Delray Center in Delray Beach, FL

"My healers"

Delray Center is a beautiful place to heal and hone your inner peace. (Credit: Bonnie Jolson)

The Delray Center is a place of healing. I have prayed for 28 years, having experienced deep traumas and mental illness. Diagnosed with bipolar deep depressive states and PTSD, they brought me back to life.¬†Everyday is another baby step, but they are by my side and I can now say that I’m a survivor thanks to them. The therapists, doctors, office staff, and programs are a life vest to aid you in surviving difficult life circumstances.

The cheer wall at Delray Center is lined with happy thought and goodwill. (Credit: Bonnie Jolson)

Stories About Delray

Delray Beach has been a healing city for me after becoming very ill in October 2017. Through the past months, I’ve come across many authentic souls, even though I couldn’t get out of bed for two months. Taking just baby steps, I fell in love with this quaint oceanic town. I volunteered for Wayside House, an addiction center for women staffed by women. I befriended Marlies Jones, Director of Wayside’s House Career Center, who goes above and beyond making you feel welcome and valued as a volunteer, bringing out the best in clients and workers. As a volunteer, my job was to procure donations and raise awareness for Wayside. Even though I was very ill, I worked in my pajamas because that’s how much I believed in the cause! If you are honest with your story and what success can look like, people will pour their hearts out. I met dozens of business owners, managers, and others that shared their personal stories. The response was overwhelming for me, because even though my recovery was different than the clients, I believed in them. The community donated resources for a Japanese garden, yoga, spinning, salt therapy, and business coaching. People asked how I did it, and I said, “If you love people first and foremost and look deep down, there are kind people everywhere.” South Florida has a bad reputation, but I highly encourage you to spend a few days in Delray and you’ll change your perspective.

All of the colorful artwork inside Delray Center is courtesy of their very creative and talented clients. (Credit: Bonnie Jolson)

My therapist, Tony Gonzalez, is my healer and deserves recognition for his style of therapy, which inspires others to live their best and validates his clients — yes, you went through horrible circumstances, but that’s just your reality for now.¬†He has coached me in life, taught me how to be a survivor, and most of all he’s the first therapist in 25 years that can tap in on my issues with a supportive demeanor in his office. On Fridays, he puts on boxing gloves and boxes with his clients to get the anger, frustration, and worries to come out. His biggest gift is looking at us in the eyes, staying in the present just for that one punch, encouraging us to never give up! We’ve got this! There are no apologies in the ring! He trusts that we will follow guidelines treatment and in return we trust him through the process of recovery. This is really meaningful to myself and his clients. At age 4,1 he’s the clinical director, social worker, runs groups, and is just there for the clients! He goes the extra mile in therapy that I’ve not witnessed in 25 years! And he can quote any passage to any book that is influential at any time. He has six rules you must abide by and you want to do well for yourself and him as well, so you know he’s invested in each discussion.