Embracing Humanity: Grace Counseling Degree Programs Lead Alumni to Open Local Private Practice
What does being human mean to you? Is it an exciting gift? Is it a challenging journey? Is it a complex process? At Human Wellness Collective, Grace alumni Gabe Koser and Tyler Zielasko believe it is all of that and more. In the end, they know being human is an opportunity, and it’s their ultimate goal to help others reach their full potential through the opportunities in their lives.
When Koser and Zielasko recently opened their private counseling practice, they wanted people to be confident and comfortable in their humanity and to thrive in all parts of their lives.
Graduates of Grace’s counseling degree programs, Koser and Zielasko first met at church and realized they had common ground as licensed therapists. They created the idea for Human Wellness Collective when they saw a need for therapy in Warsaw.
“It came out of a lot of prayer,” Koser says. “We felt like we had God moving us in this direction. It certainly wouldn’t have happened without Him preparing the way.”
Though they only offer counseling right now, Human Wellness Collective hopes to expand their team and provide other wellness services for the community. “God created the body to be beautiful and resilient, and mental health is just one aspect of a person’s overall well being,” Koser says. “Long term, we want to focus on all aspects of a human and what services might be helpful in allowing a person to enjoy life.”
Instead of turning first to man-made remedies such as medication, Koser and Zielasko focus on natural solutions to common ailments. While the step of going to therapy can be scary, it’s the pair’s priority that clients feel encouraged throughout the process. “For most, this decision takes courage, and I want you to know that I’m excited to journey with you,” Zielasko says.
Though the two men behind the operation have walked vastly different paths to where they are today, Human Wellness Collective is ready to serve the Warsaw community and help others thrive.
Meet Gabe Koser
Koser does not have just one or even two degrees from Grace – he has four, including two he received through the counseling degree programs. In 2008, he graduated with his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and began working in the business field. He knew this was not where he was meant to be, so in 2011, he went back to Grace to pursue a Master of Arts in Local Church Ministry. He knew he wanted to continue in seminary, so after taking a counseling class, he began working on his M.Div in Pastoral Counseling.
“Counseling became a passion of mine, something that I had a joy in doing,” Koser says. “I love to connect with people and guide them back to who we are as humans created in the image of God.”
After he worked as a pastoral counselor at Turning Point Counseling Center, he realized full-time counseling was his next step. He went back to Grace for the fourth and final time to earn a Master in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling so he could be licensed as a therapist.
“Those early counseling classes I took changed the trajectory of my life,” Koser says. “I had the unique opportunity to learn the theological perspective of people as well as the behavioral health picture. I really am passionate about the overlap of theology and psychology. Those are things I don’t think I would have without the training and courses I had in seminary and the counseling program.”
Meet Tyler Zielasko
Zielasko graduated from Grace in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in counseling and in 2005 with a Master in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. His professors in the counseling degree programs at Grace, like Dr. Thomas Edgington and the late Dr. Mike Grill, ignited his passion for counseling.
After receiving his master’s and his bachelor’s degree in counseling, Zielasko worked at the Bowen Center and the Aberdeen Group in Fort Wayne. Since the start of his career, he has enjoyed helping others live well. “One of my greatest passions is helping people discover their potential through developing their own tools and skills to work through life’s complexities,” he says.
Although Zielasko does not know exactly what Human Wellness Collective will look like in the future, he believes that God does. “We will take Human Wellness in whatever direction God has for us,” he says.
Do you want to meet a need for therapy by viewing people as images of God? Check out our bachelor’s degree in counseling and read more about our counseling degree programs.