Finding Hope

Counseling center provides affordable therapy

By Jessica Laskey
March 2020

As a board member for the last four years of the HOPE Counseling Center, Margaux Helm has helped the nonprofit offer a variety of professional counseling services for families, couples and individuals using a flexible-fee structure.

HOPE quite literally makes “hope” accessible.

“There are so many people in our community who don’t have the resources to afford counseling,” says Helm, a licensed marriage and family therapist and fourth-generation Sacramentan who runs her private MFT practice out of her childhood home in Arden-Arcade. “HOPE allows people to access quality services based on need and income. We have a lot of clients in need, and HOPE is able to offer them support.”

Helm first became interested in working with HOPE because of the center’s use of the EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) method, an evidence-based therapy that addresses traumas and relational deficits. Helm—a certified EMDR practitioner and consultant—calls it “a gift” that the center can offer this therapy at an affordable price. Most EMDR therapists are expensive due to the extensive training required to become certified.

HOPE combines contemporary psychotherapy, like EMDR, with transpersonal values that promote social, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being through its network of qualified therapists at three locations in Midtown, Roseville and Folsom. The center also serves as a training institute to support associate clinical social workers, marriage and family therapist associates, professional counseling associates and MFT trainees as they go through the process of becoming licensed.

“I’m particularly drawn to HOPE’s high standards and professionalism,” Helm says of the 11-year-old organization, which raises much-needed funds every October at its HOPS for HOPE fundraiser at the Milagro Centre in Carmichael. “Helping them helps the community.”

Helm further helps her community by providing pro-bono counseling through the Soldiers Project, which provides free, confidential and unlimited mental health services to any active-duty service member or veteran who has served since Sept. 11, 2001. Helm works with the project in honor of her late parents, who were both veterans.

The former WEAVE executive (Helm served as director of programs for 12 years before leaving to focus on counseling) also helps her husband raise puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, which provides trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities at no cost.

When she’s not busy serving her Sacramento community, you might find Helm at the bookstore she co-owns in Portland that provides resources for personal and spiritual growth. “I’m trying not to call it a New Age bookstore, but that’s what it is,” Helm says with a laugh.

After earning her BA in business at Sac State, Helm moved to the Pacific Northwest and opened the bookstore as a way to provide positive resources to her community. She was so inspired by the process that she decided to seek more “direct service,” eventually earning her master’s in counseling at the University of Puget Sound.

“So much of the distress right now in the world is around interpersonal relationships,” Helm says. “People think that mental health is about a diagnosis, but it’s really about being a human being and needing support.”

Support that can be found at HOPE.

For more information, visit or

Jessica Laskey can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.


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