It is hard to believe that it was 46 years ago— in 1976—that we first opened up the Clinics (then known as “Minirth-Meier Clinics”) to help serve the Dallas area with Christian counseling services while psychiatrists Dr. Frank Minirth and Dr. Paul Meier taught full time at Dallas Theological Seminary. Their goal was to help seminary students better understand emotional and psychological problems like depression and anxiety and destigmatize mental health care for people of faith. The doctors had to write their own textbooks for the courses they taught, as they couldn’t find existing textbooks that would address the integration of Christian faith with mental health care for their Seminary students. Later they also wrote Happiness is a Choice, Worry-Free Living; Love is a Choice; Christian Childrearing and Personality Development; The Workaholic and His Family, and more—-over one hundred published books were authored or co-authored by Doctors Minirth and Meier. Nancy Brown, Paul’s younger sister, with a business and banking background, was asked to consider moving to Dallas with her family so she could be the Director of the Clinic while her retired father was the bookkeeper. She did this and went through all the changes in healthcare and all the growth of the Clinics, serving now as President of Meier Clinics nationally over the last 23 years.
In the 1980’s, the doctors were approached by Moody Radio and asked if they would consider doing a one-hour radio program nationally from noon to 1:00 p.m. every weekday on a mental health topic. They would discuss that specific topic for 15 minutes or so, such as “Helping Your Child with Attention Deficit Disorder” and then open up the radio phone lines for listeners to call in and ask questions. As the program grew in popularity, up to two million people would listen to the radio program faithfully.
In 1986, Nancy Brown’s husband was transferred to Chicago with his company, and the doctors asked Nancy to open a new Clinic in Wheaton, Illinois, where she and her family were going to reside. She did that, and they were amazed at the positive response of the community to the new Clinic she opened there due to the radio program on Moody and the books that were written by the doctors. The Wheaton Clinic became the headquarters, and they took the calls from the radio show every day—up to 1,600 calls per day.
Clinics were also opened in other states where some of their Seminary students lived and chose to obtain their master’s or doctorate degrees in counseling or psychology, in addition to their Dallas Seminary Degrees. There are now seven states that have Meier Clinics, and the staff continues to be faithful to their “Statement of Faith” and have excellent training in mental health care. We provide over 70,000 visits every year and could expand greatly due to COVID if we could find the number of licensed clinicians that we need for this level of growth. God has been faithful, and we have seen thousands upon thousands of lives changed, as evidenced in our Patient Satisfaction Surveys and Patient Outcomes. More than 30% of the people who come to attend one of our three Catalyst Day Programs nationally ( Dallas, Wheaton, and Seattle) come from another state other than the one the program is located in, because they know they will have wonderful Christian mental health care from the staff there. It is our goal to keep serving God through serving people and helping them to be filled with hope for the future and find healing in their lives.