s their first time ever receiving services. So I think that speaks volumes that they’re coming because it’s here and because we have the staff, and they’re like, it’s OK, there are people that look like me,” says McNair about the impact of having a diverse team serve communities of color. “It’s something about the impact and of all of us. All Black and Brown people coming together and saying that we’re going to do this for our community.”
As a Black-owned, state-certified clinic, Anesis Therapy has been helping people navigate the mental health and wellness aspects of their life in a way that honors culture, family, community and faith in order to diminish the stigma on mental health and seeking care.
In order to do so, the clinic has made sure to have their services be as accessible as possible to clients by providing a diverse staff, providing services in multiple languages, accepting a variety of insurances, and implementing different programs to accessing care, such as providing the option of drop-in clinics at two different locations outside of their clinics. Asides from the new clinic on Forward Drive, their Northside clinic remains open to allow for better access for clients and staff living in different areas of Madison.
Anesis now has a large staff of more than 40 people who are not only experts in their field, according to the organization’s website, but are “compassionate and caring people who love seeing hope grow, strength flourish, and lives transform.”
Looking back on the past 6 years, McNair explains that the rapid growth and progress of Anesis was something unexpected and something that goes beyond just the expansion of physical spaces. With its growth, the clinic has welcomed many staff members who bring an assortment of knowledge and expertise to provide to the community. Along with this, the clinic has invested in providing all of its staff members with sufficient training.
“I think one year we spent over $50,000 just on training,” says McNair. “We’re constantly training and like figuring out how can we tighten up our processes better. Every month we’re growing and we’re better, and we’re better, and we’re better.”