Counseling & Discussion Groups | Shalom Austin



Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service provides one-on-one counseling with a therapist as well as support groups for those who want to connect with others sharing similar experiences. JFS serves people regardless of race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation. 


We provide a safe and supportive environment with licensed therapists to assist adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families to improve their overall mental health and well-being. 

Jewish Family Service now offers our confidential and compassionate mental health services through telehealth platforms. Our highly skilled therapists offer video therapy and counseling, either on a sliding fee scale or through eligible insurance.

JFS accepts the following insurance coverage for counseling services: Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Humana, Aetna, United Healthcare, Magellan, and Cigna.

For more information about our sliding scale, please contact us at or (512) 250-1043.


Hot, Messy, Meaningful Parenting: A Group for Parents who Don’t Have it All Together

JFS is excited to offer a 6-week parenting support group for parents. Facilitated by Dr. Alyssa Gilden, a child and family psychologist and a mom, this group will allow parents to come together and support one another in the ever-evolving quest to be whole humans and parents. The group will cover intimacy and connection, bedtime and other buttons, celebrating the individual you, and much more.

New Session beginning on Thursday, 9/22

(All income levels welcome. Sliding scale fee may be available upon request.)

Virtual and in-person sessions will be offered, pending interest.

To learn more about joining this group, please contact Alyssa at (512) 735-8128 or

Mindful and Joyful Eating Education and Support Group

Learn about the principles of Intuitive Eating from Licensed Social Worker Rachel Glaser. Receive support as you learn to reject the diet mentality so prevalent in American culture and discover tools to improve your relationship with food and your body. Rachel began her professional career as an eating disorder therapist, and she now helps individuals embrace intuitive eating in her private practice. JFS is proud to partner with Rachel for this important group as participants prepare to approach the holiday season (and your lives!) without the added stress of family and cultural food challenges.

$200 (All income levels welcome. Sliding scale fee may be available upon request.)


To learn more about joining this group, please contact Rachel at (512) 814-5108 or

Family Caregiver Support Group

You are not alone. This group is a safe place for family members caring for adult loved ones to discuss the stresses, challenges, and rewards of caregiving. 

  • Connect with other caregivers
  • Learn about community resources
  • Talk through issues and ways of coping 

Group meets the second & fourth Thursday of each month,

Suggested Donation $18 per Session
All income levels welcome. Sliding scale fee may be available upon request.)

Shelly Russell, LCSW is a therapist at JFS who specializes in working with older adults and was a caregiver for her mother. Liron Ramon is a Case Manager at JFS and is a gerontologist experienced in educating and coaching older adults and caregivers, and has led caregiver groups in Israel.

For more information, please contact Liron Ramon at (512) 735-8118, or Shelly Russell at (737)-231-1504,

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

This series of six classes is designed to empower family caregivers of older adults to take better care of themselves.

  • Identify and reduce personal stress
  • Communicate feelings, needs and concerns 
  • Communicate more effectively during challenging situations 

Group meets every Wednesdays, May 3-June 7, 2023.
10-11:30AM | Online

For more information or to register, please contact us at (512) 735-8120 or

Program partners: St David’s Foundation, CareGiverU, Age of Central Texas

Older adult woman sitting on the couch using laptop.

Empower Up

This series is designed to help older adults navigate the milestones of aging.

Group meets every other Thursday starting March 23, 2023.
11AM – 12:30PM | Online

For more information or to register, please contact: and

Wise Aging 2.0

Facilitated by Fabianna Laby, PsyD. This group will meet twice a month, starting October 11 from 4:30-6:30 PM.

There is no set of instructions for getting older—for the shifts in our social and support networks, the feeling of invisibility, the angst of dealing with aging parents, the mixed signals of entering retirement, or the surprising turns in our relationships with ourselves, our partners, friends, and colleagues. On the other hand, those of us currently in this stage can count ourselves as part of an extraordinary, history-making generation—pioneers in understanding and making the most of this “third chapter” of life. Many of us will be blessed with unprecedented healthy years ahead, full of potential for learning and growth.

The Wise Aging program is designed to give Jewish adults 55 and older spiritual resources while opening up conversations about what it means not just to get older but to age wisely. Together we will create space in our hearts and new understandings about life so we can live with spirit, resilience, and joy.

Register by emailing Registration cost of $250 will include all sessions and a copy of the book Wise Aging. (Scholarships are available if the price of this group is a barrier.)

*Until Austin COVID levels decrease significantly, this group will be meeting virtually. In person protocols will be shared, when the group decides it is ready to meet in person.

Wellness with a Disability

Approximately one in five Americans has a disability. This group provides a safe, confidential, and supportive space for adult members of the Austin Jewish community who have a disability: mental, physical, emotional, or other. The group members discuss issues related to their own disabilities and broader disability concerns, and to offer support and ways to cope with aspects of life.​ ​While group is a place to find community, it is also a place to develop deeper connections with others, accept and receive support, increase interpersonal communication skills, build self-awareness, and increase sense of self.​ ​

Every Friday I Ongoing I Free of Charge I Online 

mindfulness mondays jewish family service online event coffee

Mood & Mindfulness

Do you feel distracted? Hurried? Preoccupied? This personal development workshop will teach mindfulness techniques that can help participants to be more present and aware in daily life. Mindfulness has the power to improve relationships, increase self-control, boost productivity and can lessen depression and anxiety.

Join Jewish Family Service’s professionally-facilitated workshop to develop mindfulness skills and discuss common experiences together.

Second Tuesday of each month at 11AM
Click here to view community calendar dates
Via Zoom
Free to attend

For more information and to register, please contact Emma Howitt, LPC-S, LCDC at


You have the right to receive a ‘Good Faith Estimate’ explaining how much your therapy may cost.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who do not have insurance, or who are not using insurance, a cost estimate of the bill for medical items and services.

  • You have the right to receive a ‘Good Faith Estimate’ for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, drugs, equipment, and hospital fees. 
  • Your health care provider must give you a ‘Good Faith Estimate’ in writing for scheduled services within designated timeframes. You can also ask your health care provider for a ‘Good Faith Estimate’ before you schedule an item or service.
  • If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your ‘Good Faith Estimate’, you can dispute the bill.
  • Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.

For questions or more information about your rights to a Good Faith Estimate, visit


The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct committed by marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychologists, psychological associates, social workers, and licensed specialists in school psychology.  

Although not every complaint against or dispute with a licensee involves professional misconduct, the Executive Council will provide you with information about how to file a complaint. Please call 1-800-821-3205 for more information.

For assistance please contact: Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council

Please note we are not a 24/7 crisis center. If you have a mental health emergency, please call 512-472-4357 [HELP]. 

Rachel VanScoyoc

Rachel VanScoyoc

JFS Office Manager

O (512) 250-1043