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On a mission to spread hope, Little Rock therapist takes couch to the community

Andrea Fresh, LCSW is a Little Rock psychotherapist who is trying to create change by going beyond the couch, into the community.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — When we think of a therapist's office, there's often a standard image: a cozy room with a comfy couch and chairs, where people work through their challenges.

Andrea Fresh, LCSW is a Little Rock psychotherapist who is trying to create change by going beyond the couch, into the community.

"Even if I'm whole, or I'm whole in my household, but everybody on my street is suffering through something, to think that that trauma is not going to spill out and affect me -- that's almost unrealistic," Fresh said.

Fresh, who grew up in Little Rock, said she understands that concept firsthand.

"If we can normalize trauma, and that's okay, then we can also normalize wellness," she said.

Fresh calls herself a "Hope Dealer," wearing the title proudly on a hoodie. She has dealt that hope to client after client for almost two decades.

"You can't be a therapist and not have tons of hope hope that people are going to get better there are they're going to recover," she said.

But Fresh realizes she's just one person, that not everyone has access to mental health services, and that some people simply aren't comfortable asking for help.

"What I'm hoping to do is possibly change the tide for communities that are suffering from traumatic events," she said.

So she is taking conversations that would typically take place in her office out into the community and onto the silver screen.

Her TV show, "Holding Spaces: From the Couch to the Community," launched in Spring 202 and streams on Roku.

By letting people share their traumas, Fresh hopes to help them heal and help others.

"They're not my clients, per se, but what the show does is provide a therapeutic setting, to normalize what therapy could be like," she said.

In many cases, she said it provides meaning behind her guest's experiences.

"Sometimes being able to help someone else puts that into perspective for them," she said.

Through the show, a t-shirt line, and involvement in the community, Fresh said this is just the beginning of a greater movement.

"I believe that there is always a silver lining," she said."It's difficult to sometimes see that depending on what the situations are, but there's always a possibility. And so if we can kind of focus on them, we can move past some of the situations that we go through.:

"Holding Spaces: From the Couch to the Community" is streaming on Resurgent TV.

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